Because cats are so sensitive to lilies, even small amounts can be poisonous and deadly – nibbling a leaf or two can be enough to kill a cat. The toxins of this plant attack the kidneys, causing acute damage or failure of this important organ which removes waste and maintains the chemical balance of the body.
What are the signs of lily toxicity?
Vomiting, drooling, anorexia and depression are all signs of lily ingestion in cats. While the vomiting may stop after a few hours, the other symptoms will continue.
How serious is lily toxicity?
The toxins act quickly on the kidneys, shutting them down and causing further poisoning. Within three to seven days seizures and death are typical. Once lilies have been ingested, acting quickly is critical – if fluid therapy or dialysis can be administered within the first six hours of ingestion, the prognosis improves significantly. But if cats are not rushed in for treatment, death is almost certain.
One woman lost three of her cats to lily poisoning in one day; and one man sued a grocery store for not providing warnings about lily toxicity when his cat became ill and needed dialysis after eating a lily. He wanted the store and the floral supplier to add labels to their lilies, and sued both when they refused.