Is The Peace Lily Toxic To Cats?

You are relaxing at home with your houseplant collection, and suddenly your kitty starts yowling. You get up and run as fast as your legs can carry you to help. You stand still and notice something strange. Parts of your Spathiphyllum or Peace Lily plant are missing. Oh, my word, is this real trouble or not?

You think for a while, wondering if the peace lily is toxic to cats as you never took the thought to find out when buying it. So stay awhile longer to read about the symptoms of this plant’s poisoning and what you can do.

Are Peace Lily Toxic to Cats?

peace lily plant

The short answer is that the plant is mildly poisonous to cats but not as toxic as true lilies.

But even so, call your vet as your pet is feeling uncomfortable. but should survive the ordeal. Now, if your kitty ate a lily belonging to the Lilium genus or even drank water from the vase, the fate is different as it can lead to acute kidney failure.

So what’s up with your peace lily, and why do they have the name peace only to poison your favorite pet?

Peace Lilies Contain Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Calcium oxalate crystals

Shame does not carry a grudge against your plant, as more than 215 families of plants produce the same poison, calcium oxalate crystals. The primary function of these crystals is to regulate your plant’s calcium levels and prevent herbivory, protecting them from being eaten by predators.

Where Do You Find CaOx in Plants?

Now, you may be wondering if CaOx produced more in the flower, root, leaves, or other parts of the plant. If you have a plant bearing these crystals, you will find them in the whole plant. According to a Botanical Study in the Sevil Tütüncü Konyar journal in 2014, these crystals you see in the seeds, stems, leaves, roots, and flowers.

You might have even consumed some of it when eating certain plants, even without realizing it. For example, maybe you have nibbled on a wood sorrel genus looking like the clover plant, and it has a tangy taste. Well, Oxalis is known to contain oxalic acid. You find it in spinach, kale, swiss chard, and turning greens.

The fact is that you can consume a low concentration of it regularly. But if you have digestive or kidney problems, then you need to change your diet. The substance is even used in the industrial market to rinse laundries to remove rust or a vehicle radiator to remove scale.

The plant needs the crystals to protect them from being eaten by animals. Interestingly enough, it even forms in the human body how calcium oxalate is the constituent creating kidney stones that are an excruciating pain when they move through the bladder.

Symptoms Your Cat is Poisoned

According to the Animal Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there are common signs that you’ll observe to indicate that your cats have been consuming parts of your peace lily or other commonly grown species:

  • First, you will notice your excessive drooling at the mouth.
  • Next, your cat will have oral pain curling around on the ground.
  • Next, the cat will be pawing at the mouth.
  • Finally, your pet might start to vomit.
  • Lastly, your pet may have a decreased appetite with difficulty swallowing food.

All of these symptoms occur after your animal chews on the plant. The reason this happens is that the crystals work like microscopic spears. It penetrates through the cat’s mouth tissue from the gums and tongue.

Then it works its way down the esophagus, causing a burning sensation—shame who could blame your pet for yowling in pain under these circumstances. Your poor animal will even meow with different tones as the discomfort becomes intense, starting to drool.

In most cases, if your cats have eaten some of the peace lilies, the case of an airway swelling up, making it difficult for your cat to breath, is rare.

Treating Cats Poisoned by Peace Lillies

Now, do not three about your kitty as the pain and discomfort subside after a while. Luckily there are some things you can do to help soothe your cat’s discomfort using chilled lactose-free milk or yogurt. The reason for choosing lactose-free milk is that too much lactose can cause diarrhea, and many animals are lactose intolerant.

But remember, different plant species are toxic to animals, and best to identify them for proper treatment. If the discomfort does not subside, take a small piece of the plant with your pet to the veterinarian.

Other Plants Posing a Threat to Humans and Pets

Your peace lily is part of the Araceae family with a pretty flower, but other houseplants in the same family produce these crystals. These are:

Dieffenbachia – Dumb Cane

dumb cane plant

Calla Lily

calla lily

Pothos

neon pothos

Philodendron

vining philodendron

If you doubt that you have a houseplant poisonous to pets and children, then keep it as high as possible away from them.

Your Kitty Will Survive

Yes, it is a big ordeal if your pet ate from your peace lily and very traumatic to see them curling and meowing from discomfort. But the good news is your pet will survive from it. If your pets are prone to chewing on flowers or plants, then it is best to see if you have a potentially poisonous plant in your house.

Further, if your pet happens to consume any plant not part of their diet, the chance is that they will have an upset stomach, and best to have them checked out by a vet.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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