Forum home Talkback

Lilies & Cats

PlontyPlonty Posts: 3

Inspired by James Wong on the Great British Revival I bought 50 Lily bulbs and then yesterday someone wrote in to Gardeners Question time to say that Lilies are toxic to cats.  My research on the Internet suggests that a small amount of pollen on a cats fur will be ingested when they are grooming and will kill them. Why wasn't this mentioned on the program?



  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,045

    Probably because lots of plants are toxic to humans or animals.


    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    I think that lily pollen should be talked more about especially as it is so easy to stick a vase of lilies on a coffee table where a cat might sit. Still, lily pollen is such a pest when it stains clothes many people might be in the habit of snipping the stamens off anyway.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • mollismollis Posts: 150

    I grew Lilies for years and had a cat and never had a problem...However, if you are worried just snip off the pollen carrying stamens and all will be well.  image

  • mollismollis Posts: 150

    Probably not happy - never done it myself and never felt the need to. But if someone is worried about their cat that is an option. image

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    When I have them in the house I always trim off the stamens. I ruined a cream carpet years ago when a vase fell over and the wet pollen soaked into it, staining it orange forever.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,121

    You can now buy pollen free lilies - I got some today a my local GC. Miss Lucy and Elodie are very pretty, I've seen them at Tatton Show. I noticed the absence of warning in the programme and was surprised that no-one in the production team had picked up on it, it has had a fair amount of publicity.

    I have some lilies in the garden , well out of the cats' way, like martagon lilies growing in long grass, where they won't walk. I am going to try some tall regale in pots too, at the back of a border, but wouldn't use short 'patio' lilies in an area much frequented by my cats. It just wouldn't be worth the risk for me. has some varieties to look out for.

  • Mark 499Mark 499 Posts: 380

    I think most cases of poisoning have been from cut flowers indoors rather than from plants growing in the garden, there is also some confusion on the subject as some sources say only the pollen is harmful others say the entire plant , some say only true lilies are poisonous others say any type of Lily.

  • Mark 499Mark 499 Posts: 380

    Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,351

    I came across someone who was convinced that Daylilies  (Hemerocallis) were poisonous to cats - nothing I could do to convince her otherwise - I even ate a bud in front of her to show they were edible for humans and also showed her the Latin names and explained that they were not the same.  She dug them all up and binned them. image

    In some cultures the word for lily is used to mean flower e.g. Matthew 6:28  is referring to wild flowers, but the word lily is used in the English translation. Genuses etc were not understood back then.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    We are considering the lilies then Dove?image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
Sign In or Register to comment.