Mint Plant & Pets – Poisonous to Cats & Dogs? – What to Do!

Mint is the source of essential oil and aromatherapy that is used worldwide. Mint plant is used in medicine making and for culinary purposes. It is grown widely indoors and outdoors, but this plant is just helpful for humans. It has many adverse effects on pets. If you are a pet owner, its safety is your duty. It is essential to keep your pet away from the mint plant because you will have to take your pet to the vet in other cases.

Mint Plant & Pets – Cats & Dogs

Except medicated mint, the mint plant contains essential oils that are not useful for pets like cats and dogs. Pets can get infected, and in severe cases, their liver can stop working because of mint consumption. This review is all about Mint plants and pets. In this review, you will know about the poisonous nature of the mint plant for cats, dogs, and other animals.

Is Mint Poisonous for Pets?

Mint has a variety of types. Almost 13 different types of mint are grown worldwide, including hybrids. Of all these types, the most common type is garden mint that is widely used for culinary purposes and medical uses. Usually, mint plants have wrinkled leaves, and the color ranges from lavender to white. Research has shown that specific types of mint plants are not safe for pets.

Some subspecies of the mint plants can benefit dogs, but overall, the mint plant contains essential oils that are dangerous for pets if they consume in high quantities. Garden mint can cause adverse responses in pets as it also has essential oil. If swallowed by the pets, they can develop minor symptoms like gastrointestinal upsets to severe symptoms like liver failure.

Is Mint Poisonous for Cats?

All the Mint plants contain an essential oil that causes severe effects in cats if consumed in high amounts. Garden mint contains less oil essential and may produce no to less severe effects in cats, but the type of mint known as pennyroyal can cause liver failure, bowel disease, and intestine problems in cats. The garden mint has minor effects on hypersensitive cats, like vomiting and skin irritation in cats.

According to research, cats do not show any prevalent symptoms if consumed, but there are few types of mint that a cat must not consume. On consumption, it can cause serious symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting. Mint poisoning is rare in cats, but the phenomenon is real. Cats can be affected by mint plants, most commonly by pennyroyal mint plants. If you see any symptoms in cats after mint plants’ consumption, you must take your cat to the vet.

The vet doctor will ask you about the cat’s previous medical history to identify the cause of the problem. The doctor will do a complete examination of the cat. For more detailed analysis, the vet doctor will perform a full blood test of the cat. If the cat’s condition is worse, the doctor may perform a biochemical examination of the cat to check the level of minerals and vitamins in its body. For checking the liver functioning, the vet can also perform Urinalysis.

If your cat has consumed the poisonous mint, then the treatment plan will include the stomach wash. The other method is induced vomiting with the help of hydrogen peroxide. Both ways will help in the removal of contents in the cat’s stomach before complete digestion. With all this procedure, supportive care is also needed. The cat must be handled with care, and complete hospitalization is required during the illness. If the cat feels dehydrated by any above discussed treatment because of vomiting, the vet will put the cat on fluids to regain its energy.

It is essential to take good care of your cats. People usually grow mint plants indoors and outdoors. Keep your indoor pots of mint plants away from the cat’s reach. The other important precaution one can take is to know the breed or type of mint plant before growing. If the mint plant belongs to the hazardous type, you must not grow these mint plants indoors to save your pets from harmful conditions.

Is mint Hazardous for Dogs?

Mint plants have the same effect on dogs as cats. Every dog acts differently to the mint plant. Some dogs are more sensitive to mint plants, whereas others show fewer adverse symptoms. Mint plants, as discussed earlier, produce essential oils that can be toxic to dogs. Some mint species have higher amounts of essential oil and are too dangerous for dogs to develop liver failure.

If your dog comes in contact with the mint plant, it may have some adverse symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, liver dysfunction, and skin irritation. Wash your dog’s skin with soap if you feel that your dog has developed a skin allergy while contacting the toxins. If your dog shows severe symptoms, it is better to take your dog to the vet for a more detailed examination and treatment.

For an error-free diagnosis, you can help your doctor by telling them about the type of mint plant, or you can bring that mint plant with you. The doctor will take the complete medical history from you for an accurate diagnosis. The vet may perform specific tests to check for the signs of liver failure. He may go for a complete blood count (CBC) to check the functioning of blood-filtering organs like the kidney and liver.

The doctor may go for your Packed full volume test if your dog shows excessive diarrhea and vomiting symptoms. The vet will plan the treatment after the test results. There are two treatment methods that a vet will consider. If the dog’s blood count is not normal, then the dog’s liver is not functioning properly. The dog will be put on fluid therapy immediately to combat the damage.

The activated charcoal method can also be used to control the symptoms of vomiting if any. The dog’s treatment depends upon the type of mint the dog has ingested or the method of ingestion. As a pet owner, it is your duty to keep your dog safe from the mint plant if you have grown it indoors. Always know the type of mint plant and the ratio of essential oil before growing a plant to keep your dog safe from the harmful effects of the mint.

Mint Plant and Other Animals

Mint leaves like spearmint and peppermint are best for animals like cows and horses as their antispasmodic effects on the digestive tract of these animals. It works as colic for horses and enhances the digestive tract’s functioning. It is also known as an appetite stimulant and helps increase the appetite of these animals. For cattle, the type of mint plant-like Perilla mint is hazardous and causes death on consumption. Perilla mint causes respiratory tract disease in cattle which causes the sudden death of livestock.

Related Mint Plant Guides: How to grow mint plant indoors and outdoors.


Is it safe for cats to eat mint plants?

No, it is not safe for cats to eat Mint plants because the mint plant contains an essential oil that might be hazardous for its health. The most dangerous mint plant is pennyroyal that causes negative impacts on the cat’s liver and may cause liver failure and even death of the cat.

Is it safe for dogs to eat Mint plants?

No, it is not safe for pets to eat mint plants. According to research, dogs can take Mint leaves once per day for good digestion, but some dogs have shown adverse reactions to the Mint leaves and developed symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. The poisonous mint plant has essential oil that can infect the dog’s skin if it comes in contact with it.

Which type of Mint plant is dangerous for pets?

The mint plant has more than 13 different types and subtypes. Among these types, the English pennyroyal (Mentha Pulegium) is the most hazardous for pets’ health. It can cause liver failure in pets if ingested directly or indirectly. The other types of mint plants are less dangerous and may cause less to no symptoms in the pets.


Mint plants and pets do not have a positive relationship. If you have pets in your home, then you must not grow mint plants indoors and outdoors. Pets can consume the mint plant in high quantities and hence get themselves affected. The mint plant contains essential oils that can negatively affect the health of your pet. It was a detailed review about Mint plants and pets to help you find out about the hazardous effects of mint plants on pets.