Every year, we are presented with a cat that has chewed on an Easter lily, and in many cases, the outcome has resulted in kidney failure and death. While there are cats that survive, they are often left with permanent kidney damage.
Several species of the lily family have been documented to cause toxicosis in cats: Easter lilies, Tiger lilies, Asiatic hybrid lilies, some species of Day lily, and certain other members of the Liliaceae family. The flower is very beautiful, and it is difficult to imagine they can be so deadly. All parts of the lily can be toxic, and eating just one leaf can result in severe poisoning.
You should seek immediate veterinary help if you know or suspect your cat has eaten any part of an Easter lily or other lilies. After eating a portion of an Easter lily, a cat will generally vomit and become depressed within 2 hours. The vomiting may subside, but the cat will not eat and continue to become progressively more depressed.
It is considered an emergency and the sooner treatment is started, the more likely the cat will survive. A cat must be treated within 18 hours of ingesting the plant, or the damage to the kidneys will be irreversible.
Dr. Kristine Kaufeld