We've heard of chocolates being bad for dogs but have you ever wondered if it's safe to give your cat a piece of your favorite donut? We turned to the experts and here's what we found out.
Donuts are junk foods that contain a high amount of sugar. Cats need only a small amount of carbohydrates in their diets. They are obligate carnivores that primarily need animal meat to be able to meet their nutritional requirements. That's why it's not recommended to feed your cats donuts. Taken in excess, these sweet treats can cause coma, diabetes, or heart disease in your beloved pets.
Keep reading to learn more about what happens to cats when they consume donuts and if they can also eat other sweet treats. We also have recommendations for treats that you can give to our pets that are healthier for them.
Are donuts safe for cats?
Sometimes pet parents feel the need to give their felines human food as a treat. Since donuts happen to be one of America's favorite sweets, you might be thinking it's something your pet will enjoy too. Besides, what harm can one donut do, right? Well, apparently a lot, so you might want to stop yourself from giving your cat that piece of donut.
Donuts are high in calories and can provide a very little percentage of our daily dietary needs for folate, iron, and thiamine. They are generally considered ultra-processed junk food. So, it means that we get very little nutritional value from these goodies.
If donuts are not good to eat for us humans, more so for our pets. The very high sugar and fat content can be bad for their health. Some ingredients for making these treats such as theobromine, caffeine, and Xylitol, are also found to be toxic to our feline pets. When consumed in high amounts, these substances can cause diabetes, heart failure, or coma among cats.
However, those who happen to give a piece of donut to their cats on rare occasions shouldn't be consumed by guilt at this point. Small intakes of donuts won't necessarily harm your pet. But it's best not to give donuts to your cats since they won't get anything good out of it anyway.
What happens if a cat eats donuts?
Donuts aren't exactly poisonous for cats. As mentioned earlier, taken in very small amounts, this treat won't cause any serious harm to your beloved pet. It's when donuts are consumed in excess that it becomes a problem.
Too much of this sweet treat will make them overweight. This could also lead to other health issues such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, heart disease, and arthritis. So, don't make it a habit to give donuts to your pets as a treat to minimize their risk of acquiring these illnesses.
Be careful about having these treats easily accessible to your cats, especially those donuts with chocolates, macadamia nuts, or raisins. These ingredients are considered dangerous for felines. They can induce vomiting, panting, diarrhea, or rapid heart rate. If something seems off about your pet after eating a piece of donut, take her to your vet immediately.
Why do cats like glazed donuts?
Unlike the flavored and filled siblings, glazed donuts may be the least evil in the entire selection of tempting donut flavors. They have a relatively lower amount of sugar, making them the "healthiest" choice among the rest, if we can even use that term.
In general, cats can't taste sweetness. They are sweet blind. Because of this, we cannot say that they like the sweet taste of glazed donuts. The main reason why your pet cat may have gotten to like eating glazed donuts is that she sees you eating and enjoying these sweet delights.
Your pet is naturally curious about what you eat and once she observes that you like glazed donuts, she might develop a curiosity about them. She's interested to know why you love eating them and would eat those donuts to imitate or mirror what you're doing.
Another possible reason why your pet likes glazed donuts is because of their fat content. Cats' taste receptors are able to recognize meat and fats. This is what drives their appetites and makes them want to eat certain foods such as a glazed donut.
It could also be that they are drawn to these goodies because of their soft texture or round shape. Cats are unique and each has its own preferences especially when it comes to the food that they eat. What's important is that we, as pet parents, make sure that they eat the right food that would meet their nutritional needs. And glazed donuts surely won't be able to meet these needs.
Can cats eat sweets?
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that their diet should mostly come from animal flesh like fish, chicken, or beef. Their bodies are better able to convert the nutrients from animal meat into proteins, vitamins, and minerals that they need to survive.
Due to their makeup as flesh-eating mammals, cats have lost the ability to break down the carbohydrates in foods into something useful for their system. They need very little amounts of sugar and carbohydrates in their diet.
We are not saying that cats cannot eat sweets. As mentioned above, taken in small amounts and occasionally, they aren't particularly toxic to your pet. But since we now know that cats can't taste sweet flavors and they aren't able to digest them well, there's very little reason to give felines sweet desserts.
Sweet treats can actually do more harm than good. According to vets, it is okay to give treats to your pet cats but choose healthier ones and do it in moderation.
What human food can cats have?
It's okay to share your food with your pet cats once in a while. Just make sure that it's something that can contribute to their nutritional needs and not just plain junk. We want our pets to be healthy, right? Here's a suggested list of people foods that our cats can eat:
- Chicken, turkey, beef, or deli meats
- Mashed wheat berries, brown rice, or cornmeal
- Fish that's cooked or from the can
- Boiled eggs
- Vegetables such as steamed broccolli or sliced fresh cucumber (You can also try a veggie burger!)
- Bite sizes of cheese
Just make sure that when you give them these foods, they're already cooked. Don't feed them with raw meats, fish, or eggs as they can be harmful to your cats.
Take note also that these foods should only be given as an occasional treat. They are not meant to replace cat food. Do not overfeed your pet because it can lead to obesity and other related health issues. But if you want to switch your feline's diet to one that contains mostly people food, consult your vet or pet nutritionist for their recommendations and proper formulation.
Donuts are junk food. They're not good for humans and they're also not good for our pets. Don't feel guilty about not giving your cat this sweet delight. They can't taste it anyway. It's better to give healthier treats to your pet such as cooked meats, fish, eggs, and fresh vegetables. This way, you can be sure that they're packed with nutrients that will help your cat become stronger and livelier.