cat and bowl of pesto

Can Cats Eat Pesto?

Last Updated on July 29, 2023 by admin

No, cats cannot eat pesto. Pesto is a famous sauce made from crushed basil leaves, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. Though cats can eat basil in moderate amounts, the other ingredients in pesto can cause them to become ill, such as vomiting and cramps. Therefore, it’s not recommended to give your cat any pesto, as even small amounts can be damaging to their health. Despite being delicious when used on pasta, pesto is not a part of a cat’s natural diet. So, it’s best to stick to their regular food and avoid giving them any pesto.



What Is Pesto?

Pesto is a popular Italian green sauce, typically made from crushed basil leaves, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. It has a unique flavor and can be used to dress pasta, as a spread for sandwiches, or as a dip for vegetables. Pesto is a great way to add flavor and nutrition to many dishes. Its vibrant green color also makes it a beautiful addition to any plate.

Can Cats Have Garlic?

No, cats should not consume garlic as it is toxic to them. Garlic contains compounds called thiosulphates that can damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to a condition called Heinz body anemia. Even small amounts of garlic can be harmful to cats, so it is best to avoid feeding them any foods containing garlic. Symptoms of garlic toxicity in cats may include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, and increased heart rate. It is important to be aware of these symptoms and seek veterinary attention if you suspect your cat has ingested garlic. Overall, it is best to err on the side of caution and keep garlic away from your feline companions to ensure their health and wellbeing.

Can Cats Eat Basil?

Yes, cats can eat basil. Basil is not toxic to cats and is generally safe for them to consume. However, it is important to note that some cats may have digestive issues or allergies to basil. Therefore, it is recommended to introduce basil to your cat’s diet gradually and in small amounts to monitor their reaction. Basil can provide some health benefits to cats, such as aiding digestion and providing antioxidants. Nonetheless, it is always advisable to consult with a veterinarian before adding basil or any new food to your cat’s diet to ensure it is suitable for your individual cat and to address any specific concerns or allergies they may have.

What if My Dog Accidentally Ate Pesto?

If your dog accidentally ate pesto, especially if it was made with garlic, it is important to take the situation seriously. Garlic toxicity can occur in dogs when they consume a large amount of garlic, and even a small lick of pesto made with garlic can be harmful. Symptoms of garlic toxicity in dogs may include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. It is best to avoid giving pesto or any food containing garlic to dogs. If your dog has consumed pesto made with garlic, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian immediately for guidance and possible treatment. Prompt action can help ensure the best possible outcome for your dog’s health.

Can Kittens Have Pesto?

Yes, kittens can have pesto, but it should be given in moderation. Pesto typically contains ingredients like garlic and onions, which can be toxic to cats in large amounts. These ingredients can lead to anemia and damage red blood cells in cats. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the pesto does not contain harmful ingredients for cats. If you choose to feed pesto to kittens, it should only be given as an occasional treat and in small quantities. It is always recommended to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new food to a kitten’s diet to ensure their safety and well-being.

Can Animals Eat Pesto?

No, animals should not eat pesto. Pesto is a sauce made from basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. While it is high in flavor and fat, it contains ingredients that can be harmful to animals. Cats and dogs, in particular, should avoid consuming pesto as it can negatively affect their health. It is crucial to read the labels of any pesto product to ensure it does not contain ingredients that are toxic to pets. Therefore, it is best to keep pesto away from animals and provide them with a diet that is safe and suitable for their specific needs.

Why Can’t Cats Eat Pesto?

It’s important to remember that cats cannot eat pesto. Traditional pesto contains garlic, onion, and cheese, all of which can be toxic to cats and cause digestive upset. Even small amounts of pesto can be damaging to your cat’s health. The Parmesan and Pecorino cheese found in pesto are lactose-rich, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in cats. Pesto also contains pine nuts, which can cause an upset stomach if eaten by cats. Additionally, the olive oil in pesto can lead to pancreatitis in cats. For these reasons, it is best to avoid feeding your cat any form of pesto.

Can Cats Eat Basil Pesto?

Can cats eat basil pesto? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Basil is one of the key ingredients in pesto and it is safe for cats to consume in moderate amounts, but the other ingredients, such as Parmesan cheese, Pecorino, garlic and pine nuts, are not. These ingredients can be toxic to cats and even small amounts can be damaging to their health. Therefore, it is best to keep pesto away from cats and provide them with alternatives that are safe for their consumption.

Can Cats Eat Grated Parmesan Cheese?

Cats can eat grated Parmesan cheese in small amounts, but it is not recommended. This is because Parmesan cheese contains a high amount of lactose and fat, which can be detrimental to cats. Additionally, cats cannot digest cheese due to their lactose intolerance and the low nutritional value that cheese provides. As such, if you are looking for a snack for your cat, look for other options that offer more nutrition and do not contain dairy products.

Can Cats Eat Pine Nuts?

Yes, cats can eat pine nuts. Pine nuts are not toxic to cats, and in small amounts, shouldn’t cause any problems. These nuts are high in fat though, so consuming them in large quantities can lead to upset stomachs. Additionally, the toxin juglone is present in pine nuts, so it’s important to keep an eye on your cat if they eat any. Olive oil also has some benefits for cats, such as making their coats shinier and healthier. As long as your cat has a balanced diet and the pine nuts are consumed in moderation, they should be safe for your pet to enjoy.

What Are the Benefits of Basil for Cats?

Basil is a safe and nutritious herb for cats to eat. The aromatic leaves of the basil plant contain several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and iron. It is an anti-inflammatory, so it can help cats who suffer from joint pain or other inflammatory conditions. It can also help aid digestion and provide relief from nausea and vomiting. Additionally, basil contains antioxidants that can help boost your cat’s immune system and protect its cells from damage. Feeding your cat a small amount of basil on a regular basis can provide numerous health benefits.

Are There Any Alternatives to Pesto for Cats?

For pet owners looking for a flavor-filled treat that their cats can enjoy, there are alternatives to pesto. Many cats are fans of a homemade herb pesto made with parsley, oregano, and other herbs. This is a safe option that is much lower in fat than traditional pesto and can also be used as a condiment or topping for other foods. Additionally, cats may enjoy fresh or canned tuna mixed with a small amount of olive oil and herbs. Another option is canned salmon with herbs, which is high in protein and omega–3 fatty acids. Pet owners should avoid adding garlic or onions to any of these recipes as these can be toxic to cats.

What Foods Should Be Avoided for Cats?

Be aware of the foods that should be avoided for cats. Cats are not able to digest certain ingredients, such as garlic and onions, which are commonly found in store-bought sauces like pesto. Additionally, many cats are lactose intolerant and should not eat foods that contain lactose, such as Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Other common ingredients to avoid for cats include chocolate, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, and sugar. While some cats may enjoy these items as treats, it is best to keep them away from cats to ensure their safety and health.

Can Cats Have Small Amounts of Pesto?

It is generally not recommended to give cats any amount of pesto, even in small doses. While pesto may be tasty to humans, it contains ingredients that are toxic to cats such as garlic and pine nuts. In addition, the cheese used in pesto contains lactose which cats are particularly sensitive to. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving your cat any amount of pesto, even if it is only a small amount. There are plenty of other foods that cats can safely enjoy so it’s best to avoid giving them pesto altogether.


In conclusion, cats should not be fed pesto due to its high fat and spice content. Pesto is a rich and flavorful sauce, but it contains ingredients that are not suitable for cats. While basil pesto is not poisonous to cats, it should be avoided in order to keep them healthy. There are many other alternatives that can be used as treats for cats, such as parsley, which provide some nutritious benefits. Always check with your veterinarian before introducing any new food into your cat’s diet.