Peace Lily And Cats: Learn About The Toxicity Of Peace Lily Plants

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Is peace lily toxic to cats? A lovely plant with lush, deep green leaves, peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is prized for its ability to survive nearly any indoor growing condition, including low light and neglect. Unfortunately, peace lily and cats are a bad combination, as peace lily is indeed toxic to cats (and dogs, too). Read on to learn more about peace lily toxicity.

Toxicity of Peace Lily Plants

According to Pet Poison Hotline, the cells of peace lily plants, also known as Mauna Loa plants, contain calcium oxalate crystals. When a cat chews or bites into the leaves or stems, the crystals are released and cause injury by penetrating the animal’s tissues. The damage can be extremely painful to the animal’s mouth, even if the plant isn’t ingested.

Fortunately, peace lily toxicity isn’t as great as that of other types of lilies, including Easter lily and Asiatic lilies. The Pet Poison Hotline says that peace lily, which isn’t a true lily, doesn’t cause damage to the kidneys and liver.

Toxicity of peace lily plants is considered mild to moderate, depending on the amount ingested.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) lists signs of peace lily poisoning in cats as follows:

  • Severe burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling and increased salivation

To be safe, think twice before keeping or growing peace lilies if you share your home with a cat or dog.

Treating Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats

If you suspect your pet may have ingested peace lily, don’t panic, as your cat is unlikely to suffer long-term harm. Remove any chewed leaves from your cat’s mouth, and then wash the animal’s paws with cool water to remove any irritants.

Never try to induce vomiting unless advised by your veterinarian, as you may unintentionally make matters worse.

Call your veterinarian for advice as soon as possible. You can also call the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. (Note: You may be requested to pay a consultation fee.)

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