Lots of people love crackers, especially since there are so many different kinds of crackers from sweet graham to Wheat Thins and Triscuits in the whole grain category to saltines in our soups.
They have some health benefits for people, but what about cats? People want to know if my cat can eat crackers?
Risk of Cats Eating Crackers
The answer to this question is mixed, as crackers are not toxic for cats (depending on the type of cracker) but they have no nutritional value for cats since they are obligate carnivores and need meat to live. It also means their digestive system is set up to digest mainly meat.
Plus they have a lot of empty calories, added oils and salt in them too. No one wants an obese cat and eating a lot of carbs like crackers have in them can make your cat unhealthily fat, which lowers their lifespan.
Some Crackers Have Harmful Ingredients for Cats
Mainly, some types of crackers contain ingredients that are bad for cats. This includes things like garlic and onions, as well as chives. All these can cause issues with a cat’s red blood cells and are very toxic for them.
If your cat eats these ingredients you may need to immediately get them to a vet so they can induce vomiting or feed them activated charcoal, which soaks up the toxins.
Plus, refined flour can upset a cat’s digestive system, as well as the high rate of starches most crackers contain, so that is another reason your cat shouldn’t eat crackers.
The only type they may eat in small amounts would be totally plain, unsalted crackers, which likely they wouldn’t even eat since they are so bland.
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The salt in most crackers can also cause a cat to get dehydrated since many cats don’t seem to drink enough water. If your cat seems lethargic after eating a salty food, watch them carefully to check for dehydration or call your vet for advice. Plus salt can cause them to get urinary infections from being dehydrated.
Specific Kinds of Crackers
Some folks ask about specific types of crackers. Here are a few kinds and how they affect cats.
Goldfish crackers:– Despite the fishy name, goldfish crackers are not a good snack for cats. One or two likely is fine, but it is really not a good idea.
These come in a lot of different flavors and most contain salt or other bad ingredients for your cat. Plus some cats can’t tolerate gluten, which is in a lot of types of crackers like goldfish ones. Keep watch for allergic reactions like itching, gas, sneezing, etc.
Graham Crackers:- Graham crackers are sweet like a cookie, and while they won’t kill a cat, they are not good for them either. Many contain harmful additives that could upset your cat’s digestive system.
While some organic type of graham crackers may contain natural, unprocessed sweeting products like honey, many contain bad ingredients like corn syrup or too much white sugar, which are not even good for humans, let alone our cat buddies. And some have artificial sweeteners or chocolate which can be poisonous to pets
Ritz Crackers:– Also not toxic per say, but still should not be fed to cats. They have a lot of salt and additives, which as stated several times already, is bad for our pets.
Animal Crackers:- These are more like cookies, and a cat could eat one or two of them, but still not a good food for our cats, as they don’t have much nutritional value in them. Plus they are sweeter than plain crackers, so likely have added sugar or other sweeteners bad for our pets.
Cheese crackers:– Once again, a cat could eat one or two cheese crackers as long as there is no added things like garlic or onions, which disrupts their red blood cells and causes anemia. Plus they have a lot of salt in them.
All in all, if we want to answer the question, can cats eat crackers? It has mixed answers. A cracker or two depending on the type, likely won’t kill your cat.
However, they are full of fat, calories, salt and other ingredients that can sometimes hurt cats and can make them fat. This could turn into obesity and high blood pressure, etc.
Face facts, crackers are junk food that even people should eat in moderation, so we really shouldn’t give them to our cats.
If you want to feed your cat a snack, try some veggies like green beans. I once had a cat who loved green beans!
But ultimately cats are carnivores as stated above and they need meat. You should feed them a commercial brand name cat food that is recommended by your vet. And if you have any other questions about if a cat can have crackers or other human foods, talk to your vet.
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