Is sage safe for cats?
If you are worried about what will happen to your cat after eating sage, you are in the right place.
Read on for more tips on the safety of sage to cats.
Sage is safe for cats and will not harm them when they eat it. But too much sage can cause tummy aches, vomiting, or diarrhea. Also, burning sage will only affect your cat if it has a pre-existing respiratory disease.
You walked in on Whiskers chewing on your sage garden by the kitchen window.
Or you decided to burn a bit of sage while doing yoga and notice that your cat is sitting next to you.
What do you do?
It is normal for cats to chew on plants.
Though cats prefer meat, their omnivorous side allows them to indulge in plant food once in a while.
So, what benefit does sage have to cats?
History of sage
For years, civilizations have used sage as a healing herb, culinary ingredient, and as a decorative item.
The plant was first produced in South-Eastern Europe before being exported to other continents.
Today sage is a common ingredient in European, Greek, and Italian cuisine.
The herb’s sweet aroma and mellow flavor add a unique touch to delicacies.
Besides food, sage, in various forms, is used as a medicine and ornament.
On the market, sage goes by other names like Dalmatian Sage, Garden Sage, Culinary Sage, and Broad Leaf.
The plant is used as;
- Fresh leaves
- Dried leaves
- Ground powder rub
- Oil extract
A lot of people prefer powdered sage because of its longevity and versatility.
Sage oil extract is also becoming increasingly popular in aromatherapy.
Is sage safe for cats?
First, we clear the air by saying, sage is harmless to cats.
Sage is a herb that belongs to the mint family.
It has a sweet aroma that has that cooling effect like mint.
Generally, most cats do not like the strong smell of mint.
Sage has the same minty aroma which means it should repel cats.
But not all cats are perturbed by the presence or smell of mint.
If your cat loves to nibble on a few sage leaves, it is not going to harm him.
But sage may not have any nutritional value to your cat.
A cat’s digestive system is designed to digest and absorb meat.
Though cats can eat plants and herbs, their tummies don’t have enough of the enzyme cellulase to break down and convert plants into glucose.
So much of the sage your cat ate will go undigested and flushed out.
On the bright side, sage leaves can add fiber to your cat’s diet.
If your cat has an agonizing meow while pooping, it could be a sign of constipation.
A few sage leaves on his diet can help smoothen things out.
But while a little sage is safe for cats, too much of it can cause health problems;
- Eating too much sage can cause tummy aches
- Since sage leaves is a new delicacy, your cat may vomit or diarrhea at first before it gets used to the herb
- Sage is ranked as a salicylate food. It contains the organic chemical salicylate which can be toxic to cats.
Does burning sage affect cats?
Burning sage as incense has its benefits too.
The scented whiffs from burnt sage help with;
- Boosting mood and energy
- Improving cognitive abilities
- Soothing the body and alleviating stress
- Improving sleep patterns
- Eliminating bad energy
- Promote overall wellness
Your feline stands a chance of enjoying the same benefits from burnt sage.
But if you notice your cat choking on the smoke, get them out of the room.
The fumes from burning sage can irritate the cat’s respiratory system.
Do not burn sage around your feline if it has a pre-existing respiratory condition.
Cats with asthma or bronchitis are at a higher risk of respiratory infection.
When your cat starts sneezing, has watery eyes, and finds it hard to breathe, get them out of the room.
Take them to a properly ventilated area or open the windows for fresh air.
Is sage oil extract safe for cats?
Sage oil is only safe for non-diabetic cats.
This oil extract contains an active ingredient called Ketones.
For a hypoglycemic cat, introducing more ketones into its blood spikes sugar levels and leads to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA.
DKA can lead to death in cats.
Keep your diabetic cat away from sage oil or use the other alternatives; fresh, dry, or powdered sage.
Sage is safe for cats that are healthy and show no allergic reactions to the herb.
But if your cat develops side effects from eating sage or inhaling burnt sage, rush them to the vet immediately.
Store your sage oil, leaves, or powder in a safe place away from your cat.
If your cat is allergic to sage smoke, ensure they are out of the room before you burn the sage leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Basil contains no harmful toxins which make it cat-friendly. Cats will reap the same benefits as humans from consuming basil raw, dried, or powdered. But do not let your cat eat too much basil at once. It can cause mild diarrhea and vomiting.
Rosemary is non-toxic to cats therefore harmless if consumed. But cats find the smell of rosemary, lavender, and mint too strong to their liking. If your cat doesn’t mind some rosemary in his food, control the portion to prevent him from vomiting or diarrhea.
Onions, scallions, chives, and garlic are plants that are toxic to cats. They contain organic chemicals called thiosulphates that destroy red blood cells. Onion or garlic poisoning leads to anemia and eventually death.
Some cats find the smell and taste of mint appalling. But if your cat does not mind mint, letting him have it in small doses can help with digestion. But mint, like sage, contains the active ingredient, salicylate, which, in high doses, is toxic to cats.