Carnations, along with roses, are one of the most widespread and popular flowers all over the world. So popular that archaeological evidence points to these flowers being cultivated as far back as two thousand years! These flowers, in their lovely shades of pink, produce no fragrance and are popular as ornamental plants. If you’re a cat owner, you know what this means.
Cats love to chew on plants, and the reason why cats behave this way could be the flavor of the plant, they need extra nutrition in their diet, or they’re just bored and want to take it out on a nearby houseplant.
As any good cat owner will know, not all plants are safe for their feline friends to munch on. Despite their lovely blooms and ease of care, carnations and cats do not get along.
Are Carnations Poisonous to Cats?
The bad news is that carnations are poisonous to cats. The good news is the toxicity is only mild and will not bring any long-term harm to your cat. That being said, it’s a good idea to not let them munch on a carnation in the first place.
Why Are Carnations Toxic To Cats?
As of now, scientists and veterinarians are unsure why carnations are toxic to cats, but the evidence points to an irritant found in the sap of the plant. It’s not just the sap that contains this irritant, however, but every part of the plant. The leaves, stems, petals, and even seeds will cause your cat to get sick while simply brushing up against the flower can cause a rash thanks to the irritant.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Carnation Poisoning?
If your cat has ingested any part of a carnation plant, the symptoms will be gastrointestinal. They’ll vomit, have diarrhea, and possibly start drooling at an unhealthy rate. If your cat has made any physical contact with a carnation, then a rash will appear on their skin at the point of contact. If your cat is vomiting or having diarrhea, or you spot a rash, check the carnations in your home and garden to see if any were damaged or eaten.
The best way to know if your cat has carnation poising is to view the plants and look for signs that they have been chewed on, as the actual symptoms are internal.
What Do I Do If My Cat Has Carnation Poisoning?
The first thing to do is to remain calm. Carnations are toxic, but the toxicity is mild. It’s rare that symptoms will get worse, although I advise you to contact your veterinarian and explain to them your cat has eaten some carnations. If you can, tell them how much was ingested and if your cat is vomiting or having diarrhea.
There is no cure for carnation poisoning as your cat’s body will flush the irritant out within a day or two. In the meantime, ensure your cat has plenty of fluids so they don’t dehydrate.
Your vet may wish to run some tests to see if the cause of their sickness is indeed carnation poisoning and not another sickness. They may also induce vomiting and provide fluids or a drug to coat the inside of the cat’s stomach to protect against the irritant.
As mentioned, rarely will symptoms last longer than a day or two, and if so your vet will have to run more tests. Carnation poisoning isn’t life-threatening, but it’s not fun for your cat either.
What Other Flowers Can Make My Cat Sick?
As you may have guessed, carnations aren’t the only flowers that can make a cat sick. Tulips, Azaleas, Lilies, Fiddle leaf figs, Mums, Cyclamen, and Daffodils are just some of the flowers that can make your cat sick or could even cause death. There are a whole host of other plants and flowers, and I could spend all day talking about each one and why they’re bad for your cat.
Always be sure to research which plants can be left alone with your cat. Your cat is more than likely going to want to nibble or the very least rub up against your houseplants, and you don’t want these plants being toxic or even deadly for your cat. The best course of action is being informed and preventive.
Carnations are a lovely flower, and while you may love to have them in a vase on your windowsill, you don’t want your cat getting sick either. It’s best to not take the chance and look into safer flowers or alternatively provide plants in your house that are safe for your cat and keep the unsafe ones outside.