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What is Daylily Poisoning?

Daylily poisoning in cats is noted through its clinical signs that usually begin 6-12 hours after exposure. Early symptoms a cat may display include dehydration, lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. In a few short hours, the cat’s clinical signs soon progress to kidney failure, disorientation, seizures, and death. Immediate veterinary care is the only way a feline can survive a daylily poisoning, which makes veterinary treatment a necessity.

Daylilies belong to the Liliaceae family and are given the scientific name, Hemerocallis spp. Daylilies in this family include the Asiatic lily, the tiger lily, and the Easter lily, but many other varieties are also found in this plant classification. Daylilies are not toxic to canines but are highly toxic to felines. 

Daylily Poisoning Average Cost

From 322 quotes ranging from $1,000 - $6,000

Average Cost

$4,000

Symptoms of Daylily Poisoning in Cats

In most daylily poisoning situations, a feline will develop symptoms within 6-12 hours after exposure. Early symptoms a cat may display include; dehydration, lethargy, loss of appetite and vomiting. In a few short hours, the cat’s clinical signs soon progress to kidney failure, disorientation, and seizures. Early and progressive symptoms a cat may display when affected by daylily poisoning include the following: 

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Polyuria ( increased urine output) 
  • Polydipsia (increased drinking)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Racing heart beat 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Halitosis (bad breath) 
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Hiding 
  • Seizures 
  • Death 
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Causes of Daylily Poisoning in Cats

Daylily poisoning in cats is caused by the consumption of plant of lily variety. The pollen, stem, leaves and petals of many varieties of daylilies are poisonous to felines in even the smallest amounts. Direct consumption of the plant or simply grooming the fur after making contact with the plant can pose a threat for daylily poisoning in cats. 

Varieties of daylilies that are toxic to felines are listed below: 

  • Asiatic lilies 
  • Daylilies 
  • Tiger lilies 
  • Wood lilies
  • Western lilies 
  • Red lilies
  • Stargazer lilies 
  • Rubrum lilies 
  • Show lilies 
  • Japanese lilies
  • Easter Lilies 
  • Asiatic hybrid lilies 
  • Lily of the Valley 
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Diagnosis of Daylily Poisoning in Cats

Diagnosing a daylily poisoning in cats is difficult if the cat owner did not see the ingestion of the toxic element take place. There is no specific test available for identifying daylily poisoning in felines, so your veterinarian’s diagnosis will be based on ruling out other possible causes of your cat’s current symptoms. The diagnostic process will begin with a physical examination, review of the feline’s medical history and a consultation with the pet owner. It will be important for you to inform the veterinarian about your feline’s recent actions and exposure to daylilies of any variety, as this information will aid in ruling out other possible causes. The clinical signs of poisoning mimic other feline-related health conditions. The veterinarian will want to conduct a series of diagnostic tests to ensure your cat is truly suffering from daylily toxicity and not a more severe underlying condition. Diagnostic tests the veterinarian will likely request to be performed on the feline include: 

  • CBC (complete blood cell count)
  • Biochemical profile (blood work) 
  • Blood smear test 
  • Urinalysis (examination of urine) 
  • Fecal floatation test
  • Fecal examination 
  • Abdominal ultrasound and/or x-ray 
  • Chest ultrasound and/or x-ray
  • Heat radiograph 
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Treatment of Daylily Poisoning in Cats

Although there is no known antidote to counteract a lily poisoning, immediate veterinary care can save the feline’s life. The key to a positive prognosis is receiving treatment prior to kidney organ shutdown. Therefore, if you see your cat chewing on a plant of lily variety, seek medical care immediately. Make sure to take the plant with you to the veterinary appointment to help diagnose the condition quickly. The veterinarian may administer medication to induce vomiting or give the feline an activated charcoal solution to bind with the toxic plant chemical, to later be passed in fecal form from the body. 

To further eliminate the daylily toxin, the veterinarian will likely start your cat on fluids given intravenously to replenish lost fluids and aid in the elimination of the toxin. Fluids will also slow down kidney failure, as more fluids put into the feline’s body, will increase the fluids that can be eliminated from the body. As the fluids pass through the urinary system, they go through the kidneys first and carry the present toxins with them to be eliminated in the urinary waste. Aggressive fluid therapy must be started within an 18-hour window for a positive prognosis. 

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Recovery of Daylily Poisoning in Cats

The prognosis for daylily poisoning in cats is guarded and depends greatly on the factor of time. A feline that ingested a lily variety plant that is noted by the cat owner and taken immediately to seek veterinary care has a much more positive prognosis that a feline that received late care. Kittens and older cats have a lesser prognosis as well, due to their weak anatomy.

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Daylily Poisoning Average Cost

From 322 quotes ranging from $1,000 - $6,000

Average Cost

$4,000

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Daylily Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Short haired cat

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

N/A

Cat ate small piece of grass from day lily plant that has turned yellow. No symptoms at this point. She is about 8-9lbs.

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Even the tiniest amount of day lily is very toxic to cats. I hope that you were able to seek veterinary care, and that she is okay. It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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American short hair

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Eight Months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic, Limited Earing

I saw my cat bite but not consume a daylily about 36 hours ago. I was unaware they were toxic to cats. He started acting lethargic And had swollen eyes about 12 hours later and I discovered then that lilies are poisonous so I took him to a pet emergency room. After waiting 3 hours, they told me he looked fine and offered no treatment. Now I’m reading it’s almost certain he will die. If that’s true, why did the ER vet not even try a charcoal cleanse? I told them that I saw him bite a lily. Is it certain that he will die and there is nothing I can do because nothing was done within 18 hrs?

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If you think that your cat did bite the lily, he can still get treatment and recover. We typically recommend intensive IV fluid therapy and daily checks of kidney values. If the ER did not offer that, it would be best to go to your regular veterinarian, as they is a standard of care for that toxicity. I hope that your cat is okay.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Coco

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Domestic shorthair

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9 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I have a 9 month old kitten who ate part of a tiger lily over 4 days ago. We took her in immediately after she had vomited and they had her on IV treatments for 48 hours. She was released after they could not find any more toxins in her. However, it has been 2 days since bringing her home and she has started to throw up more violently than before again. There are no more lilies present in our house and all the areas they were in were cleaned. Is the vomiting now associated with the lily poisoning or could it be associated with something else?

Aug. 21, 2018

Coco's Owner

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0 Recommendations

True lily poisoning can cause a variety of issues and it may take some time to fully recover, if Coco is vomiting again like this you should think about returning to your Veterinarian to be on the safe side and have another blood test done to check kidney function. Without examining Coco and ruling out other causes I cannot say whether the cause is due to the lilies or other cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 21, 2018

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Izzy

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Maine Coon

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Pollen Exposure

My female Maine coon had exposure to Lily pollen on one side of her face. We promptly washed it off but part of her fur is still stained. Is there any remaining pollen on her fur if it is still slightly yellow after a vigorous wash? It has been 15 hours since exposure. Within the first 2 hours after exposure, we took her for a car ride which always causes her to vomit. She did so like clockwork and we returned home and gave her another bath and clipped off the majority of the fur that had yellow stain on it. Some was in her whisker fur and I could not clip that, but had washed it thoroughly. She has eaten well, napped, and played like normal. No odd symptoms that I have seen listed as in line with typical lily poisoning. Are we out of the woods? Would we see any latent signs of poisoning several hours after exposure?

July 9, 2018

Izzy's Owner


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0 Recommendations

Since Izzy has been in contact with the pollen, you should visit your Veterinarian regardless as the symptoms of kidney failure may take a few days to present. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/day-lily/

July 10, 2018

I spoke with my vet yesterday morning (24 hours after exposure) and she said that since we had already induced vomiting within the appropriate time and had not seen any clinical symptoms of poisoning at that point, not to worry about coming in. Should I be consulting another veterinarian? We are now 48 hours post exposure and have not seen any symptoms. Still eating like a champ, using the litter box (not to excess), no puking, she is playful and engaged. I think / hope we didn’t truly have any ingestion of the pollen and may have dodged a bullet.

July 10, 2018

Izzy's Owner

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Sora

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domestic short hair

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None So Far

My cat just bit a daylily leaf when she was outside. I pulled it out of her mouth and immediately took her inside. Is she going to be okay? What will tell me she needs to see a vet?

June 22, 2018

Sora's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Daylilies are highly toxic to cats, with a few leaves or even the consumption of pollen or vase water possibly causing kidney failure according to literature; if you remove the leaf it is good but we are not sure if she consumed any leaves before you saw her. I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian to be on the safe side and possibly have a blood test to check kidney function if there are any doubts. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/day-lily/

June 23, 2018

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Boo Boo

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Tonkinese

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19 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None Have Any Problems

good lord, this is scary. All of my flower beds are full of daylilies. I must have 35-40 plants. I have 3 cats all indoor only. They have never exhibited any of the list of symptoms. They all have windows that are about 15 feet away from flower beds. I've had daylilies here for over 10 years. They do not get into the flower beds or direct contact with the plants since they are indoor only, but now I worry. I have one 19 year old Tonkinese one 8 year DSH one 3 year DSH

Daylily Poisoning Average Cost

From 322 quotes ranging from $1,000 - $6,000

Average Cost

$4,000

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