All the plants growing in your garden come with an abundance of oils and other chemicals. Each herb contains a unique combination of substances that create its “medicinal identity.”
Some of these chemicals may be present in the herb in tremendous amounts or just a trace.
But some of these chemicals can be highly toxic to some organisms.
For example, poison ivy can cause severe allergic reactions in humans. Yet it doesn’t affect cats or dogs the same way. Similarly, aloe vera is poisonous to cats but generally safe for humans.
For that reason, your indoor herb collection may endanger your cat. I’m talking about herbs that can be slightly dangerous to your pet even though they’re totally safe for you.
Cat owners know that cats love to snatch plants. So, they might pluck one of your herb leaves and swallow it.
That could be worrisome if you’re not growing herbs you know are safe for cats.
Don’t worry! I have listed below the eight safest and most beneficial indoor herbs for your cat.
Let’s get started!
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Top 8 Indoor Herbs Safe For Cats
Bear in mind that, in reality, there is no such thing as “indoor herbs.”
All herbs can be grown inside if you know how to serve their needs. Some, nonetheless, are easier to grow than others.
1. Lemon Balm
People know lemon balm to be very safe for humans and many other species, including cats.
This herb is mainly grown for its leaves, which have a beautiful lemony and minty aroma.
Benefits of Lemon Balm:
The medical community knows lemon balm for its effects on the nervous system.
It has both anti-anxiety and anti-stress properties. So, you and your cat can consume it for a good night’s sleep.
Lemon balm is also brimming with antioxidants. And recent studies prove it also contains antimicrobial and antiviral compounds.
You can use lemon balm leaves to prepare tea. You can also toss some of them into your cat’s water bowl.
2. Bee Balm
Bee balm is another herb that is completely safe for our feline friends.
This plant is grown for its flowers and leaves and has several known varieties. Today, we have identified more than 15 species of bee balm.
The most popular bee balms are Oswego tea and wild bergamot. Both have the same benefits and growing conditions.
Benefits of Bee Balm:
Bee balm is famous among Native Americans. The herb can treat mouth infections and skin irritations.
You can prepare tea from bee balm leaves when your cat suffers from a skin burn or infection. Apply it topically to the affected area.
Bee balm has a very intense peppery taste; it isn’t appealing to everyone. It usually tastes good in salads and as a garnish for dishes.
Thyme is entirely safe for humans and cats. This is according to many trusted scientific sources.
There are about 350 species of thyme around the world today. The most popular are common thyme, wild thyme, and lemon thyme.
Benefits of Thyme:
This herb contains good amounts of thymol and carvacrol, which are antimicrobial substances.
Thymol is an antiseptic. It is very effective against parasitic worms. Carvacrol can inhibit the proliferation of bacteria.
People use thyme to relieve the symptoms of respiratory and digestive problems. Bronchitis is a good example. It can also help with irritable bowel syndrome.
When suffering from any of the above problems, your cat can be fed one-half teaspoon of thyme tea twice daily. That should shorten the duration of the disease.
You can start by growing thyme indoors from seeds, without much effort. It prefers well-drained soil, a lot of exposure to light, and little amounts of water.
According to ASPCA, dill is not harmful to cats.
We often use it in cooking, especially in Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Dill is an annual plant that grows around 20 inches (half a meter) tall and resembles fennel.
Benefits of Dill
Dill has the ability to ease nausea. It can also relieve other stomach problems, such as burping and indigestion. You can use this herb to alleviate the symptoms of moderate cases of hemorrhoids and colic.
People know dill inhibits bacterial infections and inflammation. Your cat’s mouth and throat will thank you.
Nature has packed most of the herb’s essential oils in its seeds. You may want to let it flower and then collect its seeds at the end of the growing season.
Rosemary is very safe for cats if consumed in small amounts. If the cat does eat too much of the herb, it may irritate your pet’s stomach.
This herb’s gentle, unique, and refreshing aroma makes it hands down the best herb.
Rosemary is an evergreen perennial that can live throughout the year. It’s native to the Mediterranean region, which means it can withstand drought conditions.
Benefits of Rosemary:
Rosemary’s benefits do apply to both humans and cats. But it’s recommended that you don’t use it to treat your pet’s health problems.
Rosemary has anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. In other words, we can dub rosemary “the queen of preventive herbs.”
You can consume rosemary daily by adding fresh or dried cuttings of stem and leaves to your cup of tea. Regularly ingesting rosemary can help you become more immune to cancer and infections. It can also help improve your blood circulation.
You can propagate rosemary from cuttings with little effort. But the plant will need proper attention and care to grow well indoors.
Basil is very safe for cats. This herb is unlikely to cause any irritations for your cat when ingested in moderate amounts.
Benefits of Basil:
Aside from its uses in the culinary world, basil also has several health benefits.
In alternative medicine, people use basil to treat nausea. But new scientific research shows that this herb has the ability to prevent cancer. The same study indicated basil could help improve memory.
What’s more, it can also lower blood pressure and strengthen blood capillaries.
Basil is simple to grow indoors.
ASPCA assures us that fennel is safe for cats in low quantities.
Unlike dill, fennel is a hardy perennial that can survive for many years.
This herb develops edible bulbs at its base, which is a bit of an oddity. You can use these bulbs, along with the foliage, in cooking.
Benefits of Fennel
Fennel is very beneficial for the digestive tract. It can reduce intestinal gases and abdominal cramps, and improve appetite.
The herb also has antibacterial benefits for your mouth and can reduce bad breath.
You can prepare fennel tea and feed your sick cat one teaspoon twice a day.
Fennel needs a bit of space to grow well.
Chervil is the final nontoxic herb for cats on my list today.
This herb, also known as French parsley, is an annual herb that is very famous in French cuisine.
It grows the same way as anise, cilantro, and celery.
Benefits of Chervil:
You can use chervil to treat some digestive problems; it is also well known for relieving cough.
Many sources stress chervil’s ability to lower blood pressure and decrease water retention.
However, it is still unknown if chervil has the same effect on cats as on humans.
Chervil is easy to grow from seeds.
Enjoy growing these herbs and let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!