Can Cats Eat Lavender?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Can Cats Eat Lavender? The short answer is no, they can’t. Find out more about why lavender is poisonous to cats and what to do if your cat has eaten lavender.

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What is lavender?

Lavender (Lavandula) is a flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and is found from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils.

Is lavender safe for cats?

Lavender is a popular herb that is used in a variety of ways, including in essential oils, teas, and potpourris. The plant is safe for humans to consume, but what about our feline friends? Can cats eat lavender? Let’s take a look at the research.

The benefits of lavender for cats

Lavender has a wide variety of benefits for both humans and animals, and that includes cats! This fragrant herb can help to soothe and relax your feline friend, and it can also be used to repel fleas and other pests.

When used in moderation, lavender is perfectly safe for cats. In fact, many cat owners use lavender oil to help calm their pets during times of stress or anxiety. However, it is important to always use diluted lavender oil when applying it to your cat’s fur, and you should avoid spraying it directly into their eyes or face.

If you’re looking for a natural way to help your cat relax or keep fleas at bay, lavender is a great option!

The risks of lavender for cats

While the scent of lavender may be inviting to humans, it can be dangerous for cats. All members of the cat family are obligate carnivores, which means that they require a diet that is primarily composed of animal-based proteins in order to survive. A small amount of plant matter is usually tolerated by cats, but eating large amounts of lavender can cause gastrointestinal upset and liver damage.

Lavender oil is particularly dangerous for cats and should never be used around them. Ingesting even a small amount of lavender oil can cause serious neurological problems such as seizures and paralysis. If you think your cat has come into contact with lavender oil, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

While fresh lavender may not be as dangerous as lavender oil, it is still best to avoid giving it to your cat. Cats typically do not like the taste of plants, so they are unlikely to eat lavender unless they are very hungry. If your cat does eat fresh lavender, it is important to watch for signs of gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat seems unwell after eating lavender, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.

How can I give my cat lavender?

You may be wondering if you can give your cat lavender. The answer is yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, lavender oil can be toxic to cats if they ingest it. It is important to only give your cat a small amount of lavender and to make sure that the oil is diluted. You should also keep an eye on your cat after they have eaten lavender to make sure they don’t have any adverse reactions.


Yes, cats can eat lavender. In fact, many cats enjoy the taste of lavender and will often seek it out. If you have a cat that is particularly fond of lavender, you may want to consider growing your own lavender plants so that your cat can have access to it at all times.


Lavender oil can be added to water or alcohol to make a lavender spray. Cats don’t like the taste of alcohol, so add just a small amount, about 5-10 drops of lavender oil to 2 ounces of water or vodka. This can be sprayed around the house, on your cat’s bedding or on you when you pet them.


Cats can benefit from lavender aromatherapy in the same way that people do. It can be relaxing and may help to reduce stress and anxiety. You can use a diffuser with lavender essential oil or add a drop or two to your cat’s bedding. Be sure to choose a high-quality oil that is diluted and safe for cats. Never apply essential oils directly to your cat’s skin.

What are the side effects of lavender for cats?

If your cat ingests lavender, they may experience side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a drop in blood pressure. These side effects are most likely to occur if your cat ingests a large amount of lavender. If you’re concerned that your cat has ingested lavender, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Should I consult my veterinarian before giving my cat lavender?

Yes, you should always consult your veterinarian before giving your cat any type of herb, including lavender. Although lavender is considered safe for cats in small amounts, it is possible for your cat to have an allergic reaction to the herb. If you notice any adverse reaction in your cat after giving them lavender, such as vomiting or diarrhea, stop giving them the herb and contact your veterinarian immediately.

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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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