Are carnations toxic to cats?

Updated April 17, 2017

Carnations are colourful flowers that beautify homes and gardens, but cat owners should think before placing them around their homes. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals warns that carnations are toxic to cats.


Carnations, or Dianthus caryophullus, are mildly toxic to cats and other pets, according to Pet Place. The ASPCA affirms that they contain an unidentified irritant that causes toxic reactions in cats.


Cats have hunting instincts that make many household objects look like prey or toys to them, including flowers. Cats may enjoy pawing at carnations, but if they bite or eat them, they could suffer from carnation poisoning.


Symptoms of carnation toxicity in cats include vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea and dermatitis, according to the ASPCA and Pet Place. An upset stomach may also cause cats to stop eating their regular food.


Cats suffering from carnation poisoning need to see a veterinarian immediately for treatment. The ASPCA recommends calling its poison control hotline at 1-888-426-4435 if a local veterinarian is not available.

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