Is Cayenne Useful to Animals? Yes It Is

Cayenne pepper is great for human beings. It has so many health benefits and now the adding of hot peppers to one's diet is becoming increasingly popular, but did you know that cayenne pepper has some wonderful uses for animals?

It does. It can be ingested by animals but also used as an all natural insect repellent.

Let me give you a few examples.

I was talking to a well known master herbalist a few months ago who is, of course, a big proponent of cayenne pepper. He sells cayenne and other medicinal herbs and spices through a few e-commerce sites.

He told me an interesting story that I'd like to pass on to you now.

A little while ago, he bought a large amount of cayenne pepper powder from a company in India. When he received it, he realized the cayenne was "dirty cayenne" and that it was unfit for human consumption.

He knew he couldn't sell it to humans so he thought he must just "bite the bullet" and consider the transaction a business loss.

Not too long after this transaction took place, he received a call from a hog farmer in the midwest -- somewhere around southwestern Illinois or Iowa, I believe. The farmer asked him if he had any large quantities of cayenne pepper powder he could sell for his hogs.

"Your hogs?" My herbalist friend asked him.

"Yea, I want to add it as part of their daily meal so they can stay healthy."

My master herbalist acquaintance told him he had a large amount of "dirty cayenne" that was unfit for human beings and he could sell some of it to him, if he was interested.

He was. He bought the entire batch.

I was curious: "Cayenne pepper for hogs?" I asked. "Wouldn't the heat of the cayenne be really bothersome to the hogs?"

"The hog farmer told me he mixes it into the food they're fed and they don't seem to mind at all."

"That's unbelievable," I said. "Has it made any difference in their health?"

"He said that the hogs are healthier than they've ever been." My herbalist acquaintance emphasized.cayenne drink

That was interesting but how about for normal, everday folks who aren't worried about feeding hogs. Well, let me give you a couple of other examples of using cayenne with animals.

Near where I live, there are a lot of cats. I love cats as they're charming (although dogs are my favorite domesticated pet).

One particular cat, Bella, who is actually my second favorite cat in the neighborhood due to her gentle disposition, for some reason decided her favorite defecation spot was near my front door.

As you may know, cat feces can have a really strong odor. After my herbalist acquaintance David told me about the hog story, I thought, "I wonder if sprinkling some cayenne around the door area would prevent the cat from defecating in this area?"

So, I sprinkled a liberal amount of cayenne all around the immediate area on the grass and bushes near my front door.

It looked a little odd having a bright orange-reddish colored powder guarding the area, but guess what? It worked like a charm. The cat Bella immediately stopped using my front door side area as her private litter box...and I'm happy to report that Bella doesn't seem to hold it against me. We're still great friends!

All Natural Cayenne Pepper Insect Repellent

Have a problem with chirping ciacadas, mosquitoes, or insects in general? Use cayenne as the base for an insect spray. Cayenne, believe it or not, is a natural insect repellent. I can't take credit for this formula that I'm about to give you but I can take credit :) for thinking it could be a useful solution. Why? Whether you believe in evolution, nature, or Intelligent Design or God, bugs don't like peppers.

The capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers that give them their heat, is something bugs instinctively avoid and understandably so. Even human beings, sentinent beings that we are, avoid eating peppers as we don't like the heat of them, which is perfectly understandable.

So, that said, I went to a book by John Heinerman, Ph.D. for some guidance. Heinerman has written a number of books on health (I have four of them in my library) and I've learned to trust his knowledge and expertise.

In his book, The Health Benefits of Cayenne (1997), he said this about using cayenne as an all-natural insect repellent, "Most insects absolutely detest the pungent component in cayenne pepper" (p. 37).

red cayenne pepper powderI was happy as it confirmed my instincts. He then gives his formula that I pass on to you now.

"In a blender, mix together two tablespoons of cayenne pepper, two cloves of garlic, four small white onions, and cook in one quart of water for a minute and a half. Strain and dilute in two gallons of water with two tablespoons of Ivory soap.

Spray on plants to kill virtually all bugs. Scatter a heavy and generous quantity of cayenne pepper around spring bulbs in flower to keep away squirrels and other pesky varmints. Nor will cats be inclined to dig in flower beds sprinkled with a lot of cayenne pepper. The cayenne won't hurt any of the flowers" (p. 38).

If you don't want to go to all that trouble, just try to put a good, heaping tablespoon of hot cayenne pepper powder in a spray bottle, fill it with water, and spray it in the areas you want to prevent insects from bothering you.

It acts as a good all-natural mosquito repellent if used like this and it annoys ciacadas so they don't disturb you with their incessant chirping. When you get near ciacadas, they stop chirping, which is natural survival instinct. 

No problem. Just spray the cayenne all around the area you think they are -- just deluge the area. They will leave. Trust me. I've proven this to myself over and over again.


There you have it. Before using cayenne on any animal as a nutritional supplement, though, I recommend talking to your veterinarian about it to see if that is wise or not. I'm not a veterinarian or doctor and cannot rightly advise. It may very well help your pet, but I cannot say for sure. (You should talk to your veterinarian for guidance.)

If, though, you have an insect problem, try the formulas above. They work. Lastly, if you're interested in supplementing or experimenting with cayenne, you can get more information about buying good quality cayenne at this article within this site. Or you can see a more comprehensive price list here.

I hope this short article helps you.

Heinerman, John. (1997). The health benefits of cayenne. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc.