Oregano is a perennial flowering plant with purple flowers and olive green leaves whose shape resembles that of a spade.
- Other common names: Origanum vulgare, origanum, Greek oregano or wild marjoram. Also, this herb has several varieties with the common cultivars being Aureum, Greek Kaliteri, Nana, Hot & Spicy.
- Family: Lamiaceae is commonly known as the mint, sage or deadnettle family which has other herbs such as basil, mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, perilla, hyssop, lavender, savory and so on.
- Native – Western Asia and the Mediterranean but it has been naturalized in the US, Mexico and other parts of the word.
- Uses – Besides being used in flavoring, its essential oil is used in folk medicine and the plant also has ornamental value.
Can cats at oregano – Is it safe or toxic?
Cats should not eat oregano leaves both the fresh or dried ones because this herb which has flavones and polyphenol that are toxic or poisonous to these pets, i.e., as ASPCA notes, it a gastrointestinal irritant.
Its toxicity level is mild, and it is due to terpenoids and phenols that require enzyme glucuronyl transferase to be metabolized while cats do not have it.
Diarrhea and vomiting as commonly noted symptoms. Others may include anorexia, nausea, and oral irritation. Shallow breathing, liver issues, collapse, and coma are uncommon but possible in severe cases or prolonged ingestion of this plant.
In case your cat ingests this herb, talk to your vet for poisoning diagnosis and treatment. Treatment will include supportive care such as IV fluids, gastrointestinal and oral decontamination, and so on depending on the severity of the poisoning.
Finally, most cats do not like oregano owing to its strong aromatic and pungent taste that is slightly bitter. However, a few kitties may like it.
Is oregano oil safe for cats?
No. It is not safe. In fact, it is what makes this culinary herb toxic since it has polyphenols and terpenoids as already seen.
Do not give it to your cats or any food that has it. Additionally, do not use it topically, as it may cause irritation.
While it is beneficial to humans owing to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer properties as well as other benefits, do not let your kitties eat oregano it as it is bad.
Properly dispose of any remains of this herb, keep foods that have it out of your cat’s reach and limit access if you have it in your garden.