Will my Peace Lily kill my cat?
Have you heard lilies can kill a cat within days? No, it’s not a myth and it IS that serious. And what you’ve been told is true IF you’re talking about true lilies and daylilies. Yes, all parts of SOME lilies can cause fatal kidney disease in cats, and not just when they’re eaten. The stems, leaves, flowers and pollen are all dangerous. Even drinking the water from the vase cut lilies are in or licking the pollen off their fur when grooming can cause irreversible kidney damage for cats if not treated as an emergency right away. Scary stuff.
But what about the Peace Lily?
Are Peace Lilies safe for cats?
Your Peace Lily will NOT kill your cat. Just because a plant has lily in its name does NOT mean they are all the highly toxic type, like the dangerous true lilies and daylilies. The humble Peace Lily unfairly gets lumped in with all lilies, and gets cat owners in a panic, when Peace Lilies aren’t even true lilies or daylilies. They are Spathiphyllum and come from the same family (Araceae), as many of our other houseplant favourites like Philodendron and Monstera.
BUT that doesn’t mean Peace Lilies (or their cousins), are completely pet safe. They are still mildly toxic if your dog or cat chews or eats them, although some pets may have no reaction at all.
What happens if pets eat my Peace Lily?
The Peace Lily, Philodendron and many other indoor plants have very small, calcium oxalate crystals in their tissues. If chewed they can cause drooling, swelling and irritation and if eaten might cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Unlike true lilies or daylilies which need an urgent trip to the emergency vet for your cat (do NOT wait), if your pets chomp on your Peace Lily the reaction is usually mild and won’t normally need medical attention, BUT it’s best to call your Vet anyway for advice just to be on the safe side.
Get to know your lilies! It’s best to avoid true lilies and daylilies around cats (and avoid planting them in your garden if your neighbours have cats), but next time someone tells you to get rid of your Peace Lily because they can kill your cat, now you know!
More myth-busting. Peace Lilies do not kill cats and drainage layers do NOT add drainage! In fact they increase the risk of root rot! Find out what's going on
Watering at the wrong time of day can increase the risk of rot, fungal disease and pests. Find out the right time of day to water