GRIEF-stricken cat owners who lost their pet after it consumed pollen from lilies are warning others.
Tahoe, 13, died last week of severe renal failure. Owner Michael Bloom, who stood down as an Eastbourne Borough Councillor at this year’s elections, and his partner Sean say they are absolutely distraught.
They say that although Tahoe was an older cat, he was fit and active with a strong character.
The vet said his quick decline was probably due to lily poisoning, as moggies may be poisoned by any part of the plant.
Kittens can sometimes eat lilies and become ill but mature cats could get pollen on their fur and then ingest the pollen while grooming.
The first signs are vomiting, anorexia, excessive thirst and depression within a few hours.
It is also possible for the vomiting to stop for a while and then resume three or four days later.
Other signs of lily poisoning include paralysis, respiratory problems, seizures and swollen paws or face.
Mr Bloom said, “Some cat owners may be aware that lilies are poisonous to cats, but for those that didn’t, like me, some tips are to remove the pollen stalks from the lilies and to groom your cat more often during the growing season of lilies and to look out for the signs of pollen poisoning.”
The most dangerous types of lily for felines are the Tiger Lily (Lilium Tigrinum), Day Lily (Hemerocalis), Stargazer Lily (Lilium Orientalis), Easter Lily (Lilium Longiflorum), Rubrum Lily (Lilium Speciosum), Japanese Show Lily (Lilium Lancifolium), and Asiatic lilies.
Mr Bloom said, “We will all miss Tahoe very much, but we hope that his death will help others to understand about how toxic lilies can be to cats.”