Is rosemary safe for cats?

Is Rosemary Safe for Cats? (Important Considerations)

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Personally, I have trouble keeping track of where my cats are at all times. Even if you have an indoor cat, you may have some concerns about that are (or could) get into. There’s always a stressful question you need to ask if your cat gets into something you’re not sure about:

Do you really need to go to the vet?

For this post we asked our veterinary advisor Dr. Jamie Whittenburg to offer some general tips for what to do when your pet gets into something they shouldn’t (or that you’re not sure about), and will give you all the information you need about rosemary and your cat.

Is Rosemary Safe for Cats?

  Yes, rosemary is safe for cats to eat in very small portions. It contains some ingredients, like vitamins A and C, that can provide dietary benefits to your pet.

You likely have at least a little rosemary at home, whether in the form of a growing herb or stashed in your spice cabinet. What kind of effect will it have if your cat gets into it? Is rosemary safe for your cat to eat? 

Is Rosemary Safe for Cats To Eat? 

If your cat eats a large amount of rosemary, it can have some negative effects, including depression and an upset stomach. But, it’s unlikely that your cat will truly enjoy eating it, so it’s unlikely to happen. 

In small amounts, rosemary is not toxic and will provide a few dietary benefits for your pet. It may help reduce inflammation and improve the overall appearance of your cat’s skin and coat. But, it’s best practice to consult your vet before giving your cat something new. 

Is Rosemary Oil Safe for Cats? 

Rosemary oil is one of a few essential oils that’s considered safe for cats. Some people use rosemary to reduce the chance that your cat will get fleas. In a small amount, rosemary essential oil is safe for cats. 

But, any essential oil can pose a risk to your pet. Make sure that if you have rosemary essential oil around the house, your cat doesn’t eat any of it, as the oil is incredibly pure and may be too strong for your cat’s system. Other oils, like wintergreen, lavender, citrus, and thyme, are considered unsafe for your pet, and you should ensure your cat stays away from them. 

It’s important to always consult a veterinarian before introducing any new treatment, especially one that’s not traditionally used for cats. If you see any worrying signs, like depression or an unwillingness to eat, take your cat to the vet immediately. 

Is Rosemary Extract Safe for Cats?

No, you should avoid feeding your cat rosemary extract or allowing them to eat it unless it’s already in their food. Like rosemary in essential oil form, it is too strong to be beneficial or healthy for your pet. 

Can Cats Safely Smell Rosemary?

Yes, rosemary is safe for cats to smell. It’s a harmless plant when smelled and may drive your cat away. Most cats dislike the smell of rosemary, so you may find them steering clear of the plant of their own accord. 

Does Rosemary Extract Cause Seizures in Cats?

Rosemary extract is not known to cause seizures in cats. However, the oil of rosemary can be toxic to cats if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors and seizure. If you suspect your cat has ingested rosemary oil, contact your veterinarian immediately. Rosemary extract is not known to make cats high.

Does Rosemary Make Cats High?

Rosemary extract is not known to make cats high. However, the oil of rosemary can be toxic to cats if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors and seizure. If you suspect your cat has ingested rosemary oil, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is Rosemary Toxic To Cats?

The oil of rosemary can be toxic to cats if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors and seizure. If you suspect your cat has ingested rosemary oil, contact your veterinarian immediately. Rosemary extract is not known to be toxic to cats.

If you’re thinking about the relationship between essential oils and your cat, veterinarian Dr. Andrew Jones has a good overview on the topic:

Tips from Our Vets

It is normal to be concerned whenever your dog or cat gets into something they should not have. Dogs particularly tend to eat things with little to no regard for edibility. Because so many things can be toxic to pets, even some that are perfectly safe for humans, it can be hard to know what to do. Here are three key steps to take first:

  1. The first thing you must do if your dog or cat ate or were exposed to something that they should not have is to determine how much of the substance they actually ingested.
  2. Save labels or take pictures so that you are able to show the ingredients to your pet’s veterinarian.
  3. Your veterinarian should be the first point of contact in the case of such an event. Call the nearest emergency veterinary hospital if it is outside of normal business hours.

Please follow the advice of your veterinarian. If your dog has ingested something toxic, they must immediately be taken to a hospital or clinic for treatment. If your veterinarian does not recommend seeing your pet right away, you should observe them carefully for any signs of illness. Things to be on the lookout for include:

  1. Vomiting – Your dog may vomit from simple gastrointestinal distress after eating something other than their dog or cat food. However, intractable or repeated vomiting can signal a toxin ingestion or another serious issue like gastric dilation volvulus. These conditions are life threatening and require emergency treatment right away.
  2. Lethargy – If your dog is acting oddly, or “not themselves,” it is a clue that the ingestion might be serious. Veterinary care should be sought as soon as possible.
  3. Hypersalivation – Excessive drooling may signal a toxin exposure or an injury to the mouth. It can also be a sign of nausea. If your dog or cat is in hypersalivation, you should reach out to their veterinarian.
  4. Weakness – If your dog or cat appears to be weak, is stumbling, or has difficulty walking, the likelihood of a toxin ingestion is higher. This is a sign that your dog requires veterinary care.
  5. Seizures – Twitching, rapid leg or eye movements, and convulsions are all signs that something is wrong. These abnormal movements may be due to a toxin or another issue that the dog is experiencing.
  6. Dribbling urine – Leaking urine is often seen in cases of marijuana toxicity. Dogs or cats exhibiting this sign should be taken to the nearest veterinary clinic for treatment.

If you are unable to reach your veterinarian, a great resource for help is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The APCC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach them at (888) 426-4435. There is a one-time $75 fee for this service.

Final Thoughts: Is Rosemary Safe for Cats? 

Yes, in most instances giving rosemary to a cat is safe. It is thought to have some medical benefits. 

  • Rosemary has vitamins A and C, along with some other nutrients, that may help improve inflammation and the look and feel of your cat’s skin and coat. 
  • Too much rosemary, such as in its purest form as an essential oil, is not healthy for any pet. 
  • Smelling or eating a small amount of rosemary is safe for cats. 
  • You should avoid feeding your cat rosemary extract or allowing them to eat it. It is too strong for their system and may result in gastric issues.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What herbs are unsafe for cats?

There are a number of herbs that are considered unsafe for cats, including rosemary and thyme. These herbs can be toxic to cats if ingested in large quantities, and can cause gastrointestinal upset and other health problems. If you’re wondering whether an herb is safe for your cat, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian first.

Are rosemary and thyme toxic to cats?

Rosemary and thyme can be toxic to cats if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms of toxicity include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. If you think your cat has ingested any of these herbs, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Why is rosemary used in cat food?

Rosemary is a common ingredient in cat food, as it is thought to be safe for cats and can provide some health benefits. Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to boost the immune system and protect against disease.

Is rosemary toxic to pets?

While rosemary is generally considered safe for pets, it can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms of toxicity include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. If you think your pet has ingested any of this herb, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Why does my cat like rosemary?

There is no definitive answer to this question, but it’s likely that cats enjoy the taste and smell of rosemary. This herb also has some health benefits, so it’s possible that your cat is drawn to it for those reasons as well.

Is lavender and rosemary safe for cats?

Yes, both lavender and rosemary are considered safe for cats. These herbs can be used together in diffusers or as part of a relaxing massage for your feline friend.

What essential oils can I use around my cat?

There are many essential oils that are safe to use around cats, including lavender, chamomile, and geranium. These oils can be used in diffusers or diluted and applied topically.

Do cats like rosemary?

There is no definitive answer, as each cat individual has different preferences. Some cats may be drawn to the scent of rosemary, while others may not be as fond of it.

How do cats react to rosemary?

Cats generally enjoy the taste and smell of rosemary. This herb can also have some health benefits, so your cat may be drawn to it for those reasons as well.

Is ground turkey with rosemary extract safe for cats?

Yes, ground turkey with rosemary extract is safe for cats. This food can be a good source of protein and other nutrients for your feline friend.

Can you diffuse rosemary oil around cats?

Yes, you can diffuse rosemary oil around cats. This oil can help to freshen the air and provide some health benefits for your cat. Make sure to use a diffuser that is safe for pets and keep the area well-ventilated.

Additional Resources

Our writing staff and team of veterinarians have dedicated a ton of time and energy to bringing you the best information possible about household products and food to help make sure your pets are safe.

You can check out our giant guide to human foods dogs can and can not eat, and we’ve created guides on whether over 40 human foods are safe for dogs to eat.

We’ve also created a series of posts on what household products are and aren’t safe for your pet, including:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.