My Cat Ate Spearmint Will He Get Sick?

By Julie •  Updated: 01/05/21 •  3 min read
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Do you have mint plants out in your garden? Have you ever seen your cat eating mint leaves? Then you may want to read this, especially if you’re concerned about your cat eating mint.

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What is Spearmint?

Spearmint, also commonly called garden mint, is an herb that is used to flavor foods and even chewing gum. Mint is also used in aromatherapy, folk medicine, cosmetics, and even in insecticides.

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Unfortunately, spearmint and other types of mint are toxic to cats. However, mint does not affect all cats in the same way. Some seem to have a better tolerance for mint, while others may be more sensitive to it.

Mint is Toxic to Cats

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) does say mint is toxic to cats. It can cause mint poisoning in some cats.

Now wait a minute. Isn’t catnip in the mint family? Yes, it is! But catnip is not the same as other types of mint. What makes mint toxic are the chemicals contained in the plants. The essential oils in the mint can cause various digestive tract issues or even liver failure.

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Keep in mind that mint poisoning is rare, but it can happen. Cats that develop mint poisoning usually have to eat a lot of the plant before becoming sick. However, some cats, as noted earlier, may be more sensitive to mint and it may only take a little bit to make them sick.

Symptoms of Mint Poisoning in Cats

You may notice these symptoms if your cat has eaten mint:

If your cat has eaten some mint and is vomiting or has diarrhea for a short time, then she’ll most likely be OK. Just keep an eye on her and watch for any concerning symptoms.

On other hand, if your cat continues to vomit and have diarrhea for a longer time, and/or develops other concerning symptoms, then do call the vet right away.

Treatment of Mint Poisoning in Cats

Most cases of mint poisoning will not need specialized treatment. The main issues are if the cat is more sensitive to the mint, or for cats that have pre-existing health conditions. In those cases, treatment may be necessary.

In most cases, your kitty will be just fine after eating spearmint or other types of mint. Just keep an eye on her. And you may want to consider somehow confining your garden mint in a way that makes it difficult for your cat to get at it.

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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