First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Trumpet Lily Poisoning?

This lily is also known by the names, calla lily, arum lily, pig lily, garden calla, white arum, and florist’s calla. Its scientific name is Zantedeschia aethiopica and it is in the Araceae family. While true lilies are potentially deadly to your cat; the trumpet lily, which is from a different family of plants, will make her very sick but isn’t likely to cause fatal poisoning. Even so, if you see her eating any part of a trumpet lily, take your cat to the vet along with a sample of the plant you saw her eating.

Trumpet lily is painfully toxic to your cat because of the poison it contains. This toxin acts by exploding into your cat’s mouth, causing intense irritation and burning.

Symptoms of Trumpet Lily Poisoning in Cats

Once your cat eats any part of a trumpet lily, you’ll notice the following symptoms:

  • Oral irritation and skin irritation
  • Pawing at her mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Hiding from you
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Dehydration

Causes of Trumpet Lily Poisoning in Cats

One of the toxins in tiger lilies is insoluble calcium oxalates. This toxin has an unusual and highly painful way of entering your cat’s body. The leaves, stem, and flowers of tiger lilies contain cells known as idioblasts. In each idioblast, a gelatin holds groupings of calcium oxalate crystals, which have a sharp end. 

If your cat chews on any part of a tiger lily, she breaks the idioblast and her saliva enters the cell. The gelatin in the cell swells, allowing the crystals to explode forcefully out of the idioblast, burying themselves in your cat’s face, lips, and tongue.

She’ll feel immediate irritation and burning pain that could last for several days. The crystals can move down into her stomach and intestine, which leads to intestinal upset.

Diagnosis of Trumpet Lily Poisoning in Cats

Your vet will give your cat a physical exam, looking for the causes of her symptoms. Before you take her to the vet, give her a little yogurt, which may help to alleviate some of the pain she’s feeling. Bring a sample of the tiger lily with you for testing.

Your cat will undergo a urinalysis and have blood taken so various tests can be carried out. The vet may also run tests on the lily same you brought with you so he can determine whether it is causing your cat’s illness. 

Treatment of Trumpet Lily Poisoning in Cats

Once your vet knows what is making your cat sick, he’ll begin treatment. If your cat has had diarrhea and is vomiting, she will be placed on intravenous fluids to rehydrate her and may receive oxygen if breathing is impaired due to swelling.

She may also receive an antihistamine such as Benadryl to reduce swelling and prevent any potential blockage of her airway. Another medication that may help is sucralfate, which interacts with your cat’s stomach acids to create a paste that acts as a barrier between your stomach and anything in your cat’s stomach, such as harmful plant toxins. She could also receive Kapectolin., which also coats the stomach.

Recovery of Trumpet Lily Poisoning in Cats

Most cats recover from trumpet lily poisoning within 24 hours. Your cat’s recovery may depend on how much of the plant she ate and how quickly you get her to the vet for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

When you bring your cat home, give her a quiet place to rest and recover. To prevent future cases of plant poisoning, make sure she doesn’t have access to any other toxic plants.