Can Cats Eat Sweets? (Yes & How Much?)
Its a Facebook post that inspired me last night as I was browsing through my news feed. A friend of mine had posted a picture of her cat with the caption “Caught red-handed!” And it got me thinking, can cats really eat sweets?
Yes, cats can eat sweets but it is not advisable to give them sweets on a regular basis or in large quantities. Cats have a sweet tooth just like humans, but their digestive system is not designed to process sugar in the same way as ours. Too much sugar can cause health problems for cats, such as obesity, diabetes, and dental problems.
In this blog post I’ll be discussing what types of sweets are safe for cats to eat, how much sugar is too much, and the potential health risks associated with feeding your cat sweets.
Different Types of Sweets that are Safe for Cats to Eat
Just like me, my cat loves sweets! But I don’t give her sweets every day, or even every week. I’ll give her a small piece of candy or cake on occasion, but I make sure it’s something that is safe for her to eat.
The following are some examples of different types of sweets that are safe for cats to consume:
1. Sugar-free candies and gum
Did I ever mention that my cat loves gum? She’s always trying to steal a piece from me whenever I’m chewing on some. And while I don’t recommend giving your cat gum to chew on, sugar-free candy and gum are generally safe for them to eat in small quantities.
2. Plain cake or muffins (without frosting or filling)
I maybe talked in my last week’s blog post about how I tried to make some homemade cat treats. One of the recipes I used was for plain cake or muffins without frosting or filling.
These are also safe for cats to eat, as long as they don’t contain any chocolate, raisins, or other ingredients that are poisonous to cats.
Yes its hard to believe, but even sugar-free cookies are safe for cats to eat! I was surprised when I learned this, but apparently the sugar substitutes used in sugar-free cookies (such as xylitol) are not toxic to cats.
However, as with all sweets, it’s important to give them to your cat in moderation.
4. Fruit snacks (without added sugar)
It’s a little interesting story how I found out that fruit snacks are safe for cats to eat… I was at work one day and I had left my bag of fruit snacks on my desk. When I came back, one of the fruit snacks was missing and my cat was sitting on my desk with her mouth full! She must have thought they were treats for her.
Anyway, as long as the fruit snacks don’t contain any added sugar, they are safe for cats to eat. As an example dragon fruit is a good choice, as it is naturally sweet and also provides some nutritional benefits.
5. Ice cream (without chocolate or coffee flavoring)
My wife and I are big fans of ice cream, and our cat is no exception! She loves when we share a little bit of our ice cream with her.
However, it’s important to make sure the ice cream doesn’t contain any chocolate or coffee flavoring, as these can be poisonous to cats. Mochi ice cream can be an ideal sweet treat for your cat, as it’s made with rice flour and usually doesn’t contain any chocolate or coffee flavoring.
In general, its best to avoid giving your cat any sweets that contain chocolate, raisins, or other ingredients that are poisonous to cats.
How Much Sugar is Too Much for a Cat?
As I mentioned before, cats have a sweet tooth just like humans. However, their digestive system is not designed to process sugar in the same way as ours. Too much sugar can cause health problems for cats, such as obesity, diabetes, and dental problems.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that cats consume no more than 5% of their daily calories from sugar. So, if you’re feeding your cat a diet of 100 calories per day, no more than 5 of those calories should come from sugar.
Of course, this varies depending on the size and activity level of your cat. A more active cat can handle more sugar than a sedentary cat. And a larger cat can handle more sugar than a smaller cat.
The best way to determine how much sugar your cat can handle is to talk to your veterinarian. They can give you specific advice based on your cat’s individual needs.
Health Risks Associated with Feeding your Cat Sweets
Please don’t skip this section just because I said it’s safe for cats to eat sweets! While most sweets are safe for cats, there are some risks associated with feeding them to your cat.
1. Obesity (From eating too much sugar)
One of the biggest health risks associated with feeding your cat sweets is obesity. Cats who consume too much sugar are at risk of becoming obese, which can lead to a host of other health problems.
2. Diabetes (Sugar is the enemy here)
Another health risk associated with feeding your cat sweets is diabetes. Cats who consume too much sugar are at risk of developing diabetes, which can be a serious and life-threatening condition.
3. Dental problems (From eating sugary sweets)
I remember when I was kid my mom used to say that candy rots your teeth. Well, it turns out she was right! Eating sugary sweets can cause dental problems for cats, such as cavities and gum disease.
4. Gastrointestinal problems (From eating certain types of sweets)
Certain types of sweets can cause gastrointestinal problems for cats, such as diarrhea and vomiting. If your cat ate a sweet and then started vomiting or having diarrhea, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
5. Allergies (To certain ingredients in sweets)
Some cats are allergic to certain ingredients in sweets, such as wheat, corn, or soy. If your cat is allergic to any of these ingredients, please avoid feeding them to your cat.
So – Is it Bad for Cats to Eat Sweets?
If you’re still asking me if it’s bad for cats to eat sweets, the answer is no… as long as you’re feeding them the right kinds of sweets and in moderation.
Besides, I want to say while most people think of cats as finicky eaters, the truth is that they will pretty much eat anything that smells good to them.
This includes sweets. While a small amount of sugar is not likely to harm your cat, it is important to keep in mind that felines are obligate carnivores.
This means that their bodies are designed to digest and use protein and fat, rather than carbohydrates. As a result, too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
In addition, some types of sugar can be poisonous to cats. For example, xylitol a common sweetener found in gum and candy, can cause liver failure in felines. For these reasons, it is best to avoid giving your cat sweets altogether.
How to Feed Your Cat Sweets Safely?
Now that you know which sweets are safe for cats to eat, and which ones to avoid, you’re probably wondering how to feed them to your cat safely. Here are a few tips:
1. Moderation is Key
As I mentioned before, it’s important to feed your cat sweets in moderation. Too much sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
For your better understanding, I’ll give a quick idea about moderation. Let’s say you have a 10 pound cat. According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the maximum amount of sugar a 10 pound cat should consume in a day is 2.5 grams. That means you should only give your cat 1/4 teaspoon of sugar per day.
2. Choose the Right Treat
Didn’t I helped you to choose the right treat for your cat before? If not, let me give you a brief idea. There are two types of sweets that are safe for cats to eat: plain sugar and sugar-free candy.
Plain sugar is the safest option for cats, as it does not contain any harmful chemicals or artificial sweeteners. Sugar-free candy, on the other hand, may contain harmful chemicals or artificial sweeteners that can be toxic to cats.
3. Avoid Chocolate
Chocolate is one of the most dangerous foods for cats. It contains a substance called theobromine, which is toxic to felines. If your cat eats chocolate, it could experience vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even seizures. If your cat ingests a large amount of chocolate, it could even die.
4. Avoid Giving Your Cat Too Much Candy
While candy is safe for cats to eat in small quantities, it’s important to avoid giving them too much candy. Stick to small amounts of candy, and don’t give it to your cat too often.
5. Supervise Your Cat When They’re Eating Sweets
It’s important to supervise your cat when they’re eating sweets, especially if they’re eating candy. Candy can be a choking hazard, so make sure your cat is chewing their candy properly before swallowing it.
6. Talk to Your Veterinarian
Its what I always prefer that you should always consult with your veterinarian before feeding your cat any type of treat, including sweets. They can give you specific advice on which treats are safe for your cat, and how often you should give them.
While I was writing the health risks part of this article all in a sudden my cat sat on my laptop. And I realized that I should wrap up this article because it’s time for her treat.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it informative. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to feeding your cat sweets. So, choose the right treat and give it to them in small quantities. And always consult with your veterinarian before feeding your cat any type of treat.