Humans who enjoy spicy foods can’t imagine their meals without jalapenos. They make for a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and various types of chili. You can’t help but wonder whether your mischievous monster would be able to handle the heat. Can cats even eat jalapenos?
These incredibly flavourful peppers are members of the capsicum family. They range from moderate to very hot, which makes them irresistible to anyone who loves a bit of kick in their food.
They are sold fresh, tinned, or even smoked. Most humans slice them, eat them raw or pickled, or even use them as garnish. On the other hand, most felines give them a little sniff, a push with their tiny paw, and walk away feeling puzzled about what the heck that was!
If your curious creature happens to show a sudden interest in jalapenos, you might be in trouble. While jalapenos aren’t toxic to cats, including them in your cat’s regular diet might lead to serious digestive issues. There are a couple of reasons why that happens, so let’s dive in!
So, can cats eat jalapenos?
Let’s put it this way, cats shouldn’t eat jalapenos because there are too many risks involved. Your feline friend has a sensitive digestive system and doesn’t react well to spicy food. She isn’t likely to show any interest in jalapenos unless they’re added to a really delicious meaty meal.
Believe it or not, cats don’t have the food receptors necessary to taste spiciness. This can be quite dangerous because they might not be aware that they’re eating something potentially harmful. And, to top it all off, they don’t react well to capsaicin, which is an active component in jalapenos.
So, if you want the “Can cats eat jalapenos?” question answered in greater detail, keep on reading!
1. Cats can’t taste jalapenos
Don’t let your boisterous beast hear you making fun of her genetic defects! Cats are superior to humans in every single way – except for taste. You have around 10,000 taste buds, but your cat only has 470. And she’s entirely unable to taste spicy things!
If your cat wasn’t chilling on the sofa waiting for you to feed her, she’d be in the wild hunting for food. Cats are carnivores, which means they require meat and animal protein to survive. Meat isn’t spicy, so there’s never been a real need for cats to register that flavor on their tongues.
But, what does that have to do with them not being able to eat jalapenos!? Well, eating spicy foods when they can’t taste the heat can be incredibly dangerous for cats. They might continue eating without realizing it’s causing them any harm.
It’s important to mention that this isn’t likely to happen. Most spicy peppers, including jalapenos, contain a component called capsaicin. It’s responsible for that all-to-famous heat, but it also acts as a natural animal repellent.
2. Cats don’t react well to capsaicin
Your cat should be able to smell capsaicin before diving into a dish with freshly sliced jalapenos! But… If you made a delicious batch of chili with heaps of hot peppers and other veggies, she might not be able to recognize the danger.
If your cat accidentally eats a couple of jalapeno slices, she might not be in trouble. While capsaicin is harmful to cats, it doesn’t cause adverse reactions unless consumed in excessive amounts. You should, however, keep an eye out for any symptoms of discomfort.
Jalapenos are incredibly spicy… Even if your cat doesn’t detect the heat, these hot peppers can still cause an array of problems. They might cause digestive issues, and even burn her mouth and esophagus!
The most common symptoms are nausea, drooling, wheezing, pawing at the mouth, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these (and you’re aware that your cat might have accidentally eaten jalapenos), you should contact your vet immediately!
Can cats eat other peppers?
Now that we’ve established that cats can indeed not eat jalapenos, we can move on to other inquiries you might have. If jalapenos are so detrimental because of their heat levels, regular peppers might be relatively safe for your feline friend, right!?
Green peppers are completely safe for feline consumption! Not only are they yummy, but they’re also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They contain heaps of fiber, which is great for your cat’s digestive system, and lutein, which is beneficial for their eyesight.
Red peppers are no different! They’re delicious, nutritious, and make for an easy snack. Cats don’t really require fruit and veggies in their diet, but there’s no reason not to add a couple of red pepper slices to your furbaby’s bowl as an occasional treat.
That’s incredible news! Think about it – if your little guzzler shows a sudden interest in jalapenos, you should totally trick her with a couple of bell pepper slices! While jalapenos aren’t the best choice for your cat’s digestive system, bell peppers are entirely safe in moderation!