is cilantro bad for cats

Is cilantro bad for cats?

If you are a caring cat lover who wants to know everything about what your cat eats, you will likely come across this question: can cats eat cilantro? Is cilantro bad for cats?

The good news is: yes, cats eat cilantro, and listed as one of the non-toxic herbs that are safe for cats to eat by ASPCA or the American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals.

And based on research, if your cat is eating cilantro in a very small quantity or too much, there is still a small chance that it can lead to gastrointestinal upset or any heart ailments.

To further understand the cilantro plant and other new foods to introduce to your cat, pet owners like you have to learn about the kind of food you can feed to them or the ones you cannot.

is cilantro bad for cats

Can cats eat cilantro?

Facts about your cat: cilantro or Chinese parsley, its health benefits, and other plants that your cat can or cannot eat

What is cilantro?

This plant material is a common herb utilized in many cuisines throughout the world, like Indian, Mexican, or Italian food.

Cilantro can be added to enhance the flavor in meat, soup, vegetable, or rice dishes. This herb can even be used to spice up an alcoholic drink, and it can be included in sweet juices as well.

People with refined palates describe the taste of cilantro as having a lemony and tarty flavor. And when added as an ingredient to dishes, make them more delicious.

Cilantro also has a lot of health benefits. Cilantro acts as a rich source of vitamins A, B9, B6, B5, B3, B2, B1, C, E, K, protein, fats, carbohydrates, potassium, calcium, iron, sodium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Cilantro also has dietary fiber, like broccoli and winter squash, that can aid in digestion. So if you have ever wondered, “can cats eat brocolli?” It’s a resounding yes! Toss a little cilantro in there too for added taste.

Are cilantro and coriander the same thing?

Both originated from the same plant but have different tastes and uses. The stems and fresh leaves are called cilantro, and if it flowers and turns to seed, it is known as coriander seeds.

The Spanish word for coriander is cilantro.

What is the difference between coriander and cilantro?

Both coriander and cilantro come from the same plant. They have different names like dhania, scientific name of Coriandrum sativum, and Chinese parsley. Still, they both come from the Coriandrum sativum family.

Asian and Mexican cuisine often utilize cilantro leaves and stem in their cooking, and the best-known dish is salsa.

It is also an ingredient in noodle and pasta dishes.

Asian chefs refer to cilantro coriander leaves, and grocery stores label them as cilantro.

It would not last very long in the kitchen cupboard and can last up to five days.

Coriander dried seeds are ground and included in rice, curry, and soup dishes. It is regarded as a warm spice, much like cinnamon. Its best flavor will come out once toasted then crushed.

But the question is: can cats eat cilantro? Is cilantro safe for cats? Or is cilantro bad for cats?

There has been some confusion around the question, “can cats eat cilantro or not?” Some resources say eating cilantro is okay, and some don’t.

However, if what’s on your mind is the utmost safety of your cat, then you will be happy to know that giving cilantro is safe for cats, based on the above-mentioned list in the ASPCA.

It means there is no danger if most cats, dogs, and horses, young and old, consume it, either too much or too little.

If you often give plant-based food to your cat to mix it up, feed it only a small portion. A cat’s digestive system would have a difficult time digesting plants since it is a carnivore and has a digestive system that is built to break protein particles down.

Either raw or cooked cilantro or coriander is safe for your cat to consume. Let your cat nibble in a few chopped leaves on its main cat chow and only do it a few times each week.

Can your cat eat cilantro?

Possible ill effects of cilantro in cats’ digestive system and central nervous systems, like gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac arrhythmia, and other kidney health problems

  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver-related problems
  • Vomiting
  • Shallow breathing

If your cat does not care for cilantro, there are possible alternatives that are non-toxic, safe for cats, and have a lot of health benefits.

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Your cat, cilantro, and other medicinal herbs

You can create a herbs garden, which includes:

Witch Hazel

If your cat has feline acne, your veterinarian might even recommend it. Get a piece of cotton, dip it in water mixed with witch hazel, and dab it on the affected part two times a day.


Is you have ever asked, “can cats eat catnip?” The answer is yes! And valerian is an excellent alternative to silver vine or catnip, which can have the same stimulating effect on your cat. This acrid herb will turn the fattest and laziest cat to become an active feline.

Also, it has the opposite effect on people and induces a relaxing effect.

Licorice root

This root has anti-inflammatory properties that can be utilized in soothing cats with allergies, problems in the digestive system, kidney failure, and respiratory issues.


This herb can help boost the immune system of cats. Felines with upper respiratory problems and stomach upset will be cured by it.


The calendula herb is best utilized in topical uses for anti-inflammation. It will make any wounds your cat may have healed quicker.

Dandelion root and cat’s claw

These herbs can assist in curing any allergies your cat may have. It can also regulate healthy digestion, make their immune system stronger, and detoxifies its liver.


It is an especially great antibacterial medication, which can disinfectant wounds your cat may have.


Catnip is part of the mint family and has nepetalactone that makes cats go a little crazy. However, not all felines have the same reaction to catnip.

Tasty herbs similar to cilantro that are safe for cats

  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Rosemary

Herbs that you should NOT feed to your cat

Chives and garlic

These herbs, including scallions, onions, shallots, and leeks, induce the most harm to cats. These have a toxic effect on its digestive system and damages the cat’s red blood cells. Thus making them anemic and then die soon after.


While it produces a tremendous sensation to people, its effect is toxic to cats, dogs, and other animals.

Eating marijuana will lead to many conditions like low blood pressure, vomiting, incoordination, gastrointestinal irritation, seizure, and many more.


There has been some confusion about chamomile since there are some types that are regarded as dangerous to cats.

German chamomile is the kind that cats can eat that would not induce any harm, while English chamomile is the toxic one that causes diarrhea, anorexia, dermatitis, and many more.

John’s Wort

Do not let your cat close to this herb and might eat it. If it consumes too much, it will cause dermatitis and other photosensitive effects.


Cats should not be given anything with oregano because of its highly toxic essential oil content or oregano oil. They are incredibly toxic and poisonous for cats, and they can cause fatal oregano poisoning.

Other herbs that can irritate your cat

  • Mint
  • Lemongrass
  • Tarragon
  • Sago palm

There are other types of food that are not suitable for cats, especially in large amounts. For instance, too much dairy can lead to digestion problems. Other herbs can cause complications in the central nervous system.

If your cats eat any of these toxic foods and herbs, and you observe your feline friend suffering ill effects—like filling up the litter box with wet poop—consult your vet immediately or give it medical assistance.

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Main menu in a cat’s diet

Commercial cat food

There are three kinds:

Dry foods

This kind has six to ten percent liquid. It has:

  • Meat or meat by-product
  • Poultry or poultry by-product
  • Fishmeal
  • Minerals and vitamin supplements
  • Dietary fiber sources
  • Grain or grain by-product

Semi-moist foods

This kind of cat chow is thirty-five percent moisture and has meat or meat by-products in them.

Canned foods

This kind has seventy-five percent water and includes feature meats or meat by-products.

Homemade diet for cats to eat

Making an appropriate cat food offers many challenges and may take a lot of time since you have to be sure that they will have a correct diet and contain proper nutritional values.

However, experts do advocate that cat owners buy commercial food for their cats.

Since it has the proper quantity of nutrients that cats need.

Also, your vet will usually have a recipe for new food for your cats. Of which was formulated by his colleagues. You only have to ask for it and make one for your furry friend.

Treats in small amounts

Periodic treats are not bad for your pets, but they generally do not provide the right nutritive value, even for cats. Still, it is alright to treat them sometimes.

Raw meat, canned fish, green beans, baked carrots, steamed asparagus, and dairy products have become increasingly popular. But they are not encouraged as proper treats and will do absolutely nothing to felines.

They have various effects on your pet cats, like weight gain, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Some even have a laxative effect. If something bad happens, go to the vet immediately.

Conclusion: final opinion about the nutritional value of cilantro and some herbs

Pets are like members of the family and should be treated as such.

If something is deemed bad for cats, like some herbs mentioned on this list, do not let them eat it. If you are introducing a new food for your cats, thoroughly research facts about the food to avoid poisoning. You do not want your family member to suffer from bad mistakes.

For your cat, cilantro might be safe to eat, but do not give them too much. You can find other better and healthier treats.

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