If you’ve ever wondered whether cats can eat spicy foods, you’re not alone. Many people assume that because cats are finicky eaters, they must be sensitive to spices. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
While some cats may be put off by strong flavors, others can handle a little spice without any problems. So if your cat is curious about those fiery dishes you’re always eating, there’s no need to worry. They just might enjoy it more than you think!
Can cats taste hot spicy food?
One age-old debate that has been waging within the pet community has to do with cats and their relationship with hot and spicy food. People have asked, “Can cats even taste spicy food?”
The answer seems to be yes, cats can indeed sense spiciness. While it isn’t their favorite flavor (fixed-flavored foods aren’t usually the first choice for our kitty friends), the heat from peppers, garlic, and other spices is not lost on them.
That being said, those flavors pose no risk of toxicity to them; so owners should consider serving their cat a bit of spice lighter dishes here and there as a treat. Ultimately though, when it comes to feeding your cat hot and spicy dishes, be sure to consult your vet beforehand!
What happens if a cat licks spicy food?
If a cat licks spicy food, the result is likely to be instantaneous and severe! Regardless of whether it’s from a habanero hot sauce or cayenne pepper, the sensation can be intense and often cause cats to back away quickly with a look of alarm.
In the short term, the cat will likely experience momentary discomfort with possible drooling, sneezing, foaming at the mouth, pawing at their tongue, and sniffling.
In more extreme cases, cats may feel nausea and have difficulty swallowing due to their sensitive palates. While your cat probably won’t get seriously ill from coming into contact with spicy food, it’s best to keep them away altogether just to be safe.
Is Chilli poisonous to cats?
Believe it or not, chili can be toxic to cats, and can even have fatal effects if ingested in large quantities. Although the amount of capsaicinoid that cats ingest from eating chili is usually negligible, certain varieties of peppers may contain enough of this compound to cause serious problems for cats.
Symptoms of chili poisoning in cats often include vomiting, diarrhea, and increased heart rate.
If you suspect your cat has eaten any type of chili, it’s best to seek veterinary advice straight away as left untreated these symptoms can worsen and potentially be fatal. To err on the side of caution, it’s probably best to avoid feeding your cat anything containing chili just in case!
What to do if my cat ate spicy food
If your beloved cat has gotten a bit too curious and eaten some spicy food, don’t panic – the chances are they will be absolutely fine.
While it’s true that cats can be sensitive to certain ingredients, such as garlic, these ingredients often need to be consumed in large quantities for them to cause serious health issues.
Your cat may experience some short-term gastric distress due to the heat from the spices, however, this should pass with time and is not a cause for concern.
If you are concerned about long-term effects, consult your veterinarian who can advise you on the best way to move forward and provide peace of mind that all is well.
The Bottom Line: Can cats eat spicy foods?
All in all, it appears that cats can eat some milder forms of spicy foods, such as curry or chili powder.
However, they should never consume excessively hot or spicy food to avoid potential stomach maladies. It also seems that most cats do not particularly like the taste of overly spicy flavors and prefer more bland options.
A safe bet when considering a treat for your pet cat is to stick to plain cooked meats or fish with a small number of spices or seasonings on top. As always, moderation and common sense should prevail when considering any new food item for your feline friend.
Overall, as long as you try to feed your cat healthy treats in reasonable quantities, you shouldn’t have to worry about putting too much spice into their diet!