A SA pet owner is urging retailers to warn consumers about the dangers of certain plants, like lilies.
Images via Twitter

‘Fatal’: SA pet owner urges retailers to include warning about lilies

A South African pet owner is urging retailers like Woolworths and Checkers to warn customers about the deadly dangers of this flower…


A SA pet owner is urging retailers to warn consumers about the dangers of certain plants, like lilies.
Images via Twitter

A South African pet owner is appealing to major retailers like Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Checkers, and even NetFlorist, to include a warning on their labels about the near-fatal dangers of certain plants, like lilies – particularly on cats.

Kayli Vee – a blogger – has posted a thread about how her tragically died after being exposed to pollen from the flowers.

The woman also revealed how the retailer’s oversight cost her almost R30 000 in vet bills.

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Taking to her Twitter account, Kayli shared her account of how her pet cat Pi had to be hospitalised after coming into contact with lilies. The animal owner also used the experience to urge retailers to keep this in mind.

She posted in a series of tweets: “Dear folks at Pick n Pay, Checkers, Woolworths and Spar. I don’t want your money or products.

“I come to you pleading for a simple change that could save lives. A change so simple that it just needs to be retyped. Let me explain….

“Lilies are highly toxic to pets, especially cats. A few particles of the pollen, blown in the wind and licked off a foot, resulting in kidney failure. Kidney failure is so dangerous that if left untreated for more than 72 hours, there’s a 0% chance of survival.

“My cat, Pi, was one of these cats. She was in hospital for two weeks, she couldn’t eat or drink, vomited for days on end, and needed dialysis, and a feeding tube. She lost 1/3 of her body weight. Then she seemed to be recovering. They started calling her Miracle Cat.

“Two months later, and she’s back in hospital because her kidneys simply can’t cope. We still don’t know what is going to happen”.

Kayli then appealed to the retailers to inform their prospective customers – who are also pet owners – of the dangers of purchasing lilies.

She continued: “Your labels need to be better. Some of you have labels with no warnings. Some have labels that say, ‘Keep away from pets.’  It’s not enough. 

“A simple change to ‘WARNING: HIGHLY TOXIC TO CATS AND DOGS’ could literally save lives. And could have saved me alone almost R30,000 in vet bills”.

Sadly, Kayli revealed that her beloved pet Pi had died on Thursday, 2 February due to “lily poisoning”.


According to animal publication Infurmation, cats can become “intoxicated” after ingesting or coming across lilies, which are highly toxic.

Without treatment, symptoms can rapidly spread, and death can occur just days later.

Symptoms of “intoxication” includes

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy & weakness
  • Reduced (or loss of) appetite
  • Change in thirst (increased or decreased)
  • Drooling (called ptyalism)
  • Unsteadiness while walking (called ataxia)
  • Increase vocalization
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal urination (increased or decreased frequency)

Pet owners are urged to seek immediate medical treatment if they believe their cat has been exposed to lilies.


Lilies are not the only plants that are potentially life-threatening to pets.

According to Hill’s Pets, these common house plants pose a serious threat to both cats and dogs.

  • Azalea
  • Croton (Joseph’s Coat)
  • Daffodils (Narciccus species)
  • Caladium
  • Dieffenbachia (Dumbcane)
  • Ficus (rubber plants, weeping and variegated fig plants)
  • Philodendron
  • Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant)
  • Oleander
  • Poinsetta
  • Christmas Cherry
  • Holly berries