Can Cats Eat Paprika?

Cats can consume paprika regardless of its color.

Since it’s such a common ingredient found in treats, it’s understandable if you wonder if cats will taste it. Some formulations contain more than 10% pigment, which may appeal to some cats.

However, not all cats will taste anything – even if your recipe contains only a small amount of the color. So, can cats eat paprika?

Paprika is commonly used as a spice in cooking, though its flavor comes from its bright red color rather than a single chemical compound.

So, can cats eat paprika?

The answer is yes – at least in high enough concentrations that it won’t cause any adverse effects. Although it’s probably not a problem for most cats, vellum the cat in the video above probably shouldn’t eat it – at least in significant quantities.

Can Cats Eat Paprika?

Because paprika is not poisonous to cats, most veterinarians agree that it should not cause serious problems for felines.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), paprika is safe for cats in small amounts.

However, some owners have reported mild gastrointestinal upset within 24 to 72 hours of consumption. This can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

However, I would not allow my cats to gorge on paprika – just in case.

As previously said, paprika comes in a variety of forms.

What Is Paprika?

As you’re probably aware, paprika is dried and ground red peppers made from chili peppers of the genus Capsicum annuum.

What you probably didn’t realize is that paprika has a variety of forms – including its use as a spice.

Cayenne peppers (which keep cats off automobiles), Aleppo peppers, and pimento can be found in traditional recipes, while sweet paprika and Hungarian sweet Paprika are the most common forms used in cooking today.

There are a few chili peppers that you should avoid feeding to your cat – including habañeros and Scotch bonnets.

The intensity and taste of paprika can vary from one type to another – depending on the concentration of capsaicinoids (the compound in chili peppers that gives the heat) and the specific variety of chili pepper.

Health Benefits Of Paprika For Cats

Paprika, like other spices, is an excellent source of many nutrients and contains vitamins like vitamin A, C and others.

Vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as an antioxidant: The use of paprika to season your food will substitute the nutrient-packed vegetables that are usually used to balance out the flavors of your dish.

All of these vitamins and minerals are beneficial to our cats’ health and boost our pet’s immune system.

It’s more likely to upset your kitty’s stomach than help her digestive system, so if you’re looking to spice things up use something milder like cayenne pepper or curry powder instead.

Is Paprika Safe For Cats?

Although paprika is a spice that humans consume daily in considerable quantities, cats can consume paprika.

In fact, paprika can be marketed for cats as a nutritional supplement, especially for older pets that might benefit from additional antioxidants in their diets.

However, paprika is still a spice, so there are safety concerns regarding large amounts of it being taken by cats beyond what a human would consume.

Can I Give Paprika to My Cat?

Paprika is a common spice used in everything from Mexican cuisine to Italian dishes and even in Western-style hamburgers and hot dogs.

For this reason, it’s often a popular ingredient in cat treats as well. However, paprika isn’t necessarily safe for cats to eat – at least not in high concentrations or in large amounts.

The spice is produced from the dried pods of chili peppers and contains both capsaicin and paprika pigments.

Capsaicin is the ingredient that makes the spice spicy – in humans and other mammals, it causes a burning sensation in the mouth and throat as well as sweating and increased salivation.

The structure of capsaicin is complex, but researchers are still studying it to understand how it interacts with different proteins to trigger its effects.

Both capsaicin and paprika have chemical structures similar to capsicum acid – a chemical found in capsicum plants like chili peppers.

Paprika contains varying amounts of capsaicinoids and tastes sweet, spicy or slightly bitter depending on the variety.

Paprika is not safe to offer to your cat as a treat or food ingredient because it contains large amounts of capsaicin and other chemicals that can harm your cat’s health.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Ferret Food?

How Much Paprika Can You Feed Your Cat?

Paprika is a spice made from dried and crushed red peppers (Capsicum annuum) that contain the chemicals called capsanthin and capsorubine.

These chemicals give paprika its bright red color. As a result, paprika powder is often added to dishes as a coloring agent to give food a deep red or orange hue.

Paprika powder can be easily dissolved in lemon juice or vinegar to create tasty sauces for fish or meat dishes. It can also used in marinades and as a seasoning for a variety of dishes.


Paprika is not dangerous to cats unless it contains high amounts of capsaicin or capsaicinoids, which are harmful if ingested in large amounts or over an extended period of time.

So, can cats eat paprika? Yes, in moderation. But, it’s best to keep it to a minimum – just in case your cat can’t get enough!

Please do not feed paprika to cats too much since they can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Vets say small amounts of paprika are fine but shouldn’t exceed 2 grams/day for a cat weighing less than 10 lbs.