Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Are Carnations Toxic to Cats? What You Need to Know!


Carnations are a preferred perennial in many homes and gardens. These flowers are pretty to look at and will stay fresh for a long time once they’ve been cut. These are only a few of the reasons carnations are included in so many bouquets and flower arrangements. Unfortunately, not every human and animal can enjoy the sweet scent and physical appeal of these gorgeous flowers.

Many humans find themselves allergic to certain flowers and plants. While their symptoms may range from mild to severe, avoidance of the particular plants is the best course of action. When it comes to carnations, humans aren’t the only ones who have issues. Animals do as well, especially cats.

You may be asking, are carnations toxic to cats? The answer is yes; although the symptoms of carnation poisoning may not be severe for all cats, some may have larger issues than others. Let’s take a look at carnations, cats, and the reasons why the two shouldn’t mix. Hopefully, this will help you avoid dangerous situations for your feline best friend and keep them happy and healthy for years to come.


How Serious Is Carnation Poisoning?

No one wants to think their cat has eaten something poisonous. While carnation poisoning usually results in mild symptoms, the more a cat ingests, the worst it can become. To keep your cat from experiencing this type of stressful situation, keeping them away from carnations is your best option.

All parts of a carnation are toxic to your cat. Whether your cat eats the stem or the flower itself, most likely they will show symptoms of upset. For most cats, the sickness will pass. For some cats, simply coming into contact with these flowers is enough to make them mildly sick. If you find your cat rolling in the neighbor’s garden and carnations are there, you may find yourself dealing with carnation poisoning without your cat ever ingesting this poisonous plant.

Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

Carnation Poisoning Symptoms

While no pet parent wants to see their cat sick, carnation poisoning is rather mild when compared to illnesses caused by other plants. While there is no true course of treatment for this poisoning, it is still best to seek professional help from a veterinarian if the symptoms become too severe. This will ensure your cat doesn’t become dehydrated while they are sick. Your vet can also induce vomiting if your cat needs it.

  • Drooling – If you happen to see your cat chewing on a carnation, but they haven’t ingested it fully, drooling may be the first symptom you notice. This alerts you that they may be suffering from mouth irritation.
  • Vomiting – This is a sure sign that your cat has ingested some form of the carnation plant and is trying to get it out of its system.
  • Diarrhea – This side effect of carnation poisoning is quite common and may lead to your cat having accidents around the home.
  • Abdominal pain – It isn’t uncommon for cats who have ingested carnations to be in pain. You may find that your cat vocalizes this pain in an attempt to get you, the pet parent, to help them alleviate the hurt they are experiencing.

Treatment and Recovery

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot your veterinarian can do for carnation poisoning, but you still take your cat in for a visit. Your veterinarian may need to induce vomiting by using an emetic drug. This, coupled with intravenous fluids, will help flush your cat’s body of the toxins they’ve ingested. Your veterinarian may also introduce medicines to coat your cat’s stomach and help protect further irritation from the carnation’s sap.

Luckily, for most cats, recovery takes only a few hours. Your kitty’s veterinarian may suggest having them drink more water for a few days in hopes of flushing out any remaining toxins. If this is the case, follow their advice, and hopefully, your cat will be back to its old self in no time.

cat and vet
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

Can I Stop My Cat Eating Carnations?

Trying to tell a cat what to do is a huge undertaking. As anyone who owns a cat knows, they can be quite stubborn when they want to be. Keeping them away from carnations or other dangerous plants is no different. If the temptation presents itself, they will most likely become curious.

The best way to keep your cat from eating toxic carnations is not to have them in the house or garden. That’s not always practical, however. If you plan on presenting carnations in your home, keep them in areas your cat can’t access. Planting carnations near the house is another big issue, especially if your cat goes outside. If you simply can’t live without carnations in your garden, plant them in areas your cat doesn’t frequent. Also, avoid planting them near other plants your cat may be attracted to like catnip.

Other Toxic Plants

Image Credit: pixel2013, Pixabay

Carnations are not the biggest worry cats face when it comes to the world of plants. Here’s a list of a few houseplants that you should avoid if you have cats inside the home.

  • All Lilies
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Sago Palms
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinths
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Jade Plants
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Philodendrons

Related Read:

divider-catIn Conclusion

While carnations are beautiful to look at, if you’re a cat parent, it may be best to avoid bringing them into your home. Cats are curious creatures and must investigate everything. Plants and flowers are no different. While carnations are toxic to your cats, always remember they aren’t the worst plant out there. Before bringing a cat into your home, be aware of what plants are dangerous to them. With many plants being deadly to animals, knowledge is your best weapon. It is also important to be a responsible pet owner and keep an eye on what your cat is eating or chewing on.  This is another great way you can keep them safe from toxic plants and the illness they can cause. By doing this, you and your kitty can spend many wonderful years together.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets
Did you know: an average of 8 cat foods are recalled every year?
Get FREE Cat Food Recall Alerts, exclusive content, insider pricing, care guides, sale alerts & more! Sign up for our Kitty Club!
Get FREE Cat Food Recall Alerts Get alerts