The Hidden Dangers: Lily Toxicity in Cats and Other Household Plants to Avoid in Australia

The Hidden Dangers of Lily Toxicity in Cats

Our furry feline companions bring immense joy into our lives. As responsible pet owners, it is crucial to create a safe environment for them, especially when it comes to household plants. While plants can add beauty and vibrancy to our homes, some can be toxic to our pets and pose serious health risks.

Lily toxicity in cats

Lilies, especially ones belonging to the Lilium or Hemerocallis species are one of the most hazardous plants for cats. All parts of the lily plant, including the petals, leaves, stems and even pollen, are toxic to felines. The exact toxic compound is still not fully understood, but even a small amount can have devastating effects on a cat’s health. It is not uncommon for us to see patients who had only brushed past this plant and licked a bit of the pollen to cause illness.

If you suspect your cat has had even minor contact with a Lily plant, please contact the clinic immediately for advice from our team on (03) 8373 0301.

Clinical Signs

When a cat eats any part of the lily, it can lead to acute or sudden-onset kidney failure. The onset of clinical signs usually occurs within a few hours to a day after ingestion. Common signs of lily toxicity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Increased thirst and urinating
  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Coma (in severe cases)


Time is of the essence in treating Lily toxicity to prevent irreversible kidney damage.

Our vets may initiate treatment by inducing vomiting followed by giving activated charcoal to reduce absorption. Blood testing is also performed to look for any signs of kidney damage. Any seizure activity is also controlled accordingly. Intravenous fluids are then given at a higher rate to support kidney function and prevent kidney failure. This is given for at least 48-72 hours to support kidney function and/or treat signs of kidney failure.


The prognosis of lily toxicity cases depends on how quickly treatment is sought and initiated. If treatment is started early, some cats may recover fully. However, in severe cases or when treatment is delayed, the damage to the kidneys can be irreversible, leading to long-term kidney problems or even death.

Protecting our beloved feline companions from toxic household plants is an essential responsibility for any cat owner. Lilies stand out as one of the most dangerous plants amongst those commonly found in the household. Swift action and immediate veterinary care are crucial if exposure occurs.

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    My 5 y.o. dog just had her first health scare with some tumours, and Lynbrook Vet helped us through the testing and removal process so kindly.They laid out all our options and were transparent about probable outcomes, minimising costs where … More they could.They checked-in with me throughout her surgery day with phone calls, texts and photos (non-surgical!) and patiently answered all of my questions at pick-up.I have taken my dog to Lynbrook Vet since adopting her 3 years ago, and continue to go there after moving further away because they are so wonderful.The staff in reception are always friendly and helpful and happily assist with all of our needs.It's nice to attend a clinic with a great culture, where the animals, and their humans' peace of mind, are their top priorities.
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    I could not recommend both Lynbrook Vet and their sister vet Berwick/Clyde Vet any more. It is the best vet you will ever experience. We were desperate to find a vet to look after out little boy (he's a ragdoll cat who stopped eating … More and is also dealing with CKD) after being unhappy with our previous vet. We were recommended by our local community to take him to Jess who is working now full time at Berwick/Clyde Vet which has recently opened and her care (along with all the other nurses there), love, how switched on they are was one of the greatest experiences we've ever had. We thought that maybe something bad had gone wrong with his kidneys, but it was immediately picked up that one of his tooth was infected which explains the no eating (this wasn't picked up by the previous vet). Our little boy had to stay over night with a drip before going under and having 4 teeth removed. He's about to be 13 so this was a stressful situation with him going under. We were sent frequent updates with photos in the morning, during the day and just before we picked him up. They called me right before the procedure, during the procedure and right after to confirm everything was okay and if there were any updates. They knew exactly what to do and how to best keep him safe during this procedure. When we picked him up we were taken through all his blood work, x-rays and documents in elaborate detail so that we understood what everything meant and what was going on. They have even put us on a 6 month plan to get him to be as happy and as healthy as he can be when we return a week later for a free dental check up to see how his mouth is healing. We were given an aftercare plan. Pain medication that they had already been pre made!! I got a Toutube link texted to me that explains what exactly happened during the procedure. We were also given a tooth fairy certificate!!! (this vet is so extra I can't deal). This vet goes above and beyond, we saw a HUGE improvement the following day (he is SO MUCH HAPPIER) it felt like our little angel was at daycare and I could not recommend going to this vet enough! THANK YOU so much. We are eternally grateful for looking after Oscar so thoroughly.
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