Can Cats Eat Thyme?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Cats are curious creatures, and they often like to nibble on things they shouldn’t. So can cats eat thyme? Read on to find out!

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Thyme is a herb that is part of the mint family. It is a versatile herb that can be used in cooking or as a decoration. Thyme is also a popular ingredient in many different kinds of teas. It has a strong, distinct flavor that some people enjoy.

What is Thyme?

Thyme is a low-growing, woody-stemmed plant that is part of the mint family. Native to the Mediterranean region, this herb has been used for centuries in cooking and for its medicinal properties. The most common type of thyme grown in gardens is Thymus vulgaris, also known as common thyme or garden thyme. This perennial herb has tiny, aromatic leaves and pretty purple or pink flowers that bloom in the summer.

The Benefits of Thyme for Cats

Thyme is a herb that is part of the mint family. It is frequently used in cooking, but can also offer some benefits for cats. Some people believe that thyme can help with digestive issues, respiratory problems, and even hairballs. It is important to note that there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. However, thyme does have some vitamins and minerals that could be beneficial for cats.

The Risks of Feeding Thyme to Cats

While thyme is not toxic to cats, there are several risks associated with feeding this herb to your feline friend. The most significant risk is that thyme can cause gastrointestinal upset in some cats. Symptoms of gastrointestinal upset include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If your cat consumes a large amount of thyme, he may also suffer from dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.

Thyme also contains essential oils that can be toxic to cats if consumed in large quantities. These oils can cause liver and kidney damage, as well as respiratory problems. In extreme cases, they can even be fatal.

It’s also important to note that some varieties of thyme contain thymol, a compound that is toxic to cats (and humans) in high doses. Thymol is used as an insecticide and fungicide, so it’s important to make sure you only feed your cat herbs that are grown without the use of chemicals.

If you decide to feed thyme to your cat, do so in moderation and monitor him closely for any signs of gastrointestinal upset or other adverse reactions.

How to Introduce Thyme to Your Cat’s Diet

In small quantities, there is no reason why cats shouldn’t be able to eat thyme. Some people even use it as a herbal remedy for relieve their cats of various ailments. However, as with any new food, it is always best to introduce it to your cat slowly and in small amounts at first, to make sure that they don’t have any adverse reaction to it.

If you have fresh thyme, wash it thoroughly to remove any pesticides or dirt. Chop it up into very small pieces, and mix it into your cat’s food bowl. For dried thyme, simply sprinkle a tiny amount onto their food.

Start by giving them only a couple of pieces or a very small pinch of thyme the first time. If they eat it without any problems, you can gradually increase the amount you give them at each meal. Keep an eye out for any changes in their behavior or appearance, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive scratching. If you notice any of these things, stop feeding them thyme and take them to the vet just to be on the safe side.


Based on the information we found, we can conclude that feeding thyme to cats is generally safe. However, it’s important to remember that every cat is different and may react differently to herbs like thyme. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian before giving your cat any new food.

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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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