Cinnamon has many benefits for humans, but it is not good for cats.
Cinnamon is not in the toxic classification for cats. Nonetheless, cinnamon can be toxic for your cat, especially if it is present in high concentrations, such as in essential oils. If your cat eats, inhales, or touches cinnamon, he might start having symptoms related to this.
Is Cinnamon Safe For Cats?
It is not considered toxic.
Cinnamon ingestion is an excellent example of how something natural is not always safe. And that it’s the dose that makes the toxin.
Do Cats Like Cinnamon?
Most cats (not all) don’t enjoy the strong smell of cinnamon, which is why it is so popular as a deterrent for cats.
Let’s keep in mind that all cats are not the same. While most cats will hate cinnamon, some others like cinnamon and even find it stimulating.
Can Cats Eat Cinnamon?
Cinnamon, this awesome spice, may seem healthy or harmless because it has some health benefits for us humans. Unfortunately, it’s not the same for kittens.
ASPCA, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, hasn’t labeled cinnamon as toxic to cats and other animals.
Can Cats Eat Other Forms Of Cinnamon? Which Ones Are Ok For Cats?
Other forms of cinnamon can still cause allergic reactions or several complications. So basically, you shouldn’t allow your cat to have access to any form of cinnamon. Like the following:
- Dried cinnamon sticks
- Powdered cinnamon spice
- Cinnamon tree
- Diffusers and cinnamon-infused air fresheners
- Essential oil
- Human foods containing cinnamon
So, no cinnamon version is OK for cats or any other pets. Either inhaling, touching, or ingesting any cinnamon compounds in any way can be a possible danger to your cat. No matter your cat’s age, size, breed, or health condition, your cat should stay away from it.
Why Is It Harmful To Cats?
Breathing in the vapors from cinnamon air fresheners may produce an allergic reaction to your cat — especially cinnamon essential oils, which have a higher concentration.
Cinnamon Toxicity Or Allergy
Symptoms will depend on the type of exposure. Several symptoms might result from a toxic or allergic reaction to cinnamon and its organic compounds. However, symptoms might be by the mode or level of exposure.
From exposure to the oral cavity or skin, allergic reactions can include:
Inhalation can cause respiratory reactions such as:
- Difficulty breathing
Symptoms included as part of cinnamon toxicity from absorption or ingestion of cinnamon compounds:
- Low blood sugar
- Change in heart rate
- Thinning of blood
- Liver disease and another organ failure
It is unlikely for cinnamon toxicity to occur under regular, home use of powdered-type of cinnamon. To cause this reaction, it would require powder inhalation or a great amount of powder.
However, because cinnamon essential oils are becoming more popular and common in houses, the risk to cat’s exposure to cinnamon has increased. Essential oil made of cinnamon has a higher concentration of compounds that can be toxic to cats.
There are ways cats are exposed to toxic amounts of cinnamon, sometimes accidentally or intentionally.
Accidental Cat Exposure To Cinnamon:
- From chewing on a cinnamon tree kept as an indoor plant
- From licking or chewing ornaments or potpourri made with cinnamon
- From ingesting human food that has cinnamon in it
- From – your cat – inhaling the cinnamon oil coming out of a diffuser.
- From petting or touching your cat after using or having cinnamon oil on your hands
- From chewing on cinnamon sticks left in areas or cups
Intentional Cat Exposure To Cinnamon:
- Often, people use cinnamon intentionally. Their purpose is to repel pests or cats in the home and garden areas. By doing this, cats end up exposed to a great amount via their environment.
- Also, people use cinnamon as a natural remedy for diabetes (because it reduces sugar levels in the blood). Consequently, cat – or pet owners give their cats a dose of toxic amounts of cinnamon intentionally. All this by trying to treat cat diabetes.
Important Aspects To Consider:
- Humans and cats do not have the same liver enzymes, which disintegrate cinnamon compounds. On that account, cats can have a predisposition to toxic accumulation in their system of cinnamon compounds.
- Because cinnamon has phenol, a carbolic acid, this can lead to burns of the respiratory system and skin. Cats are especially sensitive to this kind of reaction.
The diagnosis of a cinnamon’s allergic reaction or toxicity will depend greatly on the pet owner’s capacity to describe any situation of cinnamon exposure their cat – or pet – may have had.
Your cat’s veterinarian will do a full physical exam. In the evaluation, the vet will ask you about your cat’s medical history, and this is to dismiss any other possible reasons for your cat’s symptoms.
Suppose the vet sees symptoms related to organ failure. In that case, the veterinarian may run additional tests, including urine and blood tests, to check the functioning of the organs.
Treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms or illness that results from your cat’s reaction to the cinnamon.
For Allergic Reactions Due To Cinnamon
In the case of allergic reactions, you should wash the affected area with mild detergent and water. If your cat has eye irritation, you should rinse the eyes well to eliminate the irritating substance. Steroids make a rash from cinnamon exposure worse in other animals, and you should avoid it in your pet as well.
For Toxicity Due To Cinnamon
In the case of toxicity, the prognosis will depend on the extent of the damage to your cat’s organs. Usually, treatment includes supportive care until the toxin gets out of your cat’s system.
In the event of organ damage, the vet reserves prognosis, and he will provide any therapeutic care available to restore your cat’s appropriate organ function. Cinnamon also has coumarin poisoning, so your vet will use vitamin K as an antidote for cats – and all pets – under exposure to high doses of this compound. A therapy including vitamin K may be useful if your cat has ongoing coumarin poisoning symptoms (hemorrhaging from blood thinning).
Suppose your cat is experiencing respiratory distress because of cinnamon ingestion or inhalation. In that case, you should use oxygen therapy and airway management as appropriate.
Your cat’s recovery will depend on how much exposure the cats had to cinnamon and – if any – organ damage occurred.
It takes a short period for allergic reactions to clear up. Removing any cinnamon – or cinnamon product – from your cat’s environment should fix the issue.
It would be best to avoid doing home treatment for your cat using essential oils. Check with your veterinarian before trying any remedies or treatments for your cat’s health conditions.
The recovery process from allergies or toxicity will include rest. Also, include any diet and medications that your veterinarian prescribes to help relieve symptoms or recover organ function.
- Cats ingest cinnamon
- Cats inhale cinnamon
- Cats’ fur/skin exposition to cinnamon
How Much Cinnamon Is Bad For Your Cat?
Only a few licks or even a small amount on your cat’s skin could be harmful. It will depend on the specific product’s ingredients and how the cat’s exposition took place.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Has Exposure To Cinnamon?
Call your cat’s veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline if you suspect your cat has consumed a large amount of cinnamon.
Other Spices Or Ingredients That Are Toxic For Your Cat
- The sugar substitute xylitol can make your cat’s insulin level go up. Make sure you have sugarless candy, chewing gum, vitamins, medicines, some peanut butter, condiments, and even mouthwashes away.
- Nutmeg, often found in different types of desserts, can make your cat have seizures and tremors.
- Rhubarb can be bad for your cats’ digestive organs and kidneys. Be careful about the type of jellies and jams your cat can reach and might have this ingredient.
Other related uses for cinnamon and cats
- Keeps bugs and cats away from your child’s sandbox
- Keeps ants and other insects away in the house, they can lead to possible exposure to cinnamon by your cat.
Please call your cat’s veterinarian or call the Pet Poison Helpline if you suspect your cat has consumed a large amount of cinnamon. Either if he had access or was in touch with cinnamon essential oil or by inhaling the cinnamon powder. The vet will determine what kind of care your cat needs.
A good idea is to stay on the safe side by ensuring your cat insurance coverage, which can help cover any unexpected costs. If something happens, you can have some peace in knowing your cat is well protected.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.