Tuesday January 26, 2010 | 15 comments
The health benefits of tea, particularly herbal tea, are widely known and tea has been used throughout history to ease ailments. Recently, I discovered that herbal mint iced tea has mental and physical health benefits for our furry friends of the feline persuasion. I found this out completely by chance through a sequence of unfortunate events.
A few days before Christmas, I found my cat in the back yard hurt and bleeding. To make a long story short, my cat now has three legs. During the past few weeks, my kitty has endured a tough recovery. She has to be confined to a small space until she heals, is on antibiotics and pain killers that upset her stomach, and hasn’t gotten the hang of cruising around on three legs yet, so she frequently falls down.
In an attempt to make her life less monotonous, I put her on the bed with me for a few hours every night. I frequently drink mint tea in the evening because it is caffeine free, easy on the stomach, and yummy. The first night I put her on the bed, she enthusiastically gravitated toward my glass of cold mint tea, purring, rubbing up against it, and trying to devour its contents. I stopped her from consuming the brew initially because I wasn’t sure it was safe for her to drink.
The next day I asked a vet if mint tea was safe for my cat to consume. He told me that if it is cold, caffeine-free, sugar-free, weak, and offered in small amounts (a large and concentrated amount can be hard on the liver), it should be fine.
After a few days of letting her drink a little peppermint tea every night, her mental health improved and her tummy turmoil started to subside. I couldn’t be sure if it was the tea or if she was just healing. This piqued my interest, so I did some research.
It turns out that mint is related to catnip and has a similar effect on cats. It’s a happy drug for felines. Much like it does for people, mint tea can be a gentle way to ease digestive troubles. I also learned that a compress of peppermint tea applied externally to skin problems is helpful for cats.
I adore happy accidents and this one turned out to be an interesting one. This experience has solidified my belief that tea is not only delicious and an endless adventure of new flavors, but it also has numerous health benefits. It’s good for people, but also for our four-legged (and three-legged) furry friends.