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Can Cats Eat Cinnamon? Vet Answers on Risks of Toxicity (Answered 2024)

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Can Cats Eat Cinnamon? (The Risks!)The sweet, warm aroma of cinnamon tantalizes your senses, conjuring up memories of cozy autumn days and favorite seasonal treats. But as comforting as its fragrance may seem, cinnamon poses a hidden danger for your curious cat.

With their keen sense of smell and taste for adventure, cats can easily end up ingesting or inhaling this popular spice. Yet even small amounts can prove toxic for felines. From the powdered spice to essential oils, cinnamon and cats simply don’t mix.

You want what’s best for your cherished pet. When a curious cat encounters cinnamon, it falls on you to recognize the risks and respond appropriately. In this article, you’ll discover why cinnamon is hazardous for cats, how to identify signs of cinnamon toxicity, and what to do if your cat accidentally eats or inhales this tempting ingredient.

Key Takeaways

  • Cats lack the liver enzymes to metabolize coumarins and phenols in cinnamon, making it toxic to them.
  • Cinnamaldehyde, found in cinnamon, can cause damage to cats’ livers and kidneys and can also lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Essential oils containing cinnamon are highly toxic to cats, even with minimal exposure, and can cause severe reactions and rapid organ failure.
  • It is important to avoid exposing cats to cinnamon, including keeping oils and diffusers away from them, washing skin immediately if exposed, and keeping lit and unlit cinnamon candles away from them to avoid nose irritation and sneezing.

Why is Cinnamon Bad for Cats?

Why is Cinnamon Bad for Cats
Cinnamon is toxic to cats because they lack the liver enzymes to break down the coumarins. The phenols in cinnamon can cause mouth irritation and burns in cats. Cinnamaldehyde can make cats hypoglycemic and damage their livers and kidneys.

Signs of toxicity in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and collapse. Cinnamon essential oils are highly concentrated and dangerous. Just a small amount on a cat’s skin could cause muscle weakness and behavior changes.

Cinnamon candles are not too risky when unlit, but it is important to never leave a burning candle unattended. The strong and spicy cinnamon scent can overpower a cat’s sensitive nose. While humans may enjoy the cozy cinnamon aroma, it is important to keep oils and diffusers away from cats.

Cinnamon does have health benefits for humans, but it poses risks for cats. By being aware and cautious, you can prevent your cat from being exposed to cinnamon and keep them safe from its harmful effects.

Powdered Cinnamon

Powdered Cinnamon
You’d be surprised to learn that it takes over a teaspoon of powdered cinnamon for toxicity signs to show in pets. However, it’s still best to avoid letting your cat sip drinks with added powdered cinnamon.

Monitor your cat if they get into powdered cinnamon to watch for signs of mouth irritation or allergic reaction.

Wipe off any powdered cinnamon on your cat’s fur to reduce skin irritation and licking.

Store foods containing powdered cinnamon safely out of your cat’s reach.

Powdered cinnamon poses a low risk of toxicity for cats in small amounts, but can still cause adverse reactions.

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon Essential Oil
While powdered cinnamon poses some risk, cinnamon essential oils are far more dangerous for cats. These potent, concentrated oils can cause severe reactions even with minimal exposure. Cats’ heightened skin sensitivity makes them prone to skin rashes, hives, and irritation from contact with cinnamon oil.

Ingesting even tiny amounts leads to concerning symptoms like behavior changes, hypothermia, lethargy, collapse, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Never diffuse or apply cinnamon oil around cats. If exposure occurs, immediately wash their skin and contact your vet, as these oils can rapidly lead to life-threatening organ failure. With prompt treatment, you may prevent lasting damage, but these oils spell danger for curious cats.

Cinnamon Broom

Cinnamon Broom
You’ve gotta keep those spicy brooms far from kitty’s reach, folks. We all know how irresistible those sticks can seem as a scratching post, but that overwhelming scent is no joke for their sensitive noses.

Here are 3 key risks of cinnamon brooms for cats:

  1. The strong scent can irritate their nose and airways.
  2. Chewing the sticks causes mouth irritation and an upset stomach.
  3. The essential oils may be toxic if ingested.

Even just a light dusting of cinnamon on their fur can bother their senses. And they may chew the broom trying to scratch an itch. Essential oils are very concentrated and can quickly cause toxicity. So do your whiskered buddies a favor and keep the enticing brooms totally out of paw’s reach.

Cinnamon Candles

Cinnamon Candles
Keep cinnamon candles unlit and out of kitty’s reach ’cause even unscented ones can irritate their sensitive noses if they get too close. Though the actual risks are low, it’s best to play it safe and keep both lit and unlit cinnamon-scented candles away from curious cats.

If they get too close and breathe in the overpowering aroma for too long, irritation and sneezing could occur. And you definitely don’t want them knocking over a lit candle and getting burned! The amount of cinnamon in most candles is small, but some may contain high concentrations of powdered cinnamon spice.

While the odd lick of cinnamon off their fur poses little danger, repeated contact should be avoided. Ultimately, it’s up to you to keep both cinnamon candles and cinnamon itself away from your cats.

Cinnamon Sticks

Cinnamon Sticks
Have you noticed your cat chewing on a cinnamon stick? If so, beware of potential toxicity signs like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and muscle weakness. Immediately contact your veterinarian if any concerning symptoms arise after cinnamon exposure, as prompt treatment greatly impacts the prognosis for recovery.

Signs of Cinnamon Toxicity or Allergic Reaction

Call the vet immediately if you notice vomiting, diarrhea, or unusual behavior after your furry friend gets into the spices. Cinnamon toxicity shows vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Allergic reactions cause skin rashes, itchiness, and paw chewing.

Essential oils are highly concentrated, causing muscle weakness and organ failure. Remove exposure immediately. Seek prompt veterinary treatment if any concerning signs appear.

What to Do if Your Cat Eats Cinnamon

If you suspect that your cat has ingested cinnamon, contact your vet immediately for guidance on possible baths, medication, or fluids to help dilute it.

  1. Remove access to cinnamon immediately.
  2. Take note of any symptoms such as vomiting or skin irritation.
  3. Take the cat and the cinnamon product to the vet.
  4. Follow the vet’s recommendations for treatment.
  5. Monitor symptoms and behavior closely.

Proper medical care can prevent lasting issues when cinnamon toxicity is caught early. With prompt veterinary treatment, most cats fully recover from accidental cinnamon ingestion.

Signs of Cinnamon Toxicity

Signs of Cinnamon Toxicity
Watch for concerning signs if you suspect your cat ingested cinnamon. Cinnamon essential oils are highly toxic, so even small exposures can cause severe reactions. You may notice muscle weakness, unsteady walking, behavior changes, low body temperature, or lethargy.

Cinnamon irritation will likely lead to skin issues like rashes, hives, excessive licking or chewing, vomiting, and diarrhea. The phenols in cinnamon act as skin and mouth irritants. Look for these signs of toxicity and allergic reaction immediately after any cinnamon exposure.

Vomiting, diarrhea, and skin reactions happen quickly. More severe toxicity symptoms involving organ damage may take longer to appear.

Seek prompt veterinary care if you notice any concerning reaction in your cat after cinnamon exposure.

What Other Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?

What Other Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat
When caring for felines, you must be cautious with cinnamon. Ingesting substantial amounts can lead to toxicity, causing hypoglycemia, liver issues, and even organ failure. Inhaling concentrated cinnamon essential oils or candles can irritate airways. Cats’ sensitive skin may react to skin contact with rashes, licking, and chewing.

It’s best to keep all cinnamon products out of reach and limit exposure to a minimum.


You’ll want to contact the vet as soon as possible if ingested, as cinnamon can cause toxicity issues in cats. One study showed that over 70% of cats had adverse reactions after consuming cinnamon. Cinnamon’s oils and phenols act as irritants and toxins when ingested by cats, often causing vomiting, diarrhea, liver issues, and other concerning symptoms.

Monitoring for these reactions after exposure allows early treatment. With prompt vet care, most cats fully recover from cinnamon ingestion.


You’d panic if you smelled cinnamon oil diffusing with your curious cat around. Cinnamon essential oils trigger allergic reactions in cats. Skin rashes, hives, and itchiness often result from contact. Cats’ sensitive noses and powerful sense of smell make inhaling concentrated cinnamon oil dangerous.

Immediately remove your cat from the area and turn off any diffusers. Consult your vet if reactions develop. Monitor for vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. Essential oils pose toxicity risks for cats when inhaled.

Skin/Fur Exposure to Cinnamon

Apply cinnamon products to your cat’s fur cautiously, as their sensitive skin could have an allergic reaction, like Joey the tabby who got a rash from cinnamon-scented shampoo. Cinnamon oils act as irritants on feline skin, causing skin rashes, hives, itchiness, and scabbing.

Be aware of these allergic reaction signs after any topical cinnamon use and discontinue immediately if they occur.

What to Do if Your Cat Has Been in Contact With Cinnamon

What to Do if Your Cat Has Been in Contact With Cinnamon
Your cat licks cinnamon from their fur? Quickly wash it off and call the vet ASAP. Cinnamon contains oils and compounds that are toxic to cats, especially in concentrated forms like powdered cinnamon or essential oils.

Skin contact can cause rashes, hives, and irritation. Ingestion leads to far more dangerous symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage, and even organ failure in severe cases. Don’t wait to see if symptoms develop. Immediately wash cinnamon off your cat’s skin or fur, paying special attention to the face and paws.

Calling your vet right away provides the best chance of mitigating any side effects through possible medications, diet changes, or other treatments. Quick action helps avoid prolonged illness or lasting health issues. Your cat’s safety comes first.

Recovery and Treatment for Cinnamon Toxicity

Recovery and Treatment for Cinnamon Toxicity
You folks’ll be mighty glad to know that prompt treatment can save your precious furball from a world of hurt if they’ve gone and gobbled up something cinnamon-y.

  1. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any concerning signs like vomiting, diarrhea, or skin issues.
  2. Bring a sample of the cinnamon product if possible for identification.
  3. Your vet will likely induce vomiting if recently ingested.
  4. Bloodwork and IV fluids help counteract toxicity effects.

Monitoring for rashes, hives, vomiting, and diarrhea is crucial over the next 48 hours. With swift action, most kitties bounce back within a few days once the cinnamon is out of their system. Recovery depends on the amount ingested and timeliness of treatment. Make sure to remove all cinnamon products from your home to prevent repeat exposure.

Prevention and Safety Measures for Cats and Cinnamon

Prevention and Safety Measures for Cats and Cinnamon
Keep the cinnamon sticks outta paws’ reach to prevent unwanted chewin’ and mouth irritation. Cinnamon’s a tasty spice for us humans, but it don’t sit right with cats. Their sensitive schnozzes get overpowered by the scent, and that warm cinna-burn can irritate their mouths somethin’ fierce.

Best to just avoid lightin’ cinnamon candles around your furballs. The oils be concentrated and can hurt their livers if ingested. You’ll wanna keep the spice itself locked up too. Cats may get curious and try nibbling, but even small amounts can cause vomitin’, diarrhea, and skin reactions like hives.

Instead, opt for cat-safe scents like lavender or vanillas. Together we can help our feline friends steer clear of cinnamon catastrophes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much cinnamon does it take to make a cat sick?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much cinnamon at all to make a cat sick. Even small amounts can irritate their sensitive systems and cause concerning symptoms. For their safety, it’s best to keep all forms of cinnamon away from curious cats.

Can I put cinnamon in my cat’s food if he has diabetes?

You should not put cinnamon in your cat’s food, even if it is diabetic. Cinnamon contains compounds toxic to cats that damage their organs. Consult your vet for safe ways to manage feline diabetes without endangering your pet’s health.

Is cinnamon toxic to kittens?

Yes, cinnamon is toxic to kittens. While it may seem harmless, even a small amount could cause severe reactions. To protect their health, keep all forms of cinnamon safely out of reach. Focus on providing good nutrition from kitten-approved sources instead.

My cat licked up some spilled cinnamon tea. What should I watch for?

Monitor your cat closely for signs of irritation such as excessive licking or chewing, vomiting, or diarrhea. Cinnamon can be an irritant, so contact your vet if symptoms develop after licking spilled cinnamon tea.

With prompt treatment, your cat should recover well. Going forward, make sure to keep cinnamon safely out of your cat’s reach.

Are there any health benefits to giving cats small amounts of cinnamon?

There are absolutely zero health benefits to giving cats cinnamon. Cinnamon contains compounds like coumarin that cats’ livers can’t process, so even a little could tip the apple cart and cause toxicity.


You’ve just heard about the dangers of cinnamon for cats—from toxicity risks to allergic reactions. Remember, your curious kitty could get into that tasty-smelling cinnamon stick on the counter or knock over an essential oil diffuser.

While cinnamon is fine for humans, it’s not worth the chance for your furry friend. So do what’s best: keep all forms of cinnamon far away, and never let your cat eat cinnamon. Their health depends on your prevention and care. With smart steps, you’ll both stay happy and healthy.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.