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Can Cats Eat Cumin? What You Need To Know!

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

cumin spice on yellow plate on a wooden table

Cumin is a spice native to Asia, Africa, and Europe. It’s a staple spice in Asian, Mexican, and Indian foods. It even provides health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, aiding in weight loss, and lowering blood sugar. That all sounds terrific, right?

If you’re a cat parent, you may wonder if cumin can provide the same health benefits as it does for humans. In a nutshell, yes, cats can eat cumin. However, it would be best if you gave this spice to your feline friend only in moderation. Some spices are toxic to cats, but cumin doesn’t pose an immediate health threat. If you love cooking with cumin, read on to learn how to give cumin to your kitty safely.

Can Cats Eat Cumin?

Some spices are toxic to cats; for example, cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic are among the spices you should never feed your kitty. On the other hand, cumin is considered non-toxic to cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need animal proteins in their diet for optimal health. With that in mind, feeding your cat high-quality commercial cat food is best.

But when can cumin come into your kitty’s diet? As we’ve mentioned, it’s safe to give your cat cumin but only in moderation. Also, keep in mind that cats do not have the same taste buds as humans. Humans have approximately 9,000 taste buds on the tongue, whereas cats have around 470. Since their taste buds are not as abundant as ours, they may show no interest in eating cumin, but if they do show interest, go ahead and let them try it.

Cats cannot taste sweet or spicy foods, but they can taste something bitter or sour. Cumin has a strong smell, and given that cats have a heightened sense of smell, that alone will determine if your cat will want to taste the spice, especially if you have an adventurous kitty.

cat licking mouth after eating
Image Credit: mik ulyannikov, Shutterstock

How Often Can I Give My Cat Cumin?

Cats have sensitive tummies, and giving cumin in moderation is crucial. You can try to give maybe a teaspoon in their food a couple of times a week. If your cat likes it, you can continue this regime. It is wise to monitor your cat after they eat cumin to determine if the spice upsets their stomach. If your cat develops diarrhea or vomits afterward, discontinue putting cumin in its food. Always consult with your veterinarian too beforehand.

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Can Cats Eat Cumin Seeds?

Cumin comes in seed form or ground form. Since no evidence supports avoiding giving cumin seed to your feline companion, you can try it and monitor afterward for an upset tummy. Ground cumin is easier to sprinkle into your cat’s food, but you can certainly try the seeds if so inclined, again, only in moderation.

cumin seeds on tissue paper and inside the plastic container
Image Credit: charlykushu, Pixabay

What Spices Are Toxic To Cats?

While you ponder whether or not to give your kitty cumin, let’s look at spices that are toxic to cats.
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Chives
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chamomile
  • Cannabis
  • Oregano
  • Mint

If you’re a gardener, it’s a good idea to avoid planting these herbs to keep your kitty safe. If you cook with these spices, ensure they are put up and away from your kitty’s reach, especially for those kitties that love to walk around on your countertops. Remember that cats cannot taste spicy, so if you have cayenne pepper or some other hot spice, it’s crucial to keep it out of your kitty’s reach.

black and white cat walking in the garden
Image Credit: jantichy, Pixabay

Does Cumin Kill Fleas On Cats?

While it’s not clinically proven to kill fleas on your cat, there’s certainly no harm in trying, especially since we’ve learned that cats can eat cumin. If you’re skeptical of using topical medicine or a chewable tablet for flea treatment and would rather try a home remedy, give cumin a try. It could be an inexpensive way to rid your cat of pesky fleas. The only drawback to this is that you should only give your cat cumin in moderation, which may render it ineffective.


Now that you know your cat can eat cumin, keep in mind that it’s important to feed your cat healthy cat food. Adding cumin should only be done once in a while, and it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before actually adding it to your cat’s food. Remember that your cat may reap the benefits of cumin; however, feeding quality food will keep your cat healthy more than anything else.

Featured Image Credit: a15066498788, Pixabay

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