Is Mint Safe for Cats?
Hello Grey Socks,
Every time I put toothpaste on my brush, which is mint flavored, my cat wants to lick it. She goes completely bananas over it. Is it okay to let her lick some?
Thanks for taking the time to write! The answer to your question is that it is a bad idea for your cat to lick toothpaste from your brush, no matter how much they love it.
This isn’t because the mint is bad, but because toothpaste contains fluoride, which may be toxic to cats (there aren’t enough studies to prove it either way, but we feel that it’s better to err on the side of caution).
Also – human toothpaste is designed to be spit out, which is really hard to teach cats how to do. So, all in all, letting kitty eat human toothpaste is not a good idea.
I may be able to explain why your cat loves the mint flavor so much…
Catnip is from the mint family, and it apparently has a lot of the same characteristics. So perhaps your cat is trying to substitute mint for catnip.
Catnip from the regular stores may not be strong enough for your kitty. and if you’ve tried that before, it may be the reason he/she didn’t react to it. I would give any of these toys a try and see how that goes.
Also, there are several products out on the market which are mint-flavored, and which your cats may love. Most of the actual mint-flavored products are designed for dogs, but I’ll see if I can’t dig some up for cats as well.
Thanks for writing!