In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about cats and granola.
The short answer is that cats can eat granola, but probably should not. If your cat accidentally gets some granola, you should be fine (unless the cereal contains a toxin, such as raisins, in it). However, for the most part, stick to cat food and meat-based food for your little carnivore!
Can Cats Eat Granola?
Cats are natural carnivores–in the wild, they would eat nothing but meat. This means that their digestive system wasn’t made for processing grains and carbohydrates the same way ours is. A cat’s intestine is much shorter than a human’s, and not just because they are smaller creatures.
Granola is mostly made of grains, nuts, and carbohydrates, food items that cats wouldn’t naturally find in the wild. While the animals can digest these occasionally (eating prey with partially digested grains or nuts), a steady diet of grains and carbohydrates will put intense stress on the cat’s pancreas. This could lead to several health issues later on in life.
Essentially, you should probably avoid giving your cat granola. If you have a senior cat or a kitten, avoid any human food or diet changes. Straining a new or old cat’s digestive system is never good for any reason. For a full-grown cat, occasional granola might not hurt, but it probably wouldn’t be entirely wise.
What to Do If Your Cat Ate Too Much Granola
If your cat ate too much granola, there’s no need to panic. Unless it has an active toxin in it or your cat already has pancreas or dietary issues, it will probably only be a few days of discomfort for them. You can feed them regular food, make sure they drink plenty of water and watch for signs of illness.
However, if the granola had raisins or another cat toxin in it, you should contact your vet immediately. Also, if your cat ate more granola than you think its stomach can handle, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Most veterinarians don’t charge for a simple question over the phone, and you don’t want to regret not asking!
If you have a kitten or a senior cat that got into the granola, you should contact your veterinarian and take your cat in for a checkup as soon as possible. Old and young cats often have more dietary issues because their stomachs are weaker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just because granola is healthy for humans doesn’t mean that it’s good for animals. Because animals, especially cats, were made to hunt an entirely different diet than humans, they have a different digestive system and shouldn’t have what’s in granola.
This goes for most animals; the majority of animals shouldn’t have what humans eat. Unprocessed foods that they were made to eat are much healthier for animals than the processed foods that we make for ourselves.
The granola recipe varies with each batch, whether it is loose or in a bar. However, several variations are actively toxic for animals. Unprocessed grains are among some of the ingredients that could harm cats if they overeat.
However, some granola has raisins or other dried fruits. Raisins are toxic to cats, dogs, and other household pets and should be avoided at all costs. If your granola has raisins in it, keep it out of reach of your animals.
Granola also has nuts, a form of protein but also of fat and carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates can wreak havoc on a cat’s digestive system, causing the pancreas to overload and sending the body into shock. After a while, pancreatitis (which involves constant pain) can develop.
Many granola recipes involve some sweetener, which isn’t good for a cat’s body. Because cats were made for eating meat, the presence of sugar or sweetener can cause weight problems, diabetes, and more long-term health issues.
These are only a few of the main ingredients in granola. While it’s okay for your cat to pick up the crumbs from your granola bowls in the morning, it’s not a good thing for them to get used to having their bowl or consuming too much unprocessed grain and sugar.
Grains are in a lot of granola, but they are also common ingredients in cat foods. So why is breakfast granola frowned upon when grains are in the foods we are feeding our cats? Well, it’s all about how the grains are processed.
Grains in granola are hardly processed, which makes them harder to digest. They’re much closer to how they would be found in the wild. This makes them better for humans because our long digestive systems need fiber to work. Cats, however, require much less fiber than we do.
Grains (usually corn or oats) in cat food, on the other hand, are puffed and processed to the point where they don’t affect a cat’s digestive system. The cat can simply eat them and not have to do the tough work of breaking down the fibers. The cat’s pancreas does less work and doesn’t get as taxed.