Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

No Lilies please!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

No lilies please!

Thursday, January 04, 2018


We have had a sad start to the New Year with the death of a kitten who ate Christmas lilies. Despite intensive treatment for kidney failure and neurological signs she didn't respond.

All species of lilies are toxic to cats. Kittens and indoor cats with little choice in plant munching material are most at risk as they will try any cut flower that comes into the house.  Any part of the plant – flowers, leaves or stems - is dangerous. Even lily pollen licked off the coat destroys cats’ kidney tubules.

Lilies proven to poison cats include: Easter Lily, Tiger Lily, Day Lily, Glory Lily, Stargazer Lily, Rubrum Lily, Asian Lily and the Japanese Show Lily.

If you see your cat with lily on her coat, in her mouth or in her vomit don’t wait for signs of poisoning. The sooner we get it out of her system and start treatment to protect the kidneys the greater her chance of survival.

Affected cats vomit and are depressed within hours of ingesting lily. Some then seem to recover before starting to show signs of severe kidney failure a day or so later. Others continue vomiting, go off their food and get more and more depressed.

If emptying the stomach and medications to prevent absorption of the toxin are effective, the chance of recovery is excellent. If your cat absorbs enough toxin to cause damage to her kidneys then her outlook is poor. It is essential to seek emergency care immediately after ingestion of the lily plant. 

Kidney failure

Thursday, August 07, 2014



Signs of kidney failure don’t appear until at least 70% of kidney function is lost. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood stream, regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, maintain the acid-base balance of the body and remove toxins and drugs. They also help maintain blood pressure and stimulate blood cell production.

Kidney damage accumulates for years before we see any signs. Even then the early signs of kidney failure - increased thirst and urine production - are not easy to pinpoint in our feline friends.


You may notice an increasingly wet litter tray if your cat is only indoors. However if you have other cats you may not pick up increased urine production in a particular cat.


Cats often drink from multiple water sources making it difficult to recognise increased consumption. 


Other signs of kidney failure such as weight loss and poor coat quality are even more insidious.


Sometimes the first thing we see is a cat off her food, vomiting, depressed and dehydrated. The kidneys are already badly affected by this stage.


We diagnose and stage kidney failure with blood tests for the two waste products, urea and creatinine and a urine analysis to measure the kidneys ability to concentrate urine. We also check the urine for protein loss or a urinary tract infection.


Tests for other substances like potassium, phosphorus and calcium as well as blood cell counts help us decide on the best course of treatment.


Annual blood and urine tests, as well as regular body weight checks, help pick kidney failure up as early as possible. If urine concentrating ability is deteriorating, your cat is losing weight or the creatinine is trending up we slow the progression of the disease with a special kidney protective diet. Many cats in the early stages of kidney disease live for years on the right diet and with regular checks.

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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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