Can Cats Eat Cinnamon? Cinnamon Toxicity In Cats

Russell Cargill

can cats eat cinnamon

Ever thought to yourself, can cats eat cinnamon? Well, the short answer is no, cats can’t eat cinnamon because they don’t have certain liver enzymes that break down cinnamon compounds. 

Cinnamon can be particularly toxic to cats for a number of reasons if it is ingested in large amounts or if it comes into contact with their skin.

Keep reading to find out more below. 

Is Cinnamon Toxic For Cats?

Surprisingly it’s a fairly common question among cat owners especially considering the ASPCA doesn’t list cinnamon as a toxic substance for cats.

However, at high levels, it can cause toxicity. This is especially prevalent when cats are exposed to cinnamon essential oils. Toxicity can occur from being exposed to a large amount of cinnamon in a short period or a small amount of cinnamon over a long period. 

Therefore, if your cat happens to eat a piece of baked goods with cinnamon inside, you don’t have to worry.

They won’t have any severe impacts from eating a small amount of human food with cinnamon powder. The primary risk comes from prolonged exposure to cinnamon oil or contact with the skin and nose. 

What Can Happen If My Cat Eats Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is impossible for cats to break down because they lack the liver enzyme required to digest the compound. If your cat ingests too much cinnamon, some of the common symptoms you may see include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Low blood sugar
  • Diarrhea
  • Liver failure, liver disease, other organ disease 
  • Sudden changes in heart rate
  • Thinning of the blood

These will only occur if cinnamon is consumed in an abnormally large quantity. However, cinnamon can have positive effects when given in a healthy dose. Small amounts of spice have been seen to lower blood pressure in cats with diabetes. This is because cinnamon improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin. 

If you’re interested in giving cinnamon sticks or any other powdered spice as a supplement, always consult your veterinarian beforehand to avoid any toxicities. 

What Can Happen If My Cat Inhales Cinnamon?

Inhaling cinnamon can lead to an allergic reaction. This can result in sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing in your feline. If your cat shows any of these common symptoms, take them to the veterinarian immediately to treat them for a cinnamon allergy.

Felines have a powerful sense of smell, and therefore, the scent of cinnamon is amplified in their noses compared to humans. Because of this, the effects of cinnamon in the nasal cavity can be extremely intense. 

What Can Happen If My Cat Comes Into Contact With Cinnamon On Their Skin or Fur?

If cinnamon or essential oils come into contact with a cat’s skin, it can cause irritation resulting in a rash, redness, or burning. 

This can quickly result in cinnamon toxicity as the compound can get into the bloodstream and clog the liver. If you see any signs of toxicity consistent with cinnamon consumption, this means your cat’s skin has absorbed too much of the type of cinnamon applied. 

If your cat starts to experience any burning or redness on the skin, bath them with water and mild soap. This will wash off any remaining cinnamon to hopefully put an end to the reaction faster.

After washing them off, take them to the veterinarian right away to get any medication or ointment they may need to soothe their skin further. 

Treatment Of Cinnamon Allergy Or Toxicity In Cats

The treatment of your cat will differ depending on how they react to cinnamon. If they’ve inhaled it and show signs of an allergy, the best treatment is to wash the affected area with water and very mild soap.

This will remove any excess powdered cinnamon from their system, which will shorten the reaction they’re having. Washing the affected area will also ease any burning they’re experiencing. 

If your cat has come into close contact with oil of cinnamon or is showing signs of toxicity to the cinnamon compounds, treatment will depend on organ damage severity.

Often there isn’t much a veterinarian can do until your cat passes the compound entirely. This length of time will depend on the amounts of coumarin in the cinnamon product your cat was exposed to. 

If they’ve suffered from organ damage, supportive care is the best option before starting any therapeutic treatments. Depending on the concentration of coumarin, vitamin K has been effective as an antidote. This will slow any hemorrhaging that’s occurring from blood thinning.

If your cat has respiratory issues, they may be placed on oxygen or need their airway manually opened to ensure they’re breathing.

Pet owners should bring their feline directly to the emergency room or call the animal poison control center if respiratory issues persist as these can be life-threatening. 

Can Cats Recovery From Cinnamon Toxicity?

The recovery of your cat after exposure to cinnamon will depend on their exposure. If their adverse reaction came from an allergy, they’re likely to recover quickly on their own after the harmful ingredients are removed from their environment.

If the toxic reaction came from cinnamon oil, this might require medication which means a longer recovery time. 

The most important thing during recovery is rest and plenty of nourishing food. Continue to ensure your cat is eating and drinking enough.

This will help their organs heal if any liver toxicity occurs. In the case that your feline has irritated skin, they should recover relatively quickly. However, be careful of skin exposure to the sun and other irritants when it’s healing to speed up recovery. 

The Verdict On Cats Eating Cinnamon

There is no cinnamon product that is safe to give to cats or other pets. If your fluffy friend inhales, ingests, or touches anything cinnamon related, they can become severely ill. 

Whatever their age, breed, or overall health condition, your kitten should never be allowed to approach cinnamon products.

Frequently Asked Questions

What To Do If Your Cat Has Been In Contact With Cinnamon?

Watch your cat closely after they’ve come in contact with cinnamon. Observe them to see if they have any strange reactions, like vomiting or trouble breathing.

If they’ve come in contact with a small amount of the spice, they likely won’t experience any negative reactions. If you start to have concerns, bring them to your veterinarian right away for treatment. 

Can cats eat cinnamon rolls or other foods?

You shouldn’t feed cats human foods like cinnamon rolls or other baked goods. These are sugary food items that don’t have any positive health benefits for your feline.

While the cinnamon content may not cause toxicity, fatty foods like these are bad for heart health because of excessive weight gain. Eating these types of foods can also cause diarrhea and vomiting as they’re high in grains that cats don’t easily digest. 

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