The bottom line is that cats can eat cilantro without a problem, but they do not need cilantro in their diets to maintain a happy and healthy life. In fact, cats are obligate carnivores and do not need to eat any plant foods to stay healthy. Therefore, your cat should never make a meal out of cilantro, and this herb should not replace any of their commercial or homemade food made primarily of animal protein.
All About Cilantro
Cilantro, also called coriander in some parts of the world, is a fresh green herb that easily grows in the wild and within home gardens. The whole cilantro plant can be eaten, including the seed, stem, and leaves. Cilantro can be eaten raw or cooked into foods like soups, casseroles, and bakes. Fresh cilantro leaves and stems can be used as a garnish, and the plant’s seeds are ground up and used as a spice for cooking.
Cilantro is used in traditional cuisine in many places throughout the world, including Mexico, India, and brazil. No matter the part of the cilantro plant eaten, it is a healthy option for humans. But can cats eat cilantro without suffering any ill side effects? Is cilantro at all healthy and safe for them? Maybe your cat likes to chew on the cilantro leaves you are growing in your garden.
Maybe you are trying to find ways to add some extra nutrients to your cat’s diet, and you figure since greens are good for you, they may be a viable choice for them, too. Whatever the reason for wondering whether cats can eat cilantro, you have come to the right place. We break down everything you need to know about your cat eating this interesting herb below.
Should Cats Eat Cilantro?
Cilantro does have many of the vitamins and minerals that your cat gets in their natural diet though, so it can be used as a supplement or occasional treat if your cat enjoys nibbling on it. If your cat is not interested in eating cilantro, there is no need to force them into it. But if they do like it, you can give them a stem or a couple of leaves to chew on. Alternatively, you can mince some leaves and add the herbs to their food. You can also grow a small plant inside for them to chew on whenever they feel like it.
Important Things to Keep in Mind
There are a few important things to keep in mind if you do decide to let your cat eat cilantro. First and foremost, the herb can create digestive problems for some cats, especially when too much is eaten at one time. Give your kitty just one leaf or an inch of stem to chew on at first and see if the cilantro affects their digestion.
If not, you can add a little more to their diet. If it does affect their digestion, reduce their serving size, or cut cilantro out of your cat’s diet altogether. You should also consult your veterinarian before feeding cilantro to your furry family member if they are taking any prescription medications for health reasons. Some medication can affect how your cat’s body absorbs nutrients from herbs and gets rid of excess nutrients to prevent toxicity as time goes on.
Cilantro is a healthy herb to give your cat, provided that your cat likes it. If not, it is nothing to worry about. Cats get all the nutrients they need from a fully balanced commercial or homemade diet. Herbs never have to be a part of their diet. But a leaf or stem hear and there certainly will not cause them any harm. They will simply be benefiting from a little boost in nutrition. How do you feel about feeding your cat cilantro? If you plan to do so, will you feed them the plant whole or add it into the food at mealtime? Feel free to share your thoughts with us below in the comments section!
Featured image credit: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay