Are Cats Attracted To Sage?


Sage is a popular herb known for its aromatic properties and culinary uses. Many people enjoy using sage in their cooking and for its potential health benefits. However, if you are a cat owner, you may be wondering if cats are attracted to sage and if it is safe for them to be around. In this article, we will explore the topic of cats and sage, discussing whether cats are attracted to sage, the potential risks associated with cats and sage, and how to keep your feline friend safe.


Cats, with their peculiar preferences and unique behaviors, have always been a source of fascination for pet owners and animal enthusiasts alike. One such curiosity is their reaction towards various plants, including sage.

Understanding Cats and Their Senses

Cats are known for their heightened senses. Their sense of smell, in particular, is highly developed and plays a crucial role in their behavior and reactions towards various elements in their environment. In fact, a cat’s olfactory system is far more advanced than that of humans, allowing them to detect scents and pheromones that we cannot. This advanced sense of smell is part of what shapes their reactions to different plants and herbs, including sage.

The Nature of Sage

Sage, or Salvia officinalis, is a perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae and is native to the Mediterranean region, though it has naturalized in many places throughout the world. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times as an ornamental garden plant. The common name “sage” is also used for several related and unrelated species.

Is Sage Safe for Cats?

Before delving into whether cats are attracted to sage, it’s essential to ascertain its safety for our feline friends. Sage, in moderation, is generally safe for cats. However, excessive consumption can lead to gastrointestinal upset. The essential oil derived from sage, however, should be used with caution around cats. Cats lack certain liver enzymes that break down these oils, which can lead to toxicity if ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Cats and Sage: The Attraction

Contrary to popular belief, cats are not particularly attracted to sage. Unlike catnip, which contains the compound nepetalactone that triggers a euphoric response in cats, sage does not have the same effect. While some cats may show a mild interest in sage due to its strong aroma, it does not typically induce the playful, energetic behavior associated with catnip.

Sage and Its Uses in Cat Care

Despite the lack of attraction, sage can still be beneficial in cat care. Its antiseptic properties make it useful for treating minor cuts and wounds. Additionally, sage can be used as a natural flea repellent. A mild sage tea can be brewed and cooled before being sprayed onto the cat’s fur. However, it’s always best to consult with a vet before trying new treatments.

How To Use Sage To Repel Cats

There are a few different ways to use sage to repel cats. One way is to sprinkle it around your home. You can put it in bowls, sprinkle it on the floor, or even put it in your cat’s litter box. Another way to use sage is to make a spray. Simply add a few drops of sage oil to water and spray it around your home. You can also add sage to a diffuser or essential oil burner.

How Effective Is Sage At Repelling Cats?

Sage is very effective at repelling cats. In fact, it is one of the most effective natural remedies for cat repellent. When you use sage, you can expect to see results within a few days.

What Are The Side Effects Of Using Sage To Repel Cats?

There are no known side effects of using sage to repel cats. However, if you have any concerns, you should consult with your veterinarian before using sage.

The Science Behind Cats and Herbs

Cats have a unique reaction to certain herbs due to a special organ called the vomeronasal organ, or Jacobson’s organ. This organ is located in the roof of the cat’s mouth and is connected to the mouth and nasal cavity. It allows cats to detect certain compounds and pheromones in plants that are undetectable to humans. This is why cats have a strong reaction to herbs like catnip and silver vine, but not to sage.

Can Sage Affect a Cat’s Sleep Patterns?

Can buprenorphine in cats and sleep affect a cat’s sleep patterns? Buprenorphine, a medication commonly used for pain management in cats, can potentially impact a cat’s sleep. While it may cause drowsiness, it can also disrupt regular sleep patterns. It is essential to monitor and consult with a veterinarian regarding any changes in sleep patterns after administering buprenorphine to ensure the well-being of your feline companion.


While cats are not inherently attracted to sage, its use in cat care is undeniable. However, moderation is key to ensure the safety and health of your feline friend. Always consult with a vet before introducing new elements into your cat’s environment or diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sage harmful to cats?

No, sage is not harmful to cats when used in moderation. However, excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Can I use sage as a flea repellent for my cat?

Yes, sage can be used as a natural flea repellent. However, it’s always best to consult with your vet before trying new treatments.

Why isn’t my cat attracted to sage like they are to catnip?

Unlike catnip, sage does not contain nepetalactone, the compound that triggers a euphoric response in cats.

What are some other ways to repel cats?

A: There are a number of other ways to repel cats, such as using citronella oil, cayenne pepper, or ultrasonic devices.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.