Can Cats Eat Mint? 8 Health Risks, Symptoms, Treaments

If you’re wondering if mint is safe for cats to eat, you’re probably a cat owner whose inquisitive feline has gotten into something it shouldn’t have.

Have faith in us; we can relate. Curious by nature, cats can get themselves into some pretty sticky situations. One such instance is when ingesting mint.

Unfortunately, cats should not be fed mint.

Your curious cat probably won’t get sick from nibbling on a few herbs from the garden. It takes ingesting a lot of mint for a cat to get sick from it.

Learn about the mint plant, the symptoms of mint poisoning, and how to treat your cat if they become ill after eating mint.

Is Mint Toxic To Cats, Or Safe For Cats?

Mint is among the plants deemed toxic to cats by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Many cats will become mint poisoned if they are exposed to or eat too much mint.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is the main reason why these plants and new mint have such an effect on your feline friend. Since catnip (catmint) is in the mint family, its popularity has led some to assume that all mints are harmless to feline companions.

The difference between catnip and mint is significant.

Essential oils from mint plants, especially peppermint oil, can be dangerous for cats. Ingestion of large quantities of mint or exposure to concentrated mint, such as essential oils, is the most common cause of mint poisoning in cats.

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Keep in mind that not all cats react negatively to mint.

Garden mint has varying effects on cats, much like spicy foods have varying effects on humans.

Can Cats Eat Mint? What You Need to Know! | Hepper

What Is Mint?

There are many different kinds of mint plants. The distinctive characteristics of these plants are their pungent aroma, enormous leaves, and square stems.

Unfortunately, all species of mint contain the essential oil. It is best to keep your cat away from mint because of the oil found in it.

It’s one of the many things that draws them to it. They appreciate the aroma just as much as we do because it reminds them of another plant they adore.

The mint family also includes peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint, unlike regular mint and catnip, does not pique a cat’s interest.

It’s not to their taste. Generally speaking, the aroma of peppermint will drive cats away. In contrast to peppermint, which is both toxic and unappealing to cats, spearmint is safe.

If your cat eats mint or spearmint, it will likely feel better quickly, but peppermint could be harmful. Cats should be kept away from peppermint because it contains salicylate, which is toxic to them.

Is Mint Safe For Cats

What Parts Of The Plant Are Poisonous or Toxic?

Your feline friends shouldn’t come into contact with any part of the mint plant, but especially the leaves, flowers, and stems.

Essential oils abound in these plants, making them extremely poisonous to cats, horses, and dogs.

To avoid this, keep your cat away from the mint plant and its leaves. Your cat should not be allowed near any mint plants.

The Difference Between Mint and Catnip

You may notice that your cat spends excessive amounts of time in your mint garden. Given the similarities between mint and catnip, a plant that cats adore, that is a very real possibility. Since it is related to mint, the aroma of catnip or catmint is similar to that of other mint plants.

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Catnip is liked by the vast majority of felines. Some cats experience a high similar to that of a drug. Unfortunately, they frequently confuse mint, the most similar plant, with their beloved catnip.

Whether or not garden mint has the same effect on a cat as catnip is a valid question. To put it simply, yes. Catnip and mint both contain the nepetalactone that drives cats crazy.

Live or dried plants, or even oil extracts, can all provide this for your cat. That’s why it could be challenging to keep your cat away from the window sill mint plant.

Mint | ASPCA

What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?

The following are the most typical signs of mint poisoning:

  • Diarrhea
  • Committing
  • Discomfort in the intestines
  • Symptoms of liver disease and failure
  • Injuries to the central nervous system
  • Headache
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Sensitivity to substances on the skin
  • Heartburns
  • Cramps
  • Heavy Nausea and Vomiting
  • Abdominal distress

Sedation is another adverse effect of mint fragrance. You may find that your cat appears listless and sleepy.

The behavior is often compared by cat owners to that of a stoned person.

However, the opposite is true for some feline friends.

They get a jolt of energy and start acting erratically because mint acts as a stimulant for them.

It can lead to dehydration and death in extreme cases.

Knowing your pet’s normal routine and bathroom habits can help you spot any concerning changes early on, allowing you to give your pet the care it needs.

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Treatments for Mint Poisoning

Despite the anxiety it causes us cat owners, most felines recover from mint poisoning within a few days.

The veterinarian will monitor your cat closely and, if necessary, induce vomiting. Your cat may need to have its stomach pumped if the situation becomes dire.

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Either way, they’ll probably be hospitalized for a few days to be monitored for signs of dehydration or a more serious reaction.

How to Protect Yourself While Handling the Mint Plant

Make sure your cat can’t get to any indoor plants from the genus Mentha that you’re growing or planning to grow.

If your cat spends most of its time indoors, it’s best to keep non-toxic plants like wheatgrass, valerian, cat grass, and parsley rather than mint.

Mint should be kept out of your pet’s reach if at all possible.

The best way for cat owners to detect poisoning from mint is to keep a close eye on their feline friend.

Small amounts of mint leaves may be safe to eat, but consuming too much of them could be harmful.

Please contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680), a 24-hour animal poison control center, if you suspect your cat has ingested mint or come into contact with essential oils.

Catnip vs Mint: What's the Difference? - AZ Animals

Are Foods With Mint Safe for Cats?

It’s a common misconception that adding mint to other foods makes them less dangerous. Avoid giving your cat any mint products out of an abundance of caution.

If you want to keep it around the house, you might want to make sure your cat can’t get to it.

In Conclusion

As a cat owner, you should be aware of the types of vegetation and other substances that can be dangerous to your feline friend. There are plenty of treats and aromas that are safe for cats, but mint isn’t one of them.

Mint poisoning isn’t usually fatal, but even a little bit can be dangerous. We advise getting in touch with your vet as soon as possible if you suspect your cat has ingested mint.

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