1. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
  2. Treatment is most successful when commenced before signs of kidney disease (such as increase in thirst and urination) develop.
  3. It may be helpful to bring in a sample or photograph of the plant (including flowers, leaves and stems) for later identification.


The lily family consists of 4000 to 4600 different species, but the common name ‘lily’ is applied to many species of plants.



Ingestion of only part of a flower or leaf has been reported to cause death in cats.


Clinical signs occur in within 30 minutes to two hours of ingestion, with some cases delayed up to 6 hours after ingestion.

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Hypersalivation
  • Depression
  • Inappetence
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Excessive drinking (polydipsia)
  • Excessive urination (polyuria)
  • Inability to produce urine (anuria)
  • Abdominal pain (especially in the region of the kidneys)
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Death (due to kidney failure)


Lily ingestion leads to acute, severe kidney damage characterised by formation of urinary crystals and kidney cell death.


If Lily ingestion is suspected, vomiting should be induced by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian may also administer activated charcoal.Regardless of whether cats are showing clinical signs, intravenous fluids are recommended to protect the kidneys. Kidney function and urine production should be monitored very closely. In severe cases dialysis may be required.


Delaporte J and Means C (2011) Plants. In: Small Animal Toxicology Essentials ed. RH Poppenga and SM Gwaltney-Brant. London: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp277-281.

Fitzgerald KT (2010) Lily toxicity in the cat.Topics in Companion Animal Medicine 25(4):213-217.

Grave T and Boag A (2010) Feline toxicological emergencies: when to suspect and what to do. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 12:849-860.

BSAVA (2012) BSAVA/VPIS Guide to Common Canine and Feline Poisons. Gloucester: BSAVA.