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Can Cats Eat Jalapenos? (Answered)

Ever noticed how your kitty is always interested in what you are eating. Even if they cannot taste everything, they would have a go at the leftovers after every dinner. 

If you wish to experiment with your cat’s food and wondering if they can eat meals with jalapenos, you may have to check if it’s safe for your pet after all. 

Can cats eat jalapenos?

Cats should never eat jalapenos because cats have a highly sensitive digestive system that cannot tolerate spicy food. Jalapenos contain capsaicin which can be poisonous to cats if ingested in large amounts. A cat can face nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even drooling due to capsaicin.

Stick to this section to learn if your cat can have the following sorts of jalapeno or not –

Jalapeno peppers:

Jalapeno peppers are not toxic to cats but cats should never be fed jalapenos and there is a good reason why. Jalapeno peppers are spicy food that can be damaging to a cat’s sensitive organs. 

Being small animals, cats are supposed to feed on protein-rich, and grain free food. Other than that, the capsaicin in jalapeno pepper can make cats fall sick. Your cat may even experience vomiting, disturbed bowel movements, nausea, and drooling.

If the cat ingests more amounts of pepper, it may also face breathing, burning, and throat irritation. 

Jalapeno chips:

If you have eaten jalapeno chips before, you would know that these chips are not meant for ones who cannot tolerate spicy food. 

Although jalapeno chips are merely spiced up and flavored with pepper, cats should never eat jalapeno chips either. 

Nibbling on the chips might not make them as sick as raw jalapenos would, but it could still make them sick since the chips have good levels of spice. 

Jalapeno leaves:

Jalapeno peppers or jalapeno flavored food might be damaging but they are not toxic to cats. 

However, it is worth noting that any part of the jalapeno plant can be poisonous to cats. You should never let your cat go near jalapeno plants since cats usually tend to chew on leaves. 

Jalapeno leaves and stems particularly contain a certain chemical called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can be highly toxic to cats. Ingesting the leaves can cause immediate effects like stomach pain and excessive vomiting. 

Jalapeno Cheetos:

Like jalapeno chips, your cat eating jalapeno Cheetos wouldn’t be the end of the world. Nevertheless, cats should never be fed with hot Cheetos because they cannot tolerate spicy food with their soft stomachs. 

Are jalapenos toxic to cats?

Jalapenos are a kind of pepper that has a spicy flavor to them. Although it is normally tolerable to humans, cats have a more sensitive stomach, making them more intolerant to the spice level of jalapenos. 

In short, jalapenos are not toxic to cats although these furry animals should not eat the pepper. This is because of the chemical called capsaicin that jalapenos contain. 

For cats, ingesting more jalapenos means they are eating more capsaicin, which can cause serious damage to a cat’s throats and digestive tracts. 

It is also important to note that cats are highly sensitive to spicy food and when a food contains capsaicin, there may be a chance of capsaicin poisoning in cats. 

If the capsaicin poisoning is severe, a cat may face continuous vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and if not treated in time, it can even pass away. 

In most cases, cats eating jalapenos recover after the treatment even if they have eaten large bites of the pepper. Kittens are more likely to face more troubles. 

It is also vital to remember that peppers are part of the potato family and contain Glycoalkaloid Solanine, a chemical that can be toxic to cats. Luckily this chemical is mainly found in the stems and leaves of jalapeno pepper. 

Do cats like jalapenos?

Cats hardly understand what they are eating. Their taste receptors are subdued down, meaning their sense of taste is almost 4 times lesser than any humans. 

Hence when a cat eats jalapenos, they are not aware of the spicy taste in their mouth. This is one reason they only understand what they have eaten after it irritates their throats or stomachs. 

In most cases, cats are not fond of the spicy smell and hence avoid food that is cooked with spices. Despite having a cowed sense of taste, their smelling abilities are far better. 

If a cat is having spicy food and seems to be fond of it, it might be because of its texture and smell instead of the taste. 

3 reasons why jalapenos should not be fed to cats

If you were looking to know if you can feed jalapenos to your cat, the answer is no, you should not. 

There are several good reasons why your pet cat should be kept away from tasting anything if jalapenos are in it, let alone whole jalapeno peppers. 

Capsaicin poisoning can be dangerous: 

The primary reason why cats should not be fed jalapenos is that this pepper contains a chemical called capsaicin. 

While jalapenos in themselves are neither toxic to the cats, nor would they cause severe illness if eaten in small amounts, the capsaicin is what causes a cat to become severely ill. 

Capsaicin is the chemical that makes the jalapenos taste hot. This chemical can be quite damaging for sensitive digestive systems. 

Our cats have quite a sensitive stomach, and ingesting capsaicin can cause problems like burning as well as irritation to the throat or stomach. 

Cats fall sick when they eat spicy jalapeno: 

Due to the same chemical in jalapeno, cats exhibit a lot of symptoms that are signs that the pepper is too much for their stomachs. 

From vomiting to diarrhea, your cat can even face drooling and have difficulty breathing if the cat ingests more jalapeno than its stomach can take. 

No nutritional value in jalapenos: 

There is no good for the cat in eating jalapenos. The nutritional value that peppers or other spicy food can provide is not what your pet requires. 

Cat’s need to have a diet that is high in protein and without grains. If you wish to give them greens, then cats should be fed cantaloupes, kiwi, cucumber, and melon. 

What happens if a cat eats a jalapeno? 

If a cat eats jalapeno peppers directly, it could be affected by the ingestion of capsaicin. Since cats do not understand what they are eating due to their repressed sense of taste, cats often eat more spicy food than they can take. 

This would cause immediate irritation to the throat and cause a burning sensation in their stomach. In more serious cases, cats face a bad stomach, continuous vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Nausea is a common after effect in cats when they eat anything spicy, including jalapenos. Certain cats have a more sensitive digestive tract than others, which can make them weak for days. 

If your cat is drooling and happens to show signs of breathing difficulty, you may want to see the vet immediately. 

However, if they eat jalapenos in the form of chips or simply food that is jalapeno flavor, the effect would not be so serious. You can wait it out to see how the cat is faring after the spicy meal and try to water it down. 

What to do if my cat eats jalapeno? 

If you have doubts that your cat might have eaten jalapenos, there is no need to panic. You may want to take the following steps if your cat has eaten the spicy pepper.

Check the effect: 

The first step to its treatment is to check the effect the jalapenos have on your cats. If your cat has only nibbled on the pepper or had bits of a jalapeno flavored nacho chip, there might be little to no effect. Act according to the symptoms your cat is showing. 

Feed some water: 

If your cat does not show any symptoms of nausea or vomiting and seems to go around normal, there is nothing to be worried about. You can still try to feed your cat some water to ease its throats, just in case. 

Contact the vet:

If you notice that your cat is getting sick, and showing signs like irritation and restlessness, contact the vet. 

Your pet’s doctor would prescribe medication according to the symptoms. It is important to point out the exact symptoms to the vet so that the diagnosis can be as accurate as possible 

You may want to be quick and take your cat to the vet immediately if the vomiting and diarrhea are persisting. 

This can be a sign that your cat has had too many jalapenos and the capsaicin may have taken effect on the cat. In such cases, the vet usually uses IV fluid on the cats. 

Final Thoughts 

The capsaicin in jalapeno pepper is a chemical that can cause severe damage to a cat’s stomach. Moreover, jalapeno leaves are also toxic to cats. If a cat ingests jalapenos, it may start to show symptoms and, in such cases, one may immediately consult a vet.