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Are cats allergic to Day Lilies or is it toxic to them?

Byzantine-style illustration of day lilies with intricate patterns

Day lilies (Hemerocallis species) are highly toxic to cats. These common garden plants contain toxins that can cause severe kidney failure in felines, even if only small amounts of the plant are ingested.

Day lilies are not actually true lilies, but they can be found in many yards and gardens across North America, blooming with bright orange or yellow flowers in the summer months.

Toxicity level

Severe

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Symptoms your cat may have

If a cat ingests any part of a day lily plant, including the flowers, leaves, stem or pollen, they may begin to show symptoms within minutes to hours after exposure. Common signs of day lily toxicity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney failure

Left untreated, day lily poisoning can progress to fatal kidney failure within 36-72 hours.

Potential diagnosis your Vet may give

If you suspect your cat has ingested a day lily, seek immediate veterinary care. There is no specific test for day lily toxicity, so your vet will likely perform tests to rule out other causes of the symptoms, such as:

  1. Physical exam and medical history
  2. Blood work including complete blood count and biochemistry profile
  3. Urinalysis
  4. Abdominal ultrasound or x-rays

Aggressive treatment with intravenous fluids and monitoring of kidney function is critical to prevent fatal kidney failure. With prompt care, many cats can recover.

An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!
An illustrative banner depicting an anthropomorphic cat in a vet's office, alongside a call-to-action message that reads: 'If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance,' accompanied by a prominent button stating 'Find A Vet Near Me!

FAQ

Q: Are cats allergic to Day Lilies?

A: Yes, cats can be allergic to Day Lilies. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include itching, sneezing, and skin irritation.

Q: Are Day Lilies toxic to cats?

A: Yes, Day Lilies are highly toxic to cats. Ingesting any part of this plant can cause severe symptoms and can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Q: What are the symptoms of Day Lily poisoning in cats?

A: Symptoms of Day Lily poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, drooling, and kidney failure. Immediate veterinary care is crucial if ingestion is suspected.

Q: How can I prevent my cat from coming into contact with Day Lilies?

A: To prevent contact, ensure that Day Lilies are not present in your home or garden. Keep your cat indoors or monitor outdoor activities closely to avoid exposure.

Q: What should I do if my cat ingests Day Lilies?

A: If your cat ingests Day Lilies, contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a veterinary professional. Immediate medical attention is necessary.

Q: Are Day Lilies commonly found in gardens?

A: Yes, Day Lilies are commonly found in gardens and as ornamental plants. It is important to ensure this plant is kept out of reach of cats to prevent accidental ingestion.

History of Day Lilies

Day lilies are native to Asia but have been widely cultivated as ornamental garden plants worldwide. They are hardy perennials that grow from tuberous roots and send up tall flower stalks with multiple blossoms that only last for one day, hence the name “day lily.” There are many hybrid varieties in shades of orange, red, yellow, and pink.

While all parts of day lilies are toxic to cats, the exact toxic compound is still unknown. Interestingly, day lilies do not appear to cause toxicity in dogs or other animals.

Further reading and sources

Please note: The information shared in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as veterinary medical advice.

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