Is Oregano Safe for Cats?

oregano and cats

Anybody thinking about Italian-inspired food has fallen in love with oregano, among the herbs accountable for the flavors present in the best pizzas. Though this powerful herb is best used moderately, it appears routinely in much of our diets. In addition to pizza and pasta, we use it to flavor meat, to enliven otherwise uninteresting salads, or perhaps as a flavoring for roasted veggies.

In addition to being tasty, a lot of the people who are into holistic healing argue that oregano (and oregano oil) are effective dietary supplements. For anybody who is interested in preserving their own health and the health of their animals, this presents a fascinating question: should we supplement our animals’ diets with oregano?

Can Cats Have Oregano?

The short answer is no, cats ought to not eat oregano. While taking in small amounts of dried oregano leaves most likely will not lead to a medical emergency, it is unlikely to do your cat numerous favors, either. Many spices have no role in the feline diet and might cause digestive problems if consumed regularly. That said, if your cat gobbles up a little bit of a sauce including oregano, do not worry — they will most likely be okay. Oregano essential oil, on the other hand, must be totally off-limits.

Is Digesting Oregano Fatal?

Dependant on just how much your feline has taken in, digesting oregano can be deadly.

In many cases, Oregano will trigger some gastrointestinal upset in felines. The reaction tends to be relatively mild, though if a lot of oregano is digested, it can cause more serious problems or poisoning.

Poisonings tend to lead to long-term liver damage if not properly treated or treated rapidly enough.

What Is the Most Common Form of Poisoning?

Vets have stated that the most typical perpetrator of oregano poisoning comes from pet parents who indicate well. Oftentimes said pet moms and dads believe that oregano can be utilized medicinally on cats, using oils as antibiotics as numerous provide for themselves.

The second most common kind of poisoning comes from pet moms and dads who grow their own oregano in their backyards or in pots in the cooking area. In cases like these, pet parents often assume that their cats will not be interested in chewing down on the greens, nevertheless, these poisonings can be more unsafe as the felines tend to have access to the plants even when there is no human guidance.

In cases where oregano is grown outside, it is necessary to be familiar with the wildlife/neighbours in the area. If you live in a neighbourhood where there are a lot of strays or going to kitties, make certain that the oregano is not in reach for any passers-by. You can do this by fencing confining the area where the oregano is or simply by picking to grow the oregano inside in a space that is not usually accessible by your pet.

Health Benefits

Though most authorities seem to concur that oregano is not suitable for cats, there are people who state otherwise. Those who are interested in using herbs for health and recovery argue that oregano may use effective health advantages for cats. A few of these people recommend that oregano might work as a digestive aid, a mild sedative, an expectorant, and an antibiotic. There are even some sources that argue for making use of oregano as a method of eliminating intestinal parasites.

That stated, there is little research study to back up these claims — there have been few (if any) studies on the effects of oregano on the feline body. There has been one study on chickens. In this research study, they used oregano leaves in lieu of antibiotics. In this research study, they found that there was definitely no advantage to giving chickens oregano leaves. The chickens who were on antibiotics end up bigger and healthier than the ones who were offered the oregano supplement.

If you are interested in including oregano or other herb to treat your cat’s diseases, consult a vet first. Your vet almost certainly has more experience in handling the consequences of feeding sick cats ‘recovery foods’. Plus, if your cat is handling a major problem like a digestive tract parasite, it’s crucial that they get appropriate care.

Cats and Oregano Safety Issues

Oregano contains an essential oil that can triggering intestinal upset in cats. It is high in both phenols and terpenoids, which cats can not correctly digest due to an absence of glucuronyl transferase digestive enzymes in the liver. This can lead to a hazardous response and irreversible liver damage to the cat.

One of the best reasons to avoid offering your cat oregano is that their bodies are not set approximately absorb plant foods. Unlike us and our dogs, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they have actually evolved to eat exactly one type of food: entire victim animals. After numerous million years of consuming a strictly meat-based diet, our feline friends have actually lost many of the adjustments required to procedure plant foods. This suggests that, even if you feed your cat medical herbs, they may not have the ability to absorb them effectively. Your cat is almost certainly not going to benefit from plant foods (consisting of herbs!) the way that you will.

With this high-meat diet comes a finicky stomach, and cats are renowned for having much more minimal diets than their canine counterparts. According to the ASPCA, oregano is an intestinal irritant that can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

What Are the Symptoms of Oregano Poisoning?

Regrettably, not all symptoms of oregano poisoning are immediate and may take a while prior to they peak their nasty heads. That being said, if your feline reveals any of the following signs please make certain to take them right away to the vet:

  • Throwing up
  • Diarrhea
  • Farting/Gastrointestinal upset
  • Nausea/Upset Stomach
  • Anorexia
  • Oral Irritation
  • Rashes/Skin Irritation
  • Shallow/Trouble breathing
  • Liver Failure & Other Liver-Related Issues
  • Collapse or Difficulty Walking

Vets Diagnosis

Body exams will include an oral and dermal assessment to see whether the oil has burned your feline’s skin. This will commonly be preceded by a temperature test, heart rate test in addition to a blood pressure test. If anything keeps an eye out of place, your vet might ask to run a few blood tests to see how much of the oil has actually reached your cat’s blood stream.

The most essential test tends to be a urinalysis as it will let the veterinarian understand whether your feline’s liver is working. If the poisoning appears major your vet might request a biopsy of your cat’s liver, which will go through a microscopic assessment.

Treatments for Oregano Poisoning

Cats will frequently be stabilized through IV and will be monitored till all toxins are washed out of your cat’s body.

Dependant on how severe your cat’s condition is, your cat might be hospitalized for a few days while dealt with for dehydration.

If a cat is experiencing distress breathing, cats will be put on an oxygen machine to help assist them and might be given sedatives to keep them calm during the procedure.

If a feline has experienced burns from exposure to oregano their mouths and skin will be thoroughly flushed with water to help in reducing the inflammation. No medications or creams are typically administered, however, this depends from vet to veterinarian.

How Does Oregano Poison Affect to a Cat?

If captured early enough and treatment is effectively administered, your feline must have a full and fast healing without any long term health problems.

That being the case, if not correctly dealt with or handled quick sufficient your cat may be entrusted irreversible liver damage. Liver damage, while workable, can reduce the life expectancy of your feline. When it pertains to oregano based liver damage your feline might need to be medicated or provided a new diet for the rest of their lives.

Keep in Mind

Some argue that oregano essential oil is a natural treatment for infected injuries. Some vets report that oregano oil works in dealing with infections when used topically, but the risks appear to exceed the benefits — cats are likely to lick it off and wind up with burns in their tongue and mouth. In addition, several animal owners have reported that their cats chose not to eat food for days after they consumed oregano essential oil. So, while oregano oil may work well as a topical antibacterial remedy, it may be much safer for your cat to use antibiotics instead. That will decrease the risk of burns or possibly severe gastrointestinal issues.


Now you know that oregano isn’t safe for your cat. There is no need to provide your cat oregano. It has no tested health benefits, it is most likely to irritate your cat’s delicate gastrointestinal system, and using the essential oil puts your cat at a risk of painful burns. This should not be excessive of a problem — the majority of the foods which contain oregano are not suitable for cats anyway, because they include garlic, onions, or big quantities of white flour. There are a lot of reasons not to give your cat pizza. Oregano is only one of them.

Reyus Mammadli
Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.
Pet Health
Leave a Reply

  1. Patricia

    I never thought you could give a cat Oregano. And now I read the article, and I definitely will not do it. For cats there is another good food.

  2. Katy_Smith

    Well, that is good to know. A friend of mine who is legit obsessed with Italian food started feeding her cat some as well, and she loved putting some oregano in for the flavor. Long story short, her cat got a poisoning but it turned out ok at the end. No following long-term liver damage was involved for the kitty 🙂

  3. Xx_JoshTheSlayer_xX

    who would even feed their cat oregano? you must be living under a freaking rock if u think that it’s a good idea. unless u hate ur cat and want to give it a liver failure or something, just don’t do it LOL

  4. Gerard Bisset

    My cousin has a cat who had similar problems. I don’t know if he fed her some oregano or not, but the vet told us that it had been a poisoning. It was obvious, I guess. She would throw up a lot and we actually took her to the vet when she had troubles breathing. But, luckily, he just gave her some sedatives and she was fine.

  5. Jörg19

    I’ve read about something like this once in a paper. Some guy used oregano to treat his cat’s wounds (no clue how it got wounded LOL) and then it just stopped eating normal cat food. At all. He took her to the vet and understood his mistake. But still, must be really mentally difficult to deal with stuff like this. Can’t imagine my pet being in a state similar to this.