Peppermint is a refreshing flavor that many people enjoy during the winter holidays. We can satisfy our desire for this delightfully fresh flavor in a variety of confections, including peppermint candies, teas, cakes, bread, and more.
Some felines also show an affinity for peppermint and other mint products, prompting you to wonder if it’s safe to give your cat the occasional peppermint treat or let it nibble on the houseplant mint you keep in the kitchen.
To put it simply, cats shouldn’t consume any kind of mint, including peppermint.
Read on to find out the many reasons why your cat shouldn’t eat peppermint or be near any kind of mint plant.
Can Cats Eat Peppermint?
Peppermint, whose scientific name is Mentha piperita, is commonly used in home remedies and dietary supplements because of its high nutrient and mineral content.
Metals like iron and manganese are included in this category. In humans, Mentha piperita is used to treat a wide range of conditions, from asthma to gastrointestinal problems.
Although it is used to treat IBS and heartburn in humans, cats should not be given it on a regular basis.
This plant comes from the Lamiaceae family and is also known as garden mint.
Large doses of menthol acetate, which is present in peppermint oil, can be fatal to cats.
Peppermint has no real nutritional value and may cause stomach upset in cats due to the high concentrations of menthol and methyl salicylate it contains.
Because of the menthone it contains, it has become widely used as a natural insecticide and pesticide.
Because of its usefulness in the kitchen, in the medicine cabinet, and in the aromatherapy diffuser, this herb can be found growing wild in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
These herbs can be beneficial additions to the diet, but they should be used sparingly.
Peppermint contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
Small amounts of peppermint can be given to pets to help with bad breath and stomach aches without any negative side effects.
Small amounts of this herb can help alleviate your cat’s flatulence and digestive issues naturally.
If you want to give your cat a new taste experience, peppermint is a great option that many cats of all ages will enjoy. Peppermint, a plant with medicinal properties, can be used to add a refreshing flavor to food for both humans and animals.
It’s a tasty flavoring option that cats of all ages can enjoy, so it can be added to their regular diet on occasion. Kittens of all ages may enjoy the taste without worrying about any poisoning effects.
In addition, you shouldn’t give it to your cat in excessive amounts, as this can cause poisoning and even death.
Is Peppermint Safe For Cats?
Peppermint is toxic to cats and can cause life-threatening problems with their kidneys and liver if they ingest even a small amount.
Peppermint contains salicylate, which is toxic to cats and can cause stomach irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Catnip, an herb found in garden centers and nurseries, contains the chemical Nepetalactone, which attracts certain cats to the peppermint plant.
Any type of mint, including catnip and pennyroyal, can cause serious illness or death in dogs and cats, so use caution if you plan to grow herbs in your backyard.
Chewing the plant and rubbing it on the cat’s fur, inhaling the vapors from chewing the plant, or ingesting the plant are all ways to poison a cat.
A cat’s breathing may become shallow and irregular, and it may drool excessively and vomit if it ingests or inhales any part of the plant.
The corollas of peppermint’s white or pinkish flowers feature purple markings, and the plant itself can reach a height of up to 80 centimeters.
Is Peppermint Toxic To Cats?
Even if peppermint isn’t technically toxic, it’s still not a good idea to give it to your pet.
While the peppermint plant itself poses no danger to humans or animals, some of the oils extracted from it can be fatal to felines.
This includes both naturally occurring oils and those obtained through extraction and distillation from the peppermint plant.
Although some may find success in using peppermint as a household cleaner, this is not the case for felines.
Due to a metabolic speedup caused by the deficiency, cats are especially susceptible to this substance.
Their livers are smaller than those of humans and most other animals, making it more difficult to process. Essential oils are extremely powerful, and even a tiny amount taken internally can have devastating effects.
Keep away from cats if you plan on keeping any in your house. Please give your cat a safe haven away from the essential oils if you’re going to have the full essential oils experience in your home.
Cats, like humans, lack the enzymes catalase and aldehyde dehydrogenase, which aid in the breakdown of these compounds.
In addition, peppermint oil has higher concentrations of phenols and ketones than other essential oils, such as oregano oil.
Do Cats Like Peppermint Or Hate It?
Keep in mind that cats are naturally curious, so even commonplace things like peppermint could pique their interest.
Common belief aside, cats and other pets should avoid peppermint and other types of mint because they could be toxic. Essential oils found in these plants are toxic and should not be ingested.
If you eat too much peppermint, you could become poisoned. Common signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and fatigue.
It’s not a good idea to keep peppermint plants inside because cats are drawn to the scent. To prevent your cat from eating your mint plants while they’re still young, plant them outside.
Why Are Cats Attracted to the Smell of Mint?
Because mint has a scent similar to that of catnip, it is often favored by felines.
Catnip, after all, is related to mint. Peppermint, mint, and catnip all seem to have the same effect on cats.
They enjoy both the aroma and the flavor. Cat owners shouldn’t be alarmed if they find their feline friend gnawing on a potted mint plant or some mint leaves left out on the counter, as cats are known to enjoy the flavor and texture of these herbs.
Why Are Peppermint Foods and Mint Plants Dangerous to Cats?
The aroma of peppermint foods and mint plants is harmless to your cat, but the ingredients inside are toxic.
Cats should not be exposed to mint or peppermint oils. Ingestion of the oils causes symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ingesting fatal amounts of peppermint or mint oil is possible.
The ASPCA lists mint as a toxic plant due to its naturally occurring mint oil. Peppermint oil is used in many mint-flavored foods.
If you want to keep your cat healthy and happy, you should keep it away from mint and peppermint of any kind.
An upset stomach is a common side effect of consuming even a small amount of mint or peppermint oil.
Some Peppermint Foods Might Be Okay
Peppermint oil was traditionally used in the production of peppermint candies and cakes, but this is no longer the case.
Some peppermint candies and other peppermint-flavored foods are flavored with artificial peppermint flavor instead of the oil extracted from the peppermint plant.
You should check the list of ingredients to make sure peppermint oil isn’t included.
If you don’t make the products yourself using peppermint flavor instead of peppermint oil, it’s best to keep your cat away from all peppermint food products.
Essential Oils Are a No-Go
Essential oils of mint and peppermint should not be used around cats. Even using a diffuser with these oils can be dangerous.
Peppermint and mint essential oils should be stored safely out of your cat’s reach if you use them.
Do not touch your cat until the oils have fully absorbed into your skin or until you have thoroughly wiped them off.
What Happens When Cats Eat Peppermint?
In addition to irritating the cat’s respiratory system, the strong aroma of peppermint can cause the gums to become inflamed and start bleeding from the tongue’s agitated brushing against them.
If the cat consumes enough peppermint to have adverse effects, it may need veterinary care.
Excessive ingestion can cause serious health problems in cats, including vomiting, seizures, and thrombosis.
It’s not unusual to cough or sneeze up a few peppermint globs after using this remedy.
If your cat consumes peppermint on an empty stomach, it may become drowsy quickly.
Painful abdominal muscle contractions can result from this compound stimulating nerves in a cat’s throat and stomach.
Cats with a mint allergy are more likely to experience stomach cramps and diarrhea as a result of this contraction.
Cats can spit out peppermint quickly, but doing so can irritate their respiratory tracts and stomachs even more.
Dogs appear to enjoy the flavor of peppermint despite the fact that humans find its strong odor offensive.
How To Feed Peppermint To Your Cats?
It’s best to check with your vet before giving peppermint to your pet.
You can try crushing three or four peppermint leaves and mixing them with your pet’s food in your palm.
Your pet may not enjoy the mint flavor, and their food may end up all over the floor. The mint leaves can be chewed to freshen your breath.
You can put the crushed mint leaves inside a treat toy for your pet.
Crushed mint leaves or fresh mint leaves combined with 2 tablespoons of sugar-free plain yogurt and a few drops of peppermint oil make tasty treats for your pet.
Then, for added flavor, you can use some honey.
It’s also a good idea to occasionally give your pet a few pieces of the new leaves that grow on the shrubs in your garden.
How to Grow Mint While Keeping Your Cat Safe
You can protect your cat from the mint plants you grow. If your cat never leaves the house, you should start by growing them in a garden.
Whether you’re at home or not, you can rest assured that your cat won’t be able to get near your mint plant.
If your cat goes outside, hang the potted mint plants from the eaves of your house so it can’t reach them.
Indoor mint plants can be grown, but they need to be hung in secure containers out of your cat’s reach.
Mint plants look great when hung from the ceiling in nooks, over kitchen windows, and in the garage.
Hang your mint plants in areas of the house where your cat is not permitted to go. The rooms and bathroom are fine.
What to Do If Your Cat Eats Peppermint or Mint
Be on the lookout for signs of gastrointestinal distress if you discover that your cat has nibbled on a mint leaf or snatched a peppermint candy.
Provide plenty of fresh water and remove all sources of mint and peppermint from their reach.
If your cat begins vomiting or exhibiting other distressing behaviors, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Can Cats Eat Peppermint Tea?
The tea may settle your cat’s stomach, and some pet owners report that it also aids in sleep.
Add some chamomile or catnip to the tea if your pet exhibits nervous behavior due to anxiety or stress. If your cat enjoys the taste, feel free to give it to her occasionally.
Herbal teas may be safe for her, but you should check with your vet first. It’s possible that she’ll suggest switching to a diet that’s easier on her digestive system.
A diluted valerian tea can help both dogs and their owners relax.
The antioxidants and vitamins, such as fiber and vitamins A and C, found in fruits like apples and blueberries are great for your cats.
Before giving this tea to your cat, make sure their stomach isn’t inflamed, bloated, or making them sick to their stomach.
When used appropriately, peppermint can stimulate a cat’s appetite, ease constipation, and calm nausea. However, you shouldn’t use peppermint oil on kittens or pregnant dogs or cats.
Pets with arthritic or injured joints and muscles can benefit from peppermint oil when inhaled or massaged into the affected areas.
Our feline friends should never have access to any peppermint or mint plants or treats.
Peppermint and mint essential oils should also be kept far away from them. However, despite our best efforts, cats may still find their way into products containing mint or peppermint.
In this case, be on the lookout for signs of poisoning in your cat. Contact your vet immediately if your cat exhibits any signs of distress.
However, if your cat exhibits no or only mild symptoms, you may be able to put off taking her to the vet.