Can Cats Eat Black Pepper: Is It Dangerous & Do They Like It

If you’ve been wondering, can cats eat black pepper, are there dangers involved, is it healthy for them, and do they like it? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Just like us, cats can eat black pepper and in very small quantities, they actually like it as it gives a little extra flavor to their food, especially if they’re eating wet cat food.

However, cats really don’t like the smell of pepper and it can make them sneeze if you use too much.

Are Cats Allergic to Pepper?

Most cats aren’t allergic to black pepper, but much like us, it can cause them to sneeze if they breathe it in. This can look like it’s causing much more damage than it is.

If you’re adding a little pepper to your cat’s food, make sure it’s only a tiny sprinkle. If you notice them sneezing, you’ve gone too far.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and a very small percentage of cats could be allergic to black pepper.

If you notice that your cat excessively sneezes after being near black pepper, or if they vomit after eating it, you may need to remove it from their diet completely.

Are cats allergic to black pepper?

What Does Black Pepper Do to Cats?

Black pepper shouldn’t affect cats badly unless they happen to be allergic to it. However, your cat may react in a negative way because:

They don’t like the smell

Black pepper contains piperine, which has numerous health benefits for people. However, it is very pungent and can irritate a cat’s nasal passage.

They don’t like the taste

The bitter taste of pepper can greatly affect your cat’s taste buds and overpower the flavor of the foods they’re eating.

Stomach Discomfort

If your cat eats a large amount of black pepper, the spicy flavor could cause your cat to get a stomachache. Excessive black pepper ingestion could even cause vomiting, diarrhea, and eventual dehydration.

To avoid this you should always provide plenty of fresh water if your cat has eaten pepper and monitor its behavior. In minor cases, the symptoms should pass after 24 hours.

However, if your cat continues to display discomfort or bloating after this time, you should take them to the vet for assessment. The pepper may have caused more damage that needs treatment.

oes Black Pepper Keep Cats Away?

My Cat Ate Black Pepper, What Should I Do?

In most cases, you won’t need to do anything at all if your cat eats black pepper. The tiniest amount of pepper won’t have any effect on your cat. It may simply spice up their food a little.

However, if they eat too much black pepper – perhaps if you accidentally spilled it – then you may need to monitor them closely.

Even the greediest of cats is unlikely to digest lots of black pepper at once anyway. This is because the smell is so pungent that this will keep them away and discourage them from eating it in large quantities.

If you do notice that your cat has eaten a lot of black pepper, you should look out for vomiting or diarrhea. In these cases, provide plenty of fresh, clean water to help them flush their system.

Never give them milk to calm their stomach. Milk actually isn’t good for cats, despite the cliche.

If you notice symptoms lasting more than 24 hours you should take your cat to the vet for further assessment.

Can cats eat black pepper?

Is Black Pepper Bad for Cats?

Black pepper isn’t great for cats, but it’s not usually harmful if it’s consumed in small amounts.

However, black pepper contains essential oils and terpenes which can be toxic to cats in large quantities.

You could sprinkle a little bit of pepper on your cat’s meal every so often to see if they like the taste. You shouldn’t do this for every meal as it may cause a stomach upset.

Although pepper isn’t particularly bad for cats, it doesn’t mean that they’ll like it. Your cat may be put off by the bitter taste of pepper, so it may be better to skip it at mealtime. 

Does Black Pepper Keep Cats Away?

Black pepper, due to its pungent smell, is a natural repellent for cats and other animals. Many people use it to keep pests away from their yard.

Just like the scent of black pepper induces sneezing for people, cats, with their much more sensitive sinuses, also sneeze when they’re around black pepper.

However, this will only happen if the pepper is in large quantities. A small sprinkle on your food or around your cat’s food won’t have much of an effect.

If it’s around strong-smelling cat food, your cat may not even notice.

Is White Pepper Bad for Cats?

White pepper is a slightly milder form of pepper in comparison to black pepper. However, your cat may still avoid it in large quantities as it still has a strong smell.

In the same way as black pepper, your cat can eat it in small quantities and be totally fine. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll want to.

If you notice that your cat is displaying symptoms of illness after eating white pepper, you should give them plenty of fluids and take them to the vet for further analysis.

Which Spices Are Toxic for Cats?

Humans naturally like to add a bit of extra flavor to their meals. It helps to keep us interested and varies our diet.

However, cats actually are massive fans of change and adding anything extra to their food could actually put them off it or could cause them serious harm.

Some of the spices that we’d use to flavor our food are really bad for cats.

Cayenne Pepper

Along with black pepper, cayenne pepper, which is much spicier, is a natural cat repellent. Cats hate the smell of cayenne. The spicy flavor is also something to avoid.

Because cats’ stomachs are relatively delicate when it comes to hot food, they could immediately vomit and may become bloated after eating cayenne pepper.

It’d be unusual for your to try to spice up your cat’s food with pepper. However, there is a chance that they could ingest it accidentally if someone is trying to use it as a repellent.

If it happens to get on their paws, they may wash it off with their tongue. It can also be quite painful if they get any pepper inside a wound.

If your cat is vomiting violently, has diarrhea, or appears bloated and standoffish, you should give them plenty of fresh water and take a trip to the vet.


Cats can’t deal with caffeine from coffee, tea, energy drinks, or soda. As with black pepper, a tiny amount won’t hurt them too much.

But regular consumption will quickly cause damage to the organs and may mean long-term health issues.


This is a basic way that humans use to flavor dishes. However, your cat could become anemic if they eat garlic or onions, especially if they’re raw.

You should look out for pale gums, lethargy, red urine, and a loss of appetite.


Lots of cats are actually allergic to chamomile. Alongside the fact that eating it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, ingesting may cause rashes and dermatitis.

As this could grow in gardens it’s easy for cats to get ahold of it. You should look out for odd behavior, sickness, and blotchy skin or fur loss.

If you notice all of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet. They may need a shot.



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