Can Cats Eat Cayenne Pepper? Is It Safe or Toxic

Commonly known as bird Chile, Cayenne Pepper is made from well-grounded seeds of various types of chile. Generally, Cayenne Pepper is sold and bought in powdered form, which is slightly reddish-brown. It is sweltering to taste, probably two times more desirable than the regular chili powder. It’s a popular spice in many dishes, but can cats eat cayenne pepper?

Can Cats Eat Cayenne Pepper?

When a cat consumes Cayenne Pepper, it causes severe distress in the cat’s intestines because of the capsaicin compound. While not toxic, eating such a spicy ingredient can cause severe health issues in your cat, such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach problem, etc.

Although cayenne pepper is relatively mild compared to jalapenos or serrano peppers, never give it to your feline friend. 

If you have a pet, especially a cat, you might want to avoid using Cayenne Pepper in your kitchen. Let’s look at why you should never give your cat cayenne pepper or any spicy foods. 

But first, let’s take a closer look at what it is.

What Is Cayenne Pepper?

Originating from the Cayenne region of France, it takes its name from a tulip of USA descent. Initially, South and Central America is the birthplace of Chile. But in current times, it is grown in most parts of the USA, East Africa, Mexico, USA, and all the tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Cayenne Pepper is a usual ingredient in Mexican households, used in various traditional dishes. But using it more often is undoubtedly not advisable if you have small children or pets in your house.

Is Cayenne Pepper Poisonous to Cats?

Cayenne Pepper is not exactly poisonous to cats, but it can make them sick. Just because something is not toxic doesn’t mean that it is entirely safe to consume it. It means that your cat won’t die after consuming cayenne pepper, but it won’t be altogether harmless for it either. 

If your cat ever eats Cayenne Pepper by accident, it will be quite painful for the cat’s inner organs. Since Cayenne Pepper is extremely hot, even more than the regular chili powder, it tends to burn the tongue, throat, and mouth of your cat. It also causes severe stomach pain and burns, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. 

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Cayenne Pepper?

If your cat ate a small amount, they’d likely be fine. Monitor their behavior for 24-48 hours to ensure there’s no allergic reaction. Watch for any of the following signs of food intolerances such as:

  • Coughing, Wheezing, and sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Skin problems

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms above or are just concerned about your cat, contact your veterinarian immediately.

You may also want to consider giving your cat some milk to help dissolve the capsaicin. Milk is what humans drink when they eat something too spicy. I’m not sure if it works for cats also, but it probably doesn’t hurt to try. 

Regardless, always consult with your veterinarian to ensure your cat is getting the proper treatment.

Will Cats Eat Cayenne Pepper?

Even though spicy foods are naturally a deterrent for cats, they may still eat it. Cats are naturally curious animals and will eat food (steak, tuna) that has cayenne pepper. 

If your cat continually eats spicy food, then it is in danger of getting severe health issues related to digestion. 

If your cat eats food made with Cayenne Pepper, she will very much likely burn her mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach. 

Do Cats Like Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper and other spicy foods are often used as a deterrent for cats because they don’t like the smell. Many people sprinkle their cayenne pepper so that any cat does not go in there and trample their beloved plants. (source)

The capsaicin causes a burning sensation in their feet, paws, and any other body part that comes into contact with it. 

Why Does My Cat Beg for Spicy Foods?

Your cat has become conditioned to eating the same foods as you do. They don’t understand the delicious tacos, grilled fish, etc. have cayenne pepper or other hot spices. 

Cats are carnivores and will naturally beg when they know you’re eating a delicious meat meal. 

All they know is that you’re eating something delicious, and if they beg hard enough, you’ll usually share. If you give your cat a taste of the foods you eat, it’s best to prepare their foods without any spices at all.

Like dogs, cats do best with bland food. 

Should I Give My Cat Cayenne Pepper?

Avoid giving your cat any type of spicy food. Instead, opt for high-quality cat food that will provide them with the nutrients they need. 

If you feed your cat human food, it should consist of no more than 10% of their regular diet. As mentioned, cayenne pepper is not toxic to an adult cat. 

A young kitten could become severely sick if they ingest a small amount of cayenne pepper. Avoid feeding young kittens any type of spicy food. Instead, opt for high-quality kitten food to ensure they get the required nutrients they need.

Is it cruel to feed cats, Cayenne Pepper?

It is cruel to feed Cayenne Pepper to a cat knowingly because it is incredibly harmful. If a cat even touches Cayenne Pepper, all the body parts in direct contact with the spice will suffer severe burns. 

If your cat eats Cayenne Pepper, it will have its mouth, tongue, and throat burned. It will also cause severe stomach pain, vomiting, and even diarrhea.   

Final Word

Never knowingly feed your cat or kitten foods with cayenne pepper, or any other type of spicy foods. Unlike humans, their digestive system is not capable of or processing spicy foods.  

If your cat accidentally comes into contact with the spice, monitor them to ensure they don’t have an allergic reaction. They’ll likely stop being so curious once they get a taste of some hot food on the counter!