Is Rosemary Safe for Cats or Poisonous

Rosemary, Anthos or Rosmarinus officinalis is according to Wikipedia is a “perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.”

It belongs to the family Lamiaceae, commonly known as the mint, safe or deadnettle family and its dried or fresh leaves are used as a culinary flavoring or making herbal tea.

Also, this plant including its stems and flowering apices are used to get rosemary extract and essential oil besides its ornamental role that also helps in keeping pests at bay, especially the dear and some insects.

Can cats eat rosemary?
Can cats eat rosemary?

Besides having several nutrients and antioxidants, in humans, this herb helps will improve digestion, enhances concentration and memory, reduces brain aging, fights against cancer, offers neurological protection and prevents macular degeneration.[1]

Can cats eat rosemary?

Yes. Rosemary is not toxic or poisonous to cats. It is one of the safe herbs that these pets can eat sparingly as an occasional treat. Even foods like Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats, Grain-Free have rosemary extract.

Both fresh leaves and dried ones are ok, and you can sprinkle them on your cat’s food or use them as one of the ingredients in their homemade treats. Some kitties may like this herb while others will not.

Always avoid giving your kitties a large amount of this herb since these pets are strict carnivores and they will not derive much benefit from fibrous plant materials since they lack the necessary enzymes.

In fact, giving them an excessive amount can trigger stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, and so on.

Fortunately, it is unlikely that your kitty will munch much of the rosemary plant due to its strong taste. They will have a bite or two and get discouraged.

However, if it that happens that they love it and you cultivate it, plant it in inaccessible pots.

According to, some of the benefits of this culinary herb include improving digestion, protection against free radicals, reducing inflammation, fighting infection, improving and protecting eyesight, among others.

Rosemary oil

Rosemary oil is not listed as among the essential oils toxic to cats such as cassia, lemon, citrus, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, among others.[2]

While not toxic, this essential oil is often used topically including in flea management where it is used to make a bath, as an ointment or for aromatherapy.

Since it contains volatile oils, excessive amounts of this essential oil can result in nervous depression or stomach upsets.


Rosemary is not harmful to cats if given in small quantities. In case your feline does not like, go for alternative herbs such as catnip, cat thyme, goldenseal, valerian, licorice root, and so on.

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