In this article, we will explain all you need to know about cats and caramel.
Whether you slipped your begging cat a caramel chip or whether it got into a whole bag accidentally, cats can indeed eat caramel.
Can cats have caramel? Caramel is non-toxic to cats, so a small bit is unlikely to cause any sort of long-standing health issue or concern. However, like with many other kinds of human foods, caramel isn’t necessarily good for your cat, either.
What to Do If Your Cat Ate Too Much Caramel
When it comes to ingesting potentially toxic substances, there’s no time to waste. However, since caramel isn’t toxic to cats, it’s okay to observe your pet, make sure they don’t exhibit any abnormal behavior, and keep calm.
On the other hand, even though caramel isn’t toxic to cats, if you know that your cat ate a large quantity of it, it’s best to go ahead and call your vet. Even if your feline friend is acting fine at the moment, the large quantities of hard-to-break-down caramel could result in an intestinal blockage or other issue that necessitates immediate action.
Frequently Asked Questions
In short, eating caramel isn’t toxic for your cat, but large quantities can cause issues for their health in the long run. From digestive issues to oral health problems, it’s best to stay away.
Deviation from your cat’s normal diet can be harmful, but the consistency of caramel can also present a big issue. Since it’s hard and sticky and chewy, it can pose not only a choking hazard but can also be difficult for your cat’s digestive system to break down.
This leads to intestinal blockages that can be fatal if not found and addressed quickly. But even if you are fortunate enough to diagnose and fix the issue, you’ll still be left with huge vet bills for surgery and care. So it’s best to avoid the possibility altogether.
Oral Health Problems
Your cat’s oral health is an important component of its health, too, as poor oral health obviously impacts the overall quality of life but can also increase your cat’s risk of feline leukemia and diabetes, among other serious issues.
Of course, the most obvious and immediate problem with your cat eating caramel is that it can cause tooth decay. Sticky caramel can break down and attract bacteria in your cat’s mouth over time, increasing the risk of compromised oral health that could lead to hefty surgery bills for tooth removal or even worse.
Obesity and Blood Sugar
Diabetes is becoming an increasingly common issue for pet cats. While there are lots of risk factors for developing this illness, obese cats are at greater risk.
When it comes down to it, caramel is just cooked sugar. As delicious as it sounds, it’s also got a very unhealthy reality behind it. While the health risks are mitigated for humans in small serving sizes, smaller creatures like cats can’t handle the high sugar and fat contents as well.
And, just like with humans, if sugar becomes a regular part of your cat’s diet, diabetes may not be too far behind. Cats’ bodies are designed to run predominantly on protein, as their carnivorous past in the wild would indicate.
As with plain caramel, there’s nothing toxic about this kind of treat, but for your cat’s digestive and long-term health, it’s best to stick with kitty treats.
We know it feels awful to deprive your cat of a treat that you find super tasty, but one well-kept secret in the world of feline health should help you feel better: cats don’t even have taste receptors for sweet foods.
While the jury is still out on whether or not cats have other ways to enjoy sugary foods like caramel, we do know for a fact that their tongues aren’t made like ours. Their taste buds don’t register sweet foods as ours do.
So in reality, you shouldn’t feel too bad about keeping sweet treats from your cat. Our pets are good at reading our faces, and just like children, they tend to want whatever they see us enjoying.
But if your cat starts looking pitiful when you pull out the caramel, don’t feel bad for declining to share. Not only are you likely saving your cat from a lot of health issues, but your feline friend probably can’t even fully appreciate the treat anyway.