Are Lilies Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Updated: May 12, 2023

Lilies can be toxic to both cats and dogs. Here's what you should know about keeping these flowers inside the house if you have a pet.

Are Lilies Poisonous to Your Pets?

American shorthair cat biting houseplantKilito Chan/Getty Images
Prevent a dangerous situation by keeping lilies far away from your pets.

Yes, many types of lilies are toxic to cats. All parts of the plant—including its pollen—can seriously harm or even kill cats if swallowed. Gardeners with feline friends should absolutely avoid Easter lilies, Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies (including Stargazer lilies, and Casa Blanca lilies), tiger lilies and daylilies.

Some other plants can cause less severe symptoms, but cat owners should still avoid them. These include Peruvian lilies, lily of the valley, calla lily, peace lily and gloriosa lily.

Cat owners should also steer clear of these poisonous plants.

Gardeners with dogs should still be mindful and keep their pet away from lilies, since the plants can give dogs an upset stomach. However, these plants generally don’t cause the same potentially deadly side effects in dogs as they do in cats. If you notice symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling or pawing at the face and suspect lily exposure is possible, it’s best to call a veterinarian.

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How Will I Know If My Cat Swallowed a Lily?

Bunch of stargazer lilies left in vase on doorstep as gift.Rosemary Calvert/Getty Images
These flowers look and smell amazing but lilies are highly toxic for cats. Don’t bring them in your home.

When it comes to lily poisoning, detection and quick treatment is critical. Generally, for treatment to be effective, an owner needs to take their cat to a veterinarian within 18 hours of lily exposure—after that, the damage to the kidneys might be too severe to treat. If the cat receives medical attention quickly after coming into contact with a lily, their chances of survival are high.

Pet owners should monitor their cat for symptoms like nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite and drooling, as well as lethargy and depression. Treatments vary from induced vomiting to hemodialysis based on the severity of symptoms.

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What Can I Do to Prevent Lily Exposure?

A close up of a peace lily bract.De Agostini/C. Dani/Getty Images
Cat owners should not grow a peace lily as a houseplant.

The easiest way to ensure your cat doesn’t encounter a lily is not to have a lily in the house. Avoid bouquets or floral arrangements with lilies in them. Keep cats indoors to stop them from finding the flowers in neighbors’ yards. Leave peace lilies out of your houseplant collection. Try these pet-friendly indoor plants instead.

Even keeping these plants on a high shelf won’t necessarily prevent a potential tragedy, since some types of lilies can drop their leaves. Keep your furry friends safe by keeping them away from these potentially harmful flowers.

Not a pet owner? Check out the top 10 lily flowers you should grow in your garden.