Can Cats Have Cinnamon

icon June 14, 2023


On This Page

    • Overview of Cinnamon

    • What Ingredients in Cinnamon Are Bad for Cats?

    • Do Cats Like The Smell of Cinnamon?

    • Signs of Cinnamon Toxicity or Allergic Reaction

    • How Much Cinnamon is Toxic to Cats?

    • What To Do If Your Cat Has Been In Contact With Cinnamon?

    • Treatment of Cinnamon Allergy or Toxicity in Cats

    • Can Cats Eat Cinnamon Rolls/ Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Can cats have cinnamon? This question often arises among cat owners and enthusiasts. Understanding what foods are safe for our feline companions is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Cats have unique dietary requirements, and certain foods that are safe for humans can be harmful or even toxic to cats. In this discussion, we will explore whether cats can safely consume cinnamon and the potential effects it may have on them.

RELATED: Can Cats Have Peanut Butter

Overview of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a popular spice derived from the inner bark of several trees belonging to the Cinnamomum genus. It has been used for centuries in various cultures for its aromatic flavor and potential health benefits.
It is available in different forms, including powder, sticks (also known as quills or cinnamon bark), and essential oil. The powder form is commonly used in cooking and baking, while the sticks are used in brewing beverages or for decorative purposes. Essential oil is highly concentrated and used sparingly for flavoring or fragrance purposes.

Cinnamon is widely used in human culinary practices and can be found in a variety of food and beverages. It adds a distinct and warm flavor to dishes such as pastries, desserts, hot drinks like coffee and hot chocolate, and even savory dishes in some cuisines. Cinnamon is also used as a natural flavoring agent in products like chewing gum, toothpaste, and mouthwash. 

Now, let's continue to explore whether cats can have cinnamon and its potential implications.

What Ingredients in Cinnamon Are Bad for Cats?

Cinnamon, in small amounts, is generally considered safe for cats. However, there are certain compounds found in cinnamon that can be harmful to cats if ingested in large quantities. The two main concerns are cinnamaldehyde and coumarin.


This is the primary active compound in cinnamon that gives it its characteristic flavor and aroma. While a small amount of cinnamaldehyde is unlikely to cause harm, larger quantities can irritate a cat's mouth, throat, and digestive system. It may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even oral ulcers.


This is another compound found in cinnamon, especially in the Cassia variety. Coumarin is known to have anticoagulant properties, which can interfere with a cat's blood clotting ability. Consuming large amounts of coumarin can lead to bleeding disorders in cats, which can be serious and require medical attention.

It's important to note that cats are generally less inclined to eat cinnamon compared to dogs, but accidental ingestion can still occur. If your cat has ingested a small amount of cinnamon, it is unlikely to cause severe harm. However, if you suspect your cat has consumed a large quantity or is experiencing any concerning symptoms, it is best to consult a veterinarian for proper guidance.

Do Cats Like The Smell of Cinnamon?

Cats have a highly developed sense of smell and they may have different preferences for certain odors. .

In general, cats are known to be sensitive to strong odors, including certain spices. While some cats may find the smell of cinnamon appealing, it is important to note that cats have different personal preferences. What one cat finds comforting, another cat may not like.
If you are considering using cinnamon or cinnamon-scented products around your cat, but are unsure if your cat is interested in cinnamon, it is recommended that you introduce the scent gradually and observe your cat's reaction. It is also best to stop using cinnamon if your cat shows signs of discomfort, such as sneezing, avoiding the area or showing other signs of discomfort, including

  • Powdered cinnamon spices
  • Essential oils
  • Cinnamon trees
  • Dried cinnamon sticks
  • Diffusers and cinnamon-infused air fresheners
  • Human food flavored with cinnamon

Always remember that your cat's safety and well-being should be the highest priority. If you have any concerns or questions about introducing a new odor or substance into your cat's environment, it is best to consult your veterinarian.

Signs of Cinnamon Toxicity or Allergic Reaction

The likelihood of your cat being poisoned by exposure to cinnamon is low, but avoid getting the powdered spice or essential oil on her and avoid your cat licking it off and swallowing it. Cinnamon is generally considered safe for cats in small amounts, but it can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. Signs of poisoning in cats may include:

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Respiratory Distress
  • Drool excessively

Can Cats Eat Cinnamon?

However, a cat may be less likely to consume large amounts of cinnamon powder unless he gets cinnamon or cinnamon essential oil on him and licks himself in order to clean up. Repeated exposure to cinnamon powder can cause allergies in cats.
Signs of allergies and allergic reactions in cats may include:

  • Skin redness, itchiness, swelling, or rashes
  • Pawing at the Face
  • Oral Discomfort
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

If you suspect your cat has ingested a large amount of cinnamon or is having an allergic reaction, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. They can provide appropriate guidance and treatment based on your cat's specific situation.

How Much Cinnamon is Toxic to Cats?

Since cinnamon exists in many forms, we discuss how much of each dose constitutes poisoning to cats, from the common cinnamon powder, cinnamon essential oil, cinnamon sticks, and cinnamon brooms.

  • Cinnamon powder - 1 teaspoonful is toxic to adult cats, not to mention kittens
  • Cinnamon essential oils - are very dangerous as they are usually highly concentrated. 1 drop of the amount can poison a cat. Cats should not be in a room where essential oils are used.
  • Cinnamon sticks - Keep cinnamon sticks out of your cat's reach as the strong smell of cinnamon sticks may tempt your cat to chew on it, 1 stick of about 12cm can be dangerous to cats
  • Cinnamon brooms - Their scent may be attractive to humans, but is usually very strong and irritating to cats. Best avoided.

Can Cats Eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

What To Do If Your Cat Has Been In Contact With Cinnamon?

If your cat has been exposed to a cinnamon product and there is still residual cinnamon on her body or feet, it is recommended that your cat be bathed to wash it off her skin and prevent her from ingesting it again.

Watch for any signs of adverse reactions in your cat. Watch for signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, skin irritation, or oral discomfort.

If you notice any worrisome symptoms, or if you suspect your cat has ingested a large amount of cinnamon, it is best to consult your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on your cat's specific situation and advise you on the best course of action.

Treatment of Cinnamon Allergy or Toxicity in Cats

Treatment will depend on the extent of illness and symptoms resulting from your pet’s reaction to cinnamon.

For allergic reactions to cinnamon in cats, treatment may involve the following:

The first step is to remove the source of the allergen, in this case, cinnamon. Ensure that your cat no longer has access to any cinnamon-containing products. If your cat has developed skin irritation or rashes, avoid cinnamon still left on the cat, use antibacterial anti-itch shampoo to bathe the cat, and then use an antibacterial spray or ointment to gently apply to the affected area. Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to alleviate the symptoms of the allergic reaction, such as antihistamines to reduce itching and inflammation.

For cinnamon toxicity in cats, the treatment approach may include:

If your cat has recently ingested a toxic amount of cinnamon and it is within a short period, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove the cinnamon from their system.
Depending on the severity of the toxicity, your veterinarian may provide supportive care to address symptoms. This may include intravenous fluids to maintain hydration, medications to control vomiting or diarrhea, and monitoring vital signs.

Can Cats Eat Cinnamon Rolls/ Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Some of the ingredients found in cinnamon rolls and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal may not be suitable or safe for cats. 

Cinnamon rolls will use a lot of butter, sugar for flavor, and milk or cream. Butter is high in fat and may cause indigestion or pancreatitis in cats if consumed in large quantities. Excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain, dental problems, and potential blood sugar imbalances in cats. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant and lack the enzymes necessary to properly digest lactose. Feeding milk or cream to cats can lead to gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal will use fructose and artificial additives. Fructose is a form of sugar that cats should avoid in large amounts because it can lead to obesity and other health problems. Some cats may be sensitive to certain flavorings and it is usually best to avoid artificial additives.

Can Cats Have Cinnamon?

It's important to note that cats have specific dietary requirements, and their digestive systems are different from humans. Feeding them a balanced and appropriate diet formulated specifically for cats is essential for their health and well-being. It's recommended to consult with a veterinarian regarding suitable cat food options and avoid feeding them human foods or processed products that may contain ingredients potentially harmful to cats.


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