Can Cats Eat Peppermint? (Is it Safe for Cats?)

Can Cats Eat Peppermint? (Is it Safe for Cats?)

Peppermint is a toxic herb to cats. But, cats can eat peppermint in little quantities. This herb can be beneficial to your furry friends in some ways. For example, a mild peppermint solution can soothe the cat’s stomach and flatulence. Large doses of peppermint are lethal and can also cause death.

Keep reading to learn more about the effects of peppermint on your furry animals. Below we will talk about a few benefits, health risks, and toxicity symptoms.

Can Cats Eat Peppermint? 

Peppermint is Mentha piperita, and it is a hybrid variety of spearmint and watermint. It has another name, which is garden mint, and belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It contains high levels of menthol. Because of that, peppermint oil has excessive amounts of menthyl acetate.

In earlier times, it was used for medicinal purposes. Peppermint can cure trivial diseases such as hostile bowel movements. It can soothe irritations and muscular pains. When it comes to aromatherapy, peppermint can enrich memory and vigilance.

Cats do not have any nutritional need for peppermint. Plus, many furry pets do not even like the strong, bitter aroma and flavor of peppermint. It is a natural and healthy herb. Peppermint contains vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium.  

Peppermint in small amounts and on occasional periods is safe for furry pets. It can relieve the upset stomach and is a natural remedy for the cat’s flatulence. This herb can soothe the digestive tract during bowel movements. Plus, it can resist bacterial infections. Besides that, peppermint can freshen the breath as well.

You can use small amounts of peppermint in the cat’s diet. It works as a substitute for the sugary, salty, and calorific seasonings. It is because mint can offer similar benefits as them. But, it does not mean that you can feed it daily.

Are There Any Benefits Of Peppermint To Your Cat? 

If you use peppermint in the right amounts, it can be beneficial to your furry friend. First of all, peppermint comes from the same family as catnip. Because of this, several felines enjoy nibbling, breathing, and tasting it.

Moderate amounts of peppermint will have a mild anxiety relief on furry animals. The peppermint with a mild solution can remove the strong odors.

While introducing new pets to your furry animals, you can use a tiny amount of peppermint. With this method, the pets can have a calming effect.

Peppermint has a strong scent that can sometimes irritate the feline’s nose and eyes. Plus, your furry friends have delicate mucous membranes in their eyes and nose. Due to that, it is crucial to use only small amounts of mild peppermint solutions on or near your kitty.

Nutritional Profile Of Peppermint 

Below is the nutritional value of 100 grams of peppermint leaves:

  •  Total Calories – 70
  •  Protein – 3.8 g
  •  Sodium – 31 mg
  •  Potassium – 569 mg
  •  Total Carbohydrate -15 g
  •  Dietary fiber – 8 g
  •  Vitamin A – 84%
  •  Vitamin B6 – 5%
  •  Vitamin C – 52%
  •  Calcium – 24%
  •  Iron – 28%
  •  Magnesium – 20%
  •  Cholesterol – 0 mg
  •  Total Fat – 0.9 g
  •  Total saturated fat – 0.2 g
  •  Total polyunsaturated fat – 0.5 g
  •  Total monounsaturated fat – 0 g.

How To Feed Peppermint To My Cats? 

Discuss it with your veterinarian before feeding peppermint to your furry friends.

You can grind two or three peppermint leaves into tiny pieces. After that, you can sprinkle the peppermint over their food. If you want, you can add these mint leaves while giving small fruit pieces as an occasional treat.

What Are The Risks Of Feeding Peppermint To Cats? 

The peppermint scent can lead to contraction of aspiration pneumonia in felines. Your furry pets have sensitive nervous systems. Because of that, they are vulnerable to the strong odor of peppermint.

Do not give peppermint to felines suffering from gastroesophageal reflux diseases. It is because this mint can worsen their condition. Besides that, it can also trigger other GI problems.  

Your feline’s fur can absorb peppermint oil with ease. It is because kitties have thin and delicate skin. The cat’s skin permits immediate absorption of almost every substance into the bloodstream.  

The peppermint can breach the feline’s liver and gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes it can also affect the cat’s central nervous system.

Excessive amounts of peppermint are poisonous and sometimes can kill your felines. Plus, pure menthol is toxic, and your cat should not eat this in any form.

Symptoms Of Mint Toxicity In Cats 

You need to be aware of the mint toxicity signs in cats, both mild and severe. Because if it is left untreated, there are high chances of your pet suffering from terrible illnesses.  

Below are a few typical symptoms of mint toxicity in your furry pet, which are:

  •  Lethargy and sluggish lifestyle
  •  Constipation
  •  Changes in daily eating habits
  •  Diarrhea
  •  High and unusual heart rate
  •  Different sleeping patterns
  •  Wheezing or struggling to breathe
  •  Heavy coughing or sneezing
  •  Vomiting
  •  Confusion and lack of coordination
  •  Drooling
  •  Ataxia (wobbliness)
  •  Absence of appetite
  •  Fever or fall in body temperature
  •  Tremors
  •  Lack of proper response

Is Peppermint Oil Safe For Cats? 

Peppermint oil is non-toxic to furry friends. But it can be dangerous to cats in several ways.

Felines have 14 times better olfactory receptors than humans. Though many of us tend to like the refreshing aroma of peppermint oil, it is not the same for cats. Even inhaling small amounts of peppermint oil can cause breathing difficulty in kitties. Other dangers include an abnormal increase in heart rate and aspiration pneumonia.

The glucuronosyltransferase enzyme can break the elements of this peppermint oil. But, the feline’s body does not produce this natural enzyme. [2] Peppermint oil includes ketones and phenols. These substances lead to sensitivity and intolerance in furry pets.

When your cat has ingested something, its liver will try to recognize the substance. If it is unable to identify the foreign substance, the liver tends to store that particular substance. This situation results in poisoning, and there is a potential risk of the kitty’s death.

Based on the feline’s immune system, the mint toxicity rises over time and might lead to death. Your furry pet has a high chance of death when its nervous system is breaking down. This situation can lead to damaged liver and sometimes weaken the whole system of the kitty.

What Is The Relation Between Peppermint Oil And Cat Fleas? 

Though peppermint oil is harmful to your furry friends, it can resist fleas on the cat’s skin.

Ctenocephalides felis is a common type of flea that is present in the feline’s fur. These fleas are so tiny and are difficult to detect. They are not safe and can lead to life-ending anemia in your furry friends. These fleas are prolific, and one female can lay about fifty eggs per day. Over time, it can result in scratchy and irritated skin in your feline.

Peppermint oil is a natural flea killer. Plus, it can wreck the flea’s nervous system. But, it is better not to apply peppermint oil on your cat, even if it has fleas. Your cats should not eat and inhale peppermint oil because it is dangerous. [3] But when you apply peppermint oil on their skin, this oil can get into the cat’s mouth while it starts grooming.  

You can comb the cat’s fur to reduce flea infestation. If you go to the veterinarians, they might suggest some medicinal drugs, both oral and topical.

Our Verdict 

In short, peppermint is toxic to your furry friends. But the mild peppermint solution can be beneficial in small amounts. It is a natural remedy for diseases such as upset stomachs, skin discomforts, and fur fleas.

Make sure to avoid using peppermint oil in any form near or on your furry pet. Cats do not have the necessary enzymes in their liver. Because of that, they can not break down the peppermint oil. To be precise, do not apply or spray peppermint oil on your cat’s skin.

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