The likelihood is that you are a cat parent and your inquisitive feline has gotten into something harmful if you are worried about whether it is safe for a cat to eat mint. Believe us; we comprehend. Cats are naturally curious animals that inevitably end up in some of the most problematic circumstances. One of those occasions is when you’re eating mint.

The answer to your question is no, cats should not eat mint. Luckily, however, if your nosey feline has accidentally nibbled on your herb garden, it doesn’t mean they will get sick. A cat needs to consume a significant amount of mint for it to poison them. Let’s look at the mint plant, symptoms of mint poisoning, and what you can do to assist your cat if they become ill after eating this plant.

What Is Mint?

Many different plant species belong to the mint family. In most cases, these plants can be identified by their smell, large leaves, and square stems. Sadly, every variety of the mint plant contains mint essential oil. It is best to keep cats away from mint because of this oil, which makes it so dangerous for them. Additionally, it accounts for a significant portion of their attraction to it. They enjoy the scent as much as we do, and it is similar to another plant that they simply adore.

The mint family also includes spearmint and peppermint. Cats aren’t drawn to peppermint like they are to regular mint or catnip. They find it to be unpleasant. Generally speaking, cats are repulsed by the scent of peppermint. However, peppermint is more toxic and repulsive to cats than spearmint. Mint or spearmint can help your cat heal quickly, but peppermint may not. Because the compound salicylate, which is present in peppermint, is toxic to cats, you should keep them far away from this plant.

What Sorts Of Mint Can You Usually Find?

The following list includes the various varieties of mint that are frequently encountered:


There are numerous names for catnip, including catmint, catswort, and catwort.

Most cats enjoy the scent of the mint plant known as catnip. This is due to a number of factors. Cats are attracted to the plant’s aroma and are stimulated by it, which are the main reasons.

Nepetalactone, the primary ingredient in catnip, is in charge of giving it its fragrant flavor and stimulating effects.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) claims that despite its benefits, catnip is still a herb that your cat could find dangerous.


Catnip attracts cats more than peppermint does. Peppermint has a pleasant minty scent, but cats don’t like it.

Salicylate, another molecule found in peppermint, is poisonous to cats. If your cat eats peppermint leaves, it’s possible that it won’t realize how deadly salicylate is.

Although not all cats are frightened by peppermint, it is important to note. Because peppermint contains substances that are similar to nepetalactone, your cat might be drawn to it. Just watch out that your cat doesn’t eat the peppermint leaves.


Commonly used in tea, desserts, and spices is spearmint, also referred to as garden mint. In contrast to peppermint, it contains less salicylate.

As a result, in terms of toxicity, spearmint is less dangerous than peppermint. You should watch your cat to make sure he doesn’t eat any spearmint, though, just like you would with any other mint.

Garden mint may irritate your cat’s stomach if she eats too much of it. Garden mint essential oils have also been demonstrated to loosen the esophageal valve, causing a sick cat to be more likely to vomit.

Is Mint Harmful To Cats Or Safe For Them?

Mint is among the plants that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has identified as toxic to cats. 

Many cats will develop mint poisoning from prolonged exposure to or consumption of the herb. 

Because cats adore catnip, these plants have a strong hold on them.

Since cats adore catnip, another member of the mint family, people assume that all mints might be safe for their pets. 

Catnip, however, is not the same as mint. 

Most mint plants contain essential oils that are toxic or harmful to cats, such as peppermint oil, which is found in abundance.

The majority of mint poisoning cases involve cats who have consumed a lot of the herb or have been exposed to essential oil or other concentrated forms of the herb.

Keep in mind; not all cats experience the same reactions from mint exposure. 

Cats respond differently to garden mint in the same way that different people have varying levels of tolerance and responses to spicy food.

Do Cats Enjoy Or Detest Mint?

Cats find mint appealing because of its scent. If your cat can’t get enough of mint-flavored things, try putting out catnip as a substitute. However, mint can be used as a substitute for catnip.

Cats can safely consume catnip, and because they’ll be so engrossed in their favorite treat, they’ll probably steer clear of the mint in the future.

Some cats enjoy the scent of this plant, despite the fact that most cats hate it. This is due to the presence of nepetalactone, a molecule that closely resembles those found in catnip, which is known to attract cats.

Not all cats, though, will like this plant. While some cats might like the flavor or scent, others might not. The sensitivity of your cat will determine everything.


How Does Mint Poisoning Occur?

The essential oils found in the majority of mint plants can have negative effects if consumed in large quantities. Cats are safe to consume both catnip and catmint. Ingesting excessive amounts of garden mint could upset your stomach. Additionally, it has been observed that the garden mint’s unique essential oils can loosen the esophageal valve, increasing the likelihood of vomiting in sick cats. The liver can fail as a result of some very severe effects caused by mint, such as those caused by pennyroyal. The risk of complications after ingesting mint is higher in cats who already have liver, intestine, or bowel disease. Cats with sensitive skin may experience skin irritation after coming into contact with mint.

There are numerous subspecies of mint plants. They are all members of the Lamiaceae (also known as Sage) plant family. Garden mint is the most prevalent variety. This is the variety of mint that is frequently grown for its culinary properties. The majority of mint plants have wavy, ovular-shaped leaves. The mint plant produces clusters of lavender to white flowers that are borne on stalks. In the United States, numerous varieties of mint grow wild. Although it frequently grows long and low to the ground, the plant can grow to a height of over 3 feet. 

Symptoms Of Mint Poisoning In Cats

It is uncommon for any illness to arise after consuming the majority of mint varieties. If a reaction does take place, it is most likely to only cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Some varieties of mint have the potential to seriously harm the body. The following is a list of all warning signs to look out for:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness

Causes Of Mint Poisoning In Cats

Near water sources or in other moist areas, mint can be found growing in the wild. For both culinary and medicinal purposes, many people keep mint in their herb gardens or indoors in their kitchens. This common herb may be harmful to cats that live indoors or outdoors. For any kind of negative effect to be felt, typically a very large amount must be consumed. Cats rarely become poisoned by mint.

Treatments For Mint Poisoning

Even though mint poisoning makes us pet owners nervous, our cats typically recover in a few days. Your cat will be closely monitored by the veterinarian, who may occasionally induce vomiting. If the situation is severe enough, your cat may require stomach pumping. In either case, they will probably stay at the veterinary hospital for a few days to make sure they don’t dehydrate or experience a more serious reaction.

Can Mint Make Cats High?

Yes, mint can make cats feel euphoric. Nepetalactone, which can be found in live or dried plants as well as oil extracts, is how cats are made high on catnip.

The chemical stimulates sensory neurons that connect to the brain by binding to receptors in a cat’s nose. Along with other parts of the brain, the olfactory bulb, amygdala, and hypothalamus appear to be affected. This last area is crucial for regulating the animal’s emotions among other things.

What Should I Do If My Cat Is Poisoned With Mint?

If you think your cat may have ingested poisonous mint, take them to the vet. They’ll start by assessing the severity of the symptoms while keeping an eye on your pet.

If your cat has a serious condition, they may force her to vomit or, if necessary, pump her stomach.

To stay hydrated, your cat might need to be admitted to the hospital. You should not be concerned, though, as your kitten will be fine once the symptoms have passed.

Nepetalactone typically results in a potent, inebriated response in cats, regardless of the underlying cause.

Remember that lethargy or “stonedness,” which is easily confused with weakness from mint poisoning, is one of the most common effects of catnip. Recognize your cat’s reactions to catnip in small doses. If they typically become hyper and then all of a sudden become calm, there may be a problem.


Knowing what plants and other substances are harmful to your cat is important if you have a pet. The scent of mint is not one that cats should frequently have access to, despite the fact that there are many foods and scents that are suitable for felines. They won’t be in immediate danger from a small amount, but mint poisoning can be a serious problem. We advise calling your veterinarian as soon as possible if your cat ate some mint.