We can all agree that lilies are beautiful flowers, and are very popular here in Australia.
But did you know that they are very toxic to cats?
Lilies have the potential to cause kidney failure in cats if the plant is ingested. It can be very serious, and if left untreated can lead to death. All parts of the flower have been known to be poisonous.
Cat owners should be aware of the potential risks associated with lilies, and make sure their yard (and surrounding areas) are free of this flower.
Signs of toxicity/poisoning include:
Loss of appetite
Excessive water consumption
These signs are typically first seen within a couple of hours of ingesting/chewing the plant. Typically, acute renal (kidney) failure will develop within 24-72 hours.
When a cat comes into the vet clinic with the symptoms mentioned above, the vet will run blood and urine tests to check the function of the kidneys. Xrays and/or ultrasound may also be carried out to have a better look at the kidneys. Often, but not always, the vet will be able to feel enlarged kidneys and the cat may have a painful abdomen.
The treatment for lily intoxication is intensive, typically involving intravenous fluid therapy, anti-nausea medication and hospitalisation for several days.
The earlier a cat can be treated, the better the prognosis. Even before symptoms are present, if it is known that your cat has been mouthing or eating these plants, take them to the vet as soon as possible.
If you’re going to buy someone flowers, make sure you consider if they have a cat or not, and if they do, avoid floral arrangements containing lilies. A lot of cat owners and florists are still unaware of the problem associated with lilies and cats, so please help spread the word to all your cat loving friends!