The common daylily is not really a lily, but it does bear a lily-shaped flower. The clinical effects of true lilies (Lilium species) have been documented as being nephrotoxic to cats. The toxicity of daylilies (Hemerocallis species) in cats is less well-understood. This retrospective study identified 22 cats with known daylily exposure that had not been exposed to other toxic agents. Seventeen of the cats presented with gastrointestinal signs of vomiting and hypersalivation; eight cats had neurologic signs of ataxia, depression, tremors, and seizures; and seven of the cats progressed to acute renal failure, confirmed by serum chemistry and urinalysis. Follow-up data were available on half of the cats. None of the seven cats with renal failure survived. Four cats with gastrointestinal signs that received activated charcoal, IV diuresis, and supportive care made a full recovery and did not develop detectable renal damage. Successful treatment of Easter lily toxicosis depends on early decontamination (emesis and activated charcoal) and fluid diuresis for 48 hours. This also appears to be the case for daylily toxicosis in cats.

COMMENTARY: Daylilies are available to cats in gardens, naturalized woodlands, and floral arrangements. The flower buds are also used in Chinese and Japanese cooking, so veterinarians need to be aware of the possibility of exposure.

A retrospective study of daylily toxicosis in cats. Hadley RM, Richardson JA, Gwaltney-Brant SM. VET HUM TOXICOL 45:38-39, 2003.