Easter is this coming Sunday, and  stores are filling up with Easter Lilies, usually near the checkout lanes for an “impulse” buy.

If you have cats in your home, just say NO to Easter Lilies.

Each year,hundreds of cats in the USA get very ill (and some even die!) from ingesting parts of this lily. This specific species of lily is very toxic to felines. Many members of the lily family (like onions!) are not safe for cats, but Easter Lilies are particularly toxic.  Even getting pollen from a lily on a cat can be toxic – the cats can lick off the pollen and it can cause kidney failure! All parts of the Easter Lily (leaves, flower petals, pollen, and bulb) are toxic to cats.

A safer option, if you want a floral purchase at this time of year, is an Easter Cactus. Plus, epiphytic cactus can easily be cared for as a house plant, and it will reward you with repeat blooms. 99% of Easter Lilies are thrown in the trash.  Many houseplants are toxic to domestic animals, but the epiphytic cactus family is considered a low toxicity plant — still, to be safe, provide cat greens this year instead!

But remember, keep Easter Lilies away from cats!