Ashwagandha, a common adaptogenic herb in Ayurvedic medicine, has been extensively used in humans because of its many health benefits. Pet owners are now seeking out herbal medicines for their pets. This is true of cats as well. This complete guide will talk about the possible benefits of Ashwagandha for cats, its safety, any potential side effects and guidelines on responsible use.


Ashwagandha, also called Withania somnifera, is a potent adaptogenic herb[^1^] that has been utilized in Ayurveda for centuries to promote general health and well-being. Some of its potential health benefits in humans include:

  • Stress reduction[^2^]
  • Improved memory and cognitive function[^3^]
  • Enhanced immune system function[^4^]
  • Regulation of thyroid hormone levels[^5^]
  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects[^6^]

Expected to be these other health benefits, pet owners consider Ashwagandha as a natural supplement for their cats.


Although, there is little research that explicitly discusses the use of Ashwagandha for cats, some of the herb’s benefits in humans might also extend to felines.These potential benefits include:


Ashwagandha has long been used to relieve stress and anxiety in humans [^2^]. Like dogs, cats can also suffer from stress and anxiety which can present itself in various behavioral issues like aggression, excessive grooming or inappropriate elimination. Ashwagandha can make a difference in helping relieve cats from stress and anxiety, prompting an overall sense of wellbeing.


A Cat’s immune system is one of the most important system when it comes to overall cat’s health. In humans, Ashwagandha has demonstrated immunomodulatory effects[^4^], which may improve the immune system in fighting off infections and diseases. However more study is required but it might possible that Ashwagandha could support the immune system of cats in similar way.


Both humans and cats have inflammation and oxidative stress associated with various health conditions. Ashwagandha has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects[^6^], which may provide protection against chronic diseases in cats and general health support.


However, it has been established that Ashwagandha is generally safe for human consumption; its safety in cats is not yet well-established. There is a lack of research in the incidences of side effects and toxicities in cats associated with the Ashwagandha use.

Some of the possible side effects of Ashwagandha in humans are gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting[^7^]. Cats can also experience similar side effects if they consume Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha can also interact with some drugs in humans[^8^] which could also be a reason of concern for cats on prescriptions.

You should see a veterinarian before adding an herbal supplement like milk thistle or any such product in a cat’s regular schedule, as they can assist in establishing correct dosages and identifying potential harms.


If you are considering using Ashwagandha for your cat, it is essential to follow responsible guidelines to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being:

  1. Consult a veterinarian: Before starting any new supplement or treatment, consult with your veterinarian first to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your cat’s particular needs[^9^].
  1. Choose a high-quality product: Find a reliable manufacturer that obeys the strict quality control guidelines and has its products undergo third party testing, to authenticate the amount of Ashwagandha in them.
  2. Start with a low dose: Start with a low dose of Ashwagandha and increase as much as you need with your veterinarian approval. This will, thus, minimize the chances of developing side effects or adverse reactions.
  3. Monitor your cat closely: Monitor your cat closely after introducing Ashwagandha or any other new supplement. Avoid any signs of side effects or adverse reactions during system application and notify your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.
  4. Give Ashwagandha in conjunction with a balanced diet: Make sure that the cat is taken a balanced diet that has sufficient nutrients for the general well being.
  5. Consider alternative therapies: If Ashwagandha can be inappropriate for your pet cat, find other natural solutions or methods that may be more suitable, set this with your veterinarian.


Ashwagandha has demonstrated a number of health benefits in humans and some of these may extend to cats. Nevertheless,further investigations are required to establish complete knowledge on its safety and efficacy in feline domestic pets. It is needed to check with a veterinarian before giving Ashwagandha or any other herbal supplement to your pet. Adhering to responsible protocols and observing your cat closely can help provide for their safety and health as you explore the possible benefits of Ashwagandha.


[1]: Singh, N., Bhalla, M., de Jager, P., & Gilca, M. (2011). An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 8(5S). Link

[2]: Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 255-262. Link

[3]: Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Efficacy and safety of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) root extract in improving memory and cognitive functions. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 14(6), 599-612. Link

[4]: Bani, S., Gautam, M., Sheikh, F. A., Khan, B., Satti, N. K., Suri, K. A., … & Qazi, G. N. (2006). Selective Th1 up-regulating activity of Withania somnifera aqueous extract in an experimental system using flow cytometry. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 107(1), 107-115. Link

[5]: Sharma, A. K., Basu, I., & Singh, S. (2018). Efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha root extract in subclinical hypothyroid patients: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(3), 243-248. Link

[6]: Gupta, S. K., Dua, A., & Vohra, B. P. (2004). Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) attenuates antioxidant defense in aged spinal cord and inhibits copper induced lipid peroxidation and protein oxidative modifications. Drug Metabolism and Drug Interactions, 20(3), 211-222. Link

[7]: Pratte, M. A., Nanavati, K. B., Young, V., & Morley, C. P. (2014). An alternative treatment for anxiety: a systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(12), 901-908. Link

[8]: Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 43. Link

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