Do Cats Like Rosemary?

Do Cats Like Rosemary

Cats generally do not like rosemary. The herb is often planted in gardens to act as a deterrent for cats. Though, there are cats that like rosemary because of its flea repellent properties.

Rosemary may not offer medicinal benefits, but they are flavorful and non-toxic for cats.

If you want to learn more about the effects of rosemary on your cat, keep reading.

Does rosemary repel cats?

Most cats dislike the scent of rosemary, so it works quite well as a cat deterrent. It is impossible to say that planting rosemary will have a 100% success rate in repelling cats from your garden, but it is a method that is definitely worth a try as it has worked for a lot of people.

Why does rosemary deter cats?

Cats do not care where they go to the toilet, but they enjoy doing so in gardens, probably because of the soil. They also like to make tracks and dig holes anywhere they want. Damage to your garden can be infuriating even if you love cats.

People like to plant herbs in their gardens for use in cooking, but did you know that herbs can also be natural, effective cat repellents?

Cats do not like the scent of rosemary, and with a cat’s heightened sense of smell, the presence of a rosemary plant can be enough to put a cat off.

Rosemary leaves can be quite coarse and spikey which also helps keep cats away. Cats do not like brushing their skin up against a rough, prickly bush so they are likely going to avoid rosemary.

Is rosemary safe for cats?

There are herbs that need to be avoided in a garden if you have a cat, like chives and garlic which are toxic for cats. Mint and tarragon can also have a mild effect on cats. Thankfully, rosemary is one of the non-toxic herbs that cats do not like. This means that if you want to plant rosemary to repel cats, you don’t need to worry about hurting them or impacting their health.

Can cats eat rosemary?

It is fine if ingested in small amounts, but when consumed in large quantities, it may cause depression of the nervous system or upset the stomach. Eating rosemary is fine for cats but it is unlikely because the smell will make them steer clear anyway. Also, cats are obligate carnivores, so even if they do eat rosemary, they will only give it a nibble because they will still prefer eating meat.

On the off chance that your cat decides to eat a large amount of rosemary, it is always a good idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian for an expert opinion.

Rosemary also contains a decent amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, along with folate and calcium. In certain circumstances, rosemary is used as part of a course of treatment to address issues of inflammation, as well as helping cats struggling with digestive issues.

How can I safely give rosemary to my cat?

Cat’s diets should primarily come from proteins, so rosemary should just be an occasional treat and not a mainstay in your cat’s meals.

It is also important to note that the natural oils present in rosemary can upset a cat’s stomach.

Always watch your cat when they eat human food in case they present any sort of adverse reaction.

If you decide to feed your cat rosemary, or if your vet suggests adding some to your cat’s diet, make sure that you only serve them a small amount.

Try finely chopping the rosemary and adding it to your cat’s existing food or even letting your cat sample a small amount directly out of your hand.


Most cats dislike the smell of rosemary, so it can be used as a cat deterrent in your garden. It is not toxic for your cats as long as it is given as a rare treat. Rosemary contains vitamins and minerals that can greatly help your cat’s health.

It is a safe deterrent in your garden and is a great supplement for your cat as well as a natural flea repellant. So, if there are cats using your flower beds as a toilet, try planting a rosemary bush because even if it does not work as a deterrent, at least you are helping the cats a little.

Image: / Nils Jacobi