All the plants growing in your garden are highly packed with oils and other chemicals. Each herb contains a unique combination of substances that create its “medicinal identity.”
Some of these chemicals, which may be present in the herb in a great amount or just a trace, can be highly toxic to some organisms.
For example, poison ivy can cause a severe allergic reaction in humans, yet it doesn’t affect cats or dogs the same way. In a like manner, aloe vera is poisonous to cats but generally safe for humans.
For that reason, your cat may be endangered by your indoor herb collection. I’m talking about herbs that can be slightly dangerous to your pet even though they’re totally safe for you.
Cats are known for snatching plants. So, it’s certainly possible that they might accidentally pluck one of your herb leaves with their teeth and proceed to swallow it.
That might be worrisome in case you’re not growing herbs that are known to be safe for cats.
Don’t worry, though, as I have listed below the 8 safest and most beneficial indoor herbs for your cat.
Top 8 Indoor Herbs Safe for Cats:
Bear in mind that in reality there isn’t something called “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
Lemon balm is considered to be very safe for humans and many other species, including cats.
Most of the time, this herb is grown for its leaves, which have a beautiful lemony and minty aroma.
- Benefits of Lemon Balm:
Lemon balm is known in the medical community 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 highly packed with antioxidants, and recent studies prove that it also contains antimicrobial and antiviral compounds.
You can use lemon balm’s leaves to prepare a 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. In fact, today, more than 15 species of bee balm have been identified.
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 for its ability to treat mouth infections and skin irritations.
When your cat suffers from a skin burn or infection, you can prepare a tea from bee balm leaves and apply it topically to the affected area.
Bee balm has a very pungent peppery taste that isn’t appealing to everyone, but it usually tastes good in salads and as a garnish for dishes.
According to many trusted scientific sources, thyme is completely safe for humans and cats.
There are about 350 species of thyme around the world today, with common thyme, wild thyme, and lemon thyme being the most popular.
- Benefits of Thyme:
This herb contains good amounts of thymol and carvacrol, which are antimicrobial substances.
Thymol is an antiseptic that is very effective against parasitic worms, while carvacrol can inhibit the proliferation of bacteria.
Thyme is also used to relieve the symptoms of respiratory and digestive problems, such as bronchitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
When suffering from any of the above problems, your cat can be fed ½ teaspoon of thyme tea twice a day to shorten the duration of the disease.
Thyme can be easily started from seeds indoors. It prefers a well-drained soil, a lot of exposure to light, and minimum amounts of water.
According to ASPCA, dill is not harmful to cats.
It is frequently used 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 looks somewhat like fennel.
- Benefits of Dill
Dill has the ability to alleviate nausea and other stomach problems, such as burping and indigestion. This herb can also be used to relieve the symptoms of moderate cases of hemorrhoids and colic.
Furthermore, dill can be used to inhibit bacterial infections and inflammation in your cat’s mouth and throat.
Most of the essential oils of this herb are packed in its seeds, so 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 too much is consumed, however, 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:
Although rosemary’s benefits apply to both humans and cats, 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, rosemary can be dubbed “the queen of preventive herbs.”
You can consume rosemary daily by adding a fresh or dried cutting of stem and leaves to your cup of tea. This would help you become more immune to cancer and infections, and would also improve your blood circulation.
Rosemary can be easily propagated from cuttings but requires proper attention and care to grow well indoors.
Basil is very safe for cats and unlikely to cause any irritations for them 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, basil is used to treat nausea, but new scientific research shows that this herb has the ability to prevent cancer and improve memory.
It can also lower blood pressure and strengthen blood capillaries.
Basil is very easy 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.
Interestingly, this herb develops edible bulbs at its base. These bulbs, along with the foliage, are used in cooking.
- Benefits of Fennel
Fennel is highly 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:
Chervil is used to treat some digestive problems. It is also well known to relieve cough.
Many sources stress the ability of chervil to lower blood pressure and decrease water retention.
However, it is still not well known 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!