Man Refuses to Get Rid of Plant That Could Kill His Girlfriend’s Cat

"I decided to take them home, and come to find out they’re one of the most toxic to cats…"

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Apr. 15 2024, Published 12:11 p.m. ET

Peace lily flower overlaid with screenshot from Reddit comment
Source: Getty Images

A Redditor in search of some backup took to the popular "Am I the A--hole" subreddit after getting into a heated argument with his girlfriend over a newly acquired houseplant. According to the post from the recently bereaved @odd-mushroom1175, the OP wanted to know whether or not peace lilies were toxic to cats, as he and his girlfriend were having trouble seeing eye-to-eye over the matter.

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Emotions seemed especially high since the plant in question came from the OP's grandmother's funeral — how sad! Unfortunately for everyone involved in this little debate, this argument seems to hint at some deeper problems in the couple's relationship, prompting commenters to wonder if maybe peace lilies were toxic for more than just felines!

Curious cat in a plant
Source: Getty Images
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Are peace lilies toxic to cats?

The very short answer is yes. However, just how toxic peace lilies are to cats can vary, depending on how much the cat ingests, and how sensitive the cat is to the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals found within the beautiful plants leaves, stems, and flowers. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, chewing any part of the plant can introduce these crystals into a cat's GI tract and mouth, causing pain and discomfort.

If your cat has ingested any part of a peace lily, you may notice:

  • Drooling and/or vomiting
  • A decrease in their normal appetite
  • Pawing or wiping at the mouth
  • Obvious signs of oral pain.

While not as dangerous as other plants in the lily family — daylily, Tiger, Asiatic, and Easter lilies are all known to cause acute kidney failure — nibbling on a peace lily can be very unpleasant for any curious cat who happens to take a taste. If your cat comes in contact with a peace lily or any other plant known to be harmful to cats, make sure to consult with a vet to be safe.

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A Redditor wants to know if he's in the wrong for keeping peace lilies around his girlfriend's cat.

The OP broached the subject on Reddit because he and his girlfriend had been fighting over the plant ever since he brought it home from his grandmother's funeral. And while the OP believed he'd been accommodating enough to his girlfriend's two cats by keeping the lily out of reach on a stool, it has remained a point of contention for the couple. It seems like everything boiled over when she finally asked him to sell the plant, which the OP said he flat out refused to do.

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"Then she asked if I would divide the plant in half and give the other half away to family members," the OP continued. "My dilemma with this is that I live five hours away from family and I don’t know how I would do that."

Instead, he said he counteroffered with a different idea, saying that he'd be happy to hang the plant from their 9-foot ceiling where the cats would be even less likely to come in contact with it.

White and tabby housecat gets pet
Source: Getty Images
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This has prompted OP's girlfriend to call him selfish, and it seems like most of the commenters on Reddit are coming down on her side of the argument. "I don’t understand the great attachment to this plant," user @bulbasaurranch wrote. "It’s not like it was your grandmother's plant — it’s just a standard funeral flower plant. A month ago it was at a florist's, or a grocery store."

Some tried to offer helpful suggestions to help ease the tensions at home. "Dude take the plant into the office and keep it at work," user @falseasphodel wrote.

Another person tried to come up with some alternatives to keeping the plant on a stool where it could get knocked over, or shed pollen onto the floor. "There are a multitude of ways to keep that plant isolated from the cats," @noetellusom wrote. "I'd recommend a home terrarium or plant case secured against a cat's curiosity."

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The OP later edited his post to let everyone know that his insistence in keeping the plant may have had more to do with his grief, rather than his belief that the lily would remain out of the cats' reach. And it seems like he's finally ready to respect his partner and find a new home for the plant.

Personally, I'm happy that he decided to err on the side of caution. Because, you better believe if something had happened to those cats because of that plant, he'd be grieving the end of his relationship as well as the loss of his beloved grandmom. And there was no reason to put himself into that position for random plant!

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