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Can Cats Eat Cinnamon Safely?

Renee Whitmore
Last Updated on
by Renee Whitmore

In this article, we will answer the question can cats have cinnamon?

Cinnamon is generally not classified as toxic for felines. However, if consumed in high amounts, it can prove potentially harmful. It can also be dangerous if it comes into contact with the skin, for example, via exposure to essential oils.

Can Cats Have Cinnamon?

Can Cats Have Cinnamon
Can Cats Have Cinnamon?

Is cinnamon bad for cats? Cinnamon, which goes by the scientific name Cinnamomum zeylanicum, is classified as non-toxic to cats by the ASPCA. This means that if your cat ingests a bit of cinnamon, they should not experience any severe health issues as a result.

However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. High concentrations of cinnamon can prove potentially harmful. There are two primary ways a cat can come into excessive contact with cinnamon—orally or topically.

Risks of Oral Consumption of Cinnamon in Cats:

Cinnamon is a common spice in many households. It’s thus possible for cats to come into contact with it if you leave out foods containing cinnamon. Cats may lick the spice off of a pastry or cake, for example.

Some cats, in particular, may be more susceptible to health problems when ingesting cinnamon. For example, felines who lack certain liver enzymes may not break the spice’s chemical compounds down quickly enough, resulting in an overload in the system.

Risks of Topical Contact with Cinnamon in Cats:

Further, cats may experience cinnamon toxicity if they come into dermal contact with the spice. Felines have very thin skin, which quickly absorbs oils. If your cat comes into contact with essential oils containing cinnamon, they may experience health issues.

In most cases, dermal contact will result in an allergic-type reaction. The cat may experience issues like a rash. If you notice your cat is scratching more than usual or has flaky skin or patches of hair coming out, push their fur aside and look for signs of redness or peeling.

What to Do If Your Cat Ate Too Much Cinnamon

You can’t keep an eye on your kitty 24/7, so it can be challenging to know if they’ve ingested cinnamon unless you catch them in the act. It’s thus essential to recognize potential signs of cinnamon toxicity and familiarize yourself with the general symptoms of poisoning in cats.

Allergic reactions from exposure may result in symptoms like irritation, redness, or rash on the skin. Felines that eat cinnamon may also end up accidentally inhaling some of the spice. This can create different symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.

Cats that consume high levels of cinnamon may experience more severe symptoms, including low blood sugar, changing heart rate, blood thinning, and gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea. In the most severe cases, cinnamon toxicity can result in organ failure.

What can you do if you notice these symptoms? First, don’t panic. If you see the source of cinnamon contamination, remove it from your cat immediately. Next, call your veterinarian—you may need to bring your cat in for an emergency visit.

There is also a pet poison helpline that you can call for help: (855) 764-7661. It’s not advisable to give your cat any home remedies or to try to induce vomiting. Instead, wait until you have made contact with a veterinarian or animal poison control expert.

How to Keep Your Cat Safe

When it comes to pet toxicity, prevention is always the best cure. Make sure you are aware of what goods are potentially harmful to your cat and make efforts to keep your feline away from these dangerous goods.

In the case of cinnamon, specifically, foods garnished with cinnamon and uncapped spice bottles are the most obvious dangers. However, cats may also be exposed via oil diffusers, perfumes, or potpourri containing cinnamon.

Cinnamon sticks are another threat. Some people put cinnamon sticks around the house for decoration during the holiday season, for example. They may also be used to garnish hot drinks in winter. Beware if this is common practice in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions: Cats and Cinnamon

Still, have concerns about whether or not cinnamon is safe for your pet cat?

We’ve rounded up the most frequently asked questions related to the query, “Can cats eat cinnamon?”

How Much Cinnamon Is Toxic to Cats?

Cats can digest small amounts of cinnamon without getting seriously ill. If a cat ingests more than one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, it may experience toxicity. In contrast, cinnamon essential oils can cause allergic dermatitis even in small doses.

Do Cats Like Cinnamon?

Cats aren’t naturally drawn to cinnamon. The spice isn’t high in fat and doesn’t have a tantalizing smell like meat. However, cats may gnaw on cinnamon sticks or potpourri with cinnamon, which can harm their health.

Is the Scent of Cinnamon Toxic to Cats?

The aroma of cinnamon itself isn’t dangerous to cats. However, many items with cinnamon smells, like essential oils and potpourri, can be harmful to cats. This is primarily due to the other ingredients these goods contain and has nothing to do with actual cinnamon.

Will Cinnamon Make Your Cat Sick?

Yes, a feline can get sick from ingesting too much cinnamon. Symptoms of toxicity include changes in heart rate, diarrhea, and vomiting. Essential oils containing cinnamon can also cause allergic reactions if they come into contact with the skin, causing itching and rashes.

How Do You Use Cinnamon to Repel Cats?

Cats don’t like cinnamon, making it a popular DIY cat repellent. Some people will sprinkle cinnamon around plants they want to protect from their cats. You can also create a cat spray mixing cinnamon, water, rosemary, and lavender.

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About Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore is an American college professor and freelance writer from North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in English Education. When she is not driving her teenage son to wrestling practice or learning the ins and outs of Fortnite from her younger son, she is working on her first book to be published soon.
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