Carnations May Be Pretty, but They're Terrible for Your Cats — Details Here

Kori Williams - Author

Dec. 1 2023, Published 4:10 p.m. ET

A close up of carnations.
Source: iStock

The Gist:

  • Many plants can make animals like dogs and cats ill.
  • Carnations can be toxic to a number of different animals if they are eaten.
  • If you notice your pet has eaten something they shouldn't have take them to the vet ASAP.
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We all know that being a pet parent is basically a full-time job. Cleaning up after and playing with them are a few aspects of this path. But these friends are prone to eating things they shouldn't, which could get us all in trouble. Of course, you must keep harmful plants out of your pet's reach, but some leafy greens are unexpectedly dangerous.

Keeping the two apart can be especially problematic if you're a plant and pet parent. Cats, in particular, can climb to all kinds of heights and reach things you might never expect. Carnations are an example of a plant people love and look beautiful in any home, but they may not be pet-friendly. Are carnations toxic to cats, dogs, or other four-legged friends?

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A close up of carnations.
Source: iStock

Are carnations toxic to cats?

According to the ASPCA, carnations are toxic to cats and other pets. While it's unknown what makes carnations so harmful, there are some symptoms to look out for in case your furry friend falls ill. If they're experiencing gastrointestinal issues or mild dermatitis, they may have eaten or brushed up against carnations or similar plants. If you suspect this, you should take your kitty to the vet immediately.

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Additionally, Ethos Veterinary Health points out that if your cat has eaten a carnation, they will have symptoms including diarrhea, irritated skin, and vomiting. Luckily, these plants are more of a mild toxin to pets. Regardless, if you suspect your cat has consumed carnation, it's important to seek medical attention.

A cat standing in a field.
Source: iStock
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Are carnations toxic to dogs?

Yes, the ASPCA also says that dogs should stay away from carnations. Luckily, it's easier to keep plants away from pups since they aren't known to jump up the highest points of your home. If you have these flowers, keep them out of reach in case your dog gets too curious.

Unfortunately, Wag Walking points out that what exactly makes carnations toxic to dogs is not clear. Dogs also experience similar digestive issues as cats, so if you think your dog may have eaten carnations or interacted with them in any way, it's still essential to take them to the vet for a checkup.

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A dog laying in a field of flowers.
Source: iStock

Are carnations toxic to horses?

The ASPCA also notes that carnations are toxic to horses.

Although horses are much bigger animals than cats or dogs, they can experience the same symptoms, like skin and stomach irritation. But this can be especially problematic since horses only eat plants and are prone to grazing outside. If you have these flowers outside, Petal Republic says it's a good idea to fence them in with chicken wire to keep all your animals out.

Additionally, you can train your dogs, cats, or horses to stay away from carnations or use other plants like lavender, that have a strong smell and taste, to encourage pets to keep their distance. You can also use marigolds and osmanthus.

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