Is Rosemary Safe For Cats? Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats

Even though cats usually eat meat, they might like greens too. If your curious cat gets interested when you’re dealing with herbs, you might wonder what kinds of herbs is safe for them. Well, in this post, we shall talk about, “Is Rosemary Safe For Cats?: Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats”. We also discussed The Allure of Rosemary and Recognizing the Symptoms of Rosemary Poisoning. As well as Preventive Measures to Keep your Cats Safe and The Potential Dangers of Rosemary to Cats.

Cats are charming and playful pets that we really love. As good pet owners, we’re careful about what our cats eat because some plants that seem harmless can actually be dangerous. One of these plants is rosemary, which we often use in our kitchens and gardens. People like using rosemary because it smells good and is good for cooking, but we need to figure out if it’s safe for our cats. Let’s explore and find out if rosemary can be a problem for our furry friends.

See also: Are Lilies Toxic To Cats: Find Out If Lilies Affects Your Cat

The Allure of Rosemary

Rosemary is a plant that comes from the Mediterranean region. People really like it because it can be used in cooking and has some medicinal qualities. Its leaves smell strong and are used in many dishes, oils, and also skincare stuff. Besides smelling good, rosemary has been known for a long time to possibly help with things like digestion and memory.

Is Rosemary Safe For Cats?: Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats

The Potential Dangers of Rosemary to Cats

As much as rosemary has been embraced in human households, the same cannot be said for our feline companions. The concern lies in certain compounds present in the herb that might have adverse effects on cats. One such compound is camphor, which is found in varying concentrations in different rosemary varieties.

Camphor is known for its aromatic and medicinal properties. However, when it comes to cats, it can be problematic. Ingesting even small amounts of camphor can lead to adverse reactions in felines, ranging from mild symptoms to severe toxicity.

See also: Are Snake Plants Toxic To Cats: See How Snake Plants Can Affect Cats

General Benefits of Rosemary

Even though there aren’t specific studies on how fresh rosemary benefits cats, there are some general good things about it.

  • It has antioxidants that fight harmful compounds, which can keep your cat’s immune system strong.
  • Rosemary fights inflammation, which is good for preventing issues like stomach problems and skin irritation in your cat.
  • It’s nutritious, with vitamins and minerals that are important for your cat’s health.
  • Cats enjoy playing with rosemary; they can smell it, roll around in it, and chew on it. This kind of interaction makes them happy and is especially good for indoor cats who don’t get to explore outside.
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Recognizing the Symptoms of Rosemary Poisoning

Understanding the symptoms of rosemary poisoning in cats is crucial for prompt intervention. If your cat has ingested rosemary, watch out for the following signs:

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Is Rosemary Safe For Cats?: Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats

Gastrointestinal Distress

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Central Nervous System Effects

  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness

Respiratory Issues

  • Labored breathing
  • Coughing

Allergic Reactions

  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling

Neurological Symptoms

  • Tremors
  • Seizures

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention.

See also: 10 Healthiest Cat Treats of 2024

The Role of Camphor in Rosemary

Camphor is a terpenoid compound found in various plants, including rosemary. While it has been utilized in traditional medicine for its potential therapeutic properties, it can be toxic to cats. When ingested, camphor can adversely affect a cat’s central nervous system. Thus, leading to a range of symptoms from mild discomfort to severe neurological issues.

It’s important to note that the concentration of camphor can vary between different rosemary varieties. While culinary rosemary might have lower concentrations, certain ornamental varieties bred for their fragrance may contain higher levels. Thus, increasing the risk of toxicity. Keep reading this post on “Is Rosemary Safe For Cats?: Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats” for more!

How much Rosemary is safe for Cats?

Even though rosemary is not considered harmful, it’s not a good idea to let your cat eat it freely. Rosemary has some oils in it like camphor and others. If your cat eats a lot of it, they might get sick with vomiting or diarrhea. But usually, cats just take a little taste and don’t eat enough to cause any problems.

See also: 10 Human Foods you Shouldn’t Give your Cat

Preventive Measures to Keep your Cats Safe

Prevention is often the best approach when it comes to the safety of our feline friends. Here are some proactive measures to ensure that your cat stays safe in an environment where rosemary is present:

Limit Access

If you have rosemary plants in your garden, consider creating barriers or designated areas where your cat doesn’t have access.

Choose Culinary Varieties

Opt for culinary rosemary varieties, which typically have lower camphor concentrations compared to ornamental varieties.

Supervise Indoor Plants

If you keep rosemary as an indoor plant, ensure that it’s placed in an area where your cat cannot easily reach or nibble on it.

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Monitor Culinary Use

While using rosemary in cooking is generally considered safe, be cautious if your cat has a habit of exploring countertops or dining areas.

Educate Yourself

Stay informed about the specific variety of rosemary you have and its potential impact on cats. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

What to do if your Cat eats too much Rosemary

If your cat ends up eating a bunch of rosemary, even if it’s not officially toxic, keep an eye on them. Watch out for signs like throwing up, having diarrhea, or not wanting to eat. If your cat seems tired or acts differently than usual, that could also be a sign of a stomach issue. If you notice any of these things, it’s best to get help from a vet.

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The Importance of Veterinary Guidance

If you think your cat ate rosemary or is acting strange, it’s really important to ask a vet for help. Vets can check how bad it is and give the right treatment. They can also give advice that fits your cat’s health and what’s happening.

Diagnostic Tests

Veterinarians may conduct various diagnostic tests, including bloodwork and urinalysis, to evaluate the extent of the poisoning. These tests also help determine the concentration of toxins in the cat’s system and guide the course of treatment.

Treatment Options

The treatment for rosemary poisoning in cats depends on the severity of the symptoms. In mild cases, supportive care such as intravenous fluids and anti-nausea medications may be sufficient. In more severe cases, hospitalization and intensive care may be required.


If the ingestion of rosemary has recently occurred, veterinarians may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to reduce the absorption of toxins. However, these measures are time-sensitive and may not be effective in all cases.

See also: Are Lilies Toxic to Dogs?: Find out How it Affects Them

Is Rosemary Safe For Cats?: Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats

Rosemary Essential Oil

It’s not safe to use essential oils around cats, including rosemary oil. Never put rosemary oil on your cat’s skin because they can lick it off, and it can make them sick. Eating rosemary oil can lead to throwing up, diarrhea, and even affect their nervous system, causing problems like slowed heart rate and breathing, and seizures.

If you use a diffuser with essential oils, be careful because if your cat breathes in the oils, it can irritate their respiratory tract. This might show as a runny nose and eyes, drooling, or trouble breathing. It’s better to keep essential oils away from your cat to keep them safe and healthy. Keep reading this post on “Is Rosemary Safe For Cats?: Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can cats munch on rosemary plants?

Yes, cats can nibble on rosemary plants, and Dr. Sinn suggests planting one in a small pot at home as it can be exciting for indoor cats.

Is rosemary oil safe for cats?

No, rosemary oil is not safe for cats. Dr. Sinn warns against using concentrated oils near cats. Giving rosemary essential oil directly or putting it on their skin is risky because cats often lick themselves, and this can lead to skin problems or even serious issues like a drop in heart rate and seizures.

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Do cats like rosemary?

It depends on the cat, says Dr. Sinn. Some cats enjoy the smell of aromatic herbs like rosemary, while others may not be interested. To find out if your cat likes it, let them sniff it first. If they show interest, you can give them a small piece of fresh rosemary or a sprinkle of dried leaves.

Is Rosemary Safe For Cats?: Find out if Rosemary is Poisonous to Cats

Is rosemary toxic to cats? What about thyme?

According to the ASPCA, neither rosemary nor thyme is toxic to cats. So, it’s safe to give them a bit or have these plants at home without worrying about your curious cat getting into trouble.

How does a cat’s body react to rosemary?

Generally, cats won’t have a big physical reaction to rosemary. If they eat too much, it might upset their stomach, leading to vomiting or diarrhea, but it’s unlikely since most cats won’t overindulge.

See also: 10 Most Clever Cat Breeds


In the ongoing debate about whether rosemary is safe for cats, it’s essential to strike a balance between appreciating the potential benefits of this herb and acknowledging the associated risks. While culinary rosemary, in moderation, may pose minimal threats to feline friends. Hence. ornamental varieties with higher camphor concentrations can be hazardous.

As responsible pet owners, our priority is the well-being of our beloved cats. Educating ourselves about the potential dangers, monitoring our pets’ behavior, and seeking veterinary advice when needed are crucial steps in ensuring a safe and healthy environment for our feline companions.

Rosemary may add delightful flavors to our meals and aromatic charm to our surroundings. However, it’s our responsibility to make informed choices that prioritize the safety and also happiness of our furry friends.

See also: https://seasonherbs.co.uk/blogs/news/herbs-safe-for-cats

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