Can Cats Eat Gingerbread? 7 Facts About It

We want to show our affection for our feline friends by rewarding them on occasion. It’s perfectly acceptable to occasionally give your cat human food instead of cat treats. However, there are some human foods that cats shouldn’t eat because they are either unhealthy for them or toxic.

You may be wondering if your feline companions can safely enjoy a piece of gingerbread as a holiday treat. Who doesn’t like a good cookie? You shouldn’t feed gingerbread to your cat because of the risks involved.

Can Cats Eat Gingerbread?

Your cat probably won’t have any problems if it occasionally consumes a small amount of gingerbread or gingerbread cookies.

However, cats should not eat gingerbread because it contains several ingredients that are harmful to their health, and even toxic.

While it’s best to keep your cat away from gingerbread, if your child accidentally drops a piece or two and the cat eats them, you shouldn’t worry too much.

Talk to your vet or a pet poison control hotline if you’re concerned about how much gingerbread your cat ate.


Is Gingerbread Safe for Cats?

Gingerbread may look like a tasty treat for your cat, but it should not be given to them. It has nothing to do with the ginger or the bread. The rest of the gingerbread’s ingredients may be what makes your cat sick.

Your pet’s digestive system and overall health could be negatively impacted by the sugar and spices found in gingerbread. Nutmeg is one ingredient that is sometimes present in gingerbread that is not great for cats.

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While it may not be life-threatening in very small doses, large amounts can lead to gastrointestinal distress, hypertension and heart rate increases, hallucinations, and even seizures. What a ridiculous price for a sweet!

birman cat lying

Cinnamon is another component of gingerbread. Cinnamon is not toxic to cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), but eating too much of it can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and mouth sores.

It might even cause respiratory irritation. Cloves are another option. Cloves contain a compound called eugenol, which is toxic to the liver of cats.

Finally, cats have trouble digesting the sugars in gingerbread because their digestive systems aren’t designed like ours. Having trouble digesting sugars can cause gastrointestinal distress and even diabetes.

Nutmeg Toxicity in Cats

Can Cats Eat Gingerbread? Or Should They Approach It Gingerly?

Cats should avoid eating gingerbread because of the nutmeg. Nutmeg is unlikely to cause any serious side effects in normal amounts.

Since nutmeg only accounts for a trace amount of the recipe, this is the most common adverse reaction to eating gingerbread.

However, if your cat consumes enough nutmeg, it can be fatal. This is due to the fact that nutmeg contains myristicin, a potent deliriant toxin that can be fatal to cats.

Seizures, hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, a racing heart, stomach pain, a dry mouth, and high blood pressure are all possible side effects in cats.

Toxicity from nutmeg or myristicin can cause symptoms to persist for up to 48 hours, at which point veterinary care may be necessary.

Clove Toxicity in Cats

The eugenol in cloves is what makes them a toxic component of gingerbread. In large enough doses, eugenol is toxic to a cat’s liver.

Clove toxicity, like nutmeg toxicity, is typically caused by ingestion of whole cloves or clove oil, neither of which are likely to be present in the amount of clove found in a gingerbread recipe.

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It has been reported that cats exposed to toxic levels of eugenol experience vomiting, convulsions, tremors, and a staggering gait, but we were unable to locate any studies on the toxicity of cloves in cats. To be safe, you should probably stay away from cloves.

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Why Cats Don’t Need Sugary Foods

Due to the fact that cats are obligate carnivores, they need to consume a diet high in animal protein.

Diets rich in animal protein and moderate to high amounts of fat are necessary for them. Carbohydrates aren’t a major dietary priority for cats. In addition, they have a low sugar requirement and can get by without any added or processed sweeteners.

Foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates, especially sugar, are ideal for a cat’s regular diet and for occasional treats.

You shouldn’t feed your cat any kind of human food, especially not sweets like gingerbread. You can reward your cat without worrying about potential health issues by giving it commercial cat treats.

Small pieces of plain proteins like boiled or roasted chicken, turkey, or beef are fine to feed your cat as long as no salt, oil, or spices were used during preparation.

If they are not lactose intolerant, as most adult cats are, you can also give them small amounts of dairy products like plain yogurt and cheese.

Can Cats Eat Ginger?

Your cat probably shouldn’t eat gingerbread, but ginger (at least in moderation) is fine.

It’s not only harmless, but many holistic veterinarians find it to be beneficial as well.

If your cat suffers from motion sickness, ginger can help alleviate the symptoms of nausea and other nauseating conditions it may experience.


If you want to give ginger a try the next time your cat is nauseous, you can grate some fresh ginger root and feed it to it (but only if your feline friend will eat it, of course).

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You can also (perhaps more conveniently) give them ginger in the form of a capsule, tincture, or powder.

What to do if Your Cat Eats Gingerbread

Your beloved feline should be fine if it only managed to get a small taste of the gingerbread. However, you should maintain vigilance.

Keep an eye out for any of the warning signs, such as nausea, dizziness, confusion, and irritability. Take them to the vet immediately if any of these signs appear.

Consult your veterinarian immediately if you discover that your cat has consumed a large amount of gingerbread. I think gingerbread is too sweet for your cat to enjoy very much, though.

cat and vet


It’s tempting to treat our furry friends to some human food every now and then, but we need to be very careful.

Gingerbread is one of those human foods that cats can’t digest for various reasons. A small amount probably won’t hurt your pet, but giving it more than that could cause stomach upset or even death.

The nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves used to make gingerbread are what cause these health problems, not the ginger or the bread itself (so avoid feeding your cat any food that contains these spices).

In fact, giving your cat a little bit of ginger is fine and may even be good for their health.

If your pet suffers from nausea, indigestion, or motion sickness, ginger can help. If you’re going to be taking your cat on a long car trip, you might want to try giving them some ginger before you leave.

The gingerbread should be kept well out of reach.

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