Can Cats Eat Jalapenos?

Can Cats Eat Jalapenos?

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If you are one of those that like your food spicy, then I bet you are not new to jalapenos. Jalapenos are medium-sized, spicy peppers that are used as ingredients in various dishes. Like chili, jalapenos are used to add heat to foods. Some people may slice and eat them raw.

Our furry friends can't but poke their noses around our plate of food, hoping for a bite or two. Have you ever wondered if cats can eat jalapenos? Jalapenos are hot and can cause a runny nose. But what about our cats? Will they experience the same symptoms? In this post, I answer these questions and more. Keep reading to find out.

Can Cats Eat Jalapenos?

Jalapenos are non-toxic but neither are they good for them. Cats may eat jalapenos but it is not advisable to feed them spicy peppers due to the capsaicin in them. Capsaicin is bad for cats because it can irritate their gut. However, if your cat has eaten a small amount of jalapenos, it is not an immediate cause for panic. Watch out for any symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, or runny nose. If the symptoms persist, take them to your vet.


Is Jalapeno Good For My Cat?

Jalapeno is generally not dangerous to cats. But there is something that you should be concerned about- Capsaicin. Capsaicin is the chemical found in peppers that causes their spiciness. If your cat has a small bite of jalapenos, it should be fine. Like sweet foods, cats can't taste spicy foods because they lack the receptors for them.

However, if your cat eats a considerable amount of jalapenos, the capsaicin content can cause gastrointestinal issues. Cats have a very sensitive digestive tract and capsaicin can irritate your cat's gut and cause a burning sensation in their esophagus. Things to look out for if you suspect your cat has eaten many jalapenos are:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Nausea
  4. Drooling
  5. Runny nose
  6. Wheezing or difficulty in breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms, be quick to take your cat to the vet immediately.

Can Cats Eat Jalapenos Seeds?

Contrary to popular belief, the seeds of peppers like jalapenos do not produce any capsaicin. However, they may be coated with capsaicin and that makes it bad for your cat. The seeds are small so it may be difficult to know how much your cat eats at a time. This is why it is best to avoid giving the seeds to your cat if you choose to let them share in your spicy meal, especially your jalapenos pepper.

Also, pepper seeds are generally bitter.  Cats are sure not going to enjoy the bitter taste of jalapenos seeds. While the seeds are not toxic to cats, it is best to avoid them.

Can Jalapenos Kill My Cat?

Jalapenos are not toxic to cats but can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts. In extreme cases, if symptoms are not quickly noticed, cats can die from eating jalapenos due to the capsaicin content.

If the oil from the pepper gets into your cat's eyes and nose, it can cause damage to those organs. If you notice your cat pawing at either of those parts of they body, that's your cue to do something urgent about it. So, watch out for any of these signs.

Capsaicin poisoning causes inflammation of the bowel, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Jalapenos may also trigger an allergic reaction in some cats such as itching or swollen face. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your vet immediately.


Can Cats Eat Jalapenos-flavored Chips?

First off, chips are not one of the most healthiest snack options for your cat. They contain ingredients like salt, garlic, and onion which are bad for your cat. Cats do not need a high salt content and chips as we know, are full of it! When consumed in large quantities, it can lead to sodium poisoning. Also, spices such as garlic and onion are outright toxic to cats and should be avoided.

That being said, jalapenos-flavored chips will contain a moderate amount of the spicy pepper which is tolerable for humans. But when it comes to cats, even a little can be too much. However, if your cat eats a small bite of jalapenos-flavored chips, they should be fine but you must not indulge them. It is always better safe than sorry.

What Should I Do If My Cat Has Eaten Jalapenos?

If your cat has had only a few bites of jalapenos, there is little cause for concern. If at all they experience any discomfort such as vomiting, diarrhea, etc, they are usually mild and disappear on their own. 

But if they have consumed a large amount or you are unsure of the quantity they eat, it is best to give your vet a call or better still, drive them down there, especially if they start showing signs of severe capsaicin poisoning. It is not advisable to administer home treatment to your cat in this case.

Can Kittens Eat Jalapenos?

Kittens can eat a tiny piece of jalapenos but it is not recommended for them. I know we just love to share our meals with our fur babies but there are some that we shouldn't give them, no matter how much they plead with those big eyes. Kittens are delicate and have an even more sensitive digestive tract than the average adult cat. Kittens do not need to eat jalapenos.

If your kitten stole a bite from your food prepared with jalapenos pepper, watch them for the next couple of days for any signs of gastrointestinal issues.


In small quantities, jalapenos are not toxic to your cat. But these hot peppers also hardly offer any nutritional benefits to your cat but can rather do them harm. Is the adventure of a new food worth the health risk? I doubt it.

To get other healthy snacking options for your cat, you can speak with your vet.

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