Any cat owner knows that cats are inherently curious and will come up to see what you are eating—maybe even try to eat it. Many of the foods that we eat regularly are not harmful to cats, but some of them are. What about spicy chicken wings?
A cat won’t die if it eats a bite or two of a spicy chicken wing, but cats should not be given spicy chicken wings as a meal. In fact, cats shouldn’t eat any spicy food. Some spices give cats digestion issues as well as runny noses. Luckily, some cats are repelled by the smell of spicy foods.
In the rest of this article, I will go into more depth about why cats shouldn’t eat spicy chicken wings and what happens to a cat when it eats spicy food. I will also provide reasons why some cats are attracted to spicy chicken wings and detailed steps to take if your cat eats spicy chicken wings.
Why Cats Shouldn’t Eat Spicy Chicken Wings
Cats are obligate carnivores, so the taste of their food doesn’t matter as much as it does for omnivores or herbivores. Therefore, when a cat takes a bite of a spicy chicken wing, it won’t taste the spice the way humans do. Still, depending on how spicy the chicken wing is, it might taste some spice.
In contrast, a cat’s sense of smell is much better than a human’s, and the smell of spicy food may either be a deterrent to your cat or entice it to eat the spicy food.
Luckily, if your spicy chicken wings entice your cat, and they only get one or two bites, your cat should be fine. But, if your cat eats a large enough portion of spicy chicken wings, a number of things may happen, including digestion issues and skin or mouth irritation.
Your Cat Will Get Digestion Problems
Cats’ digestive system is very sensitive to spicy foods. They have less than 500 taste buds and therefore cannot taste the spice in spicy chicken wings or other spicy foods. Many things may happen if your cat were to eat a significant amount of spicy chicken wings, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea or constipation
Digestion issues can be very scary, so if you are noticing any of the symptoms I’ve listed, or anything else, call your veterinarian to set an appointment or for directions on what to do next.
Some Spices Are Toxic to Cats
The first thing I need to mention is that not all spices are toxic to cats. The main element in chili peppers, which makes spicy chicken wings “spicy,” is capsaicin. This chemical binds to the area of the mouth that detects pain, thus telling you that you ate something spicy.
As cats have significantly fewer taste buds than humans, the spicy doesn’t register as strongly as humans, with about 9,000 taste buds.
Some other spices and foods that are toxic to cats include:
Know what spices are in your spicy chicken wings. While capsaicin in small portions isn’t necessarily poisonous to cats, some other spices are extremely toxic to them, no matter how much is eaten.
The Capsaicin in Spicy Chicken Wings Irritate Cats’ Skin, Throat, and Mouth
As I’ve already said, capsaicin is the chemical in chili peppers that makes the pepper “spicy.” When your cat eats extremely spicy chicken wings or a lot of spicy chicken wings, the capsaicin may irritate your cat’s throat and mouth.
If the pain from the capsaicin is strong enough, your cat won’t eat and drink how it should and may even continuously vomit. Your cat may also experience diarrhea or stomach pain.
Your Cat Will Get Teary Eyes and a Runny Nose
Luckily, capsaicin is not poisonous in small quantities. If your cat were to eat a bite or two of a spicy chicken wing at most, it would most likely get a runny nose and its eyes may tear up.
Even humans get teary-eyed and runny noses from eating spicy chicken wings, so these two symptoms are not anything to worry about. Your cat may even spit the spicy chicken wing out after the first bite because it doesn’t like the spice.
Why Spicy Chicken Wings Attract Cats
Spicy chicken wings are delicious, and when you’re enjoying them, your cat will likely be interested in what you’re eating.
Reasons as to why your cat may eat spicy chicken wings range from the intrigue of what you are eating to the interest in the smell of the food to the fact that cats prefer foods of a warmer temperature, and spicy chicken wings are most often eaten warm or hot.
Spicy Chicken Wings’ Smell Is Different and Enticing
While feeding regular chicken to your cat may be commonplace, feeding your cat spicy chicken wings is not recommended. Despite this, the smell of the “spicy” from the chicken wings is a new smell to your cat, which can make it curious.
A cat’s sense of smell is superb and often key in deciding on the food it eats. Because the smell of spicy chicken wings is different from what your cat is used to, it might try to eat a wing if the aroma is enticing enough.
Cats Prefer Warmer Temperature Food
Have you noticed that your cat prefers to eat warmer food over cool food? In general, cats always choose to eat warm food.
Spicy chicken wings are generally eaten warm, so your cat is more likely to be interested in taking a bite out of your wing.
What to Do if Your Cat Eats Spicy Chicken Wings
I’ve talked about what happens to a cat when they eat spicy wings and discussed a couple of reasons why cats are attracted to spicy chicken wings.
But what are you supposed to do when your cat eats spicy chicken wings?
1. Determine How Much Spicy Chicken Wings Were Eaten and Record the Symptoms
The first thing you must do is determine how much of a spicy chicken wing, or how many spicy chicken wings, your cat ate. If your cat only ate a few bites, it should be okay. If your cat ate a significant amount of spicy chicken wings, record whatever symptoms your cat shows.
Recording the symptoms your cat is experiencing is extremely important for the next step.
2. Call or Visit Your Veterinarian
If you feel like your cat ate too much of your spicy chicken wings or if your cat is showing severe symptoms, the next step is you call your veterinarian. Recording the symptoms your cat is showing helps your veterinarian determine what is wrong and what to do with your cat.
Depending on how severe your cat’s symptoms are and the number of spicy chicken wings your cat ate, your veterinarian will tell you exactly what to do next to help your cat. One thing your veterinarian may tell you to do is to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
3. Induce Vomiting With Hydrogen Peroxide if Your Vet Says to
If your veterinarian tells you to induce vomiting to get the toxic spices out of your cat, feed your cat a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide will make your cat throw up the spicy chicken wings it ate
Make sure you provide a lot of water to your cat after giving them hydrogen peroxide because it will become dehydrated from throwing up.
Even if your vet tells you to induce vomiting, you should set an appointment to visit them to guarantee that your cat is completely okay after eating spicy chicken wings.
Cats are naturally curious creatures and will likely be interested in your spicy chicken wings when you eat some.
If your cat eats a bite or two, they should be fine, especially if they throw it up immediately. If your cat eats a large amount of spicy chicken wings, it won’t die, but it might get sick.
Some of the symptoms that might occur if your cat consumes spicy chicken wings include digestion issues are:
- Loss of appetite
If your cat eats spicy chicken wings, one thing you may need to do is induce vomiting.