They say that variety is the spice of life and that’s one saying that not many can argue with. Another thing about spices that I like is that it works amazingly well as a marinade and seasoning for my food.
Just the other day, I was bashing up some cumin seeds and had to take a call. When I got back to the kitchen, I saw my cat happily licking up a couple of cumin seeds.
Not gonna lie, seeing my cat ingest something foreign like cumin freaked me out. But thankfully nothing bad came out of it.
That got me thinking.
Can Cats Eat Cumin?
As far as we know cumin isn’t toxic to cats which means that it should be safe if cats eat cumin seeds. Cumin also possesses a number of health benefits that cats may benefit from.
Although certain foods can be safe for cats to eat, it might not necessarily be the best option for cat owners to be feeding cumin to their feline friends.
Let us dwell a little deeper into this spice and see what’s so great about it.
What’s The Deal With Cumin?
Cumin is from the plant called Cuminum cyminum which is interestingly part of the parsley family.
The cumin seeds are from the flower of the plant and have been dried.
Cumin seed is widely used in many cuisines that use a lot of spices in their food like the Mediterranean, Indian and Middle Eastern.
The cumin plant can grow up to 20 inches and has a uniform canopy. It is a spice that is commonly used in spicy foods and it has an earthy and musky aftertaste.
You can get cumin seeds that are whole or grounded. Whole seeds are usually used to infuse more flavor into the dish while ground cumin does the same job but at a lower intensity.
Is Cumin Part Of A Cat’s Diet?
To answer this question, we will need to understand in greater detail a cat’s diet and the types of cat food that are prepared by cat owners these days.
First and foremost, cats are hardcore carnivores.
This means that 99.99% of their diet should be coming from meat. This indicates that cats need a high protein diet to thrive.
From a dietary point of view, cats don’t need any plant matter to survive. Yes, cats do enjoy chewing on wheatgrass for health reasons but you won’t find a cat going nuts over fruits and vegetables.
These days, dry cat food is popular with many cat owners as it is affordable and easy to prepare.
You can even use a food timer to feed your cat when you’re not at home.
The thing with dry cat food is the lack of moisture and nutrients in them. It can mess up your cat’s health over the long term.
Good canned food or a raw food diet are highly recommended for all cats and something cat owners should seriously consider.
Health Benefits Of Cumin
Although there are a number of health benefits from eating cumin, not all can be backed up by scientific studies.
May Help With Digestive Issues
In some studies, cumin extract has been shown to help with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Those who have these issues often experience bloating, stomach discomfort and diarrhea. It has been working so well that it has been touted as the next best thing for IBS.
Like humans, some cats can also suffer from IBS hence feeding a small amount of cumin can help to provide some relief.
May Help With Weight Loss
Initial studies have shown that people who took cumin while on a diet lost more weight than those that didn’t.
This could be due to the high fiber content of cumin that expands when mixed with fluids in the stomach. This helps to create a sense of fullness and a decrease in appetite.
For cats that are overweight and have to lose weight, adding some fiber in the form of cumin can help curb their appetite.
May Help With Diabetes Management
Cumin has been shown to help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. Tests conducted on animals with diabetes showed the same positive results.
This is something that a cat owner can explore if your cat has feline diabetes. However not much is known on the dosage to be given.
It would be best to have a word with your vet as you don’t want to mess up your cat’s blood sugar levels.
May Help With Inflammation
Inflammation in the body is a bad sign. It can lead to ailments like cancer, joint issues and heart problems.
Early studies done on animals with cancer shows that cumin can help prevent the growth of certain types of cancer.
A study done on rats have found that cumin seeds work better than cumin oil when it comes to anti-inflammatory properties.
May Help Get Rid Of Parasites
Cumin oil has been shown to get rid of harmful bacteria and parasites in human bodies.
The oil from cumin seeds is effective enough to even eliminate resilient bacteria.
Some pet owners have stated that cumin can prevent fleas in cats. I’ve not personally heard any cat owner mention this to me.
There are other more effective ways in preventing and getting rid of fleas on your cat, like using a flea comb dipped in dish soap.
Is Cumin Poisonous To Cats?
As cumin is stated to be non-toxic for cats, there should not be any side effects when ingested. A couple of things to note are the amount and type of cumin.
If your cat is eating too much cumin daily or eating it in a very concentrated form like cumin oil, it can develop adverse effects to cumin like vomiting, diarrhea and stomach upsets.
You can try feeding your cats sesame seeds which might be more palatable and digestible for more felines.
What Spices Are Toxic To Cats?
Cumin is just one spice that is non-toxic to cats. But in reality, there are a number of spices that are very toxic to cats and should not be ingested or inhaled.
The above isn’t an exhaustible list but these are common spices that you would find in most kitchens and food.
Spices like cinnamon aren’t toxic to cats but can be in high dosages and concentrated form like cinnamon oil.
If your cat has ingested or inhaled any of the above spices, please bring it to the vet immediately for treatment.
Garlic And Onions
A special mention for ingredients like garlic and onions even though it is not a herb. These two are known to be extremely toxic to cats and dogs.
Garlic is known to be five times as toxic as onion to cats.
Onion and garlic toxicity can cause problems like diarrhea, vomiting and stomach upset.
In more serious cases, it can damage the red blood cells which can cause them to rupture. When this happens, it can lead to anemia, breathing problems, seizures and even death.
So please make it a point to keep food items like chorizo away from your cat.
As cat owners, we need to be more aware and conscious of what we feed our precious cats.
Even though cats aren’t that fragile, a high enough dosage of toxic food can cause serious health problems for your cat.
Before I start feeding anything to my cat, I will research if it is naturally part of my cat’s diet.
If it is not but the health benefits are too great to ignore, I will usually have a word with my vet before deciding.
If I do decide to feed my cat with it, I will start off with a very small amount and monitor for any side effects.
It is good to be aware of medical science and holistic healing for our pets but not at the expense of their health.