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Can Cats Eat Spicy Foods? It’s Complicated

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Can cats eat spicy foods? Or Will spicy food hurt her throat?

When it’s time to eat, Lucy, my kitty, is always close by, both her and my meal. She doesn’t care what I’m eating as long as she can get some bite.

When I’m eating anything spicy, I try to resist the urge to share. I’m not sure can cats eat spicy foods or not.

Like all cat lovers, I also did the research and made a list of spicy food and spices that my cat can have! I found that capsaicin is harmful it can give stomach problems to my kitty.

So, what’s the conclusion? Let’s run to know about it!

can cats have spicy food

Can Cats Have Spicy Food?

The short answer is no, cats can’t safely eat spicy foods. In fact, spicy food can be extremely dangerous. Most spicy food contains capsaicin, which can cause stomach pain. However, if she consumes it by mistake you will observe a running nose and watery eyes. In fact, in large amounts, it can cause gastrointestinal and digestive issues.

Cat’s digestive tract will face trouble if she consumes it in large quantities. Most felines can’t eat spicy food just like we do but many spicy foods contain capsaicin that causes trouble for your cats like watery eyes, vomit problems, and upset stomach.

There are a few spices that are okay for her like you can add pepper to her chicken mince but only in a moderate amount. Each feline has its own preference some may like and others may not.

Although cats can’t taste species, they can smell them by which they can set their preference for spicy food.

Can Kittens Taste Spicy Food?

Just like cats can’t taste spicy food your kitten too can’t taste spicy food. The amount of spice really matters because if they consume in large amounts kittens can have various health problems like stomach upset, diarrhea.

cats and spicy food

However, in some cases, if kittens consume spicy food they will not be affected because sometimes in moderation it will be fine.

You can share your meal because spicy food isn’t dangerous if it is eaten in moderation. But consult your vet before feeding her spicy food.

Why Does My Cats Likes Hot Chilly Food?

In general, whatever you eat your cat will always be tempted by the taste of spices. Despite they will be unable to process the spiciness.

They still want you to feed her the same food this is because they can smell protein and fats in your food.

Unfortunately, they can’t taste spicy food as we humans do. They are obligate carnivores animals who enjoy meats and beef which means they don’t require species and flavor as we do.

But most cats like the texture of the spicy food, they are also enticed by its smells because why not? Even we are tempted by spicy food and cats have strong smelling power they have an extra valid reason for their fascination for spicy food.

Another reason can be the warm food can be very appealing to them.

What Happens If My Cat Tastes Spicy Food?

If your cat eats chilies that also contain capsaicin then that can make your cat’s body heat inside out quite literally.

cats can have spicy food

Because when capsaicin is released your cat will have tears and a watery nose. Just like we feel the fumes after eating green chilies, the reaction is the same for your cat too!

It makes your cat dehydrated this will be very common if she is affected by diarrhea too! She will also feel skin irritation.

After consuming chilies her stomach lining and throat will feel a burning sensation which can lead to vomiting. It will be safe for her if she pukes out!

Which Spices Are Toxic for Cats?

As you can see the listed below chart includes various spices that are extremely harmful to cats so make sure you avoid these ingredients in her diet completely.

Species Toxic to Cats
Chili con carne

Starting with the very first on the list is onions. Onions contain thiosulphates that can potentially harm your feline’s red blood cells.

Avoid giving your cat garlic because it can trouble her gastrointestinal tract. Jalapeños also contain high capsaicin which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea in felines.

We all love Pepperoni pizza, but is it safe for cats to eat? Well, it contains both chili and cayenne, so it is toxic for your furry friend likewise Chili con carne is also poisonous and hard for your cat to digest.

Shallots and scallions both can potentially ruin your cat’s red blood cells thus she will become a patient of anemia.

Cloves and allspice contain the compound named eugenol which can potentially lead to liver failure in cats. Nutmeg contains myristicin. If consumed large portions she will hallucinate, have high blood pressure, feel cramps in her abdomen. She shouldn’t eat hot sauce too because it burns the cat’s mouth!

Things to Do If Your Cat Ate Spicy Food

When your cat ingests spicy curry she can experience health problems that we know already right.

what spices can cat eat

But, what to do if she eats spicy food? Well, cats can be attacked by dehydration because spices drain fluids, so make her drink plenty of water. Also, offer your cat activated charcoal to prevent toxins from entering his body.

If the condition is extremely serious there is no time for an experiment so, immediately meet your vet! Also, take the food along with you as a sample which will help your vet to give the better and right treatment.

What Spices Are Safe for Cats?

We know cats can’t eat spicy food. However, there are many spices available and edible for your cats. But, strictly use in less amount. Moreover, you can also ask your vet before adding it to her diet.

If your food includes given below herbs and spices then your food can be served to your feline friend in moderation.

But once again do use your common sense! Otherwise, it can have side effects.

Healthy Edible Spices for Cats
Licorice Root

According to ASPCA, cinnamon are cannot kill your cat if you feed in a minimal amount. Likewise, ginger is also non-toxic if it is consumed in small quantities, you can give gingerbread to her. It can heal stomach problems. Licorice has the power to heal allergies and make the liver stronger.

If you like rosemary in soups you can give it to your cat. Even if the cat chews chamomile dressing salad, it is considered safe for them. Thyme is good you can give lemon thyme chicken to your cat.

Can Cat Die After Eating Spicy Foods?

In case your cat eats spicy food they won’t die. But, they can suffer a lot due to it.

is spicy food bad for cats

By suffer I mean she will show symptoms like diarrhea, dehydration, digestive issues, abdominal pain, it can increase her heart rate too!

It is very dangerous it’s better you avoid giving her spicy food!

The Bottom Line

Felines can’t process the taste of spicy food. But they can sense the smell. That’s why they want your spicy dishes. But can cats eat spicy foods? The answer to this question is no.

You can’t give your cat spicy food if it includes capsaicin it can be problematic can cause stomach burns and mouth burns. You can give ginger, thyme, peppermint to your cat in moderate amounts make sure to ask your vet before adding. And, absolutely avoid garlic, nutmeg, onions, jalapeños, cloves.

Rule of thumb always remembers to speak to your vet if she ingests spicy food.

Approved by Veterinary – Anthony Brooks, DVM!


  1. Can cats eat spicy foods? – Kitten Life
  2. What happens if cats eat spicy food? – MV Organizing
  3. Cat Savors Spicy Food – Chicago Tribune

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