Why Do Cats Like Mint

Why Do Cats Like Mint?

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Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Cats like mint because it contains a compound called nepetalactone that triggers a reaction in their olfactory system. This reaction causes a characteristic set of behaviors that could be likened to a mild euphoria or pleasure response.

Mint is a herb that has been around for a long time and is used for various purposes, including culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic. In recent years, cat owners have observed that their pets are often attracted to mint and catnip plants.

But why do cats like mint? The answer is simple: nepetalactone. This compound found in mint triggers a response in a cat’s brain that causes them to become playful, happy, and sometimes a little bit crazy. While not all cats are attracted to mint or catnip, the ones that are can provide their owners with endless hours of entertainment. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the science behind cats’ love for mint and explore some other herbs and plants that they might enjoy.

Why Do Cats Like Mint?

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Understand The Fascinating Relationship Between Cats And Mint

Cats are fascinating creatures that have their quirky likes and dislikes. One of the most intriguing things about cats is their affinity for mint. While some cats are indifferent to mint, others simply can’t get enough of it. Why is this so?

Let’s take a closer look at the fascinating relationship between cats and mint.

The History Of Cats And Mint

It’s not entirely clear where the history of cats and mint began. However, many believe that cats’ love for mint can be traced back to their ancient ancestors in egypt. The egyptians worshipped cats, and mint was a popular herb used for various purposes, such as medicinal treatment, cooking, and spiritual rituals.

Cats would have been exposed to the mint scent, and it’s possible that they developed a preference for it.

The Scientific Explanation Behind Cats’ Attraction To Mint

Research suggests that cats are attracted to the scent of mint because it contains a chemical called nepetalactone. Nepetalactone is found in the leaves and stems of the mint plant and has a similar effect on cats as catnip. When cats consume nepetalactone, it triggers a euphoric response similar to the response they have when they consume catnip.

Nepetalactone also acts as an insect repellent, which may be another reason why cats are drawn to it.

The Role Of Pheromones In Cats’ Response To Mint

Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, and they use pheromones to communicate with other cats. Pheromones are chemical signals that are secreted by cats and are used to mark their territory, attract a mate, and communicate their emotional state.

It’s believed that catnip and mint contain chemicals that mimic pheromones, which is why cats are attracted to them.

While the exact reason behind the love-hate relationship between cats and mint is still unknown, we can surmise that the history of cats and mint, the scientific explanation behind their attraction to mint, and the role of pheromones all contribute to it.

So next time you see your cat going crazy over a mint plant or toy, you’ll know why!

Benefits Of Mint For Cats

Why do cats like mint? – benefits of mint for cats

As a cat owner, you might have noticed that your feline friend has a fascination with mint. Cats love mint, and this is not just a coincidence. Mint has numerous benefits for cats, and incorporating it into their diet or environment can be incredibly beneficial.

In this section, we will uncover the key benefits of mint for cats.

How Mint Can Improve Cats’ Dental Health:

Cats’ dental health is incredibly important and something that should not be overlooked by pet owners. Gum disease and tooth decay can cause serious health problems for cats. Fortunately, mint is an excellent solution for improving cats’ dental health. Below are some of the ways in which mint can help:

  • Mint contains natural compounds that help to fight off harmful bacteria in your cat’s mouth, which can cause plaque buildup.
  • The natural oils in mint can help to freshen your cat’s breath, which can be a welcome relief for pet owners.
  • Mint can help to reduce inflammation in your cat’s gums, which can help to prevent gum disease and improve overall dental health.

Studies Linking Mint Consumption With Reduced Anxiety In Cats:

Like humans, cats can experience anxiety, which can be triggered by a range of factors, such as loud noises, unfamiliar environments, or separation from their owners. In recent years, research has found that mint consumption can help to reduce anxiety in cats.

Here are some key points:

  • Mint has natural calming properties that can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety in cats.
  • Cats can experience reduced stress levels simply by being exposed to the scent of mint.
  • Incorporating mint into your cat’s diet or environment can be incredibly beneficial for cats that suffer from anxiety.

Mint’S Anti-Inflammatory Properties And Their Potential Benefits For Cats’ Health:

Mint is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can be incredibly beneficial for cats’ health. Below are some ways in which mint can help:

  • Mint can help to reduce inflammation in your cat’s digestive system, which can be beneficial for cats that suffer from digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (ibs).
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of mint can help to ease respiratory issues in cats, making it easier for them to breathe.
  • The natural oils in mint can help to soothe skin irritation in cats, making it an effective natural treatment for skin conditions such as eczema.

Incorporating mint into your cat’s diet or environment can be incredibly beneficial for their health and wellbeing. It is important to remember, however, that whilst it has numerous benefits, too much mint can be harmful to cats, so it should be added in moderation.

By following the guidelines outlined above, you can give your feline friend the benefits of mint without any compromise on their health.

Adding Mint To Your Cat’S Diet

Mint is not only a great breath freshener for humans, but it may also provide numerous benefits to your feline friend. If you are thinking about adding mint to your cat’s diet, it is essential to know the dos and don’ts that come with it.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:


  • Use fresh mint leaves only to ensure that they are safe and not contaminated
  • Introduce mint to your cat’s diet gradually. Start with small amounts and monitor your cat’s reaction
  • Create a blended mix by adding fresh mint leaves to your cat’s food or water bowl
  • Choose a hypoallergenic form of mint to avoid allergic reactions


  • Do not give your cat mint essential oil or any artificial mint-flavored products, which can be toxic and harmful
  • Do not add mint as an exclusive part of your cat’s diet. They still need a balanced diet and may refuse to eat if they dislike the taste of mint

By following these dos and don’ts, you can easily add mint to your cat’s diet and help improve their overall health.

Creative Ways To Use Mint In Cat Toys And Accessories

Apart from adding mint to your cat’s diet, there are many creative ways to use mint in cat toys and accessories. Here are some examples:

  • Catnip mint toys: Catnip toys infused with mint leaves can provide your cat with hours of entertainment while also calming their nerves.
  • Mint-scented scratch pads: Scratching pads infused with fresh mint leaves can help to keep your cat’s claws healthy and strong.
  • Mint-scented litter: Litters infused with fresh mint leaves can help to keep your kitty’s litter box fresh and clean, while also reducing any unpleasant odors.
  • Mint-infused grooming tools: Cat combs or brushes infused with mint extract can provide a relaxing and calming effect on your cat, making grooming more comfortable.

Other Herbs And Supplements That Complement Mint’S Benefits For Cats

Apart from mint, other herbs and supplements can complement its benefits for cats. Here are some examples:

  • Chamomile: Chamomile may help to reduce anxiety and stress in cats, making it an ideal herb to complement mint’s calming effects.
  • Valerian: Valerian root is known for its relaxation properties and can complement mint’s soothing effects on cats.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids can help to improve your cat’s skin and coat health, and their anti-inflammatory properties can complement mint’s anti-inflammatory effects.

By introducing complementary herbs and supplements to your cat’s diet, you can maximize the benefits of mint and improve your cat’s overall health, well-being, and happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions On Why Do Cats Like Mint?

Why Do Cats Like Mint?

Cats may like mint due to the plant’s scent or its calming properties.

Is Mint Safe For Cats To Eat?

Mint is generally safe for cats to eat in small amounts, but large quantities can upset their stomach.

Can Mint Be Used To Calm A Cat?

Mint’s soothing properties may have a calming effect on some cats, but it is not a guaranteed remedy for anxiety.

What Other Plants Do Cats Like?

Cats also enjoy plants like catnip, valerian root, and silver vine for their calming and stimulating effects.

How Can I Use Mint To Entertain My Cat?

You can try giving your cat mint toys or hiding fresh mint leaves around your home for them to discover and play with.


Cats are enigmatic creatures with a variety of interesting behaviors. One such behavior is their preference for mint. Whether it be the scent or taste, cats seem to enjoy this herb. While there is no definite answer to why cats like mint, the available evidence points towards its calming effects on felines.

The natural compounds in mint, including menthol and nepetalactone, may act as a mild sedative for our furry friends. As such, cat owners can incorporate mint into their pet’s environment in a variety of ways, from placing a few leaves in their bed to using mint-scented products.

Ultimately, while there is still much to learn about the minds of our beloved cats, understanding their preferences, even their peculiar ones, helps strengthen the bond we share with them.

About Author (Pauline G. Carter)

Pauline G. Carter

Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …

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