The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of cinnamaldehyde, on feed intake, rumen fermentation, nutrient digestibility, milk yield, and components in lactating dairy cows. Six lactating Holstein dairy cows (3 ruminally cannulated and 3 noncannulated) averaging 263 ± 41 d in milk (DIM) and 754 ± 45 kg of BW at the beginning of the study were used. Cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design with 19 d periods (14 d for diet adaptation and 5 d for sample collection). Treatments were 0, 2, or 4 mg/kg of BW of cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde was mixed with 40 g of corn meal and top-dressed onto the total mixed ration (TMR). Diet was fed as a TMR and contained 37% corn silage, 18.5% mixed-mostly grass silage, 24.5% energy supplement, 16.5% protein supplement, and 3.5% vitamin and mineral mix on a DM basis. The dietary nutrient composition averaged 15.1% CP, 37.8% NDF, and 24.7% ADF. Cows were fed and milked twice daily. No differences were observed for DMI (mean = 24.6 kg/d), milk yield (mean = 28.4 kg/d), 3.5% fat-corrected milk (FCM; mean = 30.6 kg/d), and 3.5% energy-corrected milk (ECM; mean = 30.7 kg/d). The dose of cinnamaldehyde did not have any effect on milk components, rumen fermentation, or pH. There were no differences in nutrient digestibility, but there was a trend for a quadratic effect for DM digestibility (P = 0.09): 74.4%, 76.3%, and 73.7% for treatments 0, 2, and 4 mg/kg of BW of cinnamaldehyde, respectively. A linear effect (P = 0.02) and a quadratic effect (P < 0.02) observed for urinary urea N and a quadratic effect (P = 0.03) for allantoin and total purine derivatives with the 2 mg/kg treatment being the lesser value. These data suggest that cinnamaldehyde at these dosages may have an antimicrobial effect in the rumen as suggested by a lesser concentration of urinary total purine derivatives. Overall, supplementing lactating dairy cows with cinnamaldehyde had no effect on feed intake, milk yield, or milk components. However, it appears that cinnamaldehyde has a negative effect on rumen microbial protein synthesis as suggested by the reduced concentration of urinary purine derivatives.