Lily Poisoning in Cats: How bad can it be?
With spring just around the corner, lilies are blooming and cats are prancing through the gardens. One of the most toxic lilies to cats are the Easter lilies, but how could such a beautiful, delicate flower be so poisonous to our feline friends? Lilies are nephrotoxins, and every part of lilies are poisonous to cats, including the petals, leaves, stem, stamen, roots and pollen. The water in a vase full of lilies is toxic to cats as well! When the lilies are ingested by cats, it can cause severe conditions that can be potentially life threatening depending on how much was ingested and how soon it is treated.
Some symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, dehydration, and drooling. The cat will begin to drink lots of water, but will have difficulty urinating. The kidneys will begin to fail once the lilies are ingested. Typically, it would take 24 to 72 hours for acute kidney failure to develop after ingestion. It would be best to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible to prevent the issue from getting worse. If cats are left untreated within 3-7 days, there is a high chance for death. The more that was ingested, the more dangerous it can be for the cat. If you sense any of these symptoms, contact your family veterinarian immediately.
The veterinarian will most likely try to get the cat to vomit and then examine the cat’s kidney to see its condition. The veterinarian will check for affected kidneys through blood or urine tests to determine how severe the toxicity is. Depending on the case, the veterinarian will proceed with further treatment. The cat may be hospitalized with intravenous fluids for several days until he or she recovers.
These flowers are highly toxic to felines and the best prevention is to not have them around both indoors and outdoors. Even if the cat runs through a lily plants, they are certainly at risk. If you receive lilies as a gift, be sure they are out of your cat’s reach.
Please keep your cats safe this spring season and spread the word to other cat owners about lily toxicity.