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Can Cats Eat Licorice Root? Vet Approved Nutrition Advice

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on January 12, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat Licorice Root

Can Cats Eat Licorice Root? Vet Approved Nutrition Advice


Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo


Dr. Lorna Whittemore


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As a pet parent, you want everything to be perfect for your feline pal, which includes ensuring there are no plants, herbs, spices, or food that your cat can get into that might hurt them. Many pet parents wonder if their cats can eat licorice root. The answer to this question is yes, but it also depends on a few different factors.

In this guide, we’ll examine why cats can eat a tiny piece of licorice root but shouldn’t consume large portions.

divider-catclaw1 Can Cats Eat Licorice Root?

It’s not dangerous for your cat to eat a bit of licorice root, so if your cat nibbled on a bit, don’t worry. However, you shouldn’t give your cat large amounts since it could cause problems with their bowels and digestive system.

If your cat eats a little, it’s not going to hurt them. However, you don’t want them to eat copious amounts of licorice. If your cat has gotten sick from eating licorice root, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet.

Benefits of Giving Your Cat Licorice Root

Licorice root acts as an anti-inflammatory, which makes it good for cats with arthritis. It’s also a natural source of cortisone, which is helpful for cats with allergies and acts as a mild laxative. However, speak to your vet before using licorice root to cure any of your pet’s ailments.

You never know what your feline pal could be allergic to in the licorice root, which could cause their condition to worsen.

Can Cats Eat Food Flavored with Licorice Root?

It’s a bad idea to give your cat candy flavored with licorice root or any candy at all. Candy is not suitable for cats since it’s primarily made of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Of course, your cat managing to sneak a small bite won’t hurt, but regularly eating it could have long-term side effects.

Licorice Root
Image by: Pixabay

What Should a Cat Eat?

We’ve discussed that feeding your cat candy is a bad idea, but what should you feed your cat? No matter what you’re feeding them, they need clean, fresh water to stay hydrated. Since they require mainly animal protein in their diet, high-quality dry food or canned cat food are ideal protein sources for a cat.

Next, we’ll discuss other non-commercial foods your cat can safely consume.


Meat gives your cat the protein they need to be healthy and happy. Cats can eat turkey, chicken, beef, venison, and lamb. But, of course, the meat has to be fresh, cooked, and boneless.

raw beef meat in a bowl
Image by: Pexels, Pixabay


Cats love fish, even though most wild species survive on mammals and birds. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that help with a cat’s joints and eyesight and boost brain power. As with meat, make sure the fish is fresh, cooked, and boneless.


Your cat doesn’t need to eat vegetables, but many cats like them, so they can make a good treat. You can give your cat small portions of carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Of course, make sure the vegetables are cooked, too.

Image Credit: Elena Leonova, Shutterstock


Fruit is high in sugar, which is unsuitable for your furry friend. However, some fruits make good treats in small amounts. Mangos, bananas, cantaloupe, apricots, watermelons, and pears make great occasional treats.


Cheese is loaded with protein and fat, making it great for cats. However, many varieties are high in lactose, which can cause digestion issues in cats. Therefore, you should pick cheeses low in lactose, such as Swiss, cheddar, or lactose-free products.

These are just a few foods you can feed your cat, but it’s best to consult your veterinarian before giving your cat anything new or changing their diet.

divider-catclaw1 Final Thoughts

A small portion of licorice root will not harm your feline, but you should always contact your vet before giving them anything new. Although it’s not toxic to cats, licorice root should not become part of your pet’s regular diet. Protein-rich treats composed primarily of meat are healthier as occasional snacks, and your cat will undoubtedly enjoy them more than licorice root.

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