Rosemary is an essential herb in cooking and can just be kept around the house as a decorative plant. We love a wide range of herbs to bring out the flavor in our food but is it the same with cats?
Cats need just a basic diet of meat and water, so maybe you want to spice up your cat’s bland breakfast and sprinkle a bit of rosemary in with the kibble.
In this article, you will find out if your cat will appreciate the new herby take on their standard meal or whether there are some side effects that will leave your furry companion feeling worse for wear.
Is It Harmful
Rosemary is not harmful to cats, due to it being a herb that contains plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin C along with calcium and folate. These benefits mean that rosemary can be used to aid cats that are struggling with digestion issues.
The herb has other health benefits: rosemary can be used to treat inflammation and has also been noted to have a positive effect on the condition of a cat’s coat and skin.
Much like any treat, rosemary is fine for your cat in small doses and will actually have health benefits for your pet.
However, before feeding rosemary to your cat it is always best to check in with your vet and gauge their advice on feeding human foods to any pet.
How Can I Give It To My Cat Safely
Cats are pure carnivores; they only eat meat, unlike humans and dogs who both can digest plants and have them as part of a balanced diet thus making them omnivores.
Cats are not like this, they cannot digest plants easily so a cat’s diet should consist solely of meat and water.
This does not mean you cannot give them treats such as milk and rosemary but as stated they should not be a normal part of their diet.
The natural oils found in rosemary could upset your cat’s stomach. Make sure to always watch your cat if you are giving them treats like rosemary. Every cat is different so it is best to always proceed with caution.
It is always best to be better safe than sorry so small amounts will likely be of no harm to your cat.
The best way to serve rosemary is to cut it up into small amounts and either mix it with your cat’s food or feed it directly from your hand.
If you find your cat has eaten a large amount of rosemary then you should consult your vet however due to rosemary’s strong flavor and smell the odds of this are slim. The taste of the plant will usually discourage your cat after a bite or two.
Are All Herbs Safe For Cats To Eat
We now know rosemary is perfectly safe in small doses but is this the same with other herbs?
Let’s start with the famous herb that all cats love: catnip. Catnip will be of benefit to your cat, the herb has been proven to help your cat’s mental health.
The herb energizes cats and makes them full of limitless energy. The effects of catnip do not last long, typically only 12 minutes, however, it is safe for cats to have it multiple times a day.
Catnip has different effects depending on how it is taken, if the cat sniffs the catnip then you get the energetic bursts however your cat consumes the catnip it has the exact opposite effect.
When consumed catnip will make your cat calm and will cause them to nap more frequently. It is best consumed when you notice your cat is anxious such as before a bath or trip to the vet.
Like rosemary, dill is perfectly safe in small doses and has also been claimed to aid your cat’s digestion.
Much like rosemary, cats will not like the taste of dill so are unlikely to eat a lot if they manage to get their paws on it.
Valerian is used as an ingredient in many herbal supplements for human beings, and most of the effects come from the root of the plant.
Certain cats may react to valerian in the same way they would to consuming catnip, so if your cat has no reaction to catnip then maybe give valerian a try.
To see if the plant has an effect on your cat you must wait for the plant to be fully developed when it is let your cat smell the root, if your cat rolls onto its back then it has had a similar effect. Much like catnip, not all cats will react to the plant.
Some herbs to avoid would be; oregano, chives, lemongrass, and bay leaf. All of these herbs have been listed as toxic to cats.
What If My Cat Consumes A Toxic Herb
If your cat has consumed a toxic herb and has had a reaction you should immediately call your vet.
Next you should contact the ASPCA as the hotline will give you vital information about your cat’s symptoms and what you can do to care for them before getting them to the vet or animal hospital.
So to conclude, yes your cat can eat rosemary and in small amounts, it will provide your cat with some health benefits, however, moderation is key as it is with any treat.
If rosemary is consumed as part of your cat’s everyday diet it will lead to the cat having some digestion problems as they are not able to digest plants as easily as we do.
Rosemary is one of many herbs that are safe for cats to consume. You should always consult the ASPCA or your vet before feeding your cat any herbs as there are many that can be toxic.
So, if after reading this you fancy spicing up your cat’s next meal with rosemary, go ahead but remember that moderation is always key.