Can Cats Eat Basil?

Basil is one of those herbs which you find in a lot of different foods because of its strong flavor.

For this reason, there are a lot of households which have it has part of their groceries and so might find its way of interesting a kitty on their investigation for food.

So let’s take a look at it.

What is basil?

Basil is a plant which is native to tropical parts of the world.

It is a tender plant which is found in countries from southeast Asia to central Africa.

It is used in culinary dishes around the world known for its strong taste which is rather like anise.

Because of this it is commonly used fresh in many different recipes which you can find but tends to be used at the last moment as its strong flavor often ruins the flavor of other foods when used with them. It is stored usually in refrigerators or can Be kept for long periods in the freezer.

So can cats eat basil at all?

Let’s take a look at their nutritional data and find out more.

By looking at what they contain we can make a good assessment as to whether they actually make a portion of good food for them to eat rather than relying on the word of others.

In particular, their carbohydrate, acidic, water, sugar, salt, calcium, phosphorous, and fat content is of most interest as far as cats are concerned.

What does basil contain?

Basil, fresh

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)Energy94 kJ (22 kcal)

Carbohydrates2.65 g
Dietary fiber1.6 g
Fat0.64 g
Protein3.15 g
VitaminsQuantity%DV†Vitamin A equiv.

beta-Carotene33% 264 μg 29% 3142 μg
Thiamine (B1) 3% 0.034 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 6% 0.076 mg
Niacin (B3) 6% 0.902 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 4% 0.209 mg
Vitamin B6 12% 0.155 mg
Folate (B9) 17% 68 μg
Choline 2% 11.4 mg
Vitamin C 22% 18.0 mg
Vitamin E 5% 0.80 mg
Vitamin K 395% 414.8 μg
Calcium 18% 177 mg
Copper 19% 0.385mg

Iron 24% 3.17 mg
Magnesium 18%64 mg
Manganese 55% 1.148 mg
Phosphorus 8%56 mg
Potassium6%295 mg
Selenium0%0.3 μg
Sodium 0%4 mg
Zinc9%0.81 mg
Other constituents

Water92.06 g


As you can see basil contains a little carbohydrate, a lot of acidic content and calcium, and a huge amount of water.

Can cats eat basil?

Because of its content basil is not the greatest food for cats to be eating.

It’s a large amount of acidic and water content means that it can give a cat bloat and potentially make them sic of they eat large amounts of it.

If they have a nibble of it they should be fine but it is certainly not a food that should be fed purposely to a cat.

Certainly, a cat may try to eat it because that’s what cats do, and if they do manage to consume large amounts of it then do monitor them closely.

Most likely they will be sick but do consider veterinary attention if things take a change for the worse.

Some cats may just like the flavor of basil so it will do them no harm to have a little bit with their regular food

What about other foods that basil is a key ingredient for?

Can cats eat basil pesto?

Basil pesto is a big favorite of pesto lovers because of its strong flavor. For this reason, it is very popular and used in many different scenarios, not least with pasta.

Unfortunately, it is not a good food for cats to eat as it is too acidic for them. It may cause them to be sick because of its acidic nature and so is certainly a food to avoid feeding them.

If your kitty were to eat it out of curiosity, they should be fine just eating a little of it.

If they were to consume a large quantity of it then do monitor them to make sure they are okay.

If their symptoms take a downward turn, then consider veterinary assistance as soon as possible.

What should cats be eating?

Although they can have a little basil if they so take to it, it should not be a part of their diet as it doesn’t give them the nutrients that they as carnivores need.

Their regular diet should be wet and dry cat food which is prepared and made especially for them, as well as water for them to drink.


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