Cats are prone to eating plants, not just catnip. Maybe you caught your cat munching on a houseplant or the grass in your yard. If you have sage growing at home, you may have had to drive your cat away from it several times. But can cats eat sage?
Cats can safely eat sage in moderation. It contains many of the same chemicals in other cat-friendly plants like catnip.
Sage plants belong to the mint family, which includes catnip and catmint. Many of the plants in this family are safe for cats to eat! You should always be mindful of how much sage your cats eat. Too much sage can be toxic to cats, especially if you use sage essential oils.
Can Kittens Eat Sage?
Kittens are in a sensitive growing stage as they develop. Kittens can still eat sage, in small doses. According to the ASPCA, sage is non-toxic to cats and other animals. Kittens may still be attracted to sage and other herbs, but they may also develop problems quicker.
While kittens can eat sage, too much of it becomes a problem quicker with kittens. Because sage has several of the same chemicals as catnip, your kitten may want to nibble on it after getting a taste. Try to introduce plants like these to your cat after it fully matures.
Can Cats Eat Sage?
Cats can safely eat sage but shouldn’t be allowed to eat it all the time. Like catnip, you wouldn’t let your cat eat it for days on end. Your cat might like it, but it won’t be healthy in the long term.
Sage contains many of the chemicals that make catnip so attractive to cats. So don’t get mad at your cat if it keeps trying to get a nibble of the sage hanging around your house. But do keep it out of reach to prevent your cat from overdosing on it.
The one thing you should never let your cat eat is sage essential oil. Essential oils are very potent and contain substances that cats have trouble digesting. Sage leaves may not be toxic to cats, but sage essential oil is.
How much sage can my cat eat?
There isn’t a set amount of sage that your cat can eat. Small amounts of plants and herbs are safe for cats to eat, sage included. But if your cat regularly snacks on sage, or even for long periods, it can lead to health problems down the line.
Health Benefits of Sage for Cats
So long as your cat is eating it safely and in moderation, sage can improve your cat’s health. Sage is a universal herb that humans have already been using for years to stop infections and ulcerations.
When a cat eats sage, it’s getting some protection against mouth, skin, and digestive infections. It also gets an immune boost against bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Generally, if your cat faces issues like ringworms or fungal infections, regular sage doses are all it needs to recover.
However, you should always consult your veterinarian before beginning treatments with sage. And if your cat has an allergic or other negative reaction, call your vet immediately. While sage may not be toxic to cats, too much of it certainly can be!
If you find cat food or treats that contain sage ingredients, you can safely feed these to your cat.
Health Risks of Sage for Cats
While sage is non-toxic to cats, too much of it can be a problem for cats. If your cat eats too much sage, it can have stomach problems. You don’t want this to get out of hand since too much indigestion will upset your cat for several days.
Sage essential oils are more of a problem for cats, the same as all essential oils. When you heat essential oils, they can lead to skin, eye, and respiratory irritation. And if your cat eats sage essential oils, things can get dangerous.
Cats don’t have the liver enzymes needed to break down these oils, which increases the sage’s toxicity. So just to be safe, don’t expose your cat to any essential oils. Whether you use a diffuser or keep these oils handy, keep them away from your cat and safely stowed away.
Signs to Watch Out For
If you’re worried about your cat overdosing on sage, look out for these symptoms:
- Excessive itching
- Redness around the eyes
- Labored breathing
Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms. Your cat may need immediate treatment to prevent long-term health issues. Of course, if you notice any other concerning symptoms or your cat is displaying unusual behavior, take them to the vet. You know your cat best, and getting them checked out will clear up any concerns and give you peace of mind.
Before You Give Your Cat Sage
You should consult your vet before giving your cat sage regularly. They can help you determine how much sage is safe for your cat, as well as whether it has any allergies to sage. This is absolutely vital since no pet owner wants to learn their pet is allergic to something until after it’s too late.
If there’s lots of sage in your home, you probably have more questions about sage being around cats. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, answered!
Can I burn sage around my cat?
While nothing has been definitively proven, no one has noted any negative effects from burning sage around cats. You should burn sage in a ventilated area, and keep your cat away from burning sage.
Cats have more sensitive airways than humans do. Be careful burning sage around your cat, as prolonged exposure can increase its likelihood of developing breathing problems. But this goes with exposing your cat to any kind of smoke.
Can my cat eat white sage?
White sage is not the same kind of sage you cook with. White sage is still safe for your cat to eat, but in smaller quantities than cooking sage. In large amounts, white sage can give your cat an upset stomach.
How much sage can I feed my cat?
Cats need a meat-based diet to stay healthy, but plants like sage are safe to include in their diet. Some cat foods and treats use sage as an ingredient. You can create a balanced diet by including these foods in your cat’s food regimen but only in moderation.
Some cat treats include sage as an ingredient, and are completely safe to use! Keep an eye out for how much sage is included in these treats. And always call your vet if your cat has a bad reaction to it.
Can I wash my cat with sage products?
You can safely wash your cat with sage products, so long as they don’t contain a large amount of sage essential oils. Herbs like sage keep insects from bothering your cat. If your cat develops irritated or red skin, you should stop using it and contact your vet immediately.
Can my cat eat other herbs and plants?
Cats can eat certain herbs and plants, but only in moderation. Since cats are obligate carnivores, you shouldn’t be feeding them strictly plant-based diets. Check whether the herb you want to feed your cat is toxic or nontoxic before giving it to them.
If you think your pet is having a bad reaction to something it’s eaten, immediately call the vet.