Can Cats Eat Rosemary? Is Rosemary Toxic To Cats?

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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Can Cats Eat Rosemary? Is Rosemary Toxic to Cats and Dogs? Read on to find out all the answers with this informative guide!

Can Cats Eat Rosemary

Let’s settle it once and for all and find out — Can Cats Eat Rosemary? Is Rosemary Toxic To Cats?

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Can Cats Eat Rosemary?

When it comes to maintaining a garden while caring for your feline friends, it’s essential to be cautious about the plants you cultivate. One such herb that often graces gardens is rosemary. But can cats eat rosemary? Is rosemary safe for cats?

Cat owners often find their felines nibbling on stuff they are not sure about. It can be a cause of distress. After all, you don’t want our pets to come in harm’s way just because of our ignorance. But do not worry! Here are the answers to all your questions!

Understanding Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a fragrant and versatile herb that’s commonly used in culinary dishes, essential oils, and even DIY home remedies. Its aromatic leaves and woody stems make it a favorite among gardeners and cooks alike.

Rosemary is known for its resilience in both indoor and outdoor settings, making it a popular choice for novice and experienced gardeners.

Is Rosemary Toxic to Cats?

Is Rosemary Toxic to Cats

The short and quick answer is, No! So if you recently saw your cat munching on rosemary and worried about any harm coming their way, calm down.

Rosemary is not toxic to cats, and if taken in small amounts, won’t cause any trouble. Rosemary is excluded from the list of poisonous plants for cats and dogs by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

But is it okay if your cats eat it occasionally?

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Is Rosemary Safe for Cats?

The question arises: can cats have rosemary? Is rosemary safe for cats?  The good news is that rosemary itself is not considered highly toxic to cats!

In small quantities, it is generally safe. However, like many other plants, overconsumption or ingestion of large amounts can lead to gastrointestinal upset in cats. It can also lead to upset stomachs, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Cats have a different digestive system than humans and may not process certain compounds as effectively, so it’s wise to exercise caution.

Do Cats Like Rosemary?

Cats have individual preferences, and their responses to rosemary can vary. So, do cats like rosemary? Some cats might be attracted to its scent, while others may not show interest. Monitoring your cat’s behavior around the herb can provide insights into their preferences.

Wondering, “Are cats allergic to rosemary“? While allergies to rosemary are rare, individual cats might exhibit sensitivities. Observe any unusual reactions, such as excessive sneezing or itchiness, if your cat comes into contact with the herb.

Note: If you notice any unusual behavior, vomiting, or diarrhea in your cat after consuming rosemary, consult your veterinarian immediately.

How to Keep Cats Away from Rosemary?

How to Keep Cats Away from Rosemary

Here is how you can ensure that your cats keep away from Rosemary without restricting their playtime. 

1. Indoor Gardens

When cultivating rosemary indoors, ensure that your feline friend doesn’t have unrestricted access to the plant. Place the rosemary pot in an area that your cat can’t easily reach, preventing accidental nibbling.

Monitor your cat’s behavior around the plant and discourage any attempts to chew on the leaves or stems.

2. Outdoor Gardens

In outdoor spaces, consider creating designated areas for your cat and your garden. Employ barriers or low fences to separate your garden beds from areas accessible to your cat. This approach ensures that your cat doesn’t come into direct contact with the rosemary or any other plants you may be growing.

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Keeping Cats Away from Rosemary Containers

For cat owners with limited space or those aiming for more controlled gardening, container planting is an excellent option. Remember to choose sturdy pots that your cat can’t easily topple over, preventing any accidental ingestion.

However, if you’re growing rosemary in garden beds, maintain clear boundaries between the garden and your cat’s play area. Incorporate a physical barrier or other deterrents to discourage your cat from exploring the garden beds. Regularly trim the rosemary to prevent low-hanging branches that might tempt your curious feline.

Is Rosemary Oil Safe for Cats?

Rosemary oil, extracted from the leaves of the rosemary plant, is prized for its aromatic and therapeutic properties. However, its use around cats requires careful consideration. Direct contact with undiluted rosemary oil can lead to adverse effects.

Cats’ meticulous grooming habits may lead to the ingestion of oil traces, potentially causing gastrointestinal upset, respiratory distress, or skin irritation. To ensure your feline friend’s safety, it’s recommended to avoid using rosemary oil near them and opt for safer alternatives such as catnip or valerian root.


1. Is Rosemary Poisonous to Cats?

Rosemary itself is not considered highly poisonous to cats. In small amounts, it’s generally safe.

However, consuming large quantities could lead to digestive discomfort. While not a severe toxin, it’s best to prevent excessive ingestion and monitor your cat’s behavior around the plant.

2. Is Rosemary Essential Oil Safe for Cats?

Undiluted rosemary essential oil is not safe for cats. Cats’ livers lack certain enzymes to metabolize compounds in essential oils efficiently. Inhalation or ingestion of concentrated oils can cause respiratory distress, digestive issues, or skin irritation.

You should avoid using rosemary essential oil in areas accessible to your cat.

3. Are Cats Allergic to Rosemary?

While true allergies to rosemary in cats are rare, individual cats can exhibit sensitivities. These sensitivities might manifest as skin irritations or respiratory symptoms when exposed to the herb.

If you notice any unusual reactions after your cat comes into contact with rosemary, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian for guidance.

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