Can Cats Eat Mint?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Are you wondering if it’s safe to let your cat nibble on some mint leaves? We’ve got the answer!

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Mint plants (Mentha spp.) are fragrant herbs that have been used for centuries in cooking and medicine. There are more than 30 species of mint, including peppermint (Mentha x piperita), spearmint (Mentha spicata) and chocolate mint (Mentha x piperita ‘Cranberry’).

All mint plants contain a compound called nepetalactone, which is attractive to cats. When cats smell this compound, it causes them to experience a calming effect. For this reason, many cat owners choose to grow mint plants in their homes or keep them as houseplants.

Digestive System of a Cat

When you think of a cat’s digestive system, you might not think it’s very long. After all, cats are small animals. But a cat’s digestive system is actually quite long. It’s about three times the length of their bodies! The digestive system starts at the mouth and goes all the way to the anus.


The stomach of a cat is very different from that of a human. Humans have a long, coiled small intestine, while cats have a much shorter one. This is because cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they require animal protein to survive. Their intestines are not designed to digest plant material effectively.

The stomach of a cat is relatively small and simple. It consists of two parts: the glandular stomach and the pyloric stomach. The glandular stomach is responsible for secreting digestive enzymes and acids. The pyloric stomach is responsible for storing food and connecting to the small intestine.

Cats do not have a gallbladder, so bile is stored in the liver and secreted directly into the intestine. Pancreatic juice is also secreted directly into the intestine.

The pH of a cat’s stomach acid is between 1 and 2, which is much stronger than human stomach acid (pH 4). This acidic environment helps to break down food and kill bacteria.


The intestines are a long, continuous tube running from the stomach to the anus. Most of the intestine is coiled in the abdomen. The intestine has three main parts: the small intestine, the large intestine, and the rectum.

The small intestine is about 20 feet (6 meters) long and 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. It is divided into three sections: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The duodenum is the first and shortest part of the small intestine. It connected to the stomach by a sphincter muscle (a ring of muscle that opens and closes a body passageway). The jejunum and ileum make up the rest of the small intestine.

The large intestine is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter. It has three sections: the cecum, colon, and rectum. The cecum is a sac-like structure attached to the ileum (the last section of the small intestine). The colon consists of four parts: the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon. The rectum is connected to sigmoid colon and ends at anus (the opening through which wastes leave your body).

Can Cats Eat Mint?

Cats are known for their curiosity, and their willingness to try new things. So, it’s not surprising that many cat owners have wondered if their furry friend can eat mint.

The answer is maybe. Cats can eat mint in small quantities, but it’s not generally considered to be a healthy food for them. Mint contains a compound called nepetalactone, which can be toxic to cats in large doses. Symptoms of mint toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

If your cat does eat mint, watch for these symptoms and call your veterinarian if you notice any of them. Mint is not an essential part of a cat’s diet, so there’s no need to worry if your cat doesn’t like it.


In short, while a small lick of mint may not harm your cat, it’s best to keep them away from this and other plants in the allium family.

If you think your cat has eaten anything they shouldn’t have, it’s important to keep an eye on them and contact your vet straight away if they show any signs of illness.

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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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