Basil is one of the most healthy herbs in the mint family. Most people rely on it for medicinal purposes, both internally and externally. As a concerned cat owner, you might think, Can cats eat basil?
Luckily, basil has no side effects on cats if they eat it in moderation. They can find it hard to absorb the nutrients in basil. Anyway, the vitamins, minerals, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb can give a portion of its benefits to your cat.
Well, basil cannot be a safe option for your cat. To learn about its safety concerns, go through the article below.
All About Basil
Basil is a culinary herb, also known as Ocimum Basilium. It belongs to the Lamiaceae or mint family, where you will find sage, lavender, lemon balm, catnip, rosemary, oregano, and mint. However, westerners add basil to their cuisine, calling it Genovese basil or sweet basil.
Basil is mainly a famous herb for its sweet clove-like smell, which makes it a fine addition to dishes and tea. Alongside, people use it for making herbal medicines and essential oils. Its nutrients, like iron, calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and antioxidant properties, promote healthy body function in both humans and animals.
Do Cats Like Basil?
Cats, being obligate carnivores, prefer animal protein rather than plant protein or plant nutrients. Hence, your cat is always going to be baffled about meat and fish.
One reason they like these treats is that they like to chew. And no wonder, cats can eat basil leaves only to chew something. Besides, basil has a sweet aroma that not only attracts humans but also animals. That’s why most cats go well eating a small portion of basil because of its smell, which is a turn-on for its taste.
Can Cats Eat Basil?
Basil has no toxic elements that can be unsafeItIn fact, it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, and antioxidants. Sadly, cats can’t absorb all these nutrients like humans, as they are obligate carnivores. If you offer a bit of basil or sprinkle bits of basil on your cat’s meal, that would be safe. So, cats can eat basil in a small amount that is properly cooked without toppings or flavours.
What Happens If Cats Eat Basil Leaves?
Basil does not contain any toxic substances, so it can hardly pose a threat to your cat’s health. If your cat eats a few amounts of basil, she may not go through any side effects. But if she has any allergies to grass and plants, even a small amount of basil can be dangerous for her.
Again, some cats can’t control their hunger and eat basil or any treat more than required. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, and digestive issues. If your cat has allergies and eats basil, call your vet immediately for precautions. Do the same when your healthy cat eats more basil than needed.
Health Benefits Of Eating Basil For Cats
Offering a small amount of cooked basil to your cat will surely yield many health benefits. Such as
It Aids In Digestion
The eugenol in basil is a boon for alleviating digestive issues and promoting a healthy gastrointestinal system. If your cat has such an issue, basil can be an excellent treatment for them.
Basil has anti-inflammatory properties, like eugenol and Rosmarin acid. They can reduce inflammation in the body in both humans and cats.
Reduces Risk Of Chronic Diseases
The antioxidant properties, like flavonoids and beta-carotene in basil, contribute to overall cellular health. Your cat will have less risk of chronic diseases after eating a portion of basil.
Supports The Overall Health
Basil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and many other essential nutrients. These can help in developing eye vision, bones, and overall health.
Side Effects Of Eating Basil For Cats
As said before, basil offers health benefits to cats if they eat it cooked in a small amount. However, not following the right way of feeding basil to cats will surely lead to potential side effects. It can do the same if an allergic cat eats it. Now let’s browse the dangers.
Basil can disrupt your cat’s gastrointestinal system if she eats it too much. She may have diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, etc.
Skin irritation can be a problem for allergic cats after eating basil. You can solve such situations by simply taking advice from your vet.
Interacts With Certain Medications
If your cat is going through a course of antibiotics or any medication, basil can be a threat to them. This is because basil interacts with many medicines.
How Much And Often Can Cats Eat Basil?
The most important nutrient for cats is animal protein. That’s why all vets suggest including meat-based dishes in their diet. Unfortunately, basil can’t fulfil the mutational requirements of cats, so you can’t use it as an alternative to your cat’s meal.
Compared to fresh basil leaves, cooked basil leaves are safer for cats. Just make sure not to add any flavour or topping to the basil before feeding it to your furry friend.
You may add basil to your cat’s diet as a side dish or an occasional dish. Also, make sure you are offering her a small amount of basil because cats can’t cope with basil in a large quantity. It can be a wonderful treat for them once a week or a month.
Frequently Asked Questions: Can Cats Eat Basil?
What herbs are safe for cats?
Some herbs can be beneficial for cats with no side effects if taken in a moderate quantity. Like- marshmallow root, calendula, licorice root, dandelion, milk thistle, etc. They can be safe for your cat if your vet allows you to feed them.
Can cats eat basil and rosemary?
Both rosemary and basil belong to the mint family and are safe for cats to eat in a moderate quantity. Alongside, dill and thyme from the mint family are also safe for cats.
Do cats find basil similar to catnip?
Basil or Ocimum basilica um, does not have the nepetalactone that is found in catnip. Although basil and catnip belong to the same family of plants, they act in different ways as cat stimulants.
After glancing at an abstract of the merits and demerits of eating basil for cats, you might still wonder, Can cats eat basil? Well, the answer is always yes, unless you feed them more basil than is required. A little nibble from a basil leaf is always a safe substitute to offer your cat a healthy diet.
You may think of giving basil to your cat, but remember to cook it first. Besides, it should be an occasional treat for cats and other pets. If your cat shows any grave signs after eating basil, stop giving it to her and ask the vet if she needs any medicine.