Cat treat similar to toothpaste
January 25, 2018 10:58 AM   Subscribe

My cat loves toothpaste and mouthwash so much I have to frantically clean the sink after I spit so that she doesn't lick it up. What can I give her as a treat that she will like as much? Just plain mint leaves?

I have read elsewhere "just get a mint plant" but I am afraid she'll gobble it up while I am at work. How cautious do I need to be when giving my cat mint?
posted by Emmy Rae to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I found this: the ASPCA lists mint as toxic to cats because if they eat a lot, it can cause stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting. In small amounts (a single leaf or a pinch of dried mint), it is fine. It's closely related to catnip, which you should also only give in small amounts.

So if you get a mint plant, keep it inaccessible and just give out a leaf or two a day? I currently have a mint plant on my table and my two cats have sniffed it, but mainly leave it alone.
posted by poppunkcat at 11:02 AM on January 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

I forgot to include a picture!
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:03 AM on January 25, 2018 [14 favorites]

My cats used to go for my peppermint tea bags, so I'd think peppermint leaves might do the trick.

(One of my cats tore open and ate the contents of a tube of Blistex. Cats are weird.)
posted by workerant at 11:13 AM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

We had a cat who loved the minty foot spray I used on my stinky feet, to the point she'd shove her face in my shoes if I didn't put them away. And now, our pets like skin lotion, and they'll lick it off of us or off the spout of a lotion bottle (which is not uncommon, and generally not bad). But in both cases, I'm not inclined to give them their own mint or lotion. Our cat also likes to eat plastic ribbons. Cats (and dogs) are indeed weird.

Why not catnip? Cat-specific treats seem like a safe option.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on January 25, 2018

Why not catnip? Cat-specific treats seem like a safe option.

For some reason she doesn't care about catnip and ignores its presence in her life.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:18 AM on January 25, 2018

Maybe she'd enjoy a toothbrushin' with some minty cat toothpaste?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:21 AM on January 25, 2018 [9 favorites]

Catnip is related to mint. There's also "catmint" which absolutely infests my backyard and smells a lot like lemon balm (but isn't) that you could try. I knew a cat that loved to smell their person's breath after they brushed their teeth, so the mint thing isn't unheard of.

On preview, since she doesn't react to catnip, have you tried silvervine? You can order it online in various forms if you can't find any nearby. Cats who don't care for one will often enjoy the other.

If your cat is indoor only I suggest getting a pot for various cat herbs and keeping it outside. Touch it regularly and crush a few leaves with your fingers and then pet your cat's face for a lowkey hit of the good stuff. When it gets rangy and threatens to escape the pot, prune vigorously and dry in bundles. Don't risk it completely infesting any garden you may have by putting it in the ground. The work needed to get that under control is worth way more than just buying another mint seedling.

Your cat might like the water and sink part of the tooth hygiene game as much as the minty freshness parts. Does she like to play with small amounts of water? Maybe you could brew plain mint tea and put it in a shallow dish for her to poke at. Some little floaty toys might be fun too.
posted by Mizu at 11:31 AM on January 25, 2018 [6 favorites]

There are mint flavored cat toys such as this one
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 11:41 AM on January 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

We have a mint flavored hairball control paste. That's got to be cat safe.
posted by advicepig at 12:06 PM on January 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'd wonder about the other catnip-like things (silver vine comes to mine). Cats are often sensitive to one but not others, so it might be that mint makes your cat happy whereas catnip just has no effect.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 12:09 PM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I knew a cat who liked to submerge his head in a bowl of individually wrapped mint candies.
posted by stowaway at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2018 [9 favorites]

Spider plant is another one that some cats go crazy for. I'd never seen a cat that liked it, until we got a kitten that did... and we're talking climb the walls CRAZY to get at my plants.
posted by stormyteal at 9:03 PM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wow, I got my cat the treat SpaceWarp13 linked to - she went absolutely wild for it. Ran all over the apartment with it and meowed at me if she thought I was trying to take it away. It was soaked through with her spit from her playing with it so much! She was very sleepy today - my husband asked if she was hungover. Sadly I did not get video or photo evidence but maybe the next time she gets a fresh one.
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:05 AM on February 5, 2018

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