Can cats eat basil? Good or Harmful

If you have a garden and a cat, you know how complicated things can get when your cat decides to browse the plants.

If your cat doesn’t decide to relieve it, it may try to dig. Yes, many cats dig like dogs. And that’s bad for your plants, especially when it comes to edible ones like basil. On the other hand, when your cat is in the garden it could harm itself. If he doesn’t try to eat the grass, It can still smell, rub, or lick the plants.

The same thing can happen with an indoor garden, no matter what room you put basil and other edible plants in. Cats are curious, mischievous, and very stubborn, so if your cat wants to smell and lick basil, It will sooner or later.

And this brings us to one question in particular, which concerns the life of your pet. Is basil safe for cats?

Is basil safe for cats? 

Basil is a plant grown all over the world for human consumption. If it’s edible for us, it should be edible for cats too, right? Well, it’s not that simple. The fact is, various common foods for humans like chocolate and cheese don’t have the same benefits on cats, and some can be dangerous especially chocolate.

Fortunately, basil is not among the toxic herbs and plants cats need to stay away from.

It’s not poisonous. This means that your cat will not risk poisoning if It approaches basil. Cats can sniff, lick, and rub basil safely. Some may even eat it, not because they like the taste or smell, but for the same reason, they eat blades of grass.

Is basil good for cats?

Being sure is one thing, but the benefit is another thing. For us humans, basil offers many benefits from fighting stress and depression to supporting physical health with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cats will not benefit from basil.

Can cats eat basil? Good or Harmful

Felines are carnivorous creatures. Their diet must be based on meat to meet the body’s nutritional needs. Some plants, fruits, and vegetables are good for cats, but basil is not among them. It has absolutely no nutritional value for your pet’s organism. It’s completely useless as an ingredient in a feline diet, whether fresh, cooked, or dried leaves.

Plus, your cat won’t like the smell and taste of basil, so they won’t get non-nutritional benefits like aroma or flavor either. If you’re looking to spice up your cat’s home diet or raw food, there’s no reason to add basil to the ingredients.

What will happen if your cat eats basil?

Basil itself will do nothing to your cat. However, if your cat accidentally eats basil leaves while trying to eat weed, something is already wrong with Its stomach. You should call your vet to find out what to do and go to the clinic for a checkup if necessary.

Although rare, some cats may experience unpleasant side effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting if they eat fresh leaves. Although feline plant allergies are rare, it’s possible that some cats experience irritation after contact with fresh basil. If your cat is experiencing any side effects, you should call your vet right away.

There is also the possibility that your cat will ingest a small amount of basil from the remnants of what you have cooked.

As with fresh leaves, cooked basil won’t do anything bad to your cat’s health. However, there is a possibility that other ingredients in this food are a danger to your pet and could cause vomiting or other side effects.

However, if the cat has eaten basil in small quantities and is not showing any symptoms, there is no need to be frightened. If there are any moderate side effects, you should call your vet. There is nothing wrong with being overprotective and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..) Why Trust ShelterAPet? At ShelterAPet, our collective is composed of writers, veterinarians, and seasoned animal trainers with a deep passion for pets. Our team of esteemed professionals delves into extensive research to deliver trustworthy insights on a broad spectrum of pet-related subjects. We anchor our evaluations on direct customer experiences, meticulous testing, and comprehensive scrutiny. Our commitment is to uphold transparency and integrity for our cherished community of pet aficionados and prospective pet parents.

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