Latest News

When eaten by cats, lily plants can cause severe and

often fatal kidney disease.



What lilies cause problems?

Many lily spe­cies can cause the malady including the tiger, Easter, day, glory and stargazer

lilies, as well as the Japanese show lily, the Asian lily and the Rubrum lily.


The peace and calla lily also cause kidney dis­ease but through a dif­ferent mech­anism and the

lily-of-the-valley is also dan­gerous but is dif­ferent again as it causes heart disease.


All parts of the lily plant are dan­gerous, including the flowers, sta­mens, stems, leaves and




How dan­gerous are lilies?

Dr Brad­dock says that while the toxic dose is unknown, only small quant­ities of the plants

need to be eaten to cause dis­ease. She reports of a case involving a 12-week-old kitten that

had eaten small amounts of a lily plant. The plant formed part of a flower bou­quet that was

delivered to the owner’s apart­ment. This kitten made a full recovery but such is not always

the case because the out­come can often be severe, irre­vers­ible renal failure within three to

seven days of exposure.



She states that while out­door cats can be affected, those that are more likely to suffer are cats

con­fined to houses and units with little access to veget­a­tion. This is because lily plants

brought into the home present a novel fea­ture for house-confined cats. Young, curious kittens

are espe­cially likely to invest­igate such plants.


Cats also seem to be unique in their sus­cept­ib­ility to the toxin in lilies. Dogs can eat large

quant­ities of the plants and only develop mild gast­roen­ter­itis while rats and rab­bits show no

effect at all.



What effects do lilies have?

Cats affected by lily intox­ic­a­tion will ini­tially show gast­ritis which mani­fests as vomiting, a

lack of interest in food and leth­argy. These ini­tial signs appear within two hours of ingestion

and dis­ap­pear after 12 hours, and then the cats may improve briefly before the condition

pro­gresses to ser­ious acute renal failure within 24 to 72 hours.



Cats at this time will show a variety of effects ran­ging from increased thirst to the production

of large amounts or urine or, altern­at­ively, to the ces­sa­tion of all urine pro­duc­tion. Affected

cats are likely to be dehyd­rated and they will appear dull and inactive. This is cer­tainly a ser­ious con­di­tion because death occurred in all affected cats in cases from 1989 to 1990 when this con­di­tion was first reported. In six later cases, three died of renal failure des­pite expert man­age­ment. Of those that sur­vived, all had per­manent kidney damage. If lily intox­ic­a­tion affects your cat, the quicker you seek treat­ment, the better your cat’s chances of survival.



What should I do if my cat is affected?

If you see your cat chewing a lily plant or if your cat develops sudden-onset vomiting then

get to your veter­in­arian quickly, espe­cially if your cat has access to lily plants. Be sure you

tell your veter­in­arian that you have lily plants present, so that he or she can determine if that

is a pos­sible cause of any dis­ease your cat is showing.



If your veter­in­arian sus­pects that lily intox­ic­a­tion caused your cat’s ill­ness, he or she is likely

to give med­ic­a­tions to make your cat vomit so that any remaining plant material in your cat’s

stomach is removed. Your vet is then likely to place your cat onto a drip to sup­port its

cir­cu­la­tion and to flush toxins from the kid­neys. Your veter­in­arian may choose to flush your

cat’s stomach to remove any remaining plant material and may give other med­ic­a­tions by

mouth or stomach-tube to inac­tivate any toxins.



Dr Brad­dock con­cludes by saying that cats should never have access to plants of the lily




If you have a house-confined cat, you should not select Lilies as indoor plants and

homeowners who have lilies in their gar­dens need to be cau­tious to ensure their cats will not

chew on the plants.



Other dangers in the home include Toilet lids being left up as a kitten can drown in the toilet

bowl, best keep the toilet door shut as well unless you want to come home to loo paper all

over the house, dish­washers, front loading washing machines and clothes dryers, fridges and

freezers as well as recliner chairs and sofas. Buckets left with water in them, sinks with water

left in them. Please always make sure that your kitten has not climbed inside your washing

machine, fridge or freezer. The crawl space under the dish­washer when the door is open is a

huge danger as they can be in there with their little head hanging over the kick plate and

when you shut the door you would snap it’s little neck. Recliners can also trap a kitten and

squash it between the mech­anism. I have heard of a kitten climbing into a front loader and

going to sleep in the pile of clothes and then when more clothes were added and the door shut

the kitten con­sequently drowned. Make sure that the toilet lid is always down and keep the

door shut as kit­tens do love to play with toilet rolls and you don’t want it strewn all over your



Please always make sure your kitten is safe from any of the common dangers in your home.














Amaryllis Bird of Para­dise Annum But­tercup Aza­leas Cacti (phys­ical spines) Boston Ivy Calla Lilly Christmas Rose Chrys­an­themum Clematis Common/Cherry Laurel Cala­dium Creeping Charlie Creeping Fig Crown of Thorns Crocus Daphne Daf­fodil Del­phinium Dumb Cane Emerald Duke Easter Lily Ele­phant Ears Eng­lish and Gla­cier Ivy Fox­glove Heartleaf Holly Hyacinth Hydrangea;Impatiens;Iris Ivy (Hedera) Jade Tree Jer­u­s­alem Cherry Lark­spur Lily of the Valley Majesty;Marble Queen; Mistletoe Morning Glory Nephthytis;Parlour Ivy; Philo­den­dron Poin­settia Potos;Pot Mum;Oleander Rhodo­den­dron Red Princess;Saddleleaf; Schefflera;Snowdrop;Spider Mum Spren­geri Fern Sweet pea;Tulip;Umbrella Plant;Weeping Fig;Wisteria;Yew