Can Cats Eat Basil?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Can Cats Eat Basil? The simple answer is no. Cats should not eat basil. Basil can cause an upset stomach in cats, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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While it’s common for cats to nibble on grass while outdoors, they usually don’t eat plants indoors unless they’re particularly hungry. If your cat has taken a liking to your houseplants, you may be wondering if they’re safe to eat.

Although cats are typically carnivores, some plant-eating animals, like rabbits and goats, can also be kept as pets. This raises the question of whether or not cats can safely consume fruits and vegetables.

The simple answer is that most cats shouldn’t eat basil. While a few nibbles here and there probably won’t hurt your pet, eating large quantities of basil can cause gastrointestinal upset and other health problems.

What is basil?

Basil is an aromatic herb that is closely related to mint. It is commonly used in Italian cuisine and is a key ingredient in pesto sauce. Basil has a unique flavor that some people describe as being spicy or peppery.

The benefits of basil for cats

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a popular herb that is often used in cooking. It is a member of the mint family and is related to other herbs such as oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Basil is a rich source of antioxidants and has a number of potential health benefits for humans, including reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. But can cats eat basil?

The answer is yes, cats can eat basil. In fact, basil may have some health benefits for cats as well. For example, basil contains antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. Additionally, basil may help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Finally, some believe that basil may have antibacterial properties that could help to keep your cat healthy.

The risks of feeding basil to cats

While very small amounts of basil are not likely to harm your cat, there are some risks associated with feeding this herb to your feline friend. The biggest concern is that basil essential oils can be toxic to cats in large amounts. These oils are present in both fresh and dried basil, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding your cat any type of basil product.

Another potential concern is that basil leaves may contain small amounts of toxins that can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. If your cat eats a large amount of basil, he may experience vomiting or diarrhea.

How to introduce basil to your cat’s diet

If you have a cat that enjoys eating plants, you may be wondering if basil is safe for them to eat. The short answer is yes, cats can eat basil. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before adding this herb to your cat’s diet.

First, while some cats enjoy the taste of basil, others may not be so fond of it. You’ll know if your cat likes basil if they start nibbling on the leaves when they see them. If your cat doesn’t show any interest in the herb, there’s no need to force them to eat it.

Second, while basil is safe for cats to eat, it’s important to introduce it to their diet slowly and in moderation. Start by giving your cat a small piece of basil leaf to see how they react to it. If they enjoy it and don’t have any adverse reaction (such as vomiting or diarrhea), you can slowly increase the amount of basil you give them. However, if they don’t seem to like the herb or have any negative reaction, it’s best to avoid giving them basil altogether.

So, if your cat enjoys the taste of basil and you introduce it to their diet slowly and in moderation, there’s no need to worry about giving this herb to your feline friend.


Yes, cats can eat basil. While it is not a necessary part of their diet, it can be a healthy treat for your feline friend. Cats may enjoy the taste of basil, but it is important to make sure that they do not eat too much. If you have any concerns about feeding your cat basil, please consult with a veterinarian.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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