RSPCA issues lily poisoning warning after cat dies in Croydon

The RSPCA has issued a warning to cat owners to highlight how toxic lilies are to cats after a kitten sadly died in Croydon.

Cat owner Mya contacted the Crystal Palace and District RSPCA branch last month when her nine-month-old kitten had become poisoned by lilies. She was given a bunch of flowers, including roses and lilies as a gift and had no idea they could be toxic to cats.

Mya said: “I don’t know whether Jasper brushed up against them or perhaps ate some of the lilies’ pollen, but he started to go off his food for a couple of days. Jasper has always been a bit of a fussy water, so I wasn’t too worried, but by the third day he started to become poorly. I took him to the vets, and they did some blood tests and the vet confirmed that he was suffering from lily poisoning. I had no idea they were toxic to cats. I think there needs to be a change in the law which means it should be clearly labelled on the flowers that they can poison cats.”

Sadly, Jasper did not pull through and Mya has been left devastated by the loss of her pet.

She added: “Jasper helped me through lockdown, and I didn’t know what I would do without him, so it’s been really hard to lose him, especially in this way. Now I’m going to do everything in my power to raise awareness about the dangers of lilies to both cats and dogs.”

The RSPCA Croydon branch which helped Mya with the cost of some of Jasper’s vet treatment is now helping the pet owner raise awareness about the dangers lilies can pose.

Jacqui Jackson, branch manager at RSPCA Croydon branch said: “This is a horrible tragedy and really shows why it’s so important to raise awareness of the dangers of lilies, and other household items, and how toxic they can be to our pets.

“We would always advise pet owners to check whether products or items they are bringing into their homes could be toxic to their pets as there are many different types of plants found in the home and garden which can be harmful to pets. Many plants including tulips, holly and hyacinths can be toxic to cats and dogs although their toxicity is considered to be low. However, even non-toxic plants may cause some stomach upsets if ingested.

“Lilies are highly toxic to cats and ingestion of any part of the plant or flower can be fatal. Lilies and other toxic plants should always be kept well away from cats or dogs and owners should call their vet immediately if they are concerned that their pet has ingested any plant or flower.”

What to look out for

Signs that your pet could have been poisoned vary and can include any of the following:

  • Depression
  • lack of appetite
  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • breathing difficulties and bad breath
  • twitching

Different substances can affect animals in different ways. Some symptoms can take days to appear but we would always advise any owner to contact their vet immediately if they suspect their pet has been poisoned.