The Toxicity of Lily Pollen

Written by angela tedson
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The Toxicity of Lily Pollen
Lily pollen forms a fine dust on brown, oblong stamens. (Lily image by Henryk Olszewski from

While beautiful to look at, flowers in the Lilium family are highly toxic to cats. All parts of the lily are poisonous, but the pollen contains the highest concentration of toxins.

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Cats may be poisoned by eating any part of the lily flower. Older cats are most often poisoned when the animal brushes up against a lily and pollen collects on the cat's coat. The cat later ingests the pollen while licking its fur during grooming.

The Toxicity of Lily Pollen
Cats ingest lily pollen during grooming. (toilette du chat image by ninice64 from


Lilies can cause acute kidney failure in felines, though the toxin principle remains unknown. Symptoms of lily ingestion include vomiting, anorexia, respiratory problems and swelling of the face and paws. If caught in time, treatment involves inducing vomiting and supporting the kidneys via IV fluids. Some cats will require hemodialysis, and some will not survive despite aggressive treatment.

IV fluids can support renal function in poisoned cats.
IV fluids can support renal function in poisoned cats. (suero image by FRAN from


Cat lovers should use care when introducing any type of lily into the garden or bringing cut lilies into the home. When lilies exist in a cat's environment and it begins showing signs of possible poisoning, seek veterinary care immediately.

Beautiful, but potentially deadly to cats
Beautiful, but potentially deadly to cats (Lily image by mcconns04 from

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