After Tragedy, Woman Warns Cat Owners About Toxic Plants This Holiday Season

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on November 28, 2017

Samara Sodos spoiled her 12-year-old cat Lucy so much that they were featured in a Tampa Bay magazine spread about pampered pets. Unfortunately, 12 years of love given to the kitten she rescued weren’t enough to save Lucy from the hidden danger of a few lilies in a bouquet of flowers Samara’s sister had sent for her birthday the previous week.

Now Samara wants to spread the word about the hidden dangers of houseplants and flowers that are commonly found in bouquets, such as lilies. Check out Samara’s heartfelt tribute to Lucy from her Facebook page.

Samara told the Tampa Bay Times more about her bond with Lucy.

“She was always so grateful and connected to me, always needed to be around me. She picked up on people’s energy; if she hissed at a guy I brought home, I didn’t date him.”

One thing Samara didn’t realize when she received her birthday bouquet is that even in small amounts, lilies are extremely toxic to both cats and dogs and are common in many floral arrangements. Within 5 days of Lucy nibbling on a lily, her health started deteriorating rapidly. Within a week of the arrival of the birthday flowers, the vet recommended that Lucy be put to sleep.

With the holidays upon us, it’s good to remind people about the dangers of certain house plants. Poinsettias, mistletoe, and amaryllis are popular holiday plants that can be toxic to animals, as can additives added to Christmas tree water to preserve the needles. (For a more thorough list of plants that are toxic to cats, check out PetMD.)

Common symptoms that your kitty has eaten something toxic or poisonous include difficulty breathing or swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, dehydration, lethargy, or seizures. If you think your cat has eaten something toxic, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680.

After losing Lucy, Samara wants everybody to be aware of the potential dangers of floral arrangements.

“I always loved getting flowers. What girl doesn’t love that? But I really don’t ever want anyone to send me flowers ever again.”

(H/T: Tampa Bay Times, PetMD)