I was scrolling Pinterest for new recipes to try and I saw a post about tapioca pudding. I thought to myself, “That looks delicious! I wonder if my cat would like it?” So, I started doing some research on whether or not cats can eat tapioca.
As it turns out, cats can eat tapioca but you should avoid feeding them too much of it. Tapioca is a starchy food and it’s not particularly nutritious for cats. In small amounts, though, tapioca is harmless and your cat may enjoy the taste.
Here in this article I’ll share what I learned about feeding tapioca to cats, and whether or not I think it’s a good idea.
Will My Cat Die If I Feed Them Tapioca?
No, your cat will not die if you feed them tapioca. In fact, they may even enjoy the taste! However, as I mentioned before, tapioca is not particularly nutritious for cats. It’s high in carbohydrates and doesn’t have much in the way of protein or fat.
According to the ASPCA, tapioca is “generally considered nontoxic to animals.” So, if your cat happens to eat some of your pudding, they should be just fine.
Of course, as with anything else, it’s possible for your cat to have an allergic reaction to tapioca. If you notice them vomiting or having diarrhea after eating it, stop feeding it to them and call your veterinarian.
Ingredients of Tapioca That May Be Harmful to Cats
I know I said that tapioca is generally considered nontoxic to animals, but there are some ingredients in tapioca pudding that may be harmful to your cat.
1. Milk (or Milk Substitutes)
The first ingredient to be aware of is milk (or any milk substitutes). Milk is not particularly good for cats, as they are lactose intolerant. This means that their bodies have a hard time digesting milk and it can give them an upset stomach.
So, if you’re going to feed your cat tapioca pudding, make sure it’s made with milk that is specially formulated for cats or another type of milk substitute.
The next ingredient to be aware of is sugar. Cats don’t really need sugar in their diet and too much of it can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Besides, sugar is just empty calories and doesn’t provide any nutritional value.
Another ingredient to be aware of is chocolate. Chocolate is poisonous to cats and can cause serious health problems if they eat too much of it. So, if your tapioca pudding contains chocolate, make sure to keep it away from your cat!
4. Other Flavorings
Finally, be aware of other flavorings that may be in your tapioca pudding. Some flavors, like artificial sweeteners, can be toxic to cats. So, if you’re unsure about a particular ingredient, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and not feed it to your cat.
Is There Any Health Benefit to Feeding Tapioca to Cats?
As I mentioned before, tapioca is not particularly nutritious for cats. It’s high in carbohydrates and doesn’t have much in the way of protein or fat. So, there really isn’t any health benefit to feeding your cat tapioca pudding.
However, some people believe that tapioca can help with digestive problems in cats. This is because tapioca is a prebiotic, which means it helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
There is some anecdotal evidence to support this claim, but there is no scientific evidence to back it up. So, if you’re considering feeding your cat tapioca for digestive purposes, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian first.
Tapioca Starch May Be Dangerous for Cats
Another thing to be aware of is that tapioca starch may be dangerous for cats. Tapioca starch is a type of carbohydrate that is found in tapioca pudding. Carbohydrates are not particularly nutritious for cats and can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Additionally, tapioca starch can be difficult for cats to digest. This can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. So, if you’re going to feed your cat tapioca pudding, make sure it’s made with a quality starch that is easy for them to digest.
Is Tapioca Pearls Dangerous for Cats?
While not commonly eaten by cats, there is no reason to believe that eating a small number of tapioca pearls would be dangerous for most cats.
However, if a cat ingests a large quantity of tapioca pearls, they could potentially cause an intestinal blockage. Tapioca pearls are very hard and would not be easily broken down by the digestive process.
If your cat has eaten a large quantity of tapioca pearls, watch for signs of digestive upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you see any signs of distress, contact your veterinarian right away. Cats with intestinal blockages may require surgery to remove the tapioca pearls.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats Tapioca?
Most cats love anything that’s remotely crunchy, including tapioca. Tapioca is the starchy extract from the root of the cassava plant and is a common ingredient in many processed foods.
While it’s not toxic to cats, eating too much of any starch can cause digestive upset. If your cat eats a small amount of tapioca, she’s likely to be just fine. If, however, she consumes a large amount or if she has any preexisting digestive problems, she may develop vomiting or diarrhea.
In most cases, these signs will resolve on their own, but you should always call your veterinarian if they persist or if you’re at all concerned about your cat’s health.
If your cat ate a lot of tapioca, she may also develop an obstruction since this substance can swell when it comes into contact with water.
Obstructions are serious and require immediate veterinary attention. Pay close attention to your cat and call your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
My Thoughts on Feeding Tapioca to Cats
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeding your cat tapioca pudding in small amounts. As long as it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients (like chocolate or artificial sweeteners), I think it’s fine to give them a little taste.
However, I wouldn’t recommend making tapioca a regular part of their diet. This is because it’s not particularly nutritious and they would be better off eating food that is specifically designed for cats.
If you do decide to feed your cat tapioca pudding, make sure to only give them a small amount. And, if you notice any adverse effects, stop feeding it to them and call your veterinarian.
Tapioca pudding is safe for cats to eat as long as it doesn’t contain any ingredients that are dangerous for them. However, tapioca pudding is not particularly nutritious and can cause digestive upset if your cat eats too much of it.
If you’re going to feed your cat tapioca pudding, make sure to do so in moderation. Additionally, be sure to watch for any signs of digestive distress and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.