It’s common knowledge what curiosity can do to a cat. Cats will chase, pounce on and yes try to eat pretty much anything that moves. Cats often end up where they shouldn’t be. So, the concern is not unwarranted. If you have an herb garden growing outside your back door or on your kitchen windowsill and your cat discovers it, you may wonder can cats eat basil?
Basil is a great addition to salads, pasta, meat, fish, and even pizza. It’s a unique flavor, almost earthy but sweet. Basil is also very good for people, it contains Vitamin K and has been used to treat a range of digestive issues as well as worm infections, head colds, warts, snake and insect bites.
Can Cats Eat Other Herbs Besides Basil?
The good news is basil, along with other herbs like thyme, dill, and rosemary, appear to be non-toxic for cats. While it probably isn’t the best idea to feed these herbs to your cat intentionally, they aren’t going to experience more than maybe an upset stomach if they manage to devour your herb garden. But the one herb to be cautious of around your cat is parsley. It can cause ocular toxicity and lead to seizures.
Can Too Much Basil Make Cats Sick?
Like anything else, too much basil can make cats sick although unless your cat has a strange reaction, it will most likely be a minor gastrointestinal upset. If you suspect your cat has eaten too much basil or any other herb, observe them carefully for signs of distress.
Do your best to identify the plant in question. If you don’t know what type of plant it is, take some of it with you to the vet or photograph your garden area for the vet to look at. Symptoms of poisoning in cats can vary but will likely include drooling, trouble breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you witness any of these symptoms in your cat, seek immediate veterinarian assistance.
Common Herbs Other than Basil for Cat Ailments
You can in fact grow several herbs that are good for your health and also ones your cat will love. Most herbs can be grown with very little maintenance and just a sunny place. If you own a cat, you know that they adore catnip. What might be news to you is that you can grow catnip yourself and give your kitty an endless supply. It makes them happy, relieves stress and a catnip bath can relieve itchy skin for your cat. Another similar herb you can grow, is cat thyme. Keep in mind that cat thyme has a very strong odor and might be better grown outdoors.
Valerian is another herb that you may have heard of. Many people use Valerian root to help them get a good night’s sleep. When it comes to your cat however, Valerian root does just the opposite. It acts as a stimulant and will turn your lazy cat into a ball of energy. For itchy skin, cat’s claw and dandelion root work well because they naturally contain cortisone. Cats with arthritis will benefit from licorice root and it can help you too.
So, although cats can eat basil without too much trouble, there are other herbs you can grow specifically for your cat that will keep them content and even cure some of their ailments.