Beware of a popular plant this spring season that may be fatal to your cat. Members of the plant genus Lilium including Easter lilies, Tiger lilies, Rubrums, Japanese show lilies, Stargrazer lilies, and Daylilies can be very toxic to felines, causing kidney damage and even death. All parts of the plants are toxic, and a cat can become ill even after chewing on one leaf.
Cats are unique in their susceptibility to lilies. Dogs, rabbits, and rats do not seem to suffer the same toxic effect from the plants. Dogs may experience minor digestive upset if they ingest lilies, but not renal damage.
Cats who are suffering from lily toxicosis will generally start vomiting within two to six hours of ingestion and stop eating. Vomiting may cease for a period but then generally resumes within 24 to 72 hours of ingestion.
It is important to get veterinarian attention as soon as possible if a cat has ingested a toxic lily plant. Postponing treatment for longer than 18 hours can often end in kidney failure or death.
For a broader list of plants and foods that are toxic to pets, click here.