Nutrition

Can Cats Eat Cilantro?

As pet parents, we love treating our furry friends to a human treat here and there. Sharing is caring, right? Before giving your cat any human food, you should always ask yourself, "Is this safe for my cat to eat?" There are many plants that are toxic to cats and some foods can be extremely dangerous to our furry friends. Cat cats eat cilantro? Read on to learn about cilantro and if it's safe for cats to eat.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: August 14, 2023 | 4 min read

Cat sniffing jar of snipped cilantro in water

This article should not substitute contact with a veterinarian. Contact your local vet immediately if your cat is reacting poorly after consumption.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

When your kitty looks longingly at your lunch, it’s only natural to wonder if it’s ok to share a piece. We want the very best for our cats, including making them happy with a tasty treat.

Cilantro is a popular herb that you may use regularly in cooking. Should you feed your cat cilantro? Does cilantro benefit your feline’s health? Read on to learn about the safety of feeding your cat cilantro and additional herbs that your cat may love.

Cilantro

Cilantro is a culinary and medicinal herb that has been used traditionally in Mexican, Indian, and Brazilian cuisine. Also called coriander and Chinese parsley, cilantro can be eaten raw or cooked into dishes. You may find fresh cilantro leaves being used as a garnish or used as a dried spice in cooking.

Cilantro is also used medicinally as an antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. It may help lower blood sugar and blood pressure. Cilantro is an excellent detoxifying herb for heavy metals. In conjunction with the green algae chlorella, cilantro binds to heavy metals and eliminates them from the body through the excretory system. 

Eating cilantro will provide you with various nutrients, including vitamins A, C, K, and folate, and minerals potassium, calcium, and manganese.

Can Cats Eat Cilantro?

If your cat is begging for a bite of cilantro, it may relieve you to know that this plant is not toxic to cats and can be enjoyed in moderation. Feed your cat whole cilantro stems as a treat, or shred the leaves and add it to your cat’s food. 

Is Cilantro Safe For Cats?

Cilantro poses no harm to your cat and is safe to eat. As with introducing any new food into your cat’s diet, start by giving your cat a very small amount of cilantro. Allow your cat to taste a single piece of cilantro, including the leaf or stem. If cilantro suits your cat’s digestive system, you can include this herb in your cat’s diet.

Signs of indigestion or allergies include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Itching skin
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nasal or eye discharge

If your cat is behaving abnormally, contact your veterinarian.

Do Cats Like Cilantro?

Cutting board of chopped cilantro and loose leaves with lime wedges on a cutting board
Your cat may love the taste of cilantro but could also give it the cold shoulder.

As obligate carnivores, the feline’s food of choice will always be meat. From there, though, a cat’s preferences will vary based on the cat. We know that cats don’t have the same taste receptors as humans, but that doesn’t stop our furry friends from surprising us.

Familiarize yourself with what human foods are safe for pets, and from there, give your cat the freedom to explore foods that interest them. Cats are curious creatures and will usually give food a nibble before making their decision.

You might find that your cat can’t get enough of this flavorful herb. If that’s the case, keep in mind that any human treat should be fed in moderation. If you are concerned your cat is eating too much cilantro, consult with your veterinarian.

Is Cilantro Good For Cats?

While cilantro is packed with vitamins and minerals that make it healthy for humans, cats have evolved to get everything they need from a high-protein, meat-based diet. If your cat eats only a small amount of cilantro, as recommended, it will provide little nutritional value. Still, if your cat enjoys this herb’s texture or taste, it’s satisfying to give them a bite here and there to make them happy.

When Is Cilantro Bad For Cats?

Since cats are not meant to eat plants, too much cilantro could lead to gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea. There is also a small chance that ingesting this herb could cause cardiac arrhythmia. If you are concerned about giving cilantro to your cat, consider other healthy herbs that are sure to please your furry friend.

Alternatives To Cilantro

Many herbs are safe for cats to ingest—some may even drive your cat wild! Consider any of the following herbs as alternatives to cilantro. And remember, moderation is key with any herbal treat.

Catnip

About 70 to 80 percent of cats go crazy for catnip. Your cat may rub and roll on fresh or dried catnip, while some prefer munching on this herb. Catnip may act like a stimulant or sedative, depending on the cat. Cats who only smell and roll around in catnip tend to act wild and playful, while cats who eat the herb tend to become mellow and zone out. This effect usually lasts about 10 minutes.

Silver Vine

If your cat shows no interest in catnip, offer them silver vine. In a 2017 study, almost 80 percent of cats responded to silver vine. This plant has a euphoric effect on cats and drives them absolutely crazy (in the best way). Give your cat silver vine and watch them lick, roll, and run about. You can find silver vine sticks, which also help remove tartar from your cat’s teeth, as well as cuts and powders.

Echinacea

This herb supports your cat’s immune system. Use echinacea to treat abscesses, urinary tract infections, upper respiratory infections, or allergies. If your cat enjoys the taste of echinacea, let them munch on the root, flower, or stem to keep their immune system in tip-top shape.

Valerian

Valerian is a stimulant for cats, making it a great herb to introduce to an overweight kitty. About 50 percent of cats respond to valerian based on scent alone. Try growing valerian in an indoor cat garden to ensure your kitty has access all year round.

You may also wish to give your cat valerian root, which can help relieve your cat’s stress and anxiety. Look for powdered valerian root, valerian root treats, or a valerian root tincture that is safe for cats.

Basil

According to the ASPCA, basil is non-toxic to cats. If your cat loves to chew, give them a basil leaf to munch.

Cat Grass

Cats in the wild chew on grass, so why not provide your feline with non-toxic cat grass? Readily available at pet stores, a pot of cat grass is a safe treat and will keep your feline from chewing on your houseplants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cats Eat Coriander Leaves?

Yes, it is considered safe to feed your cat coriander leaves in moderation.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cilantro For Cats?

Cilantro is packed with vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, manganese, zinc, and potassium. If you wish to supplement your cat’s diet with cilantro, feed your cat a small amount each day so that your cat may benefit from this flavorful herb.

Final Thoughts

Cilantro is a culinary herb often used to support human nutrition. You may find that your cat enjoys chewing on cilantro for its unique texture or for its tangy, peppery flavor. Always feed your cat a small amount first to test for adverse reactions. If your cat loves cilantro, you are more than welcome to feed your feline this herb in moderation. If your cat shows no interest in cilantro, but you want to enrich their diet, there are plenty of other herbal options to offer your cat.

Cat looking at a plate of bacon trying to eat it

Author's Suggestion

Can Cats Eat Bacon?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top