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Can Cats Eat Cinnamon?

    Can Cats Eat Cinnamon? Understanding the Safety and Healthy Alternatives


    As a responsible cat parent, you may often wonder what human foods are safe for your feline friend. Cinnamon, with its distinct aroma and flavor, is a popular spice found in many households. But can cats eat cinnamon? In this article, we will delve into the safety concerns regarding cinnamon consumption for cats and explore healthy alternatives that you can incorporate into their diet.

    Is Cinnamon Safe for Cats?

    While cinnamon is generally considered safe for humans, it’s important to understand that cats have different dietary requirements and metabolisms. The aroma of cinnamon may pique their curiosity, but it’s crucial to be cautious about allowing your cat to consume it. Cinnamon contains essential oils, particularly cinnamaldehyde, which can cause irritation and potentially lead to adverse effects in cats.

    How Much Cinnamon Can A Cat Eat?

    It’s important not to try and figure out how much is toxic to cats. In reality, cats should not eat any amount of cinnamon.

    While a small amount on its own is unlikely to do any harm, regular ingestion of cinnamon or a large amount can be dangerous. And rather than test the limits or regular or “large” compared it small. It’s recommended to not give them cinnamon at all.

    Accidental exposure or ingestion of cinnamon usually occurs when cats chew on cinnamon trees or cinnamon sticks, eat food flavored with cinnamon, lick cinnamon-infused essential oils or diffusers, and from touching cinnamon oils.

    How Often Can A Cat Eat Cinnamon?

    Just because accidental exposures are often non-toxic to cats, cinnamon should not be a regular food items. Cats should never be allowed to eat cinnamon, or any food containing cinnamon. Although it is not toxic, if a large amount is eaten or a small amount is eaten too often, toxic levels can build up.

    Is Cinnamon Used In Cat Food?

    Cinnamon is never used in traditional, store-bought cat food as it can be toxic when eaten in high concentrations .

    Do Cats Like The Taste Of Cinnamon?

    Most cats do not like taste, or smell, of cinnamon.  Generally, cinnamon-flavored foods do not smell or taste very appealing to cats.

    Risks of Cinnamon Consumption for Cats:

    • Digestive Upset: Cats have sensitive stomachs, and the ingestion of cinnamon may cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect that your cat has consumed cinnamon and they exhibit any digestive discomfort, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian.
    • Allergic Reactions: Just like humans, cats can have allergies too. Cinnamon may trigger allergic reactions in some cats, resulting in symptoms such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any unusual reactions after your cat’s exposure to cinnamon, seek immediate veterinary assistance.
    • Toxicity: In large quantities, cinnamon can be toxic to cats. The compounds present in cinnamon can affect the liver and impair blood clotting, potentially leading to more serious health complications. It’s crucial to keep cinnamon and cinnamon-scented products securely stored away from your feline companion.

    What About Foods Containing Cinnamon?

    If cats eat a small amount of human food containing cinnamon, such as cinnamon rolls and cinnamon toast crunch, there are unlikely to be any negative effects. In most cases your cat may smell cinnamon in the food and not try it.  However, it is still best to stop your cat from eating these foods. Many dishes that contain cinnamon can also contain raisins, which are also toxic to cats, so you should prevent your cat from eating this kind of dish. But a sick off the cinnamon rolls spoon is not something to be a cause of concern.

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    Signs Your Cat Has Eaten Cinnamon

    The effects of the cinnamon on your cat will vary depending on how much they have eaten.An allergic reaction from skin contain or contact through an oral cavity can cause irritation, redness, a rash, or even burns. If your feline friend inhales it, cinnamon can cause coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulties.

    Symptoms of cinnamon toxicity from ingesting cinnamon include excessive vomiting, diarrhea,  a change in heart rate, breathlessness, low blood sugar levels, blood thinning, liver disease, and organ failure.  Many of these symptoms can go unnoticed to the everyday cat owner which is why it is recommended that cats don’t each cinnamon at all. Why risk missing the signs of cinnamon toxicity?

    Cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin, which stops the blood from clotting. So in severe cases, there is a risk of bleeding after cinnamon ingestion.

    What to Do If Your Cat Eats Cinnamon:

    Accidents happen, and if you suspect or witness your cat consuming cinnamon, it’s important to take prompt action. Follow these steps:

    • Stay Calm: Panicking won’t help the situation. Stay calm and assess the severity of the incident.
    • Contact Your Veterinarian: Reach out to your veterinarian and explain the situation. They will provide guidance based on your cat’s individual health history and the quantity of cinnamon consumed.
    • Observe for Symptoms: Keep a close eye on your cat for any signs of digestive upset, allergic reactions, or unusual behavior. Note down any changes and report them to your veterinarian.

    Healthy Food Options for Cats:

    To provide a balanced and nutritious diet for your cat, it’s best to stick to feline-specific food. Here are some healthy alternatives that you can include in your cat’s diet:

    • Protein: Cats are obligate carnivores, so ensure their diet includes high-quality animal protein, such as lean meats or commercially prepared cat food.
    • Fruits and Vegetables: While cats have limited ability to digest plant matter, small portions of cat-safe fruits and vegetables like cooked pumpkin or steamed broccoli can provide added fiber and nutrients.
    • Catnip and Cat Grass: These safe alternatives can serve as a treat or distraction for your cat, satisfying their natural instincts and providing enrichment.


    In summary, while cinnamon may be a delightful addition to human food, it’s best to avoid feeding it to your cat. The potential risks of digestive upset, allergies, and toxicity make cinnamon unsuitable for feline consumption. As a responsible cat parent, focus on providing a balanced and cat-friendly diet, consulting your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations. By prioritizing your cat’s well-being and avoiding potentially harmful substances like cinnamon, you can ensure a healthy and happy life for your feline companion.

    Remember, when it comes to your cat’s diet, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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