I’m surprised by how many cat owners don’t realise that lilies are toxic to cats. I mean, I guess it’s kind of understandable, given how common lilies are in flower arrangements and stuff. They don’t seem like something that would have the potential to kill domestic pets. Even just mouthing the pollen or drinking water from a vase containing lilies can be enough to do it.

Why am I on about this? Because I’ve had a cat – Mitchell – die as a result of lily toxicity. At the time, I had no idea that this was a thing. I’m thinking about it now because I went to a friend’s house this morning and noticed a vase of lilies on her coffee table – and yes, she has a cat. When I told her about Mitchell, she was understandably horrified (I, not currently having a cat buddy, walked out of there with a fresh bunch of lilies).

Anyway, if you’ve got a feline pal and it does manage to come into contact with lilies, get them straight to a vet for emergency treatment. Bayside gardens might not be exactly overflowing of lilies, but there may be the odd one in a backyard on your block. Given the tendency of some cats to wander, this is something to be aware of, along with the classic signs of poisoning (ask a vet for more info).  The earlier the ingestion is detected, the better the prognosis.

The vets at the Bayside animal hospital that I finally took Mitchell to did their best to treat him – from memory, I think they tried intravenous fluid therapy and diuresis. But he’d already developed renal failure by the time I got him there – probably a good couple of days after the ingestion had taken place (that’s a guess – I still had no idea what had happened at this point).

I can’t bring Mitchell back, but I can try and make sure other cat owners are clued in to the lily situation, know the warning signs and have a good vet they can call in an emergency.