Cinnamon is a beloved spice for many humans, adding sweetness and warmth to recipes. But can cats also eat cinnamon, or is it harmful to them? Let’s investigate to determine if cinnamon hurts cats or can be part of their diet.
Is Cinnamon Safe for Cats? Can Cats Eat Cinnamon?
Before deciding if cinnamon is safe for cats, let’s understand this delicious spice. Cinnamon comes from the bark of trees in the Cinnamomum genus. It contains chemicals like cinnamaldehyde and eugenol that give it its distinctive aroma and flavor.
While cinnamon has benefits for humans like reducing inflammation and boosting antioxidants, remember that cats digest things differently than us. Something safe for us may be unsafe for our furry feline friends.
Most vets recommend avoiding feeding cats cinnamon. While an occasional tiny taste likely won’t cause harm, it’s better to err on the side of caution. There are plenty of yummy cat-friendly treats your cat will love that don’t have any risk.
Cinnamon and Cats: The Potential Dangers
There are a few key reasons why cinnamon may be a bad idea for cats.
Firstly, coumarin found in cinnamon can damage cats’ livers over time. Coumarin can lead to liver toxicity and even liver failure in serious cases.
A veterinarian also warns, “A large dose could cause clotting issues for your feline friend.” Cats can also get irritation in their mouths after ingesting cinnamon, like redness and inflammation.
Cats are prone to allergic reactions to cinnamon as well, ranging from mild skin itchiness to severe respiratory problems.
Furthermore, cinnamon can cause digestive problems for cats. Their delicate digestive system might struggle to process this spice, leading to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and vomiting.
Are Cats Allergic to Cinnamon?
While there is no definitive answer to whether cats can be allergic to cinnamon, some cats can be sensitive or allergic to certain spices, including cinnamon. If your cat ingests cinnamon, it may cause mild to severe digestive upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Some cats may also develop skin irritation or respiratory symptoms if they inhale cinnamon powder or oil.
Why Does My Cat Like Cinnamon?
Cats have an amazingly acute sense of smell. So does your cat like the smell of cinnamon?
Some cats may find the fragrance of cinnamon intriguing. Like with catnip, cinnamon’s aroma could pique their curiosity and engage their senses in a playful way.
However, cats are inquisitive creatures. They may try to nibble on cinnamon just because it interests them. So caution is crucial to prevent accidental ingestion, which could cause health issues.
If your cat takes an interest in the smell of cinnamon, that’s normal feline curiosity. But make sure to keep cinnamon inaccessible and provide a safer outlet for your cat’s stimulation and entertainment. From catnip toys to interactive feeders, there are plenty of healthier options for engaging your cat.
My Cat Ate Cinnamon, What Should I Do?
The first step if you suspect your cat has ingested cinnamon is to call your vet. Getting professional advice is important to ensure your furry friend’s well-being.
Your veterinarian may recommend:
Giving your cat a bath to remove any cinnamon residue from their fur. This reduces the amount they might ingest through grooming.
Running blood tests to check your cat’s liver and clotting functions, since cinnamon can affect these.
Providing intravenous fluids to help dilute and flush out any cinnamon in your cat’s system. This can also ease nausea or vomiting.
Most cats that accidentally ingest small amounts of cinnamon powder don’t have severe reactions. But it’s good to call your vet right away to assess your cat and determine if any treatment is needed based on how much cinnamon was likely consumed. Early intervention can minimize issues.
While cats rarely eat cinnamon spice in powdered form, accidents happen. For example, if you spill cinnamon and your cat walks through it, they could ingest some while cleaning their paws. The same goes for essential oils – if your cat comes into contact with spilled oils, they may consume a substantial amount while grooming.
Types of Cinnamon and Whether it’s Harmful to Cats
Most types of cinnamon can be potentially unsafe or even toxic for cats if ingested. Here are the main types of cinnamon and their safety for feline friends:
The dried and ground powder form of cinnamon is the most common type used in cooking and baking. Cinnamon powder contains a substance called coumarin that can cause health problems in cats if they ingest even small amounts. Symptoms of too much powdered cinnamon can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures. Keep powdered cinnamon stored away and clean up any spills immediately to keep cats safe.
Cinnamon candles may contain essential oils that are toxic to cats when inhaled. Additionally, burning candles can pose a fire hazard if knocked over by a curious cat. Keep candles out of reach or blow them out when unattended to prevent accidents.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
The cinnamon essential oil contains a high concentration of coumarin and should never be applied directly to cats or used where they have access. Ingesting cinnamon essential oil can cause serious issues in cats like rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, and coma. Do not diffuse cinnamon essential oil around cats.
Whole cinnamon sticks used for decorative purposes or added to teas are less of a hazard for cats compared to other types. However, cats may still chew and possibly ingest small pieces, causing milder forms of the symptoms above. Keep a close eye on cats when cinnamon sticks are out and clean up any pieces that fall off.
In general, it’s best to keep all forms of cinnamon and cinnamon products stored away and out of reach of cats to avoid any potential dangers or health risks.
What Happens When Cats In Contact With Cinnamon
All parts of cinnamon – powder, sticks and essential oil – should be kept out of reach from cats. Here’s why:
Cinnamon can make kitties very sick if ingested. Even small amounts can lead to:
- Upset tummies with vomiting and diarrhea
- Breathing issues like coughing and wheezing
- An abnormally slow heartbeat
- Damage to organs like the liver and kidneys
- In severe cases of cinnamon toxicity, organ failure can be life-threatening for cats. So keeping cinnamon out of their food and away from places they might lick or chew is very important.
Cinnamon can also irritate cats’ airways when inhaled. The powder and essential oil vapors can cause:
- Runny noses
- Sneezing fits
- Bad coughs
- Trouble breathing
- Inhaling cinnamon can block cats’ windpipes, cutting off their oxygen. This makes respiratory reactions to cinnamon, especially dangerous.
Cinnamon exposure on their skin and fur often leads to:
- Itching and scratching
- Red, inflamed patches of skin
- Hot spots from excessive scratching
- While some cats show no reaction, others can have severe allergic symptoms from contact with cinnamon. Cinnamon essential oil is the most concentrated form and should never touch cats.
FAQs about Cinnamon and Cats
Now, let’s address some common questions that cat owners have about cinnamon and its impact on our furry friends:
Q: Can cats eat cinnamon rolls?
Ans: No, cats should not eat cinnamon rolls. The high sugar and fat content in cinnamon rolls can be harmful to their health. Plus, the potential dangers associated with cinnamon make it best to avoid giving them any cinnamon-based treats.
Q: Is cinnamon toxic to cats or will cinnamon hurt cats?
Ans: While cinnamon itself may not be toxic to cats in small amounts, certain compounds found in cinnamon, such as coumarin, can be harmful. It’s best to avoid exposing cats to cinnamon altogether.
Q: How much cinnamon is harmful to cats?
Ans: Even a small amount of cinnamon can be harmful to cats, due to their unique metabolism and potential sensitivities. It’s best to avoid giving them cinnamon or exposing them to cinnamon-scented products.
Q: Can cats be allergic to cinnamon-scented products?
Ans: Yes, cats can develop allergies to cinnamon-scented products. It’s important to monitor their reaction and discontinue use if any adverse symptoms occur.
Q: Is it safe for cats to smell cinnamon?
Ans: Cats can generally smell cinnamon without experiencing any immediate harm. However, inhalation of cinnamon particles may irritate their respiratory system. It’s best to use caution and ensure proper ventilation when using cinnamon in the household.