Can Cats Eat Vanilla? What You Need to Know!

Vanilla is a very ubiquitous ingredient that may be found in almost every pantry or closet. It is available in two forms: fake vanilla extract, which is much less expensive, and real vanilla extract, which is more expensive but provides a more authentic vanilla flavor and aroma to dishes.

Because it’s so common, your cat may have come into contact with it — either by a few spilled drips or by sticking their head in whatever you’re doing! Is it possible for cats to consume vanilla?

There isn’t a simple answer to this. While vanilla in things is unlikely to harm your cat (though the ‘thing’ may, for example, if it’s too heavy in sugar), pure vanilla can be harmful. Fortunately, your cat is unlikely to be attracted to it. In brief, vanilla (including vanilla-flavored pudding or cake) should be avoided by your cat.

Do Cats Like Vanilla?

Can Cats Eat Vanilla? What You Need to Know!

I’ve never had a cat that liked vanilla.

Vanilla tastes awful on its own, even if it enhances the flavor of other foods. It smells delicious, too, although it’s probably not as appealing to a cat. If a cat gets a whiff of vanilla, it’s more likely that they did it out of curiosity than because they enjoy it, and they’re unlikely to do so again.

Vanilla in foods, on the other hand, is a different story. Some cats enjoy ice cream (which is also a no-no), cake, and other vanilla-flavored foods, either because of the texture or because they watch you eating it. However, it isn’t always the vanilla that attracts them in this scenario.

Do Cats Hate Vanilla?

Vanilla may not be a favorite of cats who try it! However, they are more likely to disregard any fallen drips and go after foods containing vanilla. This is a very different situation, and depending on what your cat ate, it may or may not cause problems for them.

Most vanilla-flavored treats are fine as long as your cat doesn’t consume it on a daily basis or in large quantities. Vanilla has always been entirely disregarded by my kitties.

Can cats eat vanilla?

Can Cats Eat Vanilla? What You Need to Know!

Vanilla isn’t on the list of cat foods that are hazardous. The vanilla extract, which is used in the vanilla pudding, does, however, contain ethanol.

Because ethanol is an alcohol, it’s recommended to keep your pet from licking anything that contains vanilla.

All types of alcohol are hazardous to household animals, including cats.

If you’re thinking of giving your cat vanilla pudding, keep in mind that it includes alcohol.

Furthermore, the high concentration of vanilla essence may cause your pet’s sense of smell to be harmed.

Pure vanilla essence can hurt cats because they have a high sense of smell.

Can Vanilla Kill My Cat?

While vanilla-flavored foods are generally okay (though you shouldn’t give your cat too much or too often), pure vanilla is an issue. This is due to the presence of ethanol in vanilla extract.

Ethanol is a form of alcohol, and while the amount consumed by humans is negligible, it can be extremely hazardous to cats with considerably lower body weight.

Because cats’ livers have a difficult time absorbing alcohol, a taste of vanilla extract, which contains at least 34 percent ethyl alcohol, can swiftly lead to alcohol poisoning.

The following are signs of alcohol toxicity:


Breathing problems

Coordination issues

If you truly want to give your cat a taste of vanilla, look for alcohol-free vanilla extracts in health food stores. These will be considerably safer for cats to have, though considering that cats are unlikely to be interested in vanilla in the first place, it’s definitely not worth the money.

If you have a cat who insists on licking vanilla, though, you should probably obtain the alcohol-free version just to be cautious.

Because both artificial and real vanilla include alcohol, you’re risking a drunk and subsequently alcohol poisoned cat in either case. It won’t be lethal right away, but it won’t be pleasant either, and it’s certainly not something you want to happen on a daily basis.

Vanilla extract, on the other hand, can irritate your cat’s sense of smell. The powerful odor might confuse cats, making it difficult for them to distinguish between different scents.

Some pet owners have done this to disguise the smell of a sick cat from the other cats or to welcome a new cat into the family.

We still wouldn’t advocate it because it may not work and may make your cat feel very uncomfortable, resulting in your new cat and old cat not getting along! (To quote my kitties who have had to deal with new roommates, ‘This is all your fault, you newcomer!’)

How Much Vanilla is Safe for My Cat to Eat?

Can Cats Eat Vanilla? What You Need to Know!

No vanilla essence is safe to feed to your cat. In such a little body, it doesn’t take much to create alcohol poisoning. However, if your cat had a lick, keep an eye out for symptoms and contact your veterinarian if your cat begins to act abnormally. Then stay away from the vanilla!

Is Artificial Vanilla Safe for My Cat?

Artificial vanilla is just as dangerous to your cat as real vanilla. It contains the same amount of alcohol as bourbon and is frequently flavored with chemicals-containing wood by-products. (This is fine for people, but a sensitive cat might have a harder time with it.) Artificial vanilla is typically manufactured using guaiacol and lignin, which are substances derived from the refining of oil, gas, and wood, respectively.

For home bakers, it’s not a big concern unless you’re preparing vanilla pudding, custard, or cake and want a true vanilla flavor, but the artificial stuff could make your cat sick. And pure vanilla extract is unlikely to entice your cat, which is a good thing because it also includes a lot of alcohol.

Can Cats Eat Vanilla in Food?

The biggest problem with vanilla meals (cake, ice cream, etc.) isn’t the vanilla itself; it’s the additional ingredients, particularly sugar and dairy.

Too much sugar can quickly lead to obesity, which increases the risk of developing diabetes. Dairy products also cause digestive issues in cats, as most of them are lactose intolerant. This is why we highly advise against allowing cats to eat ice cream!

Many cats, on the other hand, enjoy vanilla yogurt. It’s softer on the stomach, has a pleasant flavor, and contains no additives that can cause difficulties for cats.

Simply look for yogurt with as little extra ingredients as possible, no artificial sweeteners, and lactose-free if at all possible. However, this is the only vanilla food that is mainly acceptable for cats; other vanilla foods contain far too much sugar to be healthy.

Can cats eat vanilla yogurt?

If you’re wondering if cats can eat vanilla yogurt, the answer is it depends.

Lactose-free yogurt is available for those who have a lactose intolerance. These yogurts are also quite safe.

If your yogurt is ordinary, however, it may include lactose, which can cause indigestion or upset stomach.

Always check the contents of the food you’re about to serve your cat to ensure it’s safe.

Do you want to know if cats consume cayenne pepper or pesto? Take a look!


In any case, we don’t recommend feeding vanilla to your cat. Because of the high alcohol level, you run the risk of giving your cat alcohol poisoning, and most cats aren’t interested in it anyhow.

Vanilla in baked goods is harmless enough, but you’re still dealing with a high sugar content. In any case, it’s advisable to keep vanilla away from your cat in favor of foods that are far safer.

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