Cinnamon is a beloved spice known for its warm and comforting aroma, often used to enhance the flavor of various dishes and beverages. While it’s a common kitchen staple for humans, questions arise when it comes to our feline companions. Can cats enjoy a bit of cinnamon in their diets, or should it be strictly off-limits? In this article, we’ll explore the potential risks and precautions associated with cinnamon for cats.

Cats and Cinnamon: The Concerns:

Cinnamon, when used in moderation as a seasoning for human food, is generally considered safe. However, when it comes to cats, there are several reasons to exercise caution:

  1. Essential Oils: Cinnamon contains essential oils, such as cinnamaldehyde, which can be toxic to cats when ingested in large quantities.
  2. Allergic Reactions: Some cats may be sensitive or allergic to cinnamon, leading to digestive upset or skin irritations.
  3. Gastrointestinal Distress: Even a small amount of cinnamon can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in cats, leading to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

The Toxicity Factor:

The main concern with cinnamon and cats is the potential for cinnamon toxicity. Cinnamon essential oils are more concentrated and potent than the ground cinnamon we use in recipes, making them more hazardous. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Cinnamon Powder: A tiny amount of cinnamon powder, such as what might be found on the tip of a finger, is unlikely to cause severe harm to a cat. However, it’s still advisable to avoid allowing your cat to ingest it.
  2. Cinnamon Essential Oil: Never administer cinnamon essential oil to your cat. Ingesting even a small amount of this concentrated oil can lead to significant health issues, including liver damage.

Precautions for Cat Owners:

  1. Keep Cinnamon Out of Reach: Store cinnamon and cinnamon-related products, such as scented candles or potpourri, in a place where your cat cannot access them.
  2. Monitor Spills: Be mindful of any spills of cinnamon powder in your kitchen, as cats may be curious and try to investigate or ingest it.
  3. Check Ingredient Lists: When purchasing commercial cat treats or food, check the ingredient list for any potential sources of cinnamon.


While a small amount of cinnamon is unlikely to cause immediate harm to your cat, it’s essential to err on the side of caution. Cinnamon, particularly in the form of essential oil, can be toxic to cats, leading to serious health issues. To ensure the well-being of your feline friend, it’s best to keep cinnamon out of their reach and refrain from intentionally adding it to their food or treats. If you suspect your cat has ingested a significant amount of cinnamon or is experiencing any adverse reactions, consult your veterinarian promptly for guidance and care.