Animal crackers are a specific type of crackers that are light-colored and slightly sweet and are baked in the shape of an animal. This article will cover the concern “Can cats eat animal crackers?”, the nutritional value and risks associated with its consumption, etc.
Can cats eat animal crackers?
No, cats cannot eat animal crackers. These crackers are not toxic to cats but the ingredients in them like flour, yeast, salt, and oil can affect your cat’s health. You can share a cracker or two with your pet, but don’t make them a part of their regular diet.
Cats are obligate carnivores and their diet mainly comprises animal-based proteins. These crackers don’t provide the proteins and fat that are required by your cat. Instead, regular consumption of these crackers can lead to weight gain, obesity, salt poisoning, and various digestive issue.
What are the ingredients included in animal crackers?
The list of ingredients from which animal crackers are made is as follows:
- Flour (wheat, niacin, iron, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and folic acid)
- Soyabean oil
- Fructose corn syrup
- Natural flavor
- Baking soda
- Spices like nutmeg and mace
- Soy lecithin emulsifier
What are the health risks associated with animal crackers consumption in cats?
The following are the health risks if your cat eats animal crackers:
Flour in animal crackers is rich in carbs and cats don’t have carbohydrates digesting enzymes in their saliva and liver, so they may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. However, if your cat is gluten or wheat sensitive, you should avoid giving them animal crackers.
High sugar content
Animal crackers contain sugar content according to human requirements, which is considered too much for small cats. Cats don’t have sweet taste buds, but excessive sugar content will adversely affect their dental health and can cause weight gain, obesity, and diabetes in felines.
Way too salty
Felines can’t tolerate too much sodium and crackers are packed with salts. The high salt content can cause thirst and dehydration in cats. However, too much sodium salt can lead to salt poisoning.
If your pet has consumed crackers with artificial sweeteners like xylitol, it will eventually end up at a vet. Xylitol is toxic for cats and even a small amount of xylitol can cause stomach issues like vomiting and diarrhea.
Although soyabean oil contains essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, they also contain a form of anti-nutrients called phytates or phytic acid which block the absorption of nutrients and minerals into your cat’s blood.
High fructose corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup is added as a sweetener in animal crackers and large consumption of these crackers by your cat leads to various health issues like diabetes, obesity, changes in metabolism, and heart diseases.
Baking soda toxicity
Baking soda is added to animal crackers to give them their characteristic texture and volume. The sodium and bicarbonate content of baking soda can disturb the electrolyte balance, which leads to baking soda toxicity in cats.
Nutmeg and mace toxicity
Both spices are frequently used in animal crackers and excessive consumption of them can be poisonous to cats they may show symptoms like high blood pressure, seizures, increased heart rate, tremors, and other abnormalities in the cat’s nervous system.
What are the nutritional benefits of animal crackers for your cat?
There is no specific nutritional value of animal crackers for cats. Since crackers generally contain proteins, fats, and fiber, but this proportion is less than that required by the cats. Your cat is better off feeding its cat food for nutritional value.
One animal cracker weighs around 1.8 grams and contains around 7.5 calories. Your cat wouldn’t only be on empty calories, but also they would be on high energy for a while after eating some crackers, and this situation will lead to feline obesity.
As we know, treats should not exceed 10-15% of the daily caloric intake in your cat, so the other 85-90% diet should be a nutritionally complete diet. Therefore, regular intake of such high calories can lead to heart disease, indigestion, vomiting, lethargy, etc.
What are the alternatives to animal crackers for cats?
The alternatives you can give your cat to replace animal crackers are as follows:
- Berries (not raisins and grapes)
Today, we covered the article “Can cats eat animal crackers?”, the nutritional value and risks associated with its consumption, etc. From the above discussion, we concluded that your cat cannot eat animal crackers due to the toxicity of ingredients in cats.
However, they can be given as an occasional treat to your cat, but monitor them while feeding for signs of vomiting or diarrhea. You can also consult your veterinarian about how much crackers or calorie intake is safe for your cat, keeping its regular diet intact.