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Can Cats Eat Chili?

Can Cats Eat Chili?

No, cats cannot eat chili because of the capsaicin and capsaicinoids found in them.

The long answer: Chili is the general term for hot chili peppers that come from the Capsicum plant. Chili peppers are known for packing in heat because of the chemical capsaicin and compound capsaicinoids found in them. Examples of chili peppers include cayenne, jalapeño, serrano, and Thai peppers. Though they belong to the same genus, chili peppers are different from bell peppers because of their varying spice levels. Chilies can come in many colours, sizes, and heat levels, which is measured by the Scoville scale. They can be served fresh, prepared in different forms (i.e. fresh, powdered, pickled, and paste), or mixed in dishes. 

Just like dogs, cats cannot eat chili because the capsaicin and capsaicinoids can greatly affect her mouth, throat, and digestive system. These substances can immediately cause a burning sensation in your pet’s mouth. It can also cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, stomach pain, dehydration, excess salivation, runny nose, and teary eyes. 

What to do if your cat accidentally eats chili: Observe your cat in the next few days. Take note of the signs mentioned above and report any unusual changes (behaviour, eating, drinking, sleeping, and toilet habits) to her veterinarian.

In summary: Your cat may be attracted to chili peppers because of its pungent smell, unique texture, or warm temperature. Eating this type of capsicum may result in serious health problems that can affect your cat for a long time, so it’s best to store them properly to avoid accidental consumption. 

Aside from chilies, discover which fruits and vegetables are not safe for cats to eat. Browse through our growing “can cats eat” blog category.


Wikipedia: Chili pepper

Can Cats Eat Spicy Food?

Capsicum and Chillies

Can Cats Eat Chili Pepper or Hot Capsicums?

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