Can Cats Eat Cilantro? The Dos and Don'ts

Cats love to nibble on plants and herbs, but is it safe for them to eat cilantro? Find out if this popular herb is a healthy treat for your feline friend.
Can Cats Eat cilantro?

Cats can safely eat cilantro in small amounts as a treat. However, it is not a necessary part of their diet and should not be given to them regularly. It is important to feed it to them in moderation to avoid any potential health risks, such as digestive issues or toxic chemical reactions. As always, it is best to consult with your veterinarian before giving your cat any new foods.


What is Cilantro?

Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an aromatic herb that is commonly used in a variety of dishes for its flavor and aroma. It is a member of the parsley family and is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Can Cats Eat Cilantro?

Yes, cats can eat cilantro in small amounts as a treat. While it does offer some nutritional benefits, it is not a necessary part of their diet and should not be given to them regularly.

Nutritional Benefits of Cilantro for Cats

Vitamins and Minerals Found in Cilantro

Cilantro is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients can be beneficial for cats, but they can also obtain them from their regular diet.

How Can These Nutrients Benefit Cats?

Vitamin A is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, vision, and overall wellbeing. Vitamin C is vital for the growth and repair of body tissues and can help cats manage stress. Vitamin K promotes blood clotting and bone health, while potassium and magnesium are essential for maintaining optimal muscle function and overall health.

Risks of Feeding Cilantro to Cats

Potential Digestive Issues

Eating too much cilantro can lead to digestive problems in cats, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting. To avoid these issues, it is essential to give your cat cilantro in moderation.

Toxic Chemicals in Cilantro

Cilantro can contain chemicals, such as psoralens, that can be toxic to cats. These chemicals can cause skin irritation or other adverse reactions. To minimize the risk, only give your cat small amounts of cilantro as a treat.

Risks for Pregnant or Nursing Cats

It is best to avoid giving cilantro to cats that are pregnant or nursing, as it can affect the health of their kittens.

Proper Portion Size for Cats

How Much Cilantro to Give Your Cat

Cats should only be given a small amount of cilantro as a treat, not as a regular part of their diet. A good rule of thumb is to limit their intake to no more than a tablespoon per serving.

Preparing Cilantro for Your Cat

It is essential to remove the stems and any other inedible parts of the cilantro before giving it to your cat. Also, ensure that the cilantro is free from any pesticides or harmful chemicals.

Alternatives to Cilantro for Cats

Other Safe Herbs and Vegetables for Cats

Other safe herbs and vegetables that you can give to your cat as treats include parsley, basil, and small amounts of properly cooked and unseasoned vegetables, such as carrot and broccoli.

Benefits of Cat Grass

Cat grass is another safe and beneficial alternative for cats. It can help with digestion and provide a source of fiber, which can help prevent hairballs.

Tips for Introducing New Foods to Your Cat

Gradual Introduction Process

Introduce small amounts of cilantro or any new food to your cat gradually, starting with a tiny piece and slowly increasing the quantity over time.

Monitoring Your Cat's Reaction

Observe your cat's reaction when introducing new foods, such as cilantro, and discontinue feeding it if you notice any adverse effects or if your cat does not seem to enjoy it.

Consultation with Your Veterinarian

Importance of Veterinary Advice

Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your cat's diet to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your pet's specific needs.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your cat experiences any adverse reactions or health issues after eating cilantro or other new foods, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice and treatment.


In conclusion, cats can eat cilantro in small amounts as a treat, but it is not necessary for their diet. Moderation is essential to avoid potential health risks, and it is best to consult with your veterinarian before giving your cat any new foods.

Medically Reviewed by Nauman Zaheer, DVM

Nauman Zaheer Ghumman, DVM is an MPhil qualified Licensed Veterinary Doctor with a wide range of academic writing experience, including published work in an International Veterinary journal and educational material for Pet owners.

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