Can Cats Have Black Pepper? Important Things You Must Know


by Cindy Smith


If you have a cat at home, sometimes you wonder about specific things they can eat besides their regular cat food. For instance, before you feed your cat some pepper, you will probably ask, “can cats have black pepper?”

Although you are faced with various options, you wonder what’s safe for them to eat and what needs to be addressed. Sometimes, you may want to feed your cat leftovers.

And though that is understandable, you must be careful not to harm your cat. 

If you have ever wondered if it’s okay for your cat to eat black pepper, this guide holds the answers you seek.

Table of Contents

Does Black Pepper Deter Cats?

 “Is black pepper bad for cats?” is one question cat parents usually ask. Imagine having a garden your cat constantly goes into despite all you have tried to prevent future occurrences.

This can be quite frustrating. A simple hack you can try is to sprinkle black pepper in and around your garden. You can also make it a spray by mixing it with water and using the mixture to spray around your garden.

This naturally repels cats as they can perceive the pepper. This deters them because black pepper and cats are not friends. Now that you know that black pepper will deter your cat, you can use that to your advantage.

A Retreating Cat

A Retreating Cat

What Does Black Pepper Do To Cats?

Besides the fact that black pepper deters and irritates a cat, the genuine concern should be if black pepper is bad for cats. Although cats detest the smell of black pepper, it is not entirely harmful to them. However, it may still have some effects on the cat’s health.

  1. Smell

Black pepper has an odor that your cat finds offensive. Not only does your cat find the smell offensive, but it can make your cat sneeze. Generally, black pepper irritates your cat’s nose and sense of smell.

  1. Natural Repellent

Earlier, we established that black pepper could keep a cat away. If that’s the case, putting black pepper in your cat’s food might repel it and keep your cat away from the meal.

  1. Irritate Stomach

Humans are not the only ones who can have a stomach upset from eating too much pepper. Your cat can have a stomach upset too. If your cat eats a lot of black pepper at a go, it can cause diarrhea or even vomiting.

A Sick Cat

A Sick Cat

Can Cats Eat Black Pepper?

Yes, cats can eat black pepper. Remember to feed your cat this pepper in moderation. Also, there are three methods by which you can feed pepper to your cat.

  • Cracked Black Pepper: This is similar to ground pepper but has a more coarse look and feel. You can put bits of this in your cat’s meal.
  • Black Pepper Flakes: Black pepper flakes are another way of processing black pepper for cat food. This procedure looks like coarse pepper but has thin slices rather than particles.
  • Whole Black Pepper: since black pepper is naturally not so large, you can put it in your cat’s meal without any added processing.
Crushed Black Pepper

Crushed Black Pepper

How to Treat Cats That Ate Black Pepper

Although black pepper is not detrimental to your cat’s health, it’s still not something you should always feed your feline. If you love and can accommodate spicy foods and peppers, your cat can’t.

While feeding your small cat quantities of black pepper is not entirely bad, it can still affect its health. In the case where that happens, here’s what you can do.

  1. Monitor and observe your cat for any signs of an allergic reaction. Your cat may react negatively to the pepper and may get sick. Whether or not your cat has an allergic reaction, it will have a stomach upset if you feed it too much black pepper.
  1. You can administer first aid immediately if your cat develops symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. Take away its food for a while. However, ensure it has access to clean water it can drink.
  1. Call the attention of your vet as soon as you can. Besides treating your cat, your veterinary doctor will be in the best position to advise on what steps you can take to preserve your cat’s health.
A Cat at the Vet

A Cat at the Vet


Your cat can get sick, just like you can. If that’s the case, you should give your cat’s health the priority it needs and deserves.

Whatever you notice is bad and harmful to your cat’s health should be avoided. If you cannot entirely avoid feeding black pepper to your cat, ensure you do so in small quantities.

Alternatively, you can ask your veterinary doctor, “is black pepper toxic to cats?” Not only will this help preserve your cat’s health, but it is also a wise decision as it will help you avoid frequent visits to the vet over the same issue.