Can Cats Eat Spicy Food?

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Cat Eat Spicy FoodCats are curious creatures, and they love eating human food. Whether it is good for the cat’s digestive system or not, your feline friend will want everything that you are eating.

Cats are obligate carnivores, and we usually cook our meat-based dishes in a hot sauce, so your feline friend will want this spicy treat for themselves. However, giving your feline friend even a small amount of hot sauce or spicy meals is not a good idea.

Can Cats Taste Spicy Food?

Your furry friend’s taste buds are not designed to process hot foods or even have a sense of taste of hot peppers. After eating chili peppers, your cat’s mouth will get a burning sensation, the cat’s eyes will start to water, and they will have a runny nose along with other adverse effects. After cats taste spicy food or get a taste of spices, they will start staying away from such types of food.

The reason is that after your cat’s tongue gets on fire, they get watery eyes and a runny nose due to eating too much spicy food. They will remember the side effects and avoid the spicy taste. Cats usually have a strong sense of smell, and if they eat food with too much capsaicin and get health issues and ill effects, they will remember its smell and stay away from meals containing a lot of spices.

Cat’s Body and Spicy Food

All the chilies contain capsaicin, whether cayenne pepper, hot chili, chili powder, or other hot spices. If you feed your cat pumpkin spice, chili con carne, spicy sauce, spicy chips, or spicy dishes right from your dinner table, the taste receptors of your cat will not instantly feel the complex flavor of spices; however, the capsaicin will be released in your pet cat’s mouth, and it binds with the pain receptors in the mouth. The first place will be your cat’s tongue, then the cat’s throat and cat stomach will be affected due to the hot peppers.

Capsaicin can also cause digestive problems in your feline friend, like stomach upsets, stomach pain, and gastrointestinal problems. These hot peppers cause upset stomach, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal issues, and irritate the stomach lining and the cat’s throat. These large amounts of spices can also result in high blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, and dehydration.

Why Do Cats Love Spicy Food?

Even though cats get ill effects after eating hot sauces and particular foods containing common spices for human food, they still love spicy food, but why? Chilies cause an upset tummy, issues with the cat’s digestive tract, and other digestive issues which cannot be easily solved. Still, you will find your feline friend eating the food. The simple reason is that these raw meat eaters do not get the spicy or sour taste of the food, but they mainly get addicted due to the smell of the food. 

A cat can eat spicy food with close eyes because the cat’s sense of the strong aroma and distinct scent of chili makes them attracted to it. Then the warm temperature is what your feline friend loves, and the chilies are a hot and warm food that might create some stomach problems in your cat’s body, but they won’t mind eating it. A cat’s diet contains raw meat, so if it is cooked meat with spices, they will enjoy the texture of the food since they love unique textures of meat. So, as cat owners, we shouldn’t give our feline friend any spices, not even mild spices.

What Type of Spicy Food Can Cats Eat?

You should never include any type of spices in your cat food. Your cat’s body will have negative effects if they eat spice foods, and some cats might even have allergic reactions due to garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Even if the food is at room temperature or warm, completely to your feline friend’s liking, avoid giving them any of the o spicy foods.

Pepperoni is meat, but it has a lot of spices that you cannot give your little feline friend. It is delicious, and the distinct scent of pepperoni attracts the cat, but it can cause many problems in your cat’s health, such as damaging the cat’s red blood cells, causing anemia, etc. The Jalapenos have a strong scent but contain capsaicin, which is not required in your cat’s food. If consumed in large quantities, red kidney beans, and chili con carne, can cause ingestion, bloating, and stomach issues.

Cinnamon is also a spice that is better if avoided because if your cat feeds on cinnamon in large quantities, it can cause lasting harm to them. They might even get cinnamon poisoning that leads to panting, skin irritation, slow or weak heart rates, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, and panting. If your feline friend feels these symptoms, immediately take them to the vet. There are times when we drink dairy products like milk to minimize the ill effects of capsaicin, but for cats, these dairy products are also hazardous as cats can have allergic reactions and gastrointestinal problems.

Spices that are Beneficial for Cats

However, here is the fun fact: some spices out there in the world are somewhat beneficial for your feline friend if not given in large amounts. Thyme is the first one your feline friend can easily eat because it has effects like catnip which is good for your cat. Licorice stands second in line as it can help open the airways, soothing allergies, boosting liver function, and easing arthritic inflammations.

You can give chamomile, peppermint, and rosemary to soothe your feline friend’s itchy skin. Ginger is also good for cats but in optimized quantity, as it can help with nausea and stomach upsets. Due to the aroma, the texture of food, and temperature, your feline friend might want all the spicy human food you might be eating. However, remember that they have their cat food, and you should never give them any food that is spicy or not made for them. This is because the result usually ends with a visit to the vet due to diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues.


Cats love trying new things, especially if those things have a strong smell and a texture they love. However, not all human foods are good enough to include in your cat’s diet, so if next time your furry friend wants something from your dinner table, do not give them. Also, if your feline friend is feeling hot in the mouth due to spices, do not give them any dairy products; instead, offer a water bowl to fight dehydration and minimize the hot spices.

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