Do Tigers Hate Cinnamon?

In the wildly popular film The Hangover, Alan Garner, played with comedic brilliance by Zach Galifianakis, quips, “Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon,” while seasoning a piece of tiger steak. This offhand remark not only generated laughs but also sparked curiosity.

Could there be truth to this statement, or is it merely a piece of fiction meant for entertainment?

The Scent of Spice

Cinnamon, known for its warm and sweet aroma, is a spice beloved by many humans. It’s a staple in kitchens worldwide, used in everything from breakfast dishes to savory meals. Yet, when it comes to tigers, the story takes a fascinating turn.

Big Cat Reaction

Big Cat Rescue, a prominent sanctuary and educational center, has dipped its toes into this topic. They took to YouTube to share their findings, conducting an experiment to see how their resident felines react to the smell of cinnamon. Contrary to Garner’s claim, they didn’t find tigers cowering in repulsion.

Instead, they discovered that cinnamon appears to be stimulating for these majestic creatures. The video shows tigers engaging with the spice, displaying behaviors indicative of interest and excitement rather than hate or disgust.

Taste vs. Smell

While the video gives us insight into how tigers react to the smell of cinnamon, the taste is a different sense altogether. There’s little evidence to suggest that tigers have any particular aversion to the taste of cinnamon.

However, considering their carnivorous diet, it’s unlikely that spices form any part of their natural intake.

Pepper Love?

In another article, we delve into the other side of Garner’s statement: the love of pepper. There, we explore whether these big cats have a palate for pepper’s piquant bite or if it’s yet another human projection onto the animal kingdom.


So, do tigers hate cinnamon? It seems this notion can be chalked up to movie magic rather than zoological fact. While they may not hate the smell, there’s no clear indication of their taste preference regarding cinnamon.

What is clear is that spices like cinnamon can elicit intriguing reactions from these animals, opening up a small, scented window into the complex sensory world of tigers.