Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds?

I remember first learning about poppy seeds when I watched my usual binge-worthy Game of Thrones. When they gave Eddard Stark “milk of the poppy.” I was fascinated to learn it was made with these seeds!

My partner and I are also huge fans of poppy seeds in bagels. They’re fantastic in muffins too.

So surely these perfectly innocent, tasty seeds are safe for cats, too, right? Can cats eat poppy seeds?

Let’s find out before winter comes.

Can Cats Eat Poppy Seeds?

No. Cats should never eat poppy seeds. They are toxic to cats when ingested. And, they can cause them serious health problems, like opioid poisoning.

While you might love them in your morning bagel, you shouldn’t let your furry friend get their paws on any of these seeds. Of course, it can be tempting to give them a small bite, but this can quickly lead to a life-threatening situation for them.

Are Poppy Seeds Poisonous to Cats?

Yes, all parts of poppies, including the seeds, are harmful to cats if ingested. They contain numerous toxic alkaloids and opioids that can kill them.

Cats experiencing opioid poisoning can experience difficulty walking, lack of appetite, dilated pupils, and even coma.

That being said, you may imagine a red poppy when you think of this plant. But, there are many different species. And all of them contain alkaloids that are poisonous to cats.

Can Cats Eat Poppy Seed Heads?

No. Cats can’t eat poppy seed heads. They can make them extremely sick if they are eaten in large amounts and can cause death.

The milky sap of a poppy seed can contain up to 80 alkaloids, including codeine and morphine. So it’s highly concentrated and can quickly cause toxicity in cats.

Can Cats Eat Poppy Seed Bread?

No, you should avoid giving your cat bread containing poppy seeds. Poppy seeds can cause cats serious health problems.

But, poppy seed bread isn’t just bad for cats because of the poppy seeds. The bread is full of sugar, which in large quantities can cause weight gain, diabetes, heart problems, and obesity in cats.

Cats can suffer from yeast infections if they eat too much bread. Yeast infections cause cats to suffer from diarrhea, lethargy, itchiness, lesions on the eyes or skin, and thrush.

Can Cats Eat Poppy Seed Dressing?

No, cats should not eat poppy seed dressing. All parts of poppy seeds are dangerous when ingested by cats.

That being said, it’s doubtful your cat will eat enough poppy seeds to become sick. But they can still pose a risk to their health.

Poppy seed dressing can also contain sugar, carbs, and other toxic chemicals for cats. None of which are needed in a cat’s diet.

Always check the ingredients carefully, and don’t give your cat any foods containing toxic or dangerous substances.

Can Cats Have Poppy Seed Muffins?

No. Cats should not eat poppy seed muffins. But they would have to eat large quantities of poppy seeds to exhibit symptoms of opium toxicity.

Poppy seed muffins are rich in sugar and other harmful substances too. If you feed your cat poppy seed muffins, they may suffer from weight gain, obesity, and other severe conditions.

Can Cats Eat Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins?

No, cats should not eat lemon poppy seed muffins at all.

Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons contain citric acid, which can be bad for cats.

Plus, these types of muffins are loaded with unnecessary sugar, which cats don’t need. They also contain high concentrations of carbs, which can cause cats to suffer from weight problems.

Lemon poppy seed muffins can make cats suffer from stomach upset and vomiting. And the toxic ingredients are that potent that eating more than one muffin could result in poppy seed poisoning for your cat.

Can Cats Eat Almond Poppy Seed Muffins?

No, cats should never eat almond poppy seed muffins.

These muffins are loaded with sugar, which can quickly cause your cat to pile on extra pounds. Plus, sugar can cause obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. Almonds can also be dangerous for cats with nut allergies.

Eating too many poppy seeds causes your cat to suffer from poppy seed poisoning. Observe your cat closely, and if they display symptoms of poisoning, take them immediately to a vet clinic.

How Are Poppy Seeds Bad for Cats?

Poppy seeds are incredibly lethal for cats. They contain several alkaloids and opioids that are poisonous.

That being said, eating a single poppy seed is unlikely to cause any severe health problems. Although it could make them vomit.

As we previously mentioned, poppy seeds contain codeine and morphine, both of which are used during medical procedures and in large doses can be fatal.

In fact, just 0.035 oz of poppy seeds contains 0.8 mcg of morphine. This can be far too much for a cat and cause poppy seed toxicity. That being said, it depends on their weight and size.

Symptoms of Poppy Seed Poisoning in Cats

Opioid poisoning affects cats in a variety of ways. If your cat has consumed food with poppy seeds, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Coma
  • Depression
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupil size
  • Inability to walk
  • Loss of appetite
  • Slow heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Weakness

In severe cases, opioid poisoning can cause death. If you suspect, even in the slightest, that your cat has eaten too many poppy seeds, take them immediately to a vet clinic.

What to Do if Your Cat Ate Poppy Seed

If your cat eats too many poppy seeds, keep them under close observation. Watch for any of the symptoms above. If you see any of these signs, immediately take them to a vet clinic.

It is not recommended to induce vomiting unless instructed by a vet. But, if the consumption was recently, and a cat hasn’t displayed any symptoms. A vet may recommend inducing vomiting, especially if it’s a smaller cat.

Generally, the best course of action is to immediately take them to a vet clinic.

Vets may give your cat activated charcoal for the poppy seeds. This is an excellent way to absorb the toxic properties and prevent harmful alkaloids from harming the body.

If your cat hasn’t displayed any symptoms of toxicity, they may be kept in for observation. This largely depends on the quantity ingested, though.

IV fluids may be administered over a few days if cats start showing poisoning symptoms. Some medications may also be given to your cat. But this depends on what stage of toxicity your cat is in.

In severe cases, vets may observe for any heart problems. And on occasions, an EKG may be best for determining the extent of the damage.

Poppy Seeds Are a No Go!

Poppy seeds might seem perfectly innocent. After all, they’re delicious in a muffin or bagel.

But can cats eat poppy seeds? No. These enticing seeds are incredibly toxic for cats and are best avoided at all costs. While a small quantity is unlikely to cause much harm, it’s simply not worth the risk.

There are plenty of healthier, safer alternative human foods you can introduce to your cat’s diet.

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James Fuller and Mollie

James Fuller

Founder & Chief Content Creator

I’ve owned a pet most of my life. In fact, I currently have both a cat, Milo, and a Jack Russel, Mollie! I’m the founder of Honest Whiskers. And my mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information.

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