Parsley, Petroselinum crispum, salsa (Brazil), or garden parsley is an aromatic biennial culinary herb and vegetable with the leaf and root cultivars.
The leaf cultivar’s dried or fresh leaves are used in dishes such as steak, rice, chicken, soups, vegetables, sauces, fish as well as in garnishing foods such as potatoes.
On the other hand, the root cultivar serves as a vegetable, as an ingredient in broth or as a snack especially in southern, central and Eastern Europe.
This flowering plant that belongs to the family Apiaceae is native to the Mediterranean region, i.e., Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Algeria, Tunisia, Southern Italy, and Morocco. However, it has been naturalized in other parts of the world.
Nutritionally, Petroselinum crispum has fiber, potassium, vitamin A, K and folate which are all essential nutrients that kitties require.
Also, it has antioxidants such as carotenoids (lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin), vitamin C as well as flavonoids vital in neutralizing free radicals, fighting some types of cancers, among other benefits.
Can cats eat parsley?
According to ASPCA, parsley is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses since it has furanocoumarins whose large amounts will result in “photosensitization (sunburn, dermatitis.”
All the cultivars i.e., the leaf and root (Hamburg or Turnip-rooted) variety are toxic to these pets.
Also poisonous to dogs is the Cymopterus watsonii also known as spring parsley. It belongs to the family Apiaceae but genus Cymopterus.
What do others think?
The Nest on their article on Parsley for Cats as well as other sources including Cats.how and RedBarn Pet Products notes that this culinary herb is safe for cats with some noting that it is the Cymopterus watsonii that is toxic. Even Purina Fancy Feast Cat Treats has parsley flakes.
Going by ASPCA, it is the Petroselinum crispum that is listed as toxic. More research needs to be done to ascertain its safety.
While quite beneficial, there are safe sources of these nutrients and antioxidants which you can opt for instead of risking your feline friend’s life.
Finally, if you cultivate this herb in your garden, ensure you limit access as your kitties may nibble its fresh leaves. Also, avoid giving your pets any food that has it.
Parsley is not safe for cats, i.e., it is toxic and harmful to these pets. We will not justify its use by simply noting that in small quantities it is safe. What if your kitty eats an excessive amount?