Most people, including cat owners are unaware that these beautiful plants are toxic to cats.
Given as a gift, a celebration or to simply brighten your home these ornamental plants often feature inside your home however, most species of lily and lily hybrids are toxic to our feline pets.
Cats have been shown to be extremely sensitive to the toxic effects of lilies. As little as 2 leaves or part of a single flower have resulted in deaths. It should be pointed out that the whole plant-petals, stamen, leaves, and pollen are toxic. The exact toxic dose and the precise toxins responsible for renal (kidney) damage are currently unknown. The quick onset of clinical signs suggests a rapid absorption rate of the toxin.
In cats, clinical signs of lily intoxication include salivation, vomiting, anorexia, and depression. Drinking and urinating increases and this failure leads to dehydration and renal failure and the risk is death can result. Successful treatment includes initiation of fluid diuresis before the onset of complete failure of kidneys and caseation of urination.
Once the kidney has stopped function and producing urine, peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis is the only potential treatment.
Prognosis is good if fluid treatment is started early enough and before full kidney failure has developed.
As beautiful as they are, the best way to avoid your cat ingesting these plants is to not have them in your home or garden.