Everyone is aware of how much cats like the scent of mint plants, but have you ever wondered how safe mint plants are for cats to ingest? What is it with mint that cats find appealing?
Feline are attracted to mint-scented goods or mint plants since this mint smell close to catnip, which they find appealing. Catnip is a perennial plant that belongs to the mint family, and it uses to treat cats. These plants have several characteristics in common that your cat knows and attracted to.
Whenever it comes to being a good pet owner, one of the essential duties we have is to ensure that our pets live in safe and healthy surroundings. Our furry feline companions should be considered while choosing the plants that will emerge in the home garden since these certain plants are hazardous to our feline friends.
In this article, we will discuss some safety hazards with mint, several considerations, and other fascinating facts regarding why cats are so drawn to the fragrance of mint.
What is Mint and Is Mint Safe for Cats?
Mentha is the scientific terminology for mint plants, which are members of the Lamiaceae family, often known as herbs. They are easily identifiable by square stems, long leaves, and remarkable aroma, aside from the cold, refreshing sensation they provide when chewed. The chemical menthol produces this obsessing sensation.
Mentha or garden mint is the most widely known plant. It is also recognized as common mint or garden mint. It is a wild plant that is often seen growing wild in the yard throughout Ireland to China.
Your cat is fascinated with mint, and it is most likely mistaken with another mint family member catnip! Cats like the scents of catnip and mint will often draw towards them if they detect them in your home.
Cats have an acute sense of smell, which makes it easy for them to locate it. A cat’s nose has 200 million odor receptors which explains its interest. Consider everything around you smelling 50% stronger! You would be interested in exploring all the scents, and the same for cats as well.
According to the American Society of Pet Nutrition, the garden type of mint is not healthy for your cat to eat. Cats may be contaminated by the essential oil found in garden mint if they eat excessive amounts of the plant. If your cat happens to consume a large quantity of mint plant, you may discover that they are overreacting to the plant.
Different Types of Mint and Their Reactions to Cat
Catnip or Catmint
Although the mint family contains several widely known plants, your cat only needs one of them: catnip, often known as catmint. Catnip is a favorite of the majority of cats. Not only do they not detest the scent, but it also draws them, which causes them to become euphoric. The primary component in this mint is nepetalactone, which has the effect of binding the tongue and frying the brain of cats. It produces moderate euphoria by imitating a cat sex hormone, which is what it is known for. Catmint sensitivities are a predominant hereditary characteristic. Unfortunately, some cats are resistant that manifests itself between the time of weaning, which occurs about eight weeks of age, and feline puberty.
Among the minty fragrance, peppermint is perhaps the one you’re most aware of. Some cats, for its scent, dislike peppermint, and with good reason.
It carries salicylate, a molecule present in aspirin and toxic to a feline. Peppermint is attractive to other cats since it includes chemicals comparable to nepetalactone, a cat attractant. If your cat is drawn to anything, please note that eating it may be detrimental, and the level of risk differs on the kind of engagement. Salicylate levels in the plant itself are minimal, as shown by the presence of fresh herbs or a dry tea bag. Nevertheless, peppermint oil, whether in aromatherapy or confectionery, produces a saturated and toxic composition.
Wintergreen is a woody, evergreen plant that is not affiliated to the mint family, although it is often referred to as having a mint taste. Wintergreen has a high concentration of salicylate in it. Even worse for your cat, it’s nearly generally found in oil form since the highly aromatic smell diminishes as the plant dries, making it challenging to prepare in its dry form when it’s available. Typically, when people say that cats hate the scent of mint, they are referring to this “mint.” Some folks go so far as to suggest soaking towels or other things in the oil of wintergreen to create cat repellant Pt. Cats who resist this odor have an ecological benefit since they avoid a toxic smell that might kill them. Your cat is a danger of poisoning if they are exposed to anything.
Spearmint And Other Mints
In contrast to peppermint, spearmint, and hybrid mints, marketed as teas, spices, and candies, they have lower amounts of salicylate and are thus less hazardous to cats. It may draw cats to the nepetalactone-mimicking compounds found in catnip, or they may hate the scent. It all varies on your particular cat and its tolerance as a catnip consumer.
How Do Mint Plants Affect Cats?
Felines are particularly attracted to mint plants. When it comes to cats, the impacts of mint plants may be alarming. Not all felines are influenced in the same manner, but cats react to mint in various ways.
Mint has been known to induce severe drowsiness in particular cats when inhaled in large quantities. A cat may seem very tired, sluggish, and disoriented when it is, in fact, quite normal. Many cat parents mark their feline companion as intoxicated or high for this apparent change in activity level and demeanor.
Other cats behave to mint in a radically different manner than the average cat. Mint acts as a stimulant in these cats, conducting uncertain, energized, and panic-stricken, resulting from its use. A cat that has been affected by these side effects may whip around the room in a zig-zag pattern and pounce everything that moves even the tiniest bit.
Directly to genetic form in the genes, mint may have surprising effects on felines, as is the case with humans. Some cats are poisoned by mint plants, while they don’t influence others. Mint seems to have a sedative effect on particular cats, while it appears to have an uncontrollable stimulating impact on others.
Mint plants may cause a variety of other effects in addition to behavioral changes. A cat’s health may also be jeopardized, which is why many pet groups believe that this plant is harmful to felines.
What is Mint Poisoning?
Mint poisoning is the formal terminology used to describe a cat that exhibits the adverse implications of mint ingestion. A veterinarian treats mint poisoning, but pet parents may assist in identifying a problem by carefully watching the cat’s behavior and the environment.
The majority of mint plants contain essential oils that may induce adverse reactions when taken in massive amounts. Catnip and catmint are both mint varieties that are suitable for cats. If used in excess, garden mint may induce gastrointestinal discomfort. Garden mint essential oils have also been shown to depress the esophageal valve, increasing the likelihood of puking in a cat that is already distressed.
Certain varieties of mint, such as pennyroyal, may have very adverse side effects, including liver failure. Cats that already have liver or bowel problems are at an increased danger of experiencing issues after mint use. Mint exposure may inflame the skin of hypersensitive cats.
Signs of Cat Mint Poisoning
It is rare for any malady to manifest after consuming most types of mint. If a reaction occurs, it is most likely to cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort. Several varieties of mint have the potential to cause serious harm to the body. The following are all signs measure to look for:
What Causes Mint Poisoning in Cats?
Mint may be commonly grown wild near water sources or in other moist areas. Numerous people grow mint in herb gardens or their homes for food and medical purposes. Both outdoor and indoor cats may ingest this natural plant. Typically, it must consume an enormous amount before any adverse effect manifests. Mint poisoning is very rare in the feline.
How to Deal with Mint Poisoning?
If your cat experiences severe side effects or you become anxious about its health, bring it to your veterinarian. If you saw your cat ingesting a plant before the onset of symptoms, discuss this information with the veterinarian, as it will aid in the diagnostic test.
You may be requested to give the cat’s medical record to rule out any possible health issues that may predispose the cat to gastrointestinal intolerance. Additionally, the vet may question whether you let your cat roam outdoor and what plants you maintain in your house.
Following that, the veterinarian will do a thorough medical examination of the cat, checking for any problems. A blood sample will be taken from the cat so that standard tests may be conducted to determine the cat’s general health status. These tests often include a full blood count and a biochemical analysis, which determines the concentration of all cells and minerals in the blood. A urine test may also be necessary to assess the liver’s condition.
Due to the widespread presence of mint plants, it may be prudent to familiarize yourself with those that grow organically in your area, paying particular notice of those that are considered to be poisonous. It’s worth noting that mint essential oils are much too vital for usage on cats and should never be given medicinally. Keep any planted mint plants out of reach of your cat to prevent them from being eaten. Additionally, keeping your cat inside can safeguard it from any toxic plants present in nearby gardens and other places.
Things To Consider About Cats and Mint
Once you have proven that cats have a great love for mint, it’s critical to examine the following points.
Keep Mint Snacks Out of Reach
If you like mint candies or delicacies, it’s critical to keep them out of reach of your feline. It would be best if you kept any candy pieces in the refrigerator or a cupboard out of reach of your cat. Believe me when I say that they can smell mint from a mile away.
Allow no mint sweets for your cats since they often contain spearmint and peppermint oil. Certain sweets also include wintergreens. Glucose, corn syrup, and titanium dioxide are used to make these delicate, chewy, or hard candies.
Sugars and corn syrups are detrimental to felines’ health since they may cause gastrointestinal distress, overweight, and other complications. Avoid all forms of Sweet Mint Gum, especially Orbit, jellies, and any other food that may be harmful to your feline companion.
Keep an Eye on Your Cat
Each cat has an unusual reaction to mint. Some people adore it, while others despise it. If you burn essential oils in your house, the likelihood is that your cat will have an unpleasant response to any that include peppermint. With that stated, keep a close eye on your cat to ensure they are not harmed.
Whatever plants you bring into the house should also be screened for compatibility with your cat’s behavior. Even tiny amounts of mint may affect. Most crucial, keep in mind that any mint ingested by a cat may result in severe gastrointestinal problems, so keep all plants and oils out of grasp!
Limitation on Catnip
Catnip is a ubiquitous product, yet it presents a dilemma for the majority of cat owners. Due to cats’ attraction to catnip’s minty characteristics, you may want to minimize your cat’s exposure to catnip. Think about giving them toys that do not already include the product. Laser toys and other goods are preferable replacements.
It is important to remember that your cats should never devour or ingest anything that contains these toxic plants. If you have any Mentha plants in your house, ensure your cats cannot get to them since the essential oil and salicylate contained inside them are toxic. Consuming a smaller amount may not result in poisoning, but consuming an enormous amount will be hazardous.
The most important thing you can do to maintain your cat protected from mint poisoning is to get familiar with mint plants and identify out potential areas where your cat may come into contact with them. It is also beneficial to remember the scientific name for catnip as a second option (nepeta cataria). You cannot put your faith that everyone will distinguish between garden mint and catmint before purchasing it and should only buy catnip if it is labeled as nepeta cataria. If you would like to give it to your cat instead of simply buying toys already loaded with it, it is the least dangerous choice.