It is not recommended for cats to eat parsley because of the dangerous compounds found in it.
A flowering plant from the Apiaceae family, parsley is an herb that’s commonly used as a culinary garnish, spice, and flavouring. Also called Italian parsley, Hamburg parsley, and turnip-rooted parsley, it is listed by ASPCA as a plant that is toxic for both cats and dogs due to the compound furanocoumarins. When your cat eats too much parsley, it can cause photosensitization. Sunburn and dermatitis are common side effects, which can manifest as burns, blisters, or sores on your cat’s body.
Exposure and/or consumption of spring parsley, in particular, can result in visual photosensitivity, oral irritation, and phytophotodermatitis. When this happens, a cat will feel discomfort looking directly at sunlight or bright lights. Sores, blisters, and burns can also develop on affected areas.
What to do if your cat accidentally eats parsley: Observe your cat for any changes, especially if she ate a large amount of parsley or played with the plant for an extended amount of time. Call the veterinarian or take her to the clinic if you notice any of these symptoms: drooling or foaming at the mouth, redness or irritation in the nose or throat, difficulty in breathing, visible burns, blisters, or sores, and uncharacteristic hiding in dark areas.
In summary: Ingesting a small amount of parsley may not affect your cat. However, eating too much of this high-fiber plant may cause digestive issues and lead to other health complications. Instead of giving your cat parsley, find out which vegetables and fruits you can safely feed to your cat in our blog.