Mint belongs to the Lamiaceae family of plants, and its scientific name is Mentha. The identifying features include square stems, large leaves, and unique scent. A mint genus comprises a large group of plants, including a wide range of species. Cats will respond to these different species in varied ways.
Being a cat owner, providing your cat with a healthy and safe space to live in is a prime responsibility. If you also love plants, this will add to your responsibility. You must be aware of all the plants that are poisonous to animals. Here, mint will be our focus.
Is mint safe for plants?
No, mint is not safe for cats. Cats should not eat stems, blossoms, and leaves of mint plants. Mint leaves contain peppermint essential oils that are highly poisonous to cats. Mint poisoning in feline animals is a rare condition. Several types of the mint genus are known to be harmful to cats. They are toxic to cats only when consumed in large quantities. But, become careful about this because prevention is better than cure.
Instead of mint, you cat feed catmint to your furry friend. Catmint is another name for the plant catnip, a harmless plant that they can consume safely. Mint attracts cats due to the scent it emits. Catnip is an outstanding substitute for mint. If you fail to find mint-flavored items to distract your cat, putting a catnip will work. It will keep the cat preoccupied with its favorite delicacy. It is a safe way of avoiding mint in the future.
Mint poisoning can become an issue if not noticed and treated early. Some symptoms that you can check for are vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage, headache, cramps, upset stomach, heartburns, anaphylaxis, contact dermatitis, damage of the central nervous system, and gastrointestinal damage. One more side effect is sedation.
You may notice your cat is always lazy, sleepy, or dazed. Some cats show the exact opposite behavior. They may get dehydrated and feel fatal. To help you identify the alarming signals, be aware of their kitty routine, behavior, and potty habits. This way, you can provide her with the correct care and medical attention.
Why is mint not safe for cats?
Mint is not safe for cats because it is poisonous. Mint leaves, stems, and blossoms contain essential oils that are toxic for feline animals. Garden mint essential oils relax the esophageal value. The result is an increase in vomiting of a cat that is sick. Cats with liver illness, bowel, or intestinal are more prone to infection.
Some particular species of mint, pennyroyal, for example, have severe consequences like liver damage. Diarrhea and vomiting are the results of excess Mentha consumption by cats. Other contributing issues are weakness and nausea.
Some cats also develop skin allergies because of mint. Topical use of herbs’ essential oils can cause an allergic response. Mint might not have the same effect on all cats. However, they can trigger various severe side effects. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) includes mint, tulips, daffodils, marigolds, azaleas, and philodendrons in the list of plants that are poisonous to cats.
Mint poisoning is due to prolonged exposure or ingestion. The scent of this plant has a stronghold on cats. Catnip is a member of the mint family of plants that cats love and is also safe for them to ingest. It makes people believe that all sorts of mints are safe for their pets. This misconception can be dangerous for your pets.
You need to understand that mint and catmint are not the same. The majority of species of mint contain essential oils like peppermint. If your cat eats any part of the mint plant in excess or gets exposed to essential oils, she can suffer from mint poisoning.
All parts of the mint plant, including leaves, stems, and flowers, are unsafe for cats. All these parts are full of essential oils that are toxic for cats, dogs, and horses. Therefore, take care that your cat does not consume any part of the plant.
If you suspect mint poisoning, take your cat to the vet. The staff will monitor her and check the severity of her symptoms. In serious situations, the vet makes the cat vomit or pumps her stomach. To stay hydrated, your cat needs to get admitted to the hospital. Do not worry, as your furry friend will be alright after the passing of symptoms.
Is the smell of mint bad for your cat?
Yes, the smell of mint is not best for cats. Mint contains peppermint oils, and you might have observed that cats despite its smell. The olfactory receptors of cats are 14 times more powerful than human beings. The mint scent is refreshing for us, but cats do not share the same joy in this case and might get overwhelmed by it.
The aroma of mint can cause breathing issues, aspiration pneumonia, and increased heart rate in your kitten. It contains phenols and phenolic compounds that cats are sensitive to. They can get severe symptoms of ingestion as well as inhalation. Cats do not have an enzyme in their liver that humans and dogs have.
The work of this enzyme is to eliminate toxic substances like phenol from the body. Mint consumption can upset your kitten’s stomach adversely, affect the nervous system, and cause liver damage. Phenols can also lead to liver damage and the death of cats.
Even if you are not feeding your catmint, its smell is enough to cause some problems. The smell of mint leaves saturates the cat’s fur super quickly. Cats are habitual of licking their fur.
They lick it more vigorously to get rid of the smell. If they consume even small amounts of mint in this process, it can become an underlying health issue. Your cat’s skin is delicate and sensitive. The peppermint oil present in mint can enter the bloodstream by breaching the skin.
Do cats like mint?
Yes, cats like mint. Even if your kitty has never tasted mint leaves, she will adore its aroma and seek it out. Cats’ olfactory sense is strong and locates the mint plants in your house with ease. Cats get attracted to mint due to the scent of peppermint.
But cats can also be put off by the strong odors of herbs. Despite this fact, they do not fear exploring different plants in the garden. Cats have a natural attraction to the smell, taste, and feel of mint. To avoid your cat from nibbling on the leaves, keep the plants out of her reach.
Do not keep mint pots indoors. If you want to grow mint in your garden, opt for non-toxic varieties like cat grass, wheatgrass, valerian, and parsley plants. Else, ensure to keep mint out of reach of your kitty.
Your cat may not show any signs while eating mint in small amounts. Thus, it is more important to look closely if she is nibbling on plants. Never leave her alone in the garden so that she does not overeat it.
Why do cats like mint?
Cats like mint because it confuses mint with catmint. Catmint is a member of the mint family of plants that cats adore. They will often seek it if they locate it anywhere in the house or garden. Cats have a strong smelling sense. So you will not have trouble detecting mint in the home. The strong peppermint smell attracts the cats towards the mint plants.
Catmint is healthy and safe for your cat. They can consume this particular species of the Mentha family. Many pet owners assume that since cats can eat catmint, all sorts of mint are safe for them. It, however, is not true. You should ensure your cat does not eat any part of the mind. So keep the plants away from them.
The key takeaway is that mint is not safe for your furry friend. Although mint poisoning is primarily due to when your cat consumes it in excess, you should not risk her consumption even in small amounts.
Keeping your cat away from the mint plants in your garden is difficult because she adores mint-scented items. You can distract her by another member of the mint and the Labiatae family, namely catnip. Both have similar characteristics, and catnip is not harmful to your cat. If your cat has eaten mint and is showing symptoms like vomiting, take her to a veterinarian immediately.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.