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Mother's Day Flowers - Warning for Cat Mums

With Mother’s Day just around the corner and the traditional bouquet of blooms being the most popular present for mum, Pet Insurance Australia issues a timely reminder about pet-friendly flowers.

Lilies can pose a huge problem, particularly for cats around this time of year,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “They are highly toxic to cats and can cause costly reactions that can have dire consequences for our beloved feline friends.”

Some varieties of lilies may only cause throat and mouth issues, while other types can lead to fatal kidney failure. The entire lily is toxic to cats – including the water contained in the vase. While dogs can suffer from gastrointestinal upset from ingesting a lily, cats commonly have more severe side effects. Sadly, even a tiny amount can lead to serious complications for our feline friends.

Pet Insurance Australia noticed a spike in feline toxicity claims relating to lilies during spring and again in May, signalling that this special time for Australian mums could be linked to cat poisoning episodes.

“Lilies are a prevalent choice of flowers to say thank you to all those incredible mums in Australia,” Crighton says. “But if mum has a cat, it’s probably best to choose another flower or ensure the cat cannot access the bouquet.”

Cats can become ill very quickly. Poisoning can show symptoms anywhere from one to three hours after ingestion.

Other symptoms include:
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive urination

If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of the lily or the water they are in - it is crucial to seek veterinary advice immediately, even if your cat seems to be getting better or the vomiting has stopped. It can take anywhere between 12-30 hours to show symptoms of kidney failure.

“It’s important for cat lovers to understand that lily poisoning can fool owners into thinking their cat is fine,” Crighton warns. 

“However, it can take up to three days for the lily to take full effect, leading to fatal consequences for a beloved cat. If owners think their cat has ingested any part of the lily seeking professional medical advice quickly is highly recommended.”

More common toxic plants for cats.

Cat-Friendly Flowers

“The great news is there are plenty of blooms that will bring a big smile to your mum and also be safe for her beloved cat,” Crighton says. “The key is to get savvy with your flower choices and to ensure that any mixed flower arrangement does not contain toxic flowers.”

Some popular cat-friendly choices include:

✔️ Baby’s breath
✔️ Daisies
✔️ Freesias
✔️ Gerberas
✔️ Orchids
✔️ Roses
✔️ Snapdragons
✔️ Sunflowers

Pet Insurance Australia also warns about the dangers of powdered flower food that come with many arrangements. This can also pose a problem with cats.

“Keeping them out of reach is always the safest way to protect your cat,” Crighton says. 

“Most older cats can be easily deterred; however, if you have a curious kitten, keeping all flowers and indoor plants up and out of reach is the best protection against accidental poisoning.”

MEDIA RELEASE, 21 April 2023

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