Do you have a garden? Your cat would certainly want you to have one. Not just because cats take huge pleasure in tumbling around greenery. They also like having an incredible amount of soil so they could about their business and powder their nose wherever convenient. What they like even more is the abundance of vegetation to chew on.
But fret not – your adorable fluffy friend hasn’t stopped being a bloodthirsty carnivore just because you caught him munching on greens. He’s just trying to improve his digestion, in that intuitive way that his nature taught him.
When it comes to cats and plants, the main question usually boils down to this: should your kitty be trusted to choose between healthy or neutral plants and those that could actually harm her? For example, can she eat parsley?
Is Parsley Safe for Cats?
The answer to this question isn’t straightforward and varies from source to source
There’s no reason to scold him just because you noticed that parsley leaf jutting out of his mouth. If eaten in small amounts, parsley is relatively safe for cats. And I’ll take for granted that your cat isn’t really crazy about it. I doubt she really craves having a dish with parsley pesto for breakfast. If that should be the case, you would have reasons for concern.
According to ACPCA, parsley is toxic to both cats and dogs – but only if eaten in large quantities. This means you shouldn’t freak out if you see your cat eating some parsley, but it also means you shouldn’t introduce parsley as a supplement to your cat’s regular food.
Does Parsley Offer Any Benefits to Cats?
Parsley is rich in antioxidants, folic acid, as well as vitamins C, K, and A, and minerals potassium and iron. To people, it acts as a diuretic – which means it helps us throw out excess water along with various toxins, dealing with potentially dangerous free radicals. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of various cancers, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other health issues.
However, when it comes to felines, most of these benefits are entirely lost on them. If a cat is healthy, she doesn’t need any food supplements, whether they come in pills or herbs. Premium quality food should already have all the ingredients the cat needs.
The only benefit your cat could possibly get from eating parsley is prevention of issues and infections with her urinary tract, due to its anti-inflammatory features. But this single (possible) benefit definitely isn’t enough of a reason to feed parsley to your cat. Research studies are scarce in this field, but some sources actually suggest that cats can get seizures if fed too much spring parsley.
The more one looks up this topic, the more confusing it gets. Some food and supplements manufacturers even add parsley to their products, disregarding its possible detrimental effects.
When everything taken into account, maybe it’s best to avoid giving it to Fluffy intentionally. If she happens to really like it, you can always consult your vet and see if it can do her any harm. If you just can’t keep her away from it, maybe it would be recommendable to stop growing it altogether – after all, you can always buy dried parsley to use as seasoning for your own meals.
There are many non-toxic plants that are perfectly safe for your cat. Some of them will act as hydrators, or even dental floss. Others are rich with dietary fibers and will help overweight cats get rid of a few ounces. Most non-toxic veggies will improve digestion and help your cat cough out those annoying hairballs.
But all of them have a common trait – the key is in moderation. Cats just need meat to survive, and it’s not a myth. That’s why most cats, even the quirky ones, will give us that crazed look when they sniff out some meat or get a chance to practice their hunting skills, but will only occasionally commit to munching on plants. Unless it’s about shredding your house plants, just for the fun of it.