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Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Cats? What You Need to Know!

Oliver Jones

Are Peace Lilies toxic to cats? In many cultures, these pretty lilies stand for inner harmony and healing. While that’s all well and good, and the white flowers are indeed gorgeous, they won’t bring peace and harmony to your pets. Lilies are on the list of most poisonous plants for cats.

Peace Lilies, while only mildly toxic, especially when compared to Easter Lilies, and other true lilies, can still make your pet sick.

Read on as we discuss how Peace Lilies are toxic to cats, the signs and symptoms that your cat has been poisoned, and what you can do about it.

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Why Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Cats?

The Pet Poison Hotline states that the Mauna Loa Plant, also known as Peace Lilies, contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to cats. If your cat chews on the stems or even the leaves of this plant, the crystals are released. Injury to your cat is caused when the crystals start to penetrate the cat’s tissues.

The plant doesn’t have to be ingested to cause injury. It can cause extremely painful damage just by being in the cat’s mouth.

Though it is mildly toxic to cats, the Peace Lily isn’t as toxic as some other forms of lilies, including daylilies. The toxins in the Peace Lily, which is said to not be a true lily, can’t damage your cat’s liver or kidneys. Still, it’s best to always keep any type of lilies away from your feline friends.

Peace lily
Image Credit: Pixabay

Signs and Symptoms of Peace Lily Poisoning in Cats

The ASPCA tells us to look out for the following signs that your cat has ingested parts of a Peace Lily.
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at his mouth
  • Vomiting
  • A decrease in appetite
  • It seems like the cat’s mouth is burning

The biggest sign that your cat has ingested some of your Peace Lily is a constant rubbing of his paw on his face and around his mouth. In addition, the cat will show increased signs of being in pain and being uncomfortable. It is possible that his lips, mouth, and tongue will be visibly swollen as well.

It’s best to just remove any poisonous plants from your home to keep your feline pal safe and your dog’s safety as well.

Tips for Identifying a Peace Lily

Of course, it’s possible that you don’t even know you have a Peace Lily on the property. Many people bring in plants just because they’re pretty and fragrant, without knowing what they are, or that they could be a danger to their pets.

Peace Lilies have curved white flowers that stand erect. The leaves are a shiny emerald-green color. These plants can grow up to 3 feet tall. Though most Peace Lily plants have emerald-green leaves, some have stripes or slight tinges of cream located in the center of the leaves, so it’s important to look out for those.

Peace lily closeup
Image Credit: Pixabay

What Is the Treatment for Peace Lily Poisoning?

While Peace Lilies are mildly toxic, you do still need to be concerned if your pet ingests any of the plant. The pain will usually subside in a couple of hours if your cat has only taken a nibble of the plant. You can try giving your cat a small amount of yogurt or some cold milk to soothe the burning and might be able to avoid a trip to the vet.

Make sure not to give your pet a lot of dairy products, as it’ll cause diarrhea and only make your poor feline feel worse.

You’ll want to make an appointment with your vet right away, just to be on the safe side. Also, make sure to take a snip of the plant with you, so your vet can identify that it is indeed a Peace Lily and administer treatment if needed.

Tips for Preventing Cats from Eating Peace Lilies

The easiest way, of course, to keep your cats from eating Peace Lilies is by avoiding having the plants at all. You can also make sure any Peace Lilies you have are well out of reach of your little furry friend.

There are a few ways to prevent your cat from getting into your Peace Lilies. We’ll go into a few of them below.
  • Cats don’t enjoy the scent of coffee, and citrus disgusts them, so adding coffee grinds and orange peels to the soil will help keep them from messing with the plant.
  • Add gravel to your plant’s soil to keep the cat from digging in it. Plants that contain mint, citrus, rosemary, or lavender can be kept close to your Peace Lilies, as cats don’t like those smells either.
  • If all else fails, keep a spritzer of water close by to spray your cat with any time he gets close to the Peace Lilies. Cats don’t like to be sprayed with water, so hopefully, this will prevent him from eating the plant.

Remember, these are just recommendations and not guaranteed to work, so make sure to keep the Peace Lilies far away from your pet for the best results.

Cat-Safe Plants

While all lilies are either very toxic or mildly toxic to your feline companion, there are some cat-friendly plants out there that can add to the décor in your home, yet keep your cat safe and sound.

Even if your cats chew on these plants, they won’t do them any harm. Some plants to try include Boston ferns, Christmas cactuses, and Swedish ivy.

However, it’s still essential to purchase the exact plant that’s listed as being safe for cats. For example, the Boston fern is non-toxic to cats, but other ferns are poisonous. Also, remember that any plant a cat ingests will make them vomit, as their bodies can’t digest it, so still be careful with your cats around any plants or flowers.

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Peace Lilies and Your Cat

So, the answer to the question above is yes, Peace Lilies are mildly toxic to cats. Therefore, keeping the lilies away from your cat is the best option. However, if your cat does get into the plant, it shouldn’t kill them, but it will make them sick, so extra care is needed either way.

Looking for more information on plant toxicity? Check out:


Featured Image Credit: Natali Kuzina, Shutterstock

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.