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Is Turmeric Safe For Cats – Benefits, Uses & Effects

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its rich orange color. Turmeric has been used for cooking and religious purposes in India for approximately 4,000 years. From there, it spread across Asia. Aside from making tasty curries, it is claimed to have many health advantages and has been used worldwide—in both people and animals—for centuries.

Is turmeric safe for cats?

Generally, turmeric is safe for cats if it is properly prepared. The effectiveness of turmeric is in question; however it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. Turmeric can help treat wounds, arthritis, and even liver function in cats.

Read on for everything you need to know about giving your cat turmeric.

Is Turmeric Plant Poisonous To Cats?

No. You can have all the turmeric plants you want in your home without worrying about your cat getting into it.

What Are the Benefits of Giving My Cat Turmeric?

Curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory, is the part of turmeric that provides the benefits. Clinical trials have shown that turmeric helps calm inflammation, improves memory, lessens pain, and decreases the risk of heart disease in humans. Advocates say that turmeric is also suitable for cats. These are some of the conditions it may help with:

PainWoundsCognitive health
Liver functionDiarrheaAllergies
ArthritisIBS issuesInfections
Joint inflammationHeart and circulatory systemCance
Conditions that turmeric can help cats with

Caution: Turmeric is also a natural blood thinner. Don’t give your cat turmeric if he is already on blood thinners.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Turmeric in Cats?

Few adverse side effects from the use of turmeric in cats are reported; however, one profound side effect can occur.

Because the use of turmeric for animals hasn’t been studied, there’s always the risk of unexpected side effects. Here are some of the potential side effects that are known:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Vomiting
  • Possible risk of bladder and kidney stones

Another possible side effect is constipation. Keep an eye on your cat for signs of constipation after feeding her turmeric. If it does happen, you can cut back on the amount of turmeric until their bowel movements are back to normal.

If your pet has a medical condition or is taking medication, talk to your veterinarian before giving him turmeric to make sure it doesn’t interfere with his medicine.

What Are Some of the Other Problems with Turmeric?

Contamination. A 2013 report found that 12 percent of spice imported in the US is contaminated with one thing or another. Powdered turmeric has been the subject of hundreds of recalls over the years. Common contaminants include bugs, rodent hair and feces, and salmonella. The lead and other heavy metals used for enhancing coloring that finds their way into turmeric are worse than that. India is one of the biggest offenders, and most turmeric in the US is imported from India.

The amount of metal in turmeric might be safe for human consumption, but what about cats? Furthermore, buying organic doesn’t necessarily protect you from contaminants as they can be in the soil where the turmeric is grown.

Coconut oil. As you’ll see later in this article, coconut oil is often used in recipes for turmeric paste. Some studies indicate that it might not be safe for cats to eat coconut oil; it’s possible that it might cause fatty liver.

Safety. There are no studies on how safe turmeric, curcumin, or black pepper is for cats. Black pepper might even be toxic to cats when eaten over time. The bottom line is no one knows if turmeric is 100 percent safe for cats.

How Much Turmeric Should I Feed My Cat?

You’ve considered the benefits and possible side effects of turmeric and have decided to feed it to your cat. But how much should you give her? It’s best to talk to your veterinarian to determine the correct dosage, but a good rule of thumb is ¼ teaspoon daily. You can sprinkle the powder, break a capsule over her food, or put it on her paw. She’ll lick it off. This is not recommended if your cat is white due to staining.

Furthermore, it can stain your clothes and skin, so be careful. The stain will disappear eventually, but it may take a while. When feeding, halve the dose and increase it slowly to the full dosage. Make sure to buy turmeric powder that is made specifically for cats. It’s safer and of higher quality.

As all cat lovers know, cats can be picky about their food. They might not like the smell or taste of turmeric and turn their nose up at the food that it’s sprinkled on. Mixing it with wet food might do the trick, but the easiest way to get your cat to eat turmeric is to make it into a paste. You can buy pre-made turmeric paste, but it’s easy to make it yourself.

How Do I Make Turmeric Paste?

For your cat’s body to absorb the turmeric and get its benefits, it needs to be combined with oil and black pepper to release the curcumin (remember, this is the part in turmeric that helps your cat heal). Your cat’s body won’t absorb curcumin given by itself.

Here’s the recipe:


1/2 cup (60g) turmeric powder1/3 cup (70 ml) cold-pressed coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil**
1 cup (250 ml) water2-3 teaspoons ground black pepper
Ingredients in turmeric paste

* If your cat has liver, kidney, or digestive issues, she might not be able to handle turmeric paste made with these ingredients. Artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors could make your cat sick or an existing condition worse. You can substitute Omega-3 oil made specifically for cats.

** Use peppercorns and grind them at the time of use


  1. Bring water and turmeric to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until it turns into a paste. You might need to add water to get the correct consistency. If you’re using raw grated turmeric, cook for around 30 minutes.
  2. When the paste cools to a warm temperature, add the pepper and coconut, olive, or Omega-3 oil.
  3. Mix so that the oil and pepper into the paste. You want to make sure all ingredients are combined thoroughly.
  4. You can freeze or refrigerate the paste. It should stay fresh for 7-10 days in the fridge and for months in the freezer.

If your cat is fussy, here’s a way to trick him into eating the paste. Cook a some liver and use a grater to add the cooked meat to the paste. Another way to do this is to use a bit of the juice from the cooked liver in place of any extra water you need to make the paste.

Given the information on coconut oil above and the fact that cats are meat eaters, you might want to try a different approach. Unlike plant-based fats like coconut and olive oils, lard is an animal fat, so it might be more appealing to cats. This recipe is even easier than the earlier one. Bring half a cup of turmeric powder and one cup of water to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the lard and stir until the ingredients combine to you have a thick paste.

Can I apply turmeric on my cat’s wound?

Yes. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic. Just mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with two teaspoons of warm water and put it on the wound every day for a week or two. Allow your cat to lick the wound. The turmeric won’t hurt him. Your cat should start feeling better in a week or so. The anti-inflammatory actions of turmeric will also curb your cat’s pain, and its antibacterial properties will speed the recovery process.

What Else Can I Do for My Cat With Turmeric?

You can deworm your cat. Turmeric is rich in antiparasitic compounds. Worms cause cats misery and can result in severe health issues if left untreated. Worms that are common in cats include heartworms, hookworms, lungworms, roundworms, and tapeworms.

Here are some of the symptoms to watch for if you think your cat has worms.

  • Skin problems
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia
  • Pale gums
  • Blood in the stool
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Wheezing, coughing, or other difficulty breathing
  • Worms or substances that look like rice or sesame seeds in the stool
  • Sudden loss of weight, even when eating a lot

To treat your cat for worms, add some turmeric to their food or use a supplement. As always, get your veterinarian’s opinion before treating your cat for worms.


Although turmeric is proven to be beneficial to humans in many ways, the jury is still out on its safety for cats. However, many cat owners swear by its benefits. If you want to give it a try, talk to your veterinarian for advice.