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Can Cats Eat Cinnamon? What You Need To Know!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

close up cinnamon sticks

If your curious kitty has ever snooped around in your kitchen, you may have wondered which foods she can and cannot eat. Cinnamon is a common cooking and baking spice that your cats are likely to have contact with, so it’s important to know whether or not it is safe for your pet to consume. While cinnamon is technically non-toxic to cats, your cat should not consume cinnamon.

In this article, we will discuss cinnamon toxicity and why you should avoid feeding cinnamon to your cat, as well as other foods you should never feed your kitty.

What Is Cinnamon Toxicity?

Cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin, which cats do not have the ability to break down. This is because they don’t have the same liver enzymes that humans do. If your cat consumes a large amount of cinnamon, she may be at risk for liver failure and other problems. You may not be aware that this is actually true of humans as well; too much coumarin can cause problems.

In addition to experiencing complications from ingesting too much cinnamon, cats are also susceptible to rashes or other allergic reactions if they inhale or otherwise come in contact with cinnamon. Though you may not always think about your cat’s skin due to her coat of fur, cats have very sensitive skin that can become irritated as a result of being exposed to cinnamon. If you are going to cook or bake with cinnamon, it’s a good idea to put it away and clean your measuring spoons immediately after using it so that your curious cat doesn’t get into it when you aren’t looking.

Image Credit: Pixabay

What Are the Symptoms of Cinnamon Toxicity?

If you suspect your cat may have come in contact with too much cinnamon, there are a few different symptoms you should look out for. The symptoms will vary depending on whether your cat ingested, inhaled, or otherwise came into contact with the spice. If it seems like your cat is in pain or having a reaction after eating something containing cinnamon, don’t hesitate to take her to your veterinarian as the consequences can be life-threatening.

When Your Cat Has Eaten Too Much Cinnamon

When your cat has ingested cinnamon, you should look for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, or shortness of breath in your cat. Other, less obvious symptoms of a cat who has eaten too much cinnamon include a reduced heart rate and liver failure or other liver complications.

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When Your Cat Has Inhaled Cinnamon

Whether it is the powdered spice, cinnamon essential oils, or another source, if your cat accidentally inhales cinnamon, it is likely to result in an allergic reaction. In order to assess whether or not your cat is having an allergic reaction, look for the following symptoms: coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and other problems breathing. While inhaling cinnamon may not be as serious as ingesting a large amount of the popular spice, it can still be worrisome if your cat’s allergic reaction is serious enough to block her nasal passage or prevent her from being able to breathe.

cinnamon sticks
Image Credit: Pixabay

When Your Cat Has Come Into Contact With Cinnamon

Some cats will experience a topical reaction if their skin comes into contact with cinnamon or cinnamon essential oils. If you think your cat has recently gotten into the cinnamon, look for any redness, frequent scratching or pawing, or rashes on your cat’s skin.

What Other Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?

In addition to cinnamon, there are some other foods you should avoid feeding your cat. While you may not purposefully feed your cat some of the foods on this list, we all know that cats’ curiosity can get the better of them. Whenever you are eating these foods, make sure to keep an eye on your cat to avoid any problems.

The first two items on this list may come as a surprise to you because they are foods that are commonly given to domesticated cats. While neither tuna nor dairy is toxic to cats, they are not necessarily beneficial to your cat, either. Dairy, in particular, can be problematic because cats are usually lactose intolerant. While they may love the taste of milk or cheese, they are in for a stomach ache and possibly diarrhea later on if they do consume it.

Tuna, on the other hand, is probably okay in small amounts, but it should not be fed to your cat too often as it cannot provide her with all of the nutrients she needs. Additionally, too much tuna can lead to mercury poisoning.

cinnamon sticks and powder
Image Credit: Pixabay


In conclusion, if your cat is exposed to a relatively small amount of cinnamon, she will probably be fine. However, ingesting a large amount of cinnamon can be dangerous and even lethal for a cat. To avoid any problems, keep your cat away from your cinnamon when you are using it. You may also want to avoid purchasing any cinnamon essential oil diffusers to prevent your cat from accidentally inhaling it and having an allergic reaction. It can’t hurt to be overly cautious to prevent your beloved pet from experiencing health problems.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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