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Can Cats Eat Licorice Root? What You Need to Know!

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	Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As a pet parent, you want everything to be perfect for your feline pal. This means making sure that there are no plants, herbs, spices, or even any type of food that your cat can get into that might hurt them.

Many pet parents wonder if their cats can eat licorice root. The answer to this question is yes, but it also depends on a few different factors.

That’s why in this guide, we’ll answer the question of whether cats can eat licorice root and tell you anything else you need to know about cats and licorice root.

divider-catclaw1 Can Cats Eat Licorice Root?

It’s not dangerous for your cat to eat a bit of licorice root, so if your cat nibbled on a bit, don’t worry. However, you shouldn’t give your cat large amounts since this could cause problems with their bowels and digestive system.

If your cat should eat a little of this root, it’s not going to hurt them. However, you don’t want a cat to eat copious amounts of licorice. If you feel that your cat has gotten sick from eating licorice root, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Benefits of Giving Your Cat Licorice Root

Licorice root acts as an anti-inflammatory which makes it good for cats with arthritis. Licorice root is also a natural source of cortisone, which means it’s helpful for cats with allergies. It also acts as a mild laxative. Since it soothes mucus, it also helps colds.

That being said, you should always schedule your cat an appointment with their vet before using licorice root to cure any of their ailments.

Also, if your cat has any of the health issues above, make sure to consult your vet instead of just assuming licorice root will cure the problem. You never know what your feline pal could be allergic to in the licorice root, which could cause their condition to worsen.

Can Cats Eat Food Flavored with Licorice Root?

It’s a bad idea to give your cat candy flavored with licorice root or any candy at all. Candy is not suitable for cats at all—candy is high in sugar which a cat does not need, plus can cause a host of health issues. Of course, your cat managing to sneak a small bite won’t hurt, but regularly eating it could have long-term side effects.

Licorice Root
Image Credit: Pixabay

What Should a Cat Eat?

We’ve discussed that feeding your cat candy is a bad idea, but what should you feed your cat? No matter what you’re feeding them, they need clean, fresh water; you wouldn’t want your furry friend to get dehydrated. Cats need animal protein and high-quality dry kibble or canned cat food are ideal sources of protein for a cat.

But what if you don’t want to feed your feline store-bought cat food? Well, here are some other options your cat will love.


Meat is great for giving your cat the protein they need to be healthy and happy. Cats can eat turkey, chicken, beef, venison, and lamb. But, of course, the meat has to be fresh, cooked, and boneless.

raw beef meat in a bowl
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay
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Cats love fish, and it’s good for them. Especially fish like mackerel and tuna, fish that are oily like these contain omega-3 fatty acids that help with a cat’s joints and eyesight and boost brain power. As with meat, make sure the fish is fresh, cooked, and boneless.

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Your cat doesn’t need to eat vegetables, but many cats like them so they can make a good treat. Give your cat small amounts of carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Of course, make sure the vegetables are cooked, too.

Credit: Elena Leonova, Shutterstock
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Fruit is high in sugar, which is not good for your furry friend. However, some fruits make good treats in small amounts. Mangos, bananas, cantaloupe, apricot, watermelon, and pears make great occasional treats.

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Cheese is a food high in both protein and fat, making it great for cats. However, many kinds of cheese are high in lactose, which can cause digestion issues in cats. Therefore, you should pick cheeses that are low in lactose, such as Swiss, cheddar, or lactose free cheese.

These are just a few of the foods that you can feed your cat and what they should typically eat. There are more out there, but consulting your vet first is the best course of action.

divider-catclaw1 Final Thoughts

This concludes our guide on licorice root and whether you can give it to your cat. Licorice root is fine in moderation, but you should always contact your vet if you’re unsure.