It is natural to want to give your cat new and interesting foods. This can include unique kinds of cat food, as well as its old favorites. Can cats eat spicy chicken or curry? Unfortunately, introducing spicy foods to your cat’s diet could potentially make your cat seriously ill.
Spicy foods that contain onion, chives, and garlic are by far the most harmful. Destruction of red blood cells and anemia can occur. This can prove fatal if a large meal has been consumed. You may not know that these human foods are harmful to cats or that they’re in a specific product.
Can Cats Taste Spicy Food?
On average, a human has 9,000 taste buds on their tongue. By comparison, cats have less than 500. With this stark contrast, it is easy to see why smell is far more critical to cats than taste.
Cats taste through smell. Because cats noses are several times more sensitive than human noses, a cat’s increased sense of smell allows them to taste flavors differently. Can cat’s taste spices and seasonings? Probably not, but they can certainly smell them far better than humans.
Because cats are intended to consume meat, exact flavors do not play a large role in consumption. Cats do not consume sugar, so they do not require a taste for it. The same can also be said for hot sauce, peppers, spicy powders, etc.
Cats react to the meat itself rather than the flavor. By comparison, cats are much more keen on the smell and taste of fat than any form of seasoning.
Why Do Cats Like Spicy Food?
If your cat has a craving for spicy food, the reason is the likely the food itself rather than the actual spice. Can cats eat spicy chicken? Can cats eat spicy tuna? Your cat likes either the chicken or tuna, not the spices. Also, be aware of the health risks of feeding a cat raw chicken regularly.
Cats like the consistency of food. This is why large pieces are preferred to tiny crumbs. Additionally, soft food is more favored than hard food.
The temperature of the food is also essential. Cats like warm food as it is familiar. Freshly killed prey in the wild is warm. Even the most domestic cat will remain true to its nature. Cats prefer to eat soft, meaty, warm food in large pieces.
If you think about spicy foods and how they are prepared, most of them meet the requirements of a meal that a cat would enjoy. Does your cat genuinely like spicy foods? Probably not.
However, the preparation and presentation can potentially trigger a cat’s senses. Large chunks of warm meat with savory smells are enough to attract the attention of most hungry cats.
- A regular diet of tuna can lead to malnutrition. Although spicy tuna is a favored meal option, the tuna can trigger various health issues. PetMD notes that tuna does NOT contain all of the daily nutrients that a cat needs to maintain good health. Additionally, excessive consumption can lead to mercury poisoning, and this can prove fatal in some instances.
Spices That Are Bad for Cats
Although your cat may not savor spices the way a person does, the spices still react similarly once the digestive process begins.
- The bulbs, bulblets, stems, and flowers of both garlic and onion are toxic. In what is commonly known as garlic and onion toxicity, a breakdown of red blood cells can occur that can lead to anemia. Symptoms of this toxicity include dark or discolored urine, allergic reaction, asthmatic episodes, liver damage, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- In some cases, turmeric can be given as a holistic medication to treat chronic ailments such as arthritis and digestive disorders. Never provide turmeric to your pet unless it is recommended by a vet.
Are Cats Allergic to Spices?
Cats, like people, can be allergic to various spices. While there are no specific spices that cat should avoid per se, selections such as cinnamon can create an allergic reaction if consumed too often.
WagWalking.com discusses the dangers of cinnamon. This spice can irritate both the skin and mouth, leading to the development of a rash. It can also cause severe coughing and wheezing.
Can Cats Eat Curry?
While a tiny amount of curry may not produce any adverse effects, this food item should be off-limits to your cat. It contains many harmful ingredients, and the spices in curry can cause gastric issues. It can cause more severe health problems for kittens and senior cats, in particular
Although the smell of curry can be attractive to a cat, feeding your cat curry is inadvisable. Instead, provide your cat moist and meaty chunks of meat (a quality wet cat food) at an elevated temperature. Meat that is warm (not overly hot) can appeal to your cat’s sense of smell while also bringing out its bold flavors.
Is Hot Sauce Bad for Cats?
Similar to spicy chicken, tuna, chili, curry, etc., a hot sauce should be avoided. The ingredients that make a hot sauce, including the unique, flavorful liquid, can cause great harm to a cat. It is not the taste that is concerning, but rather issues that can arise during the digestion process.
Hot sauce can act as a toxin. This is why cats are only equipped to handle fresh water. Giving a cat hot sauce is on the same level as giving a cat a bowl of Pepsi. It should never happen.
Cat food should be the only food you provide to your feline. Spicy foods are meant for human consumption and should never be given to your cat.
If you want to add more flavor to your cat’s meal, food toppers can be helpful. Available at pet retail stores, food toppers can provide your cat with an original taste while not posing any harm to their intestines and digestive system.
Can Cats Eat Pumpkin Spice?
Pumpkin spice is a combination of various spices. Although natural pumpkin is typically safe for pets to eat, and can assist with the digestive process, pumpkin spice can potentially make your cat ill.
Primarily consisting of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, it contains minimal pumpkin. The notion that pumpkin spice is nothing more than spiced pumpkin is untrue.
Let’s explore why it should be avoided…
- Cinnamon. This can lead to respiratory issues and prove toxic. Decreased blood sugar, liver disease, and other serious complications can arise.
- Nutmeg. This contains a toxin known as myristicin. Although side effects are minor in small consumption, your cat could become ill if a large amount were consumed. Severe abdominal pain, changes in heart rate, and vomiting are the core symptoms.
- Cloves and allspice. These can cause liver toxicity. Clove powder and clove oil can cause mouth numbness, balance issues, vomiting, and seizures in cats.
- Ginger. Although ginger appears to be the safest ingredient in pumpkin spice, large amounts can cause stomach pain and digestive issues. Fresh ginger, in tiny amounts, should not pose a problem to a healthy adult cat.
Because pumpkin spice cookies, bread, cake, yogurt, etc. are common over the holiday period, it is vital to warn family and friends about the risks.
Can Cats Eat Pepperoni?
While thinly-sliced pepperoni is seemingly the perfect quick snack, it can be dangerous for cats to eat. Not only is pepperoni packed with sodium and nitrates, but it also contains black pepper, red pepper, and garlic. These spices can cause inflammation of a cat’s intestines and stomach.
Pepperoni is just one form of salami that should never be fed to your cat. Ingredients, such as chili powder and paprika, are the staples of many different varieties of salami. Chorizo is a favorite pork sausage and pizza topping that should not be fed to cats due to its spicy content.
Many foods that are consumed by humans are highly toxic to animals. You should never feed your cat any spicy food as it could make your pet seriously ill. Always check the list of ingredients. There is also no scientific proof that cats can taste spices. Only feed your cat canned (wet) foods and nutritious treats that are specifically intended for consumption by cats.