Lilies Kill Cats

April 13, 2019
Dr. Ask, cat, cats, feline, pet, animal, vet, veterinary, diet, lily, lillies, Easter


It’s that time of year again when Easter hazards, from a cat’s perspective, make their way into the home.  The most dangerous hazard is the lily.  Day lilies (Hemerocallis) & true lilies (Lilium) are deadly to cats.  Unfortunately, we do not know what characteristic of lilies causes kidney failure.  All parts of the lily are thought to be poisonous, especially the flower.  There have been some reports that contact with the pollen has led to kidney damage.  You should seek veterinary care immediately if you think your cat may have come into contact with a lily.  The most common signs of lily toxicosis include lethargy, vomiting and anorexia a few hours after lily contact.  Other signs may include depression, drinking a lot, urinating a lot, salivation, weakness, difficulty walking, crying out, and rarely seizures. 

Avoid all lilies this time of year.

The only chance your cat has if exposed to a lily is immediate, aggressive veterinary intervention by way of hospitalization and IV fluid support.  The longer one waits, the less of a chance your cat has.  Generally speaking, having cats and plants coexist in your household is not a great idea.  More specifically, I have a blanket no lilies policy because it is just not worth the risk, even if the “lily” has not been found to cause kidney failure. 

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