Can cats eat Lemongrass? Safely Adding Lemongrass to Your Cat’s Healthy Menu

by Tips Cat
Can cats eat Lemongrass? Safely Adding Lemongrass to Your Cat's Healthy Menu

Can cats eat Lemongrass? Lemongrass is a tropical grass that imparts a citrusy, ginger-like flavor. It’s used both fresh and dried in teas, soups, and curries in Asian cuisine. But is this aromatic herb appropriate for cats?


Lemongrass is a sturdy perennial grass native to Asia. Its long, green stalks have a subtle lemon-lime flavor that enhances Thai and Vietnamese dishes.

Can cats eat Lemongrass? Lemongrass contains trace amounts of vitamins A, B, C, folate, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. It has antioxidant properties from compounds like beta-carotene and chlorophyll.

For humans, lemongrass aids digestion, balances cholesterol, and provides antimicrobial benefits when used sparingly as a herb. But can cats also benefit from moderate lemongrass consumption? Feline nutrition experts frequently get asked, “Can cats eat lemongrass?” Let’s find out.

Can cats eat Lemongrass?

Can cats eat Lemongrass? In short, no. Lemongrass should not be fed to cats. As obligate carnivores, cats lack the proper enzymes to digest lemongrass and other vegetation. Consuming it would provide little nutritional value and may cause stomach upset.

Specifically, compounds like citral and neral in lemongrass can be irritants when ingested by cats. The fiber content may upset their digestive systems. Essential nutrients are also not well extracted from plants by cats.

Overall, Can cats eat Lemongrass? Lemongrass has negligible health benefits for cats and poses risks of indigestion and malnutrition when substituted for meat proteins. Both fresh and dried forms should be avoided.

Is Lemongrass safe for cats?

Lemongrass itself is non-toxic to cats and small ingestions generally cause only minor tummy upset. However, it provides no nutritional value and contains oils and compounds that can inflame cats’ gastrointestinal tracts.

Can cats eat Lemongrass? Some cats may nibble on or chew lemongrass out of curiosity. While a single small nibble likely won’t severely harm cats, lemongrass should never intentionally be used as food or forced. Dried and fresh lemongrass should always be kept out of cats’ reach.

Is Lemongrass poisonous to cats?

Can cats eat Lemongrass? Lemongrass contains no known poisons toxic to cats. However, regularly consuming moderate to large quantities could lead to malnutrition over time by reducing meat protein intake.

Isolated lemongrass essential oils in higher concentrations may potentially cause liver damage. But the small amounts naturally occurring in the plant are very unlikely to cause poisoning.

Overall, lemongrass itself is not acutely toxic. But it offers no health benefits as part of a cat’s diet and should not be fed in large or frequent portions.

Benefits of Lemongrass for cats

Can cats eat Lemongrass? There are minimal nutritional or health benefits for cats that may come from eating small amounts of lemongrass herb or stalks. Some components may actually inhibit nutrient absorption.

Trace amounts of vitamins and minerals may support immunity, eyesight, and antioxidant function. But bioavailability for cats is negligible, and these are much more readily obtained from meat sources.

Can cats eat Lemongrass? Some cats’ digestive systems respond well to small amounts of fiber. But lemongrass fiber can also cause issues in excess. Any limited nutrients are outweighed by the risks posed.

How much Lemongrass can cats eat?

Ideally, cats should not eat any quantity of lemongrass on a regular basis. Even small amounts would provide minimal nutrition and may cause digestive upset.

At most, Can cats eat Lemongrass? The occasional pinch of lemongrass mixed into food may be tolerated, but should not exceed 0.5 tsp and 5% of the meal’s total volume. Consuming over 2-3 times per week may irritate the digestive tract.

Kittens, seniors, and cats with gastrointestinal conditions should avoid lemongrass altogether, as they would struggle to digest even tiny amounts. It’s safest for all cats to avoid rather than ration small servings.

How to feed Lemongrass to cats

Most cats should not intentionally be fed lemongrass. But some owners wish to offer tastes or disguise pills. Here are some tips for minimal ingestion:

  • Start with just a tiny shred of leaf or sliver of stalk. Look for signs of stomach upset.
  • Mix in no more than 0.5 tsp very finely minced lemongrass into food, not exceeding 5% of the meal’s volume.
  • Introduce slowly over a week. Discontinue immediately if vomiting, diarrhea, or gas occurs.
  • Never give lemongrass essential oil. Use only fresh or dried herb pieces.
  • If cats refuse it, do not force the issue. Try pill pocket treats or compounding medications instead.

Alternatives and supplements

  • For vitamin C: Broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, strawberries
  • For vitamin A: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, cod liver oil
  • For folate: Beef liver, chicken gizzards, lentils, black-eyed peas
  • Healthy cat food brands: Nature’s Variety, Taste of the Wild, Wellness, Primal, Orijen

Can cats have lemongrass?

No, cats cannot properly digest lemongrass. The oils and fiber it contains provide no nutrients and may cause indigestion. Both dried and fresh lemongrass should be avoided.

Can kittens eat lemongrass?

No, kittens should never consume lemongrass. Their growing digestive systems cannot metabolize herbs and vegetation well.

Can Maine Coon cats eat lemongrass?

No, lemongrass is unsafe for all cat breeds, including Maine Coons. Cats lack the proper enzymes to digest its plant compounds.

Can Persian cats eat lemongrass?

No, Persian cats should avoid all forms of lemongrass. Its fiber content may overly irritate delicate Persian digestive systems.

Can Sphynx cats eat lemongrass?

No, even hairless breeds like Sphynx cats cannot properly digest lemongrass. All cats are obligate carnivores.

Can Bengal cats eat lemongrass?

No, Bengal cats should avoid lemongrass. While curious, it provides no health benefits and may cause digestive upset despite their strong stomachs.

Can Siamese cats eat lemongrass?

No, Siamese cats lack the enzymes required to properly metabolize and digest components of lemongrass. It should be avoided.

Can Ragdoll cats eat lemongrass?

No, Ragdoll cats cannot gain nutritional value from lemongrass. Its oils and fibers may inflame their sensitive digestive tracts.

Can British Shorthair cats eat lemongrass?

No, British Shorthairs should avoid lemongrass. It provides no health benefits and may cause stomach upset.

Can Abyssinian cats eat lemongrass?

No, Abyssinians lack proper digestion of lemongrass. It offers no nutrition and may irritate their gastrointestinal system.

Can Scottish Fold cats eat lemongrass?

No, Scottish Folds cannot properly break down the fibers and oils in lemongrass. It should be kept away from them.

Can Siberian cats eat lemongrass?

No, Siberian cats should avoid all forms of lemongrass, as they cannot digest it and it provides no nutritional benefits.

What happens if cats overeat lemongrass?

Consuming large amounts may cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, malnutrition, and other ill effects. Seek vet treatment if poisoning is suspected.

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