Can Cats Eat Cilantro

icon July 27, 2023

Cilantro, also known as coriander or Chinese parsley, is a popular herb used in various cuisines around the world. The herb has a unique flavor with citrusy and slightly peppery notes, which may sometimes arise adorable cats’ interest, and cats attempt to eat and chew cilantro. But is it safe to eat cilantro for cats? Let’s debunk the myth in this article.

Can Cats Eat Cilantro?

Cats can technically eat cilantro, but it's not recommended to feed it to them regularly. While cilantro itself is not toxic to cats, some felines may not be fond of the taste, and it could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset if consumed in large quantities. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their diet should primarily consist of meat, and they lack certain enzymes to effectively digest plant matter as herbivores do.

If you want to offer your cat a treat or some variety, it's best to stick to cat-safe foods like small amounts of cooked meat (chicken, turkey) without any seasonings or sauces. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your cat's diet to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your pet.

Is Cilantro Bad For Cats?
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Cilantro, also known as coriander, is not inherently toxic to cats. In small amounts, it is unlikely to cause any serious issues. However, some cats may not like the taste of cilantro, and consuming large quantities might lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

As obligate carnivores, cats have specific dietary requirements, and their digestive systems are designed for a meat-based diet. While a little nibble of cilantro or other non-toxic plants now and then is unlikely to be harmful, it's not a necessary or ideal part of their diet. It's best to stick to cat-approved foods and treats to ensure their nutritional needs are met properly.

If you're ever unsure about a specific food's safety for your cat, it's always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before offering it to them. They can provide personalized advice based on your cat's health and dietary needs.

Why Does My Cat Like Cilantro?

Cats, like humans, have individual tastes and preferences when it comes to food. While cats are obligate carnivores and primarily need a meat-based diet, they may occasionally show interest in certain non-meat foods, including cilantro.

There could be a few reasons why your cat might like cilantro:

  • Smell: Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell, and certain scents can be appealing to them. Cilantro has a distinctive aroma that might intrigue your cat.
  • Taste: Despite being obligate carnivores, some cats may be curious about the taste of different foods. Cilantro has a somewhat unique flavor, and your cat might find it interesting.
  • Exploration: Cats are curious animals, and they may be drawn to new things in their environment. If they see you eating cilantro or notice the herb in their surroundings, they may investigate and nibble on it out of curiosity.
  • Individual Preference: Cats, like humans, have individual preferences when it comes to food. Just like some people love cilantro while others dislike it, the same goes for cats. Your cat may simply enjoy the taste of cilantro.

What Are The Benefits And Hazards Of Cilantro Feeding In Cats?

Feeding cilantro to cats is a topic of debate among pet owners and experts. Let's take a look at the potential benefits and hazards of cilantro feeding in cats:

Benefits of Cilantro Feeding in Cats (in moderation):

  • Antioxidants: Cilantro contains antioxidants, which can help neutralize free radicals in the body and support overall health.
  • Nutrients: Cilantro is a source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium, which can be beneficial in small amounts.
  • Digestive Health: Some pet owners believe that cilantro can aid in digestion and alleviate mild gastrointestinal issues.
  • Hydration: Cilantro has a high water content, which may contribute to your cat's hydration levels.

Hazards of Cilantro Feeding in Cats:

  • Gastrointestinal Upset: Cats are obligate carnivores, and their digestive systems are not well-suited to handle large amounts of plant matter as herbivores do. Feeding too much cilantro can lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Allergies or Sensitivities: Like any food, some cats may be allergic to cilantro or may have sensitivities to certain compounds in the herb.

     Common allergic symptoms in cats may include:

1. Vomiting: Cats may vomit shortly after consuming cilantro if they are allergic to it.

2. Diarrhea: Allergic reactions can lead to gastrointestinal upset, resulting in diarrhea.
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3. Itching and Skin Irritation: Cats with cilantro allergies may experience itching, redness, or irritation on their skin.
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4. Sneezing and Watery Eyes: Respiratory symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes can occur in some allergic cats.

5. Coughing or Wheezing: In more severe cases, cats may exhibit coughing or wheezing due to respiratory inflammation.

6. Swelling: Swelling of the face, lips, or tongue can occur in rare cases of severe allergic reactions.

Why Is My Cat's Face Swollen? | PetMD

  • Disinterest: Cats have individual tastes, and not all cats may be interested in the taste of cilantro. Feeding it to an unwilling cat might be futile and cause unnecessary stress.
  • Potential Contaminants: If the cilantro is not thoroughly washed, it may contain pesticides or other contaminants, which can be harmful to cats.

Given the potential hazards and the fact that cilantro is not an essential part of a cat's diet, it's generally best to avoid feeding it to cats regularly. If you want to introduce new flavors or variety to your cat's diet, it's safer to stick to cat-safe foods, such as small amounts of cooked plain meat as treats.

Related Questions:

Is Cilantro Toxic To Cats?

Cilantro (coriander) is not considered toxic to cats. It is generally safe for them to consume in small amounts. However, as mentioned earlier, cats are obligate carnivores, and their digestive systems are designed for a meat-based diet. While cilantro itself is not harmful, some cats may not like the taste or may experience mild gastrointestinal upset if they consume larger quantities.

Can Cats And Dogs Eat Cilantro?

Yes, both cats and dogs can eat cilantro, and it is generally safe for them when consumed in small amounts. Cilantro, also known as coriander, is not considered toxic to cats or dogs. However, just like with any human food, it's important to offer it to your pets in moderation.

Some pets may enjoy the taste of cilantro, while others may not be interested in it at all. As with any new food or treat, it's a good idea to introduce cilantro gradually and observe how your pet reacts to it. If they seem to like it and tolerate it well, you can offer it to them occasionally as a small treat.

What Herbs Are Unsafe For Cats?

Several herbs can be unsafe for cats and should be avoided to prevent potential health issues. Here are some herbs that are known to be toxic to cats:

  • Lilies: Lilies, including Easter lilies, Tiger lilies, and other varieties, are highly toxic to cats. Ingesting even small amounts of the plant or its pollen can cause kidney failure and be life-threatening.
  • Mint: While a small amount of fresh mint is generally safe for cats, certain varieties, like pennyroyal, can be toxic and should be avoided.
  • Chives, Garlic, and Onions: These common kitchen herbs can cause gastrointestinal upset and, in large quantities, can lead to more severe health issues such as anemia.
  • Oregano and Thyme: Large amounts of these herbs can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats.
  • Basil: While a small amount of basil is usually safe, excessive consumption may lead to stomach upset.
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  • Rosemary: Small amounts of rosemary are generally not harmful, but it's best to avoid giving large quantities to your cat.
  • Parsley: Parsley contains certain compounds that can be harmful in large amounts.
  • Bay Leaves: Ingesting bay leaves can cause digestive issues in cats.
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  • Tarragon: Large quantities of tarragon can be toxic to cats.

Final Thoughts:
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While a small taste of cilantro is generally safe for cats, it's essential to remember that their primary diet should consist of nutritionally balanced cat food. Treats like cilantro should only be given in moderation and should not replace their regular meals. If you're concerned about your cat's diet or have questions about its behavior, it's always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian for guidance.



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