🐱 CAN Cats TASTE SPICY FOOD? (A Comprehensive Answer Is Here!)

Please Like & Share :)

Has your cat been eyeing the spicy food you cook? Do you think it is because your cat has developed a taste for spicy food? – It might not be as close to reality as you imagine!

Cats love to eat meat, and they might want to have some, if not all, of the meaty meals that you cook. Although, it might not be owing to the spiciness of the food that gets a cat interested.

Cats usually get attracted to the meat in the house, and they never get tired of eating it. All they may want is to be fed meat anytime and every time, regardless of it being spicy or not.

Cats have a lack of receptors to taste the sweet or spicy food served to them. Therefore they react more to the smell of food rather than to its taste. Spicy food should be excluded from the cat’s daily diet and only given as a treat from time to time.

But if your cat pays special attention to your food when it’s spicy, it is possible. Read below for a better insight…

Can Cats Taste Spices?

Though most cats are not much interested in spicy food, some cats are curious and want to eat what others in the home are having. Researches have shown that cats have some elevated senses as compared to humans, but the ability to taste spicy food is not one of them. Cats cannot taste spice or sweetness in their food.

If your cat has fed on a spicy meal and gave a strong reaction, it might not be due to the “taste” of spice, rather the sudden hit of heat from the pepper.

Why do some cats like spicy food?

Cats are not much of a fan of spicy food, yet some of them like having spicy food you eat. Again, it is not because of the spice, but a few other characteristics that attract cats towards the food.

· Aroma

Undoubtedly, the aroma of delicious and spicy food makes us all drool over it. Cats are no exception. They love the pungent aroma of the food and wish to take it – out of curiosity. It plays a major role as cats like to smell their food before eating it. So, don’t be surprised if your cat asks you for that spicy meat curry while you devour it.

· Texture

Other than the aroma, the texture of that particular food might seem interesting to the cat. The presence of lamb or chicken in the meal would increase the cat’s attention towards your meal.

· Temperature

Temperature holds significant importance in meal selection when it comes to cat food. Cats usually prefer room temperature food but don’t mind if it is slightly warm. If your cat feels your “spicy meal” to be warm, he might want to have a bite of it!

· Cat’s receptors, sense of taste

People pet around 370 million cats globally. They take care of the fur babies and understand their requirements to provide them with the best. The understanding of cat senses enables the cat-parents to understand the mood and needs of their cat. Unlike other senses, cats do not have an extraordinary sense of taste.

Cats only have under 500 taste receptors as compared to dogs that have 1700 of them.

Animals like cats, having Jacobson’s organ, are believed to have a smell-taste system, which means that they taste food through smell. Some foods do not have a pungent smell but are not best for cats. As a result, sometimes cats eat harmful food without reacting to it.

However, the cats have a sound bitter taste system that saves them from having anything dangerous, provided that it has a bitter taste.

How do cats react to spicy food?

Now, you must be wondering if cats cannot taste spices, how do they respond to spicy food?

Chilies and other spicy foods contain elements that are responsible for their spicy and hot characteristic. The heat experienced by the pet while ingesting the food is released when the distinct components attach to the pain receptors and produce an effect.

The heat effect produced in the cat’s mouth can be extreme if the food is spicier than the cat’s tolerance. If the cat spits out the particular food, it will not cause further harm. But, if the cat gets puzzled and intakes the spicy food, it can be relatively more dangerous to overall health. The spicy components in the food would harm the cat’s throat and (mucosal lining of) stomach in the same way it impacted the mouth – or even worse!

Such a situation can also lead to severe health concerns, such as throwing out or diarrhea, leading to fluid loss. To save yourself and your cat from the agony resulting from a moment’s curiosity, keep your cat away from spicy food.

Can cats sense salt in their meals?

Salt is not entirely harmful to cats, but you must know that anything other than the norm may have potentially hazardous effects on your cat’s well-being… There is no harm to cats in drinking salt water or having salt in their food.

Yet, if your cat gets used to eating large quantities of salt, it might negatively impact its health. Salt, in large quantities, has a significant effect on an organism’s body, and cats should be kept away from excess salt to avoid any issues like dehydration, urinary tract problems, excessive thirst, and acute sodium ion poisoning.

Can cats eat chili?

If your cat is attracted to spicy food’s aroma, it might come off as a surprise to you that it does not actually like the smell of chili in the food.

Cats find the aroma of chili powder to be quite repulsive and would not want to be around a place where chili is present. It is often used to keep cats away from things and spots in the house where the cat might harm themselves.

Having repulsion to chili is indeed good for cats as they would not ingest the powder anytime and cause trouble to themselves. Though, be careful while you use chili powder as a repellent and make sure to keep it in a place where your cat cannot inhale it. Inhalation of chili powder can lead to irritation in your cat’s nose.

Cats and Cinnamon?

Feeding your cat cinnamon is something that has widely been observed on the internet. Mostly, cat owners wonder if it is harmful to their cats or not.

We don’t mean to scare you, but a high amount of cinnamon in your cat’s food can lead to poisoning. You might want to add a little bit of cinnamon to your cat’s meal if he enjoys the aroma and taste. But be mindful of how much you put in there.

Other than a pinch of two, if your cat licks on a stick of cinnamon or takes a spoonful or more, it might cause sickness.

Some of the harshest effects on your pet’s health include diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, wheezing, and skin irritation. If the cat takes much cinnamon without being noticed, it might lead to food poisoning, liver toxicity, irregular heart rate, and bronchospasm as well.

Momentarily, unchecked, the happiness of your cat enjoying its newfound taste in spicy foods can lead to long-term illness, which is something you would not want to happen.

Can cats eat nutmeg?

Like cinnamon, nutmeg has also been the talk of the town for its effect on the cat’s health. While cinnamon is acceptable, it is advised to avoid giving nutmeg to your cat at all costs. Myristicin, a compound found in nutmeg, has toxic properties and can intake in a large amount can lead to fatality.

The possible health hazards include

  • Irregular Heart Rate
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Hallucinations

Though the symptoms only show if the cat has inhaled nutmeg in a large amount, recovery from the accident takes around 48 hours.

Can cats eat pumpkin spice?

It is no news that humans love pumpkin spice, and who knows, the cat might too – but is it safe to give pumpkin spice to your cat?

The only amount of pumpkin in pumpkin spice is in the name. Are you surprised? Indeed, pumpkin spice does not have pumpkin in it, yet it gets the distinct flavor from various other spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. Just like cinnamon and nutmeg, cloves are also not a cat’s best friend.

Therefore, it is better to keep your cat off pumpkin spice and not make it used to it. Avoiding it at all costs is the best nevertheless!

If you find that your cat is constipated and want to offer pumpkin spice to help eliminate, offering fresh or canned pumpkin is a better idea. Pumpkin spice wouldn’t help at all.

Can cats eat jalapenos?

Your cat might be intrigued by the jalapeno-laden meal. Yet, we don’t suggest giving any of it to your cute fur baby.

Jalapenos, like other chilies, contain capsaicin, but in higher amounts. Due to the high amount of capsaicin in jalapenos, some people cannot handle it and suffer an upset stomach. Cats are way more sensitive to spices, and thus jalapenos can cause severe damage to their health.

Upon having a jalapeno, your cat might vomit it or get diarrhea. Both can result in dehydration and increased thirst. The favorable vegetables for a cat can be cooked or boiled asparagus, zucchini, peas, and carrots.

Can cats eat pepperoni?

Pepperoni might be every cat’s dream comes true. Especially the ones who smell spicy foods and want to taste them.

Though, as a cat-parent, you don’t want to harm them by giving them pepperoni too often. The meaty part of it makes you think that it’s probably okay to give one or two pieces to your cat every day to help with the daily meat intake. We hate to break it to you that you should not offer pepperoni to your cat frequently.

Pepperoni contains spices, and these spices can damage the mucosal lining of the GI tract of your pet.

The meat slices have a high amount of salt in them, and excessive feeding also has chances of leading to sodium ion toxicity.

Onion and ginger extracts are also a part of pepperoni for flavoring and can cause anemia in cats.

Can cats eat chili tuna?

You did not expect to see tuna on the list? Neither we are stopping you from feeding tuna to your cat. But keep a few things in mind if you wish to feed tuna to your cat.

Do not feed CHILI tuna to your cat as the spices can lead to disturbed bowel movements and discomfort.

Always look out for tuna specifically for cats. Do not feed the regular tuna meant for human consumption.

Avoid giving a lot of canned tuna as it contains a high amount of mercury.

Can cats eat curry?

Just like some foods are cat-specific and not suitable for human consumption, few foods are not fit to be eaten by cats. If you plan on feeding curry to your cat anytime soon, we suggest you drop the idea.

Cats should be fed healthy food that helps them with growth and development. However, the seasoning in curry is way too much for a cat and not recommended. Also, it may contain spices that are life-threatening for the cat. To treat your cat once in a while, make them food without spices and season with salt and turmeric only. Turmeric can be added in a small amount as it has healing properties.

Which herbs are harmful to cats?

Other than the spices mentioned above, a few common cooking herbs might also irritate your cat.

These herbs commonly include

The mint family:

  • Oregano and tarragon
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Marijuana

Which spices and herbs are safe for cats?

While there is an extensive list of spices and herbs harmful to your cat, not all are dangerous. Some also provide benefits, while others neither positively nor negatively impact the cat’s health.

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • Catnip
  • Calendula
  • Valerian
  • Witch Hazel

Can cats taste sweet, bitter, and sour food?

Cats have lesser taste buds than humans or cats, yet they can judge bitter and sour quite well. The ability to taste sweet is not much developed as they are carnivores who feed on meat mostly. The sense of bitter taste is highly developed in cats and saved them from eating herbs or weeds that might be harmful.

Vet’s advice

Though many of us want to offer a change to our cats than the regular food, incorporating spicy food to their diet is not advised. Vets advise to feed healthy vegetables to your cat or only season their food rarely as a treat. And if you manage to avoid spices altogether and only give healthy fresh or canned cat food to your pet, you’re saving them from health issues.


Here are some questions that you might have after reading the above article,

Can eating spices eventually lead my cat to a deadly disease?

It is not entirely true that the spices might cause lethal effects on your cat’s health; prolonged exposure to spices in food would lead to declining health.

Do spices cause allergic reactions?

Cats can develop an allergy to anything and everything, including spices. If the spice level is way beyond the cat’s tolerance, she might have a hypersensitivity reaction to it.

Should cats only be fed canned food?

Canned cat food is the most optimal food option, yet you can also give other meals to your cat that does not contain many spices.


Express your love to the cat by taking immense care of his diet and keeping away from dangerous substances. Momentary happiness should never have to pay for long-term health loss!

Please Share Your Thoughts in the Comments Below!

Happy Cat Care!

Please Like & Share :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *