Can Cats Eat Cinnamon and Will it Hurt Them?

Cinnamon is a popular spice with a somewhat sweet and hot or pungent aromatic flavor harvested from the inner back of various tree species belonging to the genus Cinnamomum tree under family Lauraceae. Once harvested, the barks curl or roll as they dry to form cinnamon sticks (quills) sold that way or grounded to form a powder.

This spice native to Sri Lanka, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Brazil can serve as a flavoring in many cuisines use this spice, especially in savory or sweet dishes, snacks, breakfast cereals, bread, toasts, teas, alcohol (rakomelo) and so on. You can also use it in prickling, as a condiment, or in fruits such as apple together with sugar.

Finally, while there are several species of Cinnamomum, the Cinnamomum cassia (cassia, common or Chinese) is the most popular. On the other hand, the Cinnamomum verum (true) is a more expensive, less bitter alternative that is healthier since it has only trace amounts of coumarin.

Can cats eat cinnamon?

Yes. As per ASPCA, cinnamon is cat safe, i.e., cinnamon sticks, powder, or essential oil isn’t poisonous or toxic to cats. However, your feline should have only a very small with the amount of the essential oil even much lesser since it’s concentrated.  

Will cinnamon hurt my cat
Will cinnamon hurt my cat?

Exposure to large doses of the powder or essential oil can cause decrease blood sugar, stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, or liver disease. On the other hand, inhalation of cinnamon powder or vapor may choke your pet, cause breathing difficulties, irritate lungs, and make your kitty cough.

Exposure may occur via cat eating cinnamon tree if you plant it as an ornamental plant, eat human foods with the spice, cinnamon sticks or quills, or its essential oil used in culinary or aromatherapy. Therefore, always ensure your pets don’t have access to any of the means of exposure.

If you are using it for its anti-diabetic properties or lowering your cat’s blood pressure, talk to your vet first and mix it with their food, or make safe treats.  In its pure forms, it may trigger allergies, to the skin, or irritate their mouth. Don’t be surprised if you see rashes or redness on areas that came in contact with this spice.

Benefits and risks to you

This spice indeed has benefits to humans, including having antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It is also anti-diabetic, improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and may fight some cancers, and so on. Your kitties stands to benefit too.

However, excessive amounts may be harmful to health. For instance, it has coumarin, which may cause liver damage, allergies, and GI issues. Also, this spice may be responsible for some cancer types, because oral allergies, lower blood sugar, interact with other medicines.

Redness, blistering, and irritation may occur to exposure sites in case of allergies. On the other hand, accidentally inhaling it may cause coughing, breathing difficulties, among other respiratory problems.  

Finally, individuals who consumed “1 tablespoon of cinnamon in less than 60 seconds people will often experience difficulty breathing, pain, bloody nose, irritation, bronchospasm, and lightheadedness,” notes “Pet Poison Helpline. This challenge should tell you why you shouldn’t take too much or your pets.

Cat and cinnamon FAQs

Do cats like cinnamon or hate it?

No. Cats don’t like cinnamon, and it, together with other herbs or spices, strong aroma or smell tends to ward off cats.  Indeed, this is the reason why some people use this spice, and others as cat deterrents. However, a better way to do so is by buying cat-safe repellant sprays.

Can cats eat cinnamon rolls or other foods?

Yes. Kitties can eat food that has small cinnamon of this spice. However, ensure the food doesn’t have any harmful ingredients such as garlic, grapes, raisins, caffeine, nutmeg, cloves, onions, chives, xylitol, and so on.

Automatically, it means that your cat shouldn’t cinnamon rolls since they have raisins that are toxic to felines. Furthermore, some contain macadamia that isn’t safe for these pets too. Also, no pumpkin pies, please.

Finally, since they are strict carnivores, avoid sugary foods, and ensure they are low in sugars and carbohydrates.

What should you do if your cat inhaled or ingested cinnamon?

If only a small quantity was ingested, don’t worry. It won’t hurt your cat. For large amounts or if inhaled, check for any signs of breathing or gastrointestinal problems and talk to your vet.


Since there lack, enough evidence-based benefits of this spice to feline don’t give it to them for therapeutic reasons and avoid it to pregnant or nursing kitties.

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