WA Veterinary Emergency & Specialty

Lily Toxicity in Cats

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Lilies are beautiful and elegant and as such, commonly found in households as floral arrangements, flower bouquets or growing in gardens. Some lilies such as Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolimu), Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum), Rubrum Lily (Lilium speciosum), Stargazer Lily (Lilium auratum) and Daylily (Hemerocallis species) cause kidney injury and kidney failure in cats.

Cats affected by the toxin show clinical signs between 2 hours to 5 days after contact with the lilies with vomiting, loss of appetite and lethargy most commonly reported. Without treatment, acute kidney failure can progress eventually resulting in death.

All parts of the plant are considered toxic including the flowers, leaves and pollen. As such, if you suspect your cat has eaten any part of the plant or even licked pollen off their coats, call your regular vets or the WAVES emergency service on 9412 5700 for advice. In cases where ingestion has definitely occurred, early treatment with intravenous fluids can prevent kidney failure occurring.

Lillies have not been found to cause kidney failure in dogs or rabbits but may cause irritation of the stomach and intestines.