Can cats eat ginger? Ginger can sometimes be helpful for people when they have an upset stomach or another mild health issue. But is the herbal root also good for cats? The answer is yes, ginger is one of the many human food that is safe for cats to eat. Not only can cats safely eat ginger, sometimes it can help their health just like it does for people. But take care, because too much ginger may cause mild stomach upset of its own.
Ginger Can Help Cats’ Upset Stomachs
Overall, ginger is well-tolerated and safe for cats. Just like ginger can provide some relief for an upset stomach in people, it can do the same for cats.1
When considering ginger, keep in mind that sometimes it might mildly irritate the stomach, especially if your cat’s tummy is empty. Some experts recommend giving ginger mixed with cat food or veterinary-recommended herbal supplements.2 It can be especially helpful for cats who are often carsick.
Of course, you’ll want to chat with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your cat’s diet. The amount of ginger you can give your cat depends on his weight, age, and other factors. It is especially important that you talk to your vet if your cat is on any medications or has any health issues.
Ginger Root vs. Ginger Flower and Gingerbread
There’s a difference between ginger root, ginger flower, and gingerbread. Ginger from ginger root is the supplement that some people use to help cats’ upset tummies. Even though ginger root is safe for cats, gingerbread is not. Raw dough and Xylitol (an artificial sweetener sometimes used in sugar-free recipes) are unsafe for cats. The spices in gingerbread may also be unsafe, and it’s not a good idea to give sugary human sweets, like molasses, to cats.3
In contrast, the white ginger flower (also known as cinnamon jasmine, white ginger lily, or the garland flower) is safe for cats.4 It’s a “botanical cousin” to culinary ginger.5 Keep in mind, other lilies like the true lily and the daylily are toxic to cats, so make sure you know exactly what you’re planting.6
Remember, just because ginger is safe for cats doesn’t mean that other human foods are safe too. Quite a few human foods are harmful to cats, like chocolate, alcohol, onions, and garlic. Before giving your cat any human food, do your research to make sure it’s safe.
It’s perfectly fine for your cat to eat ginger, and it may help with an upset stomach. Keep the amount small and consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your cat’s diet.
1. Hunter, Tammy. “Motion Sickness in Cats.” VCA Hospitals, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/motion-sickness-in-cats.
2. Whisker Docs. “Pet Friendly Travel.” WhiskerDocs.com, 7 December 2017, https://www.whiskerdocs.com/articles/pet-friendly-travel.
3. Becker, Karen. “The New Functional Food That’s Anything But Healthy or Functional.” Mercola, 16 January 2017, https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2017/01/16/molasses-pet-food.aspx.
4. ASPCA. “White Ginger.” ASPCA.org, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/white-ginger.
5. SFGate. “Propagation of the White Ginger Lily.” SFGate.com, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/propagation-white-ginger-lily-22713.html.
6. FDA. “Lovely Lilies and Curious Cats: A Dangerous Combination.” FDA.gov, https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/lovely-lilies-and-curious-cats-dangerous-combination.
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