Can Cats Eat Sage? Yes, Here’s The Answer

Did you notice that your cat is nibbling on the sage leaves on your lawn or near the windows? At that time, you might be anxious about “is sage safe for cats?”. Plus, you might be thinking about which plants to remove from your garden if you plan to own a cat?

Yes, cats can eat sage. Many studies reveal that sage is non-toxic to cats. You do not have to worry if your cat is eating the leaves of this aromatic herb in small quantities. As the digestive system of cats is meant for meat, eating plenty of sage causes severe gastrointestinal complications. It leads to diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, and abdominal pain.

You can find all the answers to the related questions about sage, benefits, health risks, and some different types of sage.

Can Cats Eat Sage? Is it Safe? 

Can Cats Eat Sage? Yes, Here's The Answer

In general, it is safe for cats to eat sage. When your cat is chewing on some sage leaves, it causes no harm. Sage does not have many nutrients, but there are few crucial benefits.

To be precise, the digestive system of your cat is developed to eat and digest meat. Cats can still eat a few herbs and plants. But, due to the absence of enough enzymes, they can not break down and change herbs (plants) into glucose. If the cat eats sage more than it should, the food will become undigested and might flush out.

Now, let’s have a look at the bright side of the sage as their leaves give the necessary fiber to the cat’s diet. If the cat is making painful sounds while pooping, it is a symptom of constipation. Adding some sage leaves to the cat’s diet helps in softening things out.

Introducing Sage 

Sage is one of the safest herbs. Salvia officinalis is the binomial name of sage. It is a part of the Lamiaceae group, which is also a mint family.

Sage has many names such as culinary sage, golden sage, dalmatian sage, broadleaf sage, common sage, kitchen sage, and garden sage.

Sage is an evergreen shrub, and it is used for many purposes such as culinary perennial, medicinal, and ornamental. Besides that, sage can become an essential oil as well. Fresh leaves, dried leaves, ground powder rub, and oil extract are the derivatives of sage.

Are cats attracted to Sage? 

Several cats can not resist the nepetalactone chemical as it is blissful and gives almost narcotic effects.

You can find this chemical in herbs such as catnip, silver vine, catmint, Tatarian honeysuckle, and valerian root. Sage does not have any irresistible chemical and physical properties which can attract cats.

Like mint, sage also comes with a sweet scent which gives a cooling impact. In general, many cats do not like mint due to its strong aroma. Plus, sage comes with a similar minty flavor, and cats might stay away. But some cats enjoy sage because they do not have any problem with the smell of mint.

In short, sage does not have an overpowering scent to attract the cats. But, due to its flavor and texture, the curious cats might nibble on them.

What Are The Potential Benefits Of Sage? 

Sage contains antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, and antihydrotic characteristics. Below are a few benefits of sage for cats:

1. Sage includes antimicrobial and Antiseptic traits. It helps in protecting the cat from many bacterial infections, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and more.

2. There are antispasmodic characteristics in the sage. They support the cat to relax its muscles and avoid extreme muscle trembling. It also reduces seizures and body shocks.

Besides the antispasmodic factors, sage is a vasodilator as well. It means that the sage loosens up the muscles in the cat’s blood vessels. Thus, it improves blood flow in the cat’s body and maintains heart health.

3. Due to the astringent properties of the sage, experts suggest using this herb for cats that have skin ulcerations. This sage helps in cleaning and stimulating the cat’s skin. It compresses the skin pores and restricts the over-secretion of oil.

4. Because of the antihydrotic skills of sage, it is a perfect home treatment for cats who suffer from unnecessary sweating. To be precise, it is better for cats with hyperhidrosis.

5. Sage has fiber-rich dietary. It can help in reducing gastrointestinal problems in cats, like diarrhea, excess gas, and constipation.

6. It also has potent antifungal characteristics. It is beneficial in keeping away the cat from fungal diseases (infections), such as ringworms.  

7. Sage helps in dealing with the diseases that cause depression, hot flushes, and excessive perspiration in cats.

8. Studies reveal that sage supports memory and cognitive performance in cats. It also gives pain relief to the cat and assists in treating lung cancer.

How To Use Sage 

Now, it is time to learn how to use the sage. Since ancient times, sage is an extra herb in food, used to make tea, or distributed as medicine.

You can cut the sage leaves into tiny pieces and use them as ordinary and homemade snacks for cats. Besides that, you can offer a small portion of dried or grounded leaves. Now, you might be thinking about whether the dried sage leaves are safe for cats or not?

Yes, both fresh and dried sage leaves are safe for your cat. You can use the sage leaves or powder them to feed cats orally. It helps in increasing the immunity of the cat and treats problems such as indigestion.

You can rub the extracts of the sage leaves on your cat’s skin to reduce itching sensations. It is also good to deal with ulcerations. The sage is safe for cats, and you can use it for both inner and outer applications.

Here is another primary question from cat owners – is sage oil safe for cats? No, sage oils are harmful to your cats, and it is better not to use them. Due to the presence of ketones in sage oils, you should not use them on cats.  

When a cat eats plenty of ketones, it causes ketoacidosis. It is a disease that your cat suffers from when the acid levels rise in its bloodstream. This health condition has connections with feline diabetes.

Health Risks Of Eating Sage 

When the cat eats excessive amounts of sage, it tends to face many health problems. In drastic situations, it might suffer from physiological issues within its central nervous system. Due to this, it is crucial to go to the veterinarian when you see your cats eating plenty of sage. Here are a few health risks cats suffer from eating sage.

  • When they eat excessive amounts of sage, cats will get an upset stomach and heavy pain.
  • The sage essential oil is not safe for cats because it contains ketones.
  • When the cat eats sage for the first time, it might vomit or get diarrhea. It happens because the herb is a new flavor to the cat.
  • As per experts, sage is classified as a salicylate food. It has organic chemical salicylate, and this is poisonous to cats.
  • The smoke from the burning sage might give discomfort to the cats suffering from respiratory conditions.

Why Sage Oil Is Not Safe For Cats? 

Sage oil is only better for non-diabetic cats. The oil extract from the sage plant comes with an active compound, which is Ketones.

When ketones enter the body of the hypoglycemic cat, the sugar levels in its blood increase. The rise in sugar levels causes diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA in cats. In extreme situations, DKA results in the death of your cat. The best thing to do is keeping away the sage essential oil from the cat.

Is Burning Sage Safe For Cats? 

Using burning sage as an aroma has many benefits too. Here are a few advantages:

  • Enriches sleep patterns
  • Removes bad energy
  • Enhances mental abilities
  • Relieves the body and cures stress
  • Stimulates overall fit and health
  • Boosts the mood and energy in the surroundings

Smoke is one of the primary disadvantages why using burning sage is not safe. When the burning sage releases smoke, there are high chances that your cat might cough or choke on the smoke. It is because cats have sensitive airway tracts and lungs. They can not perform well in smoke.

Besides that, the fumes of the burning sage cause pain to the respiratory system of your cat. If the cats are exposed to burning sage for a long time, they can develop asthma. It is better not to use burning sage if your cat is suffering from pre-existing respiratory disease. You have to be cautious if your cat is directing its feet or plucking burning sage out of the pot.

Cats who have bronchitis and asthma are vulnerable to smoke and develop severe respiratory illnesses. If the cat struggles to breathe, begins sneezing, and has moist eyes, you need to bring it out of that area. Make sure to take the cat to a new room with fresh air.

Bottom Line 

Sage is non-toxic and not harmful to cats. It is a typical thing for cats to bite on the sage leaves. Due to its strong flavor and scent, many cats would like it. Meanwhile, others cats do not show interest because of the mint smell. It is a beneficial plant and has a mix of health and dietary characteristics.

You can feed sage to your cat. But make sure to give only fresh or dried sage leaves, and it is best not to use essential oil. Even though burning sage has many benefits, try not to use it many times as the smoke is dangerous for cats.  

References

  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (2021). Sage 
  • Ernest Ward. (2021). Ringworm In Cats 
  • Cornell University. (2016). Feline Diabetes