Are Bay Leaves Poisonous to Cats

Bay leaf is an aromatic culinary herb is used in different dishes as a whole, or after it has been dried or grounded. It is used in rice dishes, soups, stews, seafood, meat, sauces, vegetable dishes or for garnishing dishes.

This culinary herb is obtained from several kinds of plants including the Laurus nobilis tree as well as California, Indian, Mexican bay leaf that all belong to the family Lauraceae. However, the Indonesian and West Indian bay leaves belong to the family Myrtaceae

This herb’s leaves have a “pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste and dried, the fragrance is herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme,” notes Wikipedia.

Are bay leaves safe for cats
Are bay leaves safe for cats?

Are bay leaves toxic to cats?

Yes. Laurel bay leaves are toxic to cats and dogs. This specifically applies to the species Laurus nobilis with other names including Bay laurel, Sweet Bag, sweet bay, true laurel, Grecian Laurel, and Bay Tree.

Therefore, do not allow your cat to eat the bay leaf. It has eugenol and other essential oils which will hurt your kitties as ASPCA notes.

Eugenol filtration occurs in the liver and can possibly cause damage to liver cells and surrounding tissues besides depression their nervous system.

When ingested in small amounts, common symptoms of toxicity diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, if your feline friend ingests large leaves, she may end up with gastrointestinal blockages as they are hard to digest.

While still raw, their sharp edges may “scratch, gouge and even lacerate the lining of the esophagus and gut. The most visible indication of this is blood appearing in the cat’s stool or vomit,” notes Wag Walking.

When this happens, your feline friend may refuse to eat and consequently lose weight. Also, these intestinal injuries can open a gateway to bacterial infections.

As we already this culinary herb is obtained from several species of plant. Are the others besides Laurus nobilis also toxic or harmful to kitties?

Yes. As Wikipedia notes, all the other plants from which the bay leaf is obtained also have methyl-eugenol and other essential oils, it also means that they are also toxic or poisonous to cats.

Also, bay-like plants including the Mountain and Cherry laurel are also poisonous to not only livestock but also your cats, dogs, and even human beings.


Cats should not eat any kind of bay leaves are they are toxic or poisonous to this pet. If you grow them in your garden, ensure you limit access to these plants.

If you suspect that your kitty has ingested this toxic herb, talk to your vet for diagnosis and proper treatment. Minor cases will have moderate symptoms while if a lot was ingested, expect severe symptoms.

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  1. Does burning them in my household cause a problem for cats and dogs

    • If your house is well ventilated, burning bay leaves is safe for your pets and children. Remember, it is only poisonous when eaten in very large amounts.

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