Are Carnations Toxic to Cats? A Guide

Are Carnations Toxic to Cats? The Ultimate Guide

We understand that you are reading this guide to learn whether carnations are toxic to cats. Yes, they are toxic to cats. Carnations have the most beautiful and sweet-scented flowers that increase the beauty of your garden and home and produce intoxicating effects. They can stay fresh and bloom for so long after being cut, which is why they are used more often to decorate homes and gardens.

But unfortunately, all humans are not lucky enough to have such sweet-scented flowers in their homes or gardens because they are allergic to them. Not only humans but also animals have issues with carnations. Cats come first when we talk about animals because they have more chances of getting allergic reactions. In this guide, you will get to know what carnation toxicity is. Why do cats significantly get affected? To what extent the symptoms are severe, and how you can beat them. You will also get a complete guide on what supportive measures your veterinarian should adopt for carnation toxicity and which tests should be performed to diagnose this toxicity.

Let’s Start!

What Are Carnations, and Why Are They Popular?

Nothing is more refreshing and lovely than the bright colors and beautiful blooms of flowers in your garden and home. When we talk about carnations, they are also known as the “God of Flowers.” You read that right, because they are most famous for their enchanting fragrance and gorgeous double flowers. The pretty pink and white color combination makes them more attractive. The flowers remain fresh for so long after being cut. So that is the answer to why carnations are the most preferred flowers for gardens, homes, and bouquet arrangements.

Why Are Carnations So Toxic?

In the scientific world, they are known as Dianthus caryophyllus. The main reason for carnation toxicity is unknown, but it is believed that triterpenoid saponins cause toxicity issues. Not only does the ingestion of these plant parts cause poisoning, but also the contact of these saponins on the skin causes dermatitis.

These saponins cause esophageal allergies, GIT disturbances, and stomach aches when ingested. Carnation poisoning in cats may vary from mild to severe depending upon the severity of toxicity. Toxicity occurs when cats consume the stems and leaves of the plant enough to cause poisoning.

Are Carnations Toxic to All Cats?

The toxicity of carnations may be severe for some and mild for other cats. There is also the possibility that some cats will not get the symptoms either. So, not all cats are susceptible to toxicity, but there are high chances of getting infected when your beloved cat comes into contact with these plants.

Some cats got symptoms only by going near the carnation plants, and others got symptoms until they ate the plant’s stem, flower, petal, or leaves. So here, the important point to notice is that “all parts of carnations are toxic to cats.”

What Are the Symptoms of Carnation Poisoning?

We believe that carnations are toxic to cats. But the symptoms of carnations may be mild or severe, and they are not severe enough to cause the death of your pet, especially a cat. When compared to other plants, like lilies, castor beans, and many others, carnations don’t have as much poison as they do.

The symptoms of carnation toxicity include:


Diarrhea is the most common symptom of carnation toxicity, and this leads to vomiting.

GIT Disturbance

The carnation plant’s ingestion causes GIT disturbance and stomach aches.


This assures you that your cat has eaten something poisonous. The vomiting results from a toxic effect on the stomach and small intestine. This is also beneficial because your cat vomits the poisonous material it has eaten. Vomiting is also necessary to treat the toxicity.


Your cat will have difficulty swallowing if the mouth and esophagus are affected.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is another symptom when your cat has ingested carnation. Abdominal pain is the consequence of disturbed digestion.


This is caused by vomiting, which may be alarming for your cat if it is severe.


Weakness is the secondary symptom of vomiting and diarrhea. At this point, the injection of intravenous fluid is necessary.

Decreased appetite

Changes in the gut can make you less hungry and are also a secondary sign of carnation toxicity.

Mouth Irritation

If your cat has chewed or ingested a carnation completely, this may cause mouth irritation. This mouth irritation is due to saponins.


When your cat comes into contact with a carnation stem, plant, or leaves, its saponins may cause skin irritation or dermatitis. Contact with saponins may also cause severe skin irritation and redness.

Are Mini Carnations Toxic to Cats?

As we have said earlier, the severity of toxicity depends upon the quantity of carnation your cat has ingested. So, if your cat has consumed a mini carnation, the symptoms will not be severe, and the situation will not worsen. The symptoms may include drooling or vomiting. But if your cat has ingested a large amount of carnations, it may exacerbate the problem and be more poisonous for the cat.

Other Poisonous Plants to Avoid in Your Garden and Home

Not only are carnations poisonous to humans and their pets, but so are other plants.These plants include

  • Cyclamen
  • Castor bean
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Amaryllis
  • Hyacinth
  • Daffodils
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons
  • Lilly
  • Peace Lilly
  • Yew
  • Tulip
    Sago palm
  • Marijuana
  • Spanish thyme
  • Lily of the valley
  • Oleander
  • Pothos
  • English Ivy

These plants are poisonous and cause severe symptoms that may even cause your pet’s death, especially cats. The symptoms vary from mild to severe. Extreme toxicity requires immediate care to save your beloved cat’s health.

Symptoms Associated with Other Plants Toxicity

Toxic effects and the amount that is poisonous vary from plant to plant. If the plant is more harmful, a tiny amount will be enough to cause severe symptoms. The toxicity produced by other plants causes the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Irregular heartbeat (may be slow or fast)
  • Vomiting (Vomiting is a common symptom resulting from stomach and minor intestine disturbances).
  • Diarrhea (Diarrhea results from a disruption in the small intestine and colon).

How to Diagnose Carnation Plant Toxicity?

No specific test diagnoses carnation toxicity, but the following measures can help in diagnosing

The analysis of carnation poisoning is difficult because the symptoms related to carnation poisoning are similar to other ailments’ symptoms. But the meeting with the cat’s owner, checking the cat’s medical history, and relating the present symptoms to the toxicity of the carnation plant will help the veterinarian diagnose the carnation toxicity.

Which Test Can be performed to Diagnose Carnation Plant Toxicity?

The veterinarian must perform the following test to diagnose the carnation plant’s toxicity:

  • CBC (complete blood cell count)
  • Biochemical Profile
  • Smear test for blood
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal Flotation Test
  • Fecal Examination

What Steps Should You Take?

If your cat has ingested the carnation plant, then you should take the following steps:

  • If your cat is acting strangely, you must take it to a licensed veterinarian.
  • After recovery, you should take care of your cat by preventing it from going to your garden or the part of your home where carnations are present.
  • If your neighbor has carnations in their gardens or homes, prevent your cat from going there.

Treatment of Carnation Toxicity

Unfortunately, there is no proper treatment to deal with carnation toxicity. But taking your infected cat to a registered veterinarian is a good step. Your veterinarian may suggest the following possible interventions to save the health of your beloved cat:

  • The veterinarian may give an emetic drug to induce vomiting because vomiting will take all the toxins out of the animal’s body.
  • The intravenous fluid will also help your pet flush out all the ingested toxins.
  • The vet may use the medicine to cover the lining of the stomach to stop saponins from doing more damage.

There are no specific antidotes available for the treatment of carnation toxicity. But the treatments mentioned above are all the supportive measures for carnation toxicity.

Recovery from Carnation Plant Toxicity

If you have taken your cat to a registered veterinarian and he has given your cat complete health care services, then your cat will be fine after a few hours, most probably after 2-3 hours. Your cat’s recovery depends upon having no further exposure to carnations during the recovery period.


Hopefully, you understand all the essential points you must know about being a cat’s parent. Now we know carnation is poisonous to cats, and if your cats have ingested carnation plants, you should not take it lightly. In this guide, we have discussed carnation plant toxicity, symptoms related to carnation toxicity, the diagnosis, and all the supportive measures that veterinarians take while diagnosing carnation toxicity. You will also find other plants that are toxic to plants and their dangerous symptoms. If you take care of your cat properly, it will speed up the recovery.

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