Is Cinnamon Bad for Cats

Cinnamon, a popular spice renowned for its aromatic flavor and numerous health benefits in humans, has stirred up controversy when it comes to its safety for our feline companions. The internet is flooded with conflicting information, leaving pet owners puzzled about whether they should sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on their cat’s food or avoid it altogether. In this article, we delve into the facts to debunk the myth surrounding cinnamon and its potential risks for cats.

Understanding Cinnamon:

Cinnamon, derived from the inner bark of several tree species belonging to the genus Cinnamomum, has been used for centuries in cooking, traditional medicine, and even as a natural remedy for certain ailments. It is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular ingredient in various cuisines and wellness practices worldwide.

The Controversy:

The controversy surrounding cinnamon’s safety for cats primarily stems from the presence of a compound called coumarin. Coumarin, found in varying concentrations in different types of cinnamon, is known to have anticoagulant properties. In humans, excessive consumption of coumarin can pose risks such as liver damage and increased bleeding tendencies. However, the concern lies in whether these risks extend to our feline companions.

Expert Opinions:

Veterinary experts and organizations have weighed in on the debate, providing valuable insights into the potential risks associated with feeding cinnamon to cats. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), cinnamon is not listed as toxic to cats. However, they caution against overconsumption, as it may cause stomach upset or gastrointestinal irritation.

Dr. Karen Becker, a renowned integrative veterinarian, emphasizes the importance of moderation when it comes to incorporating cinnamon into a cat’s diet. While small amounts may not be harmful, she advises against administering large quantities or using cinnamon supplements without veterinary guidance.

Potential Risks:

Despite the lack of conclusive evidence regarding cinnamon toxicity in cats, there are potential risks that pet owners should be aware of. Coumarin, the aforementioned compound found in cinnamon, can indeed have adverse effects if ingested in large quantities. Cats may be more sensitive to certain substances compared to humans, making it crucial to exercise caution.

Symptoms of cinnamon toxicity in cats may include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and in severe cases, liver damage. While these symptoms are rare and typically occur with high doses, it’s essential for pet owners to monitor their cat’s well-being and seek veterinary attention if any concerning signs arise.

Safe Usage:

If you’re considering incorporating cinnamon into your cat’s diet or environment, it’s advisable to do so in moderation and under veterinary supervision. Here are some tips for safely introducing cinnamon to your feline friend:

  1. Limit the Amount: When adding cinnamon to your cat’s food or treats, start with a minimal amount and observe for any adverse reactions. Avoid overdoing it, as even small quantities can add flavor without posing significant risks.
  2. Choose Quality Sources: Opt for high-quality, food-grade cinnamon from reputable sources. Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon,” contains lower levels of coumarin compared to cassia cinnamon, making it a safer option for occasional use.
  3. Monitor for Reactions: Keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and digestive health after introducing cinnamon. If you notice any unusual symptoms or signs of discomfort, discontinue use and consult your veterinarian promptly.
  4. Avoid Essential Oils: While cinnamon essential oil is popular in aromatherapy and natural remedies, it should never be applied directly to cats or their environment. Essential oils can be toxic to cats and should be used with extreme caution under the guidance of a qualified professional.


The debate over whether cinnamon is bad for cats continues to spark discussions among pet owners and experts alike. While cinnamon is not inherently toxic to cats, it’s essential to use it judiciously and monitor for any adverse effects. By exercising caution, choosing quality sources, and consulting with a veterinarian, pet owners can safely incorporate cinnamon into their cat’s diet or environment, enriching their lives without compromising their well-being. As with any dietary change or supplementation, responsible pet ownership entails being informed and proactive in safeguarding the health and happiness of our beloved feline companions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *