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Can Cats Eat Parsley – Safety & Important Facts To Know!

Can Cats Eat Parsley – Safety & Important Facts To Know!

Parsley is one of the tastiest herbs out there that add nutrients to our food and makes recipes taste so flavorful. If you have an herb garden or herb plant in your home, it’s not uncommon to see your cat sniffing the plant or trying to take a little nibble off of one of the leaves.

Cats can safely eat parsley in limited quantities. Cats should however avoid eating spring parsley as it is toxic for cats to consume in large doses. Parsley water is the safest way for cats to consume parsley.

The fresh scent of parsley makes cats curious, however, there’s no need to add parsley into your cat’s diet. Read on to learn more about how to safely incorporate parsley into your cat’s diet, and more facts about the vegetable!

Can Cats Eat Fresh Parsley

Cats can eat fresh parsley. It is ok for cats to eat a little bit of fresh parsley, as long as it is just a minimal amount. If your cat truly loves parsley, you can sprinkle a little bit over their food for an extra treat.

Some wet cat foods even have parsley flakes in them. Look at your wet cat food ingredient list the next time you are shopping, and you might see their herb is already in there.

All cats are different when it comes to what kind of food they like, so there is a chance your kitty may show no interest in fresh parsley. If so, do not force them to eat it, as it’s not something they need to be eating anyway. 

Is Parsley Safe For Cats? 

Parsley is safe for cats as long as they are not eating a lot of the herb at once. It can be toxic for cats if they consume a large amount in a short period, which is relatively unlikely. If you are worried about your cat eating parsley, keep it away from them while cooking and avoid growing it in your backyard. 

Parsley can also be called Italian Parsley, Hamburg Parsley, or Turnip-rooted Parsley, and all of these present the same level of toxicity for cats in large doses.

Are Parsley Plants Poisonous to Cats

While not all parsley is poisonous for cats, it can be if they overeat or your cat eats the wrong kind of parsley. It very unlikely that your cat would die from eating parsley, even if they consumed more than they should.

Typically it will result in harmful side effects, but it would be uncommon for the parsley to be fatal. Spring parsley is the variety of parsley that is poisonous for cats if they eat it. 

Spring parsley is a perennial that resembles parsley, and it sprouts white flowers. This might be something you find growing in your backyard or your neighborhood, and it flowers between April and June. It is not the same as the Italian parsley you purchase in the grocery store. 

If a cat eats spring parsley, it might experience photosensitization. This is a condition where after consuming the plant, a cat that goes out into the sun starts to develop a sunburn with blisters on their exposed skin.

If you are worried about your cat accidentally eating this in your yard, you can spray the plant with a special herbicide solution to get it out of your yard. This plant only pops up in the spring and summer months, so it is not something you have to worry about year-round. 

Will Parsley Kill My Cat

If your cat eats parsley, it is very unlikely that this would kill your cat. Whether parsley is dangerous for cats has continued to be debated in the veterinarian community, as it is technically labeled as toxic for cats. Still, many vets also say it has some great nutrients that are very healthy for cats.  

Even with all the mixed information out there, there’s a common consensus that a little bite of parsley is not going to kill your cat. While there are certain plants where even a single bite can be fatal, a parsley leaf is not one of them.

Can Parsley Make Cats Sick

Parsley can make your cat sick. There are different types of parsley, and overall it is recommended that your cat never overeat parsley at a time.

The spring leaf variety of parsley is the most toxic for cats in large quantities. Keep in mind that overeating anything will make a cat sick, as they are small animals, and their digestive systems are built to handle their meat-based diet. 

Also, parsley is a high-fiber food, which may adversely affect your cat’s digestive system. Too much parsley can be a diuretic, which means it flushes fluid through the body, but can also upset your cat’s digestive system, especially if your cat has a sensitive stomach.

Are Cats Attracted To Parsley

Some cats are more attracted to parsley and other herbs than others. It depends on your cat’s personality, how food-motivated they are, and whether they are curious cats or not. If a cat is attracted to parsley, they might be confusing it with another herb that is their all-time favorite: catnip.

Once a cat has experienced catnip, it may look for it everywhere. It’s easy to mistake parsley for this other herbal plant. If you feed your cat parsley a few times and they like it, they may begin to show more interest in it moving forward.

While cats may be intrigued by the scent of parsley and move closer to investigate, it will never be as compelling as someone offering them a piece of chicken or fish. 

If your cat is not attracted to parsley, don’t force them to have it. They get the nutrients and vitamins they need from their cat food and do not need any additional supplements in their diet.

If you are looking for something to use as a tempting treat for them, you will have much better luck with actual catnip or a small dried meat treat! 

Can Cats Eat Dried Parsley

Dried parsley is also safe for cats to eat. You probably have dried parsley in your spice drawer at home, and it actually can be useful to have on hand for your cat. If your cat ever contracts any form of the parasite, there are some at-home remedies you can try to help them treat their case of worms

One way to do this is to add dried parsley into boiling water and allow the parsley to be steep.

The parsley water stays good for a few weeks, and you can give it to your cat for a few weeks to see if it helps clear up their parasites at all. The reason this works is that parsley is full of good vitamins and acts as a diuretic, so it helps your cat naturally flush its body of bad toxins. 

Which Parsley is Safe For Cats

Italian parsley is safe for cats in several different forms- the curly stemmed fresh variety, dried Italian parsley, and parsley water are all safe ways to give parsley to your cat in small quantities.

Never give your cat any herb if you are not sure what it is, as many plants may look similar to parsley that is not, and they may be toxic. Spring parsley is a member of the carrot family that looks similar to the real parsley plant but is highly toxic for cats and dogs. 

Is Parsley Water Good For Cats

It is ok to give your cat parsley water if they love parsley and you are looking for safe ways to feed it to them. Parsley water or parsley tea is just water that has been infused with parsley leaves.

You can make it by steeping fresh or dried parsley in a cup of water. If you offer this to your cat, wait for it to cool down to room temperature before letting them drink it to avoid hurting their mouth.

Some health benefits come along with drinking parsley water. It helps to reduce water retention and bloating and also can help balance blood sugar levels. This is something you can offer your cat now and again if they are bored with their plain water or look like they need some extra nutrients. 

Does Parsley Offer Any Health Benefits To Cats

While consuming too much parsley is dangerous for your cat, the irony is that parsley does have a lot of health benefits for cats as well. The natural herb contains many vitamins and minerals that are good for your cat to have in their diet.

Some of these include Vitamin C, an essential vitamin for keeping your cat healthy and boosting immunity. Parsley also contains Vitamin A, which is good for keeping a cat’s vision looking sharp and boosting immunity.

Additionally, parsley also contains Vitamin K, an essential vitamin for keeping a cat’s liver healthy. Parsley is also high in folic acid, which gives the herb anti-inflammatory properties. This is great for keeping your cat’s kidneys and digestive system working well!

Altogether, this makes parsley a very nutrient-dense herb. However, your cat does not need to be eating parsley to get these vitamins in its diet.

They should be getting a sufficient amount of all three of those vitamins from their normal food. If your cat happens to eat a little nibble of parsley, those are just some of the added health benefits. 

What Herbs Can Cats Eat

Certain other herbs are safe for cats to eat, including basil, sage, cilantro, thyme, small amounts of dill, and catnip. None of these are poisonous for cats to eat, and they are all herbs you might find outside in your garden or frequently used in your cooking. 

Before introducing new food items into your cat’s diet, it is highly recommended you check in with your veterinarian to see if they have any thoughts on feeding your cat any of these herbs.

While none of those herbs are poisonous for cats, your cat may still have some reaction to them. Additionally, some vets may tell you to keep your cat away from any food that isn’t cat food if they believe your cat has a sensitive stomach that may easily be upset by herbs.

Lastly, if your cat is on any special medications that may not mix well with other herbs and cause a reaction. 

Things To Consider 

While some herbs are completely fine for cats to occasionally munch on, there are also many plants, herbs, and flowers out there that are very dangerous for your cat.

This is why it is easier to keep an indoor cat healthier because you have more control over what plants and herbs are exposed to within your home.

If you have a cat that likes to go outside, it is worth taking a lap around your yard from time to time to see if any new weeds or plants are growing that could potentially be harmful to your pet.

Sometimes cats are smart enough to know which plants they should not eat instinctually, but this is not always the case. It’s not worth risking your cat accidentally getting into something poisonous, so if you see any potential hazards in your home or yard, remove them immediately. 

Some of the toxic plants to cats but don’t pose a life-threatening reaction include pathos plants, poinsettia flowers, aloe plants, snake plants, azalea bushes, and ivy.

The most dangerous plants for a cat to consume will result in death are hydrangea bushes, sago plan, and oleander. With all toxic plants, cats will typically have digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea, followed by a fever and general malaise.

If you suspect your cat has eaten something dangerous, take them straight to their vet for a check-up. When it comes to flora and fauna, it’s better to teach your cat to stay away to avoid any potential problems.