What Herbs Are Good For Cats To Eat?

Cats are undoubtedly one of the most beloved creatures on earth. With their cute and cuddly appearance, they make excellent companions for pet lovers. However, every cat owner knows that these furry friends have a delicate digestive system that needs special attention. One simple yet effective way to boost their health is by feeding them herbs.

Herbs can provide a multitude of health benefits for your feline friend, from easing digestion to adding essential vitamins and minerals to their diet. But beware. Not all herbs are created equal. Some can be dangerous or even toxic to cats, causing serious harm to their well-being. That’s why it’s crucial to know which herbs are good for cats to eat.

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about feeding your cat with herbs. We’ll delve into the benefits of herbs for felines, discuss which ones are safe for them to consume, highlight the appropriate amount to give them, and suggest various ways you can incorporate these healthy treats into their diet. Whether you have a finicky eater or a cat with digestive issues, we’ve got you covered.

So let’s embark on this journey together and discover the wonderful world of herbs for cats.

What is Catnip and What are its Benefits?

This herb, also known as Nepeta cataria, is a member of the mint family and is a favorite among cats due to its intoxicating effects. However, not all cats are affected by catnip; only about 50-70% of them react to it.

Catnip is safe for cats to eat and can be given to them in small quantities. The compound responsible for catnip’s effects on cats is called nepetalactone, which has a calming effect on the feline nervous system. This means that if your cat gets anxious during stressful situations, such as car rides or vet visits, giving them a small amount of catnip beforehand can help reduce their stress and anxiety levels.

But that’s not all; catnip has other benefits for cats as well. It can stimulate a cat’s appetite and aid with digestion, making it a great natural remedy for digestive issues such as constipation and flatulence. Additionally, catnip can promote playfulness and exercise in cats, which can be beneficial for their physical and mental health.

However, it’s important to remember that moderation is key when it comes to giving your cat catnip. Overindulging in this herb can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats. Also, if your cat is pregnant or nursing, it’s best to avoid giving them catnip altogether.

Aside from catnip, there are other herbs that are safe for cats and offer health benefits too. Parsley, for example, contains antioxidants and can improve digestion and reduce bloating. Chamomile is another herb that can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation in cats.

On the flip side, there are several herbs that are toxic to cats and should be avoided at all costs. Garlic, onion, and chives can cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Lilies, azaleas, and rhododendrons are also highly toxic to cats and should not be kept in their reach.

The Benefits of Parsley for Cats

Look no further than parsley. This versatile herb that we use in our food is also highly beneficial for our cats.

Packed with vitamins A and C, parsley is a natural source of antioxidants that help boost your cat’s immune system. This means that adding parsley to your cat’s diet can help keep them healthy and strong, fighting off illnesses efficiently.

Moreover, parsley contains chlorophyll, which not only gives the herb its vibrant green color but can also freshen your cat’s breath. If you have a kitty with bad breath, try giving them some parsley as a natural breath freshener.

Not only that, but parsley has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate joint pain and swelling in cats suffering from arthritis. It can also aid digestion by reducing bloating, flatulence, and constipation. And if your cat is feeling sluggish, the diuretic properties of parsley can help flush out toxins from their body.

However, it is important to note that while parsley is beneficial for cats in small amounts, it should be given in moderation. Excess consumption may lead to digestive issues like diarrhea. Additionally, if you have a pregnant cat, it’s best to avoid giving them parsley since it may induce contractions leading to premature labor.

Other Herbs that are Safe for Cats to Eat

While you may be familiar with the benefits of parsley for cats, there are other herbs that are safe and healthy for your cat to eat. By introducing these herbs into your cat’s diet, you can provide them with numerous health benefits and add some excitement to their mealtime.

Here is a list of some safe herbs that you can consider adding to your cat’s diet:

  • Catnip: This herb is a popular choice among cat owners as it helps relieve stress and anxiety in cats. It can also stimulate your cat’s appetite and encourage them to play.
  • Dill: If your cat has digestive issues like gas and bloating, dill is an excellent herb to add to their diet. It aids digestion, making it easier for your cat to process their food.
  • Parsley: In addition to aiding digestion, parsley has diuretic properties that can be beneficial for cats with urinary tract issues.
  • Thyme: This herb has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it ideal for cats that may have respiratory or skin infections.
  • Rosemary: Another anti-inflammatory herb, rosemary can help improve circulation and boost your cat’s immune system. However, it should be used in moderation as too much of it can lead to stomach upset in some cats.

While these herbs are safe in small amounts, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods or herbs into your cat’s diet. Some cats may have allergies or sensitivities to certain herbs, so it’s crucial to monitor your cat closely when adding new foods or herbs into their diet.

Herbs that are Toxic for Cats to Eat

While herbs can be a great addition to their diet, it’s important to know which ones are safe for cats to eat and which ones are toxic. In this article, we’ll explore the herbs that are harmful to cats and why you should avoid them.

First on the list is lilies. These elegant flowers may look beautiful on your windowsill, but they’re deadly to cats. All parts of the lily plant, including the flower, stem, leaves, and pollen, are highly poisonous to cats. Even a small amount of lily can cause kidney failure in cats within a few days of ingestion. So, if you’re a cat owner, it’s best to steer clear of lilies altogether.

Another herb that is toxic to cats is chamomile. While chamomile may be used as a natural remedy for anxiety and stress in humans, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritation in cats if ingested. So, before giving your cat any chamomile tea or herbal remedies containing chamomile, consult with your vet.

Garlic and onion are other herbs that should be avoided in a cat’s diet. These herbs contain compounds that can damage red blood cells in cats, leading to anemia and other health problems. It’s best to keep garlic and onion away from your furry friend’s food bowl.

Additionally, pennyroyal, yarrow, tansy, and wormwood are herbs that can be harmful to cats. These herbs can cause various symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. It’s essential to do your research before introducing any new herbs into your cat’s diet and to consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about their safety.

How to Incorporate Herbs Into Your Cat’s Diet

Herbs can offer numerous health benefits for cats, but it’s important to incorporate them safely and effectively. Before making any changes to your cat’s diet, consult with your veterinarian to ensure that the herbs you plan to use are safe for your cat.

Choose safe and beneficial herbs

Some safe and beneficial herbs for cats include catnip, chamomile, valerian root, and peppermint. However, it’s important to avoid toxic herbs such as garlic, onion, and chives.

Start slowly

It’s best to introduce new herbs gradually by starting with small amounts and gradually increasing as your cat becomes accustomed to the new flavors. This will help prevent any digestive upset or adverse reactions.

Use supplements

What Herbs Are Good For Cats To Eat-2

You can find herbal supplements specifically designed for cats at many pet stores or online. These supplements may come in the form of powders, capsules, or even treats.

Add fresh herbs to food

You can add fresh herbs to your cat’s food by sprinkling a small amount of dried herbs onto their food or mixing fresh herbs into wet food. Another option is to make herbal teas and add a small amount to their water bowl.

Monitor behavior

Some herbs may have mild sedative effects on cats, so it’s important to monitor their behavior after introducing new herbs into their diet. If you notice any adverse effects, stop using the herb immediately and consult with your veterinarian.

Consult with a veterinarian

Before incorporating any new herbs into your cat’s diet, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on which herbs are safe for your specific cat and any potential interactions with medication or health conditions.

Safety Tips When Feeding Herbs to Your Cat

Feeding your cat herbs can be a wonderful way to support their health and add some variety to their diet. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all herbs are safe for felines. To ensure that your cat enjoys the benefits of consuming herbs without any adverse effects, here are five safety tips to follow:

Consult with Your Veterinarian

The first step in safely feeding herbs to your cat is to consult with your veterinarian. They can advise you on which herbs are safe for your cat’s specific needs and any potential risks or interactions with medications. Your vet can also recommend the right dosage for your cat based on their size, age, and health condition.

Start with Small Amounts and Monitor Their Response Closely

When introducing new herbs to your cat, start with small amounts and monitor their response closely. Some cats may have an allergic reaction or digestive upset when trying a new herb. It’s also important to ensure that the herbs you are using are safe for cats and not toxic. For example, some common herbs like garlic and onion can be harmful to cats.

Avoid Feeding Your Cat Herbs in Large Quantities

Even safe herbs can cause problems if consumed in excess. Stick to small amounts as a supplement to your cat’s regular diet. Overfeeding your cat with herbs can lead to digestive problems, vomiting, or diarrhea. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to new foods in your pet’s diet.

Check the Quality of the Herbs

If you’re growing your own herbs at home, make sure they haven’t been treated with any pesticides or chemicals that could be harmful to your cat. Additionally, don’t allow your cat access to any plants or herbs that may be growing in or around your home without first researching their safety. Always wash the herbs thoroughly before feeding them to your cat.

Introduce New Herbs Gradually and One at a Time

Finally, always introduce new herbs gradually and one at a time. This will help you determine which herbs your cat enjoys and which ones they may have an adverse reaction to. It’s also important to only feed your cat fresh herbs and avoid any dried herbs or spice blends that contain other ingredients that may be harmful to them.

Consulting with a Veterinarian Before Introducing New Herbs into Your Cat’s Diet

While it may seem like a great idea, it’s essential to understand that not all herbs are safe for cats. That’s why before introducing new herbs into your cat’s diet, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian.

Here are some reasons why consulting with a veterinarian is vital:

Safety First: Not All Herbs Are Safe for Cats

Your cat’s health and safety should always be a top priority. Some herbs can be toxic or harmful to your cat, while others may interact with any pre-existing health conditions or medications they may be taking. A veterinarian can advise you on which herbs are safe for your cat and how to properly administer them.

Different Metabolisms and Digestive Systems

Cats have different metabolisms and digestive systems than humans, which means that what’s safe for us may not be safe for them. Your veterinarian can help you understand the effects of the herbs on your cat’s body and how it may affect them. They can also take into consideration any pre-existing health conditions or medications your cat may be taking that could interact with the herbs.

Proper Research is Important

It’s essential to conduct proper research before administering any herbal remedies to your cat. Many herbs have various properties and effects on the body, so it’s crucial to understand what you’re giving your cat and how it may affect them. Your veterinarian can guide you in understanding the properties and effects of different herbs, so you can choose the ones that best suit your cat’s needs.

Ensuring Efficacy and Promoting Overall Health

By consulting with a veterinarian, you can ensure the safety and efficacy of any new herbs or supplements you introduce to your cat’s diet. This ultimately promotes your cat’s overall health and well-being.


In conclusion, herbs can be a fantastic addition to your cat’s diet, providing a range of health benefits that can support their overall well-being. From aiding digestion to reducing anxiety levels, the right herbs can make all the difference in your feline friend’s life.

However, it’s important to remember that not all herbs are created equal when it comes to cats. Some herbs are safe and beneficial, while others can be harmful or even toxic. That’s why it’s crucial to do your research and consult with a veterinarian before introducing new herbs into your cat’s diet.

One herb that many cat owners swear by is catnip. This herb has a calming effect on the feline nervous system, making it an excellent choice for anxious or stressed-out cats. Another herb that can boost your cat’s immune system and reduce joint pain and swelling is parsley. And if you’re looking for other safe options to incorporate into your cat’s diet, consider dill, thyme, and rosemary.

Of course, introducing new herbs should always be done gradually and with caution. Keep a close eye on your cat’s response to each new herb you introduce to ensure they’re not experiencing any adverse reactions.

Ultimately, by following these safety tips and incorporating beneficial herbs into your cat’s diet in moderation, you can help support their overall health and well-being for years to come.