can a cat eat sugar

Unlike dogs and humans, cats have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates. Sugar, in particular, can be detrimental to their health. Eating sugar can contribute to obesity in cats, which in turn can lead to other serious health conditions such as feline diabetes, liver problems, and joint issues.

Which Sweets Are Toxic to Cats?

While sugar by itself isn’t poisonous to cats, a lot of other ingredients in candies and sweets are highly toxic! These include:

  • Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners: Xylitol can be found in a variety of candies and beverages, but it’s most frequently found in sugar-free gum and mints. This sweetener upsets the stomach, damages the liver, sharply lowers blood sugar, and in cats, can even result in seizures and death.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate is toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Ingesting chocolate may result in irregular heartbeats, seizures, tremors in the muscles, and upset stomach. If severe, it can even cause death.
  • Pets that eat raisins and grapes, along with their dried counterparts, may develop renal failure.
  • Caffeine: Similar to the symptoms and risks associated with chocolate consumption, caffeine is toxic to pets.

SEE ALSO: 7 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Can Cats Digest Sugar?

Sugar isn’t toxic to cats. However, it’s not very good for them.

Because they are obligate carnivores, cats cannot survive on plant matter.

Nevertheless, cats’ diets can contain trace amounts of carbohydrates. In the wild, carbohydrates might have originated from eating plant matter found in their prey’s stomachs or from chowing down on fiber-rich foods like grass—you know how much some cats adore it if you’ve ever grown cat grass!

However, cats do not naturally digest table sugar or contemporary sweeteners, and they do not process sugar well.

If your pet consumes sugar, you may observe upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. The severity of the symptoms depends on your cat’s sensitivity and what they ate.

Furthermore, consuming sugar over time can result in weight gain, diabetes, dental problems, and other health problems.

Why Does My Cat Like Sweets?

The truth is, cats don’t like or dislike sweetness.

In fact, they can’t taste “sweet” at all!

Cats only have 470 taste buds. Compare this to 1,700 in dogs, and 9,000 in humans. None of the few taste receptors in felines’ mouths are designed to detect sweetness. Therefore, no, even though they get excited when you give them a sweet treat, your cat does not have a sweet tooth.

Your cat might not be interested in the sweet taste of your vanilla ice cream or Halloween candy, so why does it try to sneak a taste? For instance, cats may be drawn to your snack more by its fat content, umami flavor, or amino acids than by its sugar content because they prefer the taste of meats and fats. Alternatively, because candy canes have a minty scent that is similar to catnip, cats might try to eat them. Or, they may mistake a lollipop for a toy.

However, consuming sugar can still be harmful to your cat even if they aren’t seeking a sugar fix.


What happens if cat eats sugar?

Table sugar and modern sweeteners, on the other hand, are not natural to cats, and kitties don’t digest sugar very efficiently. If your furry friend eats sugar, you might see vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort. Symptoms can range from a mild to severe, depending how sensitive your cat is and what they ate.

How much sugar is safe for cats?

Is sugar bad for cats? As obligate carnivores, cats don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Your pet’s natural diet consists of protein, fat, and other nutrients they’d normally harness from freshly killed prey. Like most carbohydrates, sugar isn’t toxic to cats but shouldn’t exceed 3% of their daily meals.

Why do cats like sugar?

Interestingly, cats do not have sweet taste receptors. So, while some cats may seem to enjoy food items with a sugary taste, it’s more likely due to other ingredients or the texture or smell of a food item that they enjoy.

What is the benefits of sugar in cats?

Added sugar has no nutritional benefit for your cat, but it can be harmful. The main problem with cat food with added sugar and high carbohydrate content in general is that it can make your cat overweight.