Are Basil Plants Poisonous to Cats?

Cats are curious by nature and are often tempted to nibble on plants in the garden or in the home. Cat owners must ensure the safety of their pets by eliminating access to poisonous plants. Basil plants are safe around animals because they are not toxic.

Curious cats may nibble on your plants in your home and yard.


Basil plants are identified by opposite leaves and stems that are square in shape. These plants range in size from 8 to 24 inches and are common houseplants. According to the ASPCA, the basil plant is not poisonous to cats if eaten in small doses.


Ingestion of any plant material can occasionally cause adverse reactions in cats. Cats may experience symptoms such as depression, diarrhea and vomiting but are generally mild in nature. Allergic reactions can occur with the ingestion of any type of plant.


Cats who ingest the basil plant and experience ongoing or severe symptoms should be evaluated by a veterinarian. Taking a piece of the plant ingested is a good idea, so the veterinarian can properly identify it.

Tracy Hodge

Tracy Hodge has been a professional writer since 2007. She currently writes content for various websites, specializing in health and fitness. Hodge also does ghostwriting projects for books, as well as poetry pieces. She has studied nutrition extensively, especially bodybuilding diets and nutritional supplements.