Can Cats Eat Pesto? (Answer Is Very Surprising)

The short answer is: No, cats cannot eat pesto. Pesto is a famous sauce that many families love. Since it’s quite a familiar thing for humans, it can also be tempting to share it with cats. However, pesto sauces contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, with garlic as the most. Thus, even a little bit of pesto consumption might lead to harming your cat.

But what are the ingredients in pesto, and how can each one affect your pet?

The pesto’s primary and most common ingredients are basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Let’s tackle each one and see how they affect our cats.

Is Basil safe for cats to eat?

Yes, basil is safe for cats to eat. As one of the main ingredients of pesto, basil is the thing that gives that rich green color.

It’s a famous and widely grown herb, and it’s utterly harmless. As owners, you probably know how they love to chew on whatever they can get their teeth on.

Thus, whether it’s eaten on its own or in pesto, basil is entirely safe for your pet.

Related – What about cayenne pepper? Can cats eat cayenne pepper?

Can cats eat garlic?

No, cats cannot eat garlic because it’s toxic for them. Garlic is poisonous to cats, most especially high doses of it.

The aroma and flavor of garlic may be quite indulging for human taste. However, it can be toxic and harmful to our pets.

A single serving of pesto contains an average of 3 cloves of crushed garlic. With such a large proportion, garlic is the primary factor why they can’t eat pesto.

To further state its gravity, garlic is about five times as toxic as onions for our pets.

Thus, as much as possible, prevent your kitty from accessing garlic and every food with garlic.

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Can cats eat pine nuts?

Along with the pesto is a portion of pine nuts. Like any other nuts, pine nuts aren’t toxic for cats.

However, nut consumption can be quite a pain. It is because nuts are rich in fats and oil that are hard to digest.

Thus, aside from garlic, eating a pesto can not only harm your feline pet. It can also cause an upset stomach or other digestive issues.

pesto and cats

Can cats eat parmesan cheese?

Cats and cheese are not suitable for each other. Thus, any feline cannot eat parmesan cheese as well.

Parmesan cheese, along with other types of cheese, aren’t toxic for cats. The truth is, they will probably be alright if it eats small amounts.

However, when moderation stops, cheese, such as parmesan cheese, can be harmful to our pets. Too much cheese can cause an upset stomach.

The reason behind this is that cheese contains milk. Thus, there is lactose present in cheese.

As they grow, they become lactose-intolerant. While some will be alright, most felines will suffer from diarrhea and indigestion.

Thus, by eating pesto sauce, your kitty may suffer from digestive issues much.

Do you want to know if cats eat milk chocolate or ducks? Check it out!

Can cats eat black pepper?

We covered this topic in-depth in our next article, which you can read here, but the short answer is no.

Can cats eat olive oil?

Yes, cats can eat olive oil. Out of all the ingredients in a pesto, olive oil is probably the most beneficial.

Olive oil is non-toxic, and it can be a great supplement in their diet.

Adding olive oil in the food they take can helping curing diseases such as hairball.

Further, regular intake of olive oil can make your pet’s fur shiny and soft.

Now, the benefits from some pesto ingredients don’t lessen the risk for your feline friend. While it may enjoy benefits from both basil and olive oil, they’ll still get poisoned by the garlic.

If you want, feed your pet some basil and olive oil, but never provide it through the pesto.

But how about seasonings? Are seasonings safe for cats?

Can cats eat seasonings?

No, cats cannot eat seasonings. While these condiments add flavor and taste to our food, it can be harmful.

Thus, if you’re worried about the taste of the food you’re feeding, don’t.

In the first place, felines don’t need seasoning, and they can eat anything as long as they find it safe for them.

Now, some kitties may eat seasoned food, and little amounts may not be harmful to them.

However, if you’re planning to give large amounts of leftovers for your pet, don’t do it. Large amounts of seasoning may affect its digestion.

How much garlic is toxic to cats?

As I said above, garlic is five times more toxic than onions for cats. Thus, even a small amount consumed can be lethal.

To be particular, a single clove of garlic can poison our pets. Since pesto contains three or more garlic cloves, feeding it to your pet is the same as poisoning it.

If you have leftover pesto, it’s better to throw it in the trash.

What are other things poisonous to cats?

Aside from garlic, the following food can also be toxic or poisonous for felines. Be mindful of what you’re going to feed and see if it includes some of these:

  • Onions
  • Raw Eggs, Meat, and Bones
  • Chocolate and Caffeinated Drinks
  • Alcohol and Raw Dough
  • Milk and Dairy
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Dog Food

In Summary

Pesto contains fantastic flavors that can be indulging for us. Thus, it’s quite tempting to share some with our cats.

However, before we share our treats with our feline pets, we should be mindful of their health. And pesto isn’t the right food for your cat.

Always remember that the food we enjoy might be harmful to them. Don’t worry, though.

As long as you keep this in mind, you and your pet will enjoy a wonderful and safe life.


Image credits – Photos by Raphael Schaller and Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

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