Can Cats Eat Mint?

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Cat Eat MintMint is a harmless plant for us humans and is a culinary herb that is easily found in herb gardens. It is one of the non-toxic plants that have a strong smell, and most human beings use the scent of mint to fight off their bad breath. It has been used in folk medicines and is a common herb in many households. Since mint has many benefits for humans, it was believed that it is safe for cats, but that is not the real case, and as pet owners, we should know how toxic mint can be for our feline friends.

Do Cats Love Mint?

The smell of mint attracts our feline friend towards it, as most cats mistake mint as a replacement for their catnips. If your feline friend is obsessed with mint, try giving them catnip. Catnip is a member of the mint family, and if your cat is searching for mint leaves, you can give them some catnip to calm them down.

As pet parents, we should know that our feline friends have a keen sense of smell, and they can easily smell fresh mint from far away and will not have trouble finding it because cats love the smells of mint and catnips. It is better to give them catnip yourself rather than going out in your yard and nibbling on mint leaves which are not great for them. 

Is Mint Safe for Cat?

Catnip belongs to the Lamiaceae family of mints, and cats love mints and catnips both, but if they are safe or not is another story. The scientific name of mint is mentha, and cats love its smell, taste, and feel. Window herb gardens can easily grow mint, but this too much garden mint can cause gastrointestinal upset in our feline friends, making it unsafe for them.

Whereas contact with mint in large quantities can cause your feline friend to have skin irritations if you have a hypersensitive cat. Catnips, also known as nepeta cataria, nepeta genus, nepeta mussinii, and other types of mints, are popular in window herb gardens and grow in large quantities. American Society of Prevention of Cruelty of the United States considers catnip a potentially risky plant for your feline friend as it is one of the members of the mint family.

Mint essential oils are present in peppermint, a toxic substance for your feline friend. Even though the smell of peppermint is light and most cats are not attracted to it but still need to keep an eye on your cat near the plant. Even a small amount of peppermint oil or salicylate can be extremely dangerous for your cat, so consuming them is a big no. Another part of the mint family is spearmint, usually found in mint gums, hard candies, teas, and spices. It has less salicylate, but it is still toxic and can cause your cat to have an upset stomach.

Too much mint is also not good for your cat as essential oils from the mint reside in the esophageal valve and increase the risks of vomiting in cats. Cats are curious creatures; you might find them nibbling on some mint leaves. Mint leaves do not contain too much poison compared to corn syrups and sugars for cats, but if they vomit, then take them to the vet.

Cats And Mint Poisoning

As cat parents, we should let our babies wander so that they can learn about different plants, but it is also good to keep an eye on our feline friends as they might eat a toxic plant. Regular mint has many mint species ranging from mint genus to other different species like perilla mint, etc., which have severe effects on our obligate carnivores. There are parts of mint, such as large leaves that your cat can nibble on, and then there are parts, like square stems, that may cause allergic reactions or, in severe cases, mint poisoning.

If your cat has consumed mint in large amounts and faces severe symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, or stomachache, then take them directly to the vet for supportive care. These are due to excessive exposure to mint genus, and to avoid chances of any liver disease, whether liver damage or liver failure, it is better to take it seriously and let the vet handle your cat’s condition.

What Type of Mint Can Cats Eat?

There is no good reason for a cat to eat mint, all mints are bad for your feline friend, and in some extreme cases, the chemical compounds found in mint can lead your feline friend towards their deathbed. Cats can eat mint leaves, but if too much mint is eaten, it causes bowel diseases. So, giving your cat mint is out of the question, but if your little friend is a fan of the smell of mint or mint leaves, then you can only give them catnip so they can have their type of mint. Do not give wild mint to your cats as it has most of the toxic substance. Other than that, no candies, gums, or foods are allowed as they all contain artificial sweeteners and flavors harmful to cats.

Why Is Mint Poisonous to Cats?

The ASPCA advises against letting your cat eat mint from the garden. Cats can get harmed if they ingest large amounts of garden mint essential oil. You could notice a change in your cat’s behavior after coming in contact with the herb if they eat a lot of mints. If your cat consumes mint, it can vomit, have diarrhea, or experience other digestive issues. The symptoms depend on a cat’s sensitivity to the essential oils in mint and how much the active ingredient found in mint affects its health.


So, as you can read, mint, whether in the form of peppermint, peppermint oil, a whole plant material, mint ice cream, mint candies, etc., is poisonous to our feline friend. There is no such thing as different forms of mint or min plants that your feline friend can enjoy. Keeping your feline friend as far as possible from the mint plants is recommended due to their toxicity, which can cause many adverse effects to your furry friend.

So, as cat owners, we should keep our feline companion away from the members of the mint family and put our cat’s health as our priority. The good idea is to keep any type of mint plant away from the reach of your feline friend, and if you are suspicious of your cat eating mint, then look out for signs of mint poisoning and take them immediately to the vet.

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