Easter lilies are toxic to cats.Got cats? Then beware of Easter lilies. These flowers may be pretty, but they can kill felines fast — and it only takes a few nibbles to send your pet to the kitty ER, or worse.

The FDA  says that Easter lilies, along with other varieties like Day lilies, Asiatic lilies, Japanese Show lilies and Tiger lilies are toxic to cats (although dogs can handle them just fine). And it’s not just the flower; eating any part of the plant can poison your poor cat.

Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at the Food and Drug administration, said that even licking a few grains of lilly pollen off of their fur can be toxic for cats. She says that the first symptom of poisoning is vomiting, which will probably start to ease up within 4 hours. Over the next day, the cat usually starts to urinate more often.

Then comes the real problem: kidney failure. It doesn’t always happen, but if it does then your cat may not be able to pee at all. This can kill him within 4 days to a week.

If you think your cat may have eaten any part of a lily, you need to get her to the vet, stat. Or go to the emergency clinic if it’s after hours. The vet will probably induce vomiting to get as much of the poisonous plant out as possible, and then put the cat on an IV drip to prevent dehydration.

Other Plants Toxic to Cats

Speaking of poisonous plants and religious holidays, felines can also be harmed by mistletoe, holly and the Christmas rose, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Actually, the ASPCA lists dozens of plants that are toxic to plants, including apples and apricots.

Most cats aren’t really into fruit, but they do love grass. My own two kitties are constantly munching on the vegetation in our backyard. Most grasses are perfectly safe, says the ASPCA, and help cats cough up hairballs (as I know too well). But if your cat is eating something you aren’t sure about, look it up — you may save her life.

Image: Joe deSousa