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Are cats allergic to Calla Lily or is it toxic to them?

Byzantine-style illustration of a Calla Lily plant

Calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica), also known as arum lilies, trumpet lilies, or pig lilies, are popular ornamental plants that can be found in many homes and gardens. While these elegant flowers are not true lilies, they contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that make them toxic to cats. Calla lilies are not known to cause allergic reactions in cats, but ingesting any part of the plant can lead to severe irritation and other health issues.

Toxicity level

Moderate

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Additional image of the plant

Symptoms your cat may have

When a cat ingests any part of a calla lily, the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals are released, causing immediate irritation to the mouth, tongue, and throat. These microscopic needle-like crystals penetrate the soft tissues, leading to intense discomfort and inflammation.Common symptoms of calla lily poisoning in cats include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Oral pain and swelling

In severe cases, the swelling can extend to the cat’s upper airway, making breathing difficult.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested a calla lily, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care. Your veterinarian will likely follow these steps to diagnose and treat calla lily poisoning:

  1. Physical examination: Your vet will examine your cat’s mouth and throat for signs of irritation and swelling.
  2. Symptomatic treatment: Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your vet may administer anti-inflammatory medicationspain relief, or intravenous fluids to manage discomfort and prevent dehydration.
  3. Monitoring: In severe cases, your cat may need to be hospitalized for close monitoring and supportive care.
An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!
An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!

FAQ

Q: Are cats allergic to Calla Lily?

A: Yes, cats can be allergic to Calla Lily. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include itching, sneezing, and skin irritation.

Q: Is Calla Lily toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Calla Lily is highly toxic to cats. Ingesting any part of this plant can cause severe symptoms and can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Q: What are the symptoms of Calla Lily poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Calla Lily poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the mouth and throat. Immediate veterinary care is crucial if ingestion is suspected.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from coming into contact with Calla Lily?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Calla Lily is not present in your home or garden. Keep your cat indoors or monitor outdoor activities closely to avoid exposure.

Q: What should I do if my cat ingests Calla Lily?

A: If your cat ingests Calla Lily, contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a veterinary professional. Immediate medical attention is necessary.

Q: Is Calla Lily commonly found in gardens?

A: Yes, Calla Lily is commonly found in gardens and as an ornamental plant. It is important to ensure this plant is kept out of reach of cats to prevent accidental ingestion.

History of the Calla Lily

Calla lilies are native to South Africa and have been cultivated for centuries. The plant’s name is derived from the Greek word “calla,” meaning beauty. In Greek mythology, the calla lily is associated with the goddess Hera. According to legend, Zeus brought his son Hercules to Hera while she was sleeping, allowing the infant to drink her milk. When Hera awoke and pushed the baby away, drops of her milk fell to the earth, creating calla lilies.The calla lily has also been a popular subject in art, with famous paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe showcasing the flower’s unique beauty. In the Victorian era, the calla lily symbolized purity and innocence, making it a popular choice for weddings.

Further reading and sources

Please note: The information shared in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as veterinary medical advice.

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