Skip to Content

Is Mugwort Safe for Cats? What You Need to Know About This Herb (Answered 2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

Is Mugwort Safe For CatsYou’ve likely heard of mugwort and know it’s used in some herbal remedies. But have you stopped to wonder – is mugwort safe for cats? This common herb has a long history of use, yet not all plants benign for humans can be safely given to our feline companions.

In the following article, you’ll get a definitive answer on mugwort’s safety for cats. We’ll explore the plant’s historical uses, look at any toxic components, and compare mugwort to other herbs sometimes given to cats.

You’ll also learn clear symptoms of plant poisoning in cats, along with treatment options should toxicity occur.

While mugwort has been used medicinally for ages, its safety profile in cats specifically may surprise you. Stick around as we walk through the details, including expert tips on safer herbal alternatives for your furry friend.

Key Takeaways

  • Mugwort is toxic to cats and can cause serious harm to their livers and nervous systems.
  • Even small amounts of mugwort can be deadly for cats, so it is important to keep it completely away from them.
  • Signs of mugwort toxicity in cats include vomiting, tremors, and seizures.
  • It is crucial to take precautions, such as keeping mugwort products out of reach and consulting with a vet before introducing any limited mugwort use for cats.

Is Mugwort Safe for Cats?

Is Mugwort Safe for Cats
You’d best keep mugwort away from kitty since even a little could make ’em sick. While mugwort has benefits like soothing digestion in humans, it contains compounds toxic to cats. Thujone and pulegone can damage cats’ livers and nervous systems, causing vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death if ingested.

Mugwort’s insect-repelling abilities mean kitties may nibble on it outside and bring it inside. So keep a close eye on pets around mugwort and immediately call the vet if ingestion’s suspected.

Small amounts can kill, so err on the side of caution and keep it completely away from cats.

Can My Cat Have Mugwort?

Can My Cat Have Mugwort
Mugwort is considered relatively safe for cats in small amounts, but it can quickly become toxic if ingested in excess.

Though mugwort has some benefits, it contains thujone, so the amounts given to cats must be restricted.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lack of coordination, tremors
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling or thirst

Seek emergency vet care if any concerning symptoms arise after exposure to mugwort.

  • Keep dried mugwort and mugwort-based products out of reach.
  • Monitor your cat closely if allowing limited mugwort.
  • Talk to your vet before introducing mugwort.
  • Never blow mugwort smoke near cats.

While tiny amounts may be safe, it’s wise to avoid giving mugwort to cats whenever possible.

Herbs to Avoid Feeding Your Cat

Herbs to Avoid Feeding Your Cat
Garlic and onions can be very dangerous for your cat. Alliums like garlic, onions, leeks, chives, and shallots contain compounds that can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia when ingested by cats.

Even small amounts can be toxic over time. Signs of allium poisoning include weakness, an elevated heart rate, trouble breathing, vomiting, and collapse. If ingestion is suspected, seek emergency vet care immediately. The effects can be delayed, so it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Onions are highly toxic to cats due to their high concentration of onionin A, so make sure to keep them well out of reach. Garlic tends to be less toxic but can still cause illness in sufficient quantities.

Avoid letting your cat have access to any alliums, whether raw, cooked, or powdered. Stick to herbs that have been shown to be safe for cats, such as catnip, basil, and parsley. When in doubt, check with your veterinarian before introducing any new plants or foods.

What Herb is Toxic to Cats?

What Herb is Toxic to Cats
Wormwood contains bitter compounds intolerable to your furry friend in excess. When using herbs, always exercise caution. Certain herbs like wormwood can harm your cat if ingested, even in small amounts.

Stick to herbs known to be safe for felines, like chamomile or catnip. These can provide digestive, respiratory, and mood benefits without toxicity risks.

Slowly introduce new herbs after consulting your vet, monitoring for side effects. Carefully research an herb’s safety for cats before use. Avoid letting your cat ingest unknown plant matter when outside.

With proper precautions, herbs can enhance your cat’s health and quality of life. But know which herbs are toxic to cats, like wormwood, to prevent illness through safe handling.

Is Mugwort Toxic to Dogs?

Is Mugwort Toxic to Dogs
Mugwort contains thujone and pulegone compounds that are toxic to dogs’ livers and nervous systems, similar to cats. Even small amounts of mugwort or wormwood can make dogs very sick, so you’ll need to keep these herbs completely away from your dog.

Is Wormwood Toxic to Dogs?

You can’t risk letting your pooch nibble wormwood because those bitter oils will churn their tummy something awful. Even tiny amounts disrupt their anatomical balance, causing pounding sensations, diarrhea, and wild toxicity.

Stick with gentle herbs like fennel or chamomile for citrus regulation and marine digestion.

Can Herbs Make Dogs Sick?

Some herbs can make your dog quite ill, yet you keep feeding Fluffy unsafe plants. Cooking mugwort removes the toxins, so consider using alternative methods before ingesting. Veterinarians recommend parsley, marjoram, and fennel as stomach soothers instead.

Adhere to proper dosages, and always consult an expert first. Only introduce new foods gradually while monitoring for reactions.

What is Mugwort?

What is Mugwort
Y’all’ve gotta hear about this plant, mugwort. It contains compounds like pulegone that act as mild sedatives, helping with anxiety and restlessness.

The bitter taste stimulates digestion, easing mild gastrointestinal problems. Historically, it was used for women’s health issues like menstruation and mood swings. Mugwort has similarities to wormwood, another herb that should be avoided in excessive amounts.

While mugwort has benefits, it’s important to be cautious and avoid overconsumption, as the thujone can be toxic. Introduce new herbs slowly and monitor your pet’s reaction. With care and vet advice, many plants offer gentle healing without harm.

Is Mugwort Toxic to Cats?

Is Mugwort Toxic to Cats
Take heed, mugwort’s toxic compounds can poison cats if ingested. The herbal essence causes liver failure and nervous system damage in felines.

  1. Thujone and pulegone are bitter compounds toxic to cats.
  2. Even small amounts cause kidney failure and death.
  3. Immediate vet care is needed if ingested.

Kanna herb, mucuna pruriens, saw palmetto, senna alexandrina, and valerian officinalis also pose risks if consumed incorrectly. Introduce new herbs carefully and monitor for side effects. Your cat’s health is too precious to risk.

Plants and Herbs That Are Safe for Cats

Plants and Herbs That Are Safe for Cats
Mugwort contains compounds toxic to cats, but some herbs provide benefits when given safely. Aloe vera, basil, catnip, chamomile, and cilantro are typically safe in small amounts, soothing digestion, or providing other medicinal effects.

Aloe Vera

You’ve got an aloe vera plant at home that’s safe for cats if they nibble on it. A succulent native to arid regions, aloe vera thrives in dry, sandy soil. Its spiky leaves contain a gel used to soothe minor burns, wounds, and skin irritations.

Though aloe’s bitter taste deters most felines, small amounts of the gel or juice are not harmful if ingested. Just monitor for vomiting or diarrhea, as too much can cause stomach upset. With proper care, this low-maintenance houseplant can provide a touch of the desert while remaining cat-friendly.


You’re able to try feeding your cat small amounts of basil safely. Basil is generally safe for cats and can provide some benefits.

  • Aids digestion
  • Helps relieve gas and bloating
  • Provides antioxidants
  • Has calming effects

Introduce slowly and monitor for any reaction. Consult your vet for proper dosage.


You’ll feel felines freak for fascinating, fragrant catnip. This minty member of the cattail family sends most kitties into a playful frenzy when they catch a whiff. Though harmless, the plant contains nepetalactone, which binds to olfactory receptors and triggers a euphoric response.

Let your kitty indulge safely – grow a catnip plant indoors or buy dried leaves. Vacuum up loose leaves to prevent overindulgence. Consider cat toys filled with catnip to direct the frenzy into play. For curious cats, introduce new scents via sniff training with spices in little jars.


Your britches are soothed as the dry chamomile tickles your nose, leaving behind a hint of apple and honey. This gentle flower can freshen your breath, help combat hairballs, aid digestion, soothe wounds with antiseptic qualities, and relax with sedative properties.

Though safe in small amounts, introduce chamomile sparingly and monitor for any irritation.


Cilantro, often referred to as coriander leaves, can be a safe herb for cats when used in moderation.

  1. It has a calming effect and soothing aroma that can aid digestion.
  2. It is considered a safe variety of herb in limited portions.
  3. It can be added to food as flavoring or garnish in leaf additions.
  4. Start with just a pinch mixed into meals to avoid stomach upset.
  5. Monitor for signs of sensitivity like vomiting or diarrhea.

Cilantro introduces new flavors and nutrients, but moderation is key. Consult your veterinarian before regularly incorporating cilantro or any new food into your cat’s diet.

Symptoms of Plant Toxicity in Cats

Symptoms of Plant Toxicity in Cats
Signs of plant poisoning in your cat may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors, seizures, and lethargy.

Be alert for these signs your cat may have ingested a toxic plant:

  1. Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth.
  2. Pawing at the mouth or face.
  3. Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.
  4. Tremors, seizures, or unsteady gait.

Poisoning can occur from a single exposure to a toxic plant. But some plants cause cumulative, chronic toxicity from small, repeated exposures over time. Prevention is key. Removing toxic plants from your home and yard helps avoid accidental ingestion and toxicity.

Talk to your vet about safe, natural alternatives if you want to use herbs medicinally for your cat. Get guidance on safe dosing and administration to avoid adverse effects. With some precautions, herbs like mugwort can potentially be used safely.

But always monitor your cat closely and discontinue use if any concerning symptoms develop.

Treatment of Plant Toxicity in Cats

Treatment of Plant Toxicity in Cats
The vet will start treatment immediately if your cat’s eaten something toxic. They’ll first induce vomiting to clear the stomach. Activated charcoal capsules help absorb toxins. IV fluids flush the kidneys and prevent dehydration.

A blood transfusion provides healthy blood if anemia develops. Oxygen therapy assists labored breathing. Medications like anticonvulsants treat seizures. The vet monitors blood cell counts, organ function, and neurological status.

Still, prevention is key – keep plants out of paw’s reach and know which ones are dangerous.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I grow mugwort in my garden if I have an outdoor cat?

Since mugwort is toxic to cats, I’d advise against growing it if you have an outdoor cat. Even small amounts can cause kidney failure if ingested. Consider planting cat-safe alternatives like catnip or catmint instead.

Is it okay to burn mugwort incense around my cat?

Burning mugwort incense around cats is unsafe. The smoke contains compounds toxic to their livers and nervous systems. Even a small exposure could sicken your cat. Keep mugwort incense away from felines.

Seek immediate veterinary care if your cat inhales mugwort smoke and shows signs of poisoning like vomiting or seizures.

Can mugwort oil be diffused safely around cats?

Diffusing mugwort oil around cats is not recommended. Even small amounts of mugwort can be toxic to cats. It’s best to avoid exposing cats to mugwort in any form. Consider safer alternatives like lavender or chamomile instead.

What ingredients should I look for to make sure mugwort tea is safe for my cat?

Check labels for thujone or pulegone. Steep one teaspoon of dried mugwort in hot water for no more than 5 minutes. Mugwort tea can help with digestive issues, but use sparingly and monitor for side effects.

Are there any herbal mugwort supplements that would be safe for my cat?

Look to nature instead. While mugwort may have benefits, herbal supplements risk toxicity. Focus on nourishing your cat with catnip, aloe, and chamomile. Their gentle action soothes and sustains.


The grass is always greener where you water it. When it comes to herbs for your cat, stick to what’s tried and true to avoid a trip to the ER vet. You’re better safe than sorry, so steer clear of mugwort for your feline friend.

Focus on providing small amounts of herbs proven safe like aloe, basil, and catnip. Making sure your cat’s food and environment are healthy and toxin-free will lead to happy whiskers and purrs.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.