Cinnamon, also referred to as Cinnamomum or Cannelle, is commonly found in households and human food. There are two types of cinnamon: cassia and Ceylon. Cassia cinnamon is commonly used in North America and contains higher levels of a substance called coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon. Coumarin in high concentrations is used as a rodenticide (rat poison) and causes liver failure and hemorganing in rodents. In humans, cinnamon is sometimes used as a natural medicine to treat diabetes, as it lowers blood sugar, or as a blood thinner.is cinnamon safe for cats?
Is the smell of cinnamon bad for cats?
Says Hanen Abdel Rahman Although cinnamon is technically classified as non-toxic to cats, it can become toxic at certain levels- especially if your cat is exposed to the higher concentrations typically found in essential oils. Cats can be particularly susceptible to toxicity from cinnamon for a couple of reasons. Cats lack some of the liver enzymes that break down cinnamon compounds which can then build up if your pet is exposed to a high concentration in a short period of time, or if your pet is exposed to a lower concentration over a long period of time. Also, because cats have thin skin, which can easily absorb cinnamon compounds applied in essential oils, this puts them at an increased risk for cinnamon toxicity.
Why Is Cinnamon Bad For Cats?
Cinnamon can be bad for your furball as it can lead to numerous health complications. It contains a compound called coumarin. Your cat’s body can’t break it down, which results in liver failure and other problematic outcomes. Fortunately, there aren’t high concentrations of coumarin in the most common type of cinnamon in households (powdered cinnamon spice).
Nevertheless, cinnamon in all of its forms can still pose harm to cats in three basic ways – inhaled, ingested or rubbed on the kitties’ fur and skin.
Cats can easily ingest cinnamon powder from sticks, powdered spice, decorative ornaments, plants, cinnamon-spiced foods, and so forth. Since they lack the enzymes for breaking down the coumarin, their organisms can’t properly digest this and other compounds found in cinnamon. As such, your pet may suffer through one or more of the following symptoms.
- Slowed down the heart rate
- Liver failure and other types of organ failure
Basically, there is no version of cinnamon that’s safe for cats or other pets. Inhaling, ingesting or touching cinnamon compounds in any way can pose danger to your fluffy friend. Regardless of its age, breed, or overall health condition, the kitty must stay away from it.
Skin/ fur exposure to cinnamon
Cats can also suffer through an allergic reaction if their skin or fur comes into contact with cinnamon.
Not all cats will show symptoms, but that doesn’t mean you should experiment with cinnamon powder or even worse – cinnamon essential oil. The latter one is highly concentrated in all those harmful compounds, which pose danger to your beloved furball’s life. Keep your eye out for the following symptoms if you’re having any suspicions.
- Obsessive pawing/ scratching
If there’s any redness or if the kitty is trying to paw at the irritated spot, it’s definitely experiencing an unpleasant allergic reaction from being in contact with the cinnamon.
Causes of Cinnamon Allergy or Toxicity in Cats
in cats, Cinnamon toxicity is unlikely to occur under normal, household use of powdered cinnamon. It would take a large amount of powder, or the inhalation of the powder to cause a reaction. However, as essential oil use is becoming more common in households, there is an increased risk to cats from exposure to cinnamon essential oil, which has a much higher concentration of the compounds that can be harmful to cats.
Cats can accidentally be exposed to a toxic amount of cinnamon in the following ways:
- Chewing on a cinnamon tree kept as an indoor plant
- Chewing on a cinnamon stick left in a cup
- Eating human food spiced with cinnamon
- Chewing or licking potpourri or household ornaments made with cinnamon
- From the use of cinnamon oil in a diffuser that your cat then inhales
- From touching or petting your cat after putting cinnamon oil on your hands
Intentional exposure can occur because:
People sometimes use cinnamon to intentionally repel cats or pests in the garden and home and cats can be exposed to an excessive amount through their environment in this way.
Cinnamon is used as a natural remedy for diabetes (as it lowers blood sugar). As a result, well-meaning pet owners may intentionally dose their cat with harmful amounts of cinnamon in an effort to treat feline diabetes.
It is important to understand that:
Cats do not have the same liver enzymes (glucuronyl transferase) as humans that break down cinnamon compounds, therefore they are prone to a toxic build-up of cinnamon compounds in their system. Because cinnamon contains a carbolic acid known as phenol, burning of the skin and respiratory system can occur. Cats are particularly sensitive to this type of reaction.