Written by Ivy
Feb 15 2023
Favorite indoor plant selections for enthusiasts include peace lilies. They are simple to take care of and even simpler to grow. Please take note that peace lilies are not actual lilies. They are a member of the family Araceae.
Although Peace Lilies are known as a symbol of peace, there's a compound in them that makes them extremely toxic. The calcium oxalate crystals in peace lilies are slightly poisonous to cats, but when consumed by them, cats do not suffer from acute kidney failure.
The cells of Peace Lilies, also known as Mauna Loa plants, contain raphides, bundles of calcium oxalate that resemble needles and are poisonous to cats. These calcium oxalate crystals are released when cats chew on leaves or consume pollen, which causes cellular damage in the body. Excessive drooling, vomiting, and swallowing problems are the symptoms.
The Pet Poison Hotline states that the Mauna Loa Plant, also known as Peace Lilies, contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to cats. The crystals come out if your cat chews on the stems or even the leaves of this plant. When the crystals begin to pierce the tissues of your cat, damage is brought on.
Injury from the plant can occur without ingestion. Just being in the cat's mouth can result in extremely painful damage.
The peace lily is slightly toxic to cats, but not as toxic as some other varieties of lilies, such as daylilies. Since the Peace Lily is allegedly not a true lily, its toxins cannot harm your cat's liver or kidneys. Nevertheless, it's best to always keep your feline friends away from any kind of lily.
For the purpose of identifying Peace Lily toxicity, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has provided a list of symptoms. The most typical symptoms include vomiting, excessive drooling and paw licking, irritation of the tongue and throat, and difficulty swallowing.
Acute kidney failure is a rare complication of Peace Lily toxicity, which is rated as mild to moderate depending on the quantity of leaves consumed.
After ingesting peace lily, symptoms usually appear 6 to 12 hours later. The initial symptoms include nausea, drooling, and an altered desire to drink.
In the worst case scenario, ingesting Peace Lily will cause acute kidney failure between the hours of 12 and 24.
Your cat may appear to be intoxicated or experience seizures or become disoriented before kidney failure manifests.
The symptoms, even after treatment, can remain up to two weeks. The majority of cats, though, recover completely without suffering any long-term effects.
The simplest way of keeping cats away from Peace Lilies is to not own any Lilies or at least placing them in a position where it is not reachable. However, it is not the most practical advice.
There are several ways to protect your furry companion from Peace Lily's toxic effects by distancing them.
Orange peels and coffee grounds can be incorporated into the soil. The scent of coffee and a dislike for citrus will keep them away.
In order to stop them from digging into the pot, you can also add gravel to the soil. Keep your Peace, Lilies amongst other plants that cats don't like, such as citrus, mint, rosemary, or lavender.
You can also spray a home-made mixture of cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, and water as a quick fix to keeping cats away. Another method of keeping cats away is to tape balloons; the sound of the balloons popping will scare them away.
If all else fails, keep a spray bottle of water nearby because cats generally detest water. Sprinkle water on your cat once it gets close to your Peace Lilies to prevent them from getting closer.
Diagnosing Peace Lily poisoning is a challenging task and can only be performed by a qualified veterinarian.
To distinguish between symptoms of Peace Lily poisoning and those linked to any underlying conditions, a thorough physical examination will be necessary.
Most of the time, treatment begins before a diagnosis is certain. Before proper treatment can start, this is done to relieve the symptoms.
When providing a diagnosis, a blood sample will be extracted to provide a complete blood picture and a biochemical profile. The biochemical profiling will help with identifying the levels of different electrolytes.
A urine sample will also be taken in order to assess how well the liver and kidneys are working. This is done to rule out the possibility of acute kidney failure developing.
There is no set protocol for handling Peace Lily toxicity in cats. To get the most stable condition possible, a variety of techniques are used to help overcome the symptoms.
You can give your cat some chilled yogurt or lactose-free milk to ease the discomfort and the burning sensation. Because lactose can make cats diarrhoeic and dehydrate them, it is essential that the milk is lactose-free.
Remove any leaves that are currently in the oral cavity first. To get rid of any calcium oxalate crystals, wash the mouth, the nearby areas, and any other parts that came into contact with the Peace Lily.
Vomiting is one of the first signs of peace lily poisoning. Vomiting reduces the body's fluid levels leading to dehydration and causes electrolyte imbalance leading to weakness.
Give your cat fluid therapy to help them rehydrate and replenish their electrolytes. The electrolyte mix can be given along with the fluids.
Since ingestion of Peace Lilies can cause irritation of stomach lining and blocking of the airway passage, you can administer specific medication.
Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine open blocked airways. Additionally, the administration of Kapectolin can help soothe stomach irritation by coating the stomach lining. Read More: How To Grow Peace Lilies Outdoors
Although peace lilies are poisonous to cats, actual lilies are more hazardous. It would take a lot of the plant for a cat to develop serious, even fatal, health problems.
Peace lilies are not poisonous to the touch – an animal or a person would have to ingest a part of the plant to get poisoned. Although a minor reaction is possible if the plant is touched (specifically the leaves), it's usually unimportant and incomparable to the reaction caused by ingesting a part of the plant. Read More: Why Is My Peace Lily Dying - 5 Reasons & How to Revive
There are no antidotes for Peace Lily poisoning. However, a qualified vet will follow general protocols to overcome the toxic effects.
Just a few leaves are more than enough to cause your cat to react negatively.
All parts of a peace lily are poisonous when consumed, but the leaf, stem, flowers, and pollen are particularly dangerous.