Can Cats Eat Animal Crackers? (Deceptive Mistake?)
If you are a fan of the taste of Animal crackers you may be wondering if it is OK to let your cat have some…
Can cats eat Animal Crackers?
Cats can consume animal crackers in moderation. However, they are not a replacement for their standard wet or dry food because these crackers do not have any nutritional benefit for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores and need mainly animal protein that is typically provided in most wet foods.
So, now you know. But, are there any health benefits of these? Can kittens have them? Will they eventually go off? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…
What are Animal Crackers?
To simply define an animal cracker, it’s a type of cookie or cracker that has been molded and baked into the shape of an animal. These animals are the kinds you would usually spot at a zoo or a local circus, such as a lion, an elephant, a bear, or even a monkey.
They’re commonly light golden in color with a slightly sweet taste. Their more exclusive flavors include the dark chocolate type and the colorful frosted kinds as well. While their flavor resembles more to a cookie or a biscuit, they’re sold as crackers as they are made with layered dough to mimic the cracker texture we all know and love.
Variety of flavors
There a variety of flavors you can choose from with every new animal cracker flavor addition. You can easily get vanilla, cotton candy, cinnamon graham, and chocolate flavor from anywhere. They even introduced an icing-covered kind as well alongside their breakfast variants that include ingredients like pomegranate, cranberries, almonds, and oats.
These crackers currently feature animals like zebra, rhinos, rams, rabbits, penguins, monkeys, owls, and camels. The variety amongst these animals keeps changing with every new edition of the animal crackers themselves.
Nutritional Content of Animal Crackers
Source: USDA (per 100g) *
* See the source for the full list
Are there any health benefits of Animal Crackers for cats?
There are no known studies for cats to prove any health benefits. They are a favorite of many humans mainly because of their sweet taste and overall flavor. However, cats can’t appreciate this flavor because they cannot detect sugar as we can.
Furthermore, their taste can’t be classed as a health benefit even if they could appreciate this.
Are there any health risks of high sugar consumption?
One of the ingredients that people tend to crave in a treat food is the sweet-tasting sugar content. This is fine in moderation but if sugar is abused it can cause health issues such as:
Short term Side Effects:
- Spike in blood sugar levels
- Frequent headaches
Long term Side Effects:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Addiction to sugar
- Metabolic syndrome
- Higher blood pressure levels
These are some side effects that people can face if they abuse sugar. this includes foods with other similar ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, white flour, natural flavors, etc.
Should you feed your cat Animal Crackers?
You should not feed your cat animal crackers. This is mainly because they are intended for humans and offer no real nutritional benefits for cats. There are many other options for cats so there is no reason to feed them this.
Also, you may feel that it’s a tasty treat, but as stated earlier, cats cannot benefit from the sweet taste they offer, so that negates the purpose of offering them.
The reason for their lack of appreciation for sugar is linked to their taste buds. We, humans, have a more complex array o taste buds and can detect the flavor of sweet food. Which is a gift and a curse. Why? Because it’s good so we can enjoy a more diverse palette, but it’s a curse because we can also crave things simply or their taste.
Are Animal Crackers okay for Kittens?
Kittens should not be feed animal crackers. This is for the same reasons for cats, they offer no real nutritional benefit for them. Kittens, in particular, need a stable and nutritional diet to keep them growing healthily. Hence the reason why you should avoid snacks like these for kittens.
Young kittens, in particular, should only be consuming their mother milk, or gruel. Once they are older and begin weaning they need a simple but nutritional diet, not human snacks like this.
Once these kittens transition into adults most cat owners will continue with a similar diet to keep them happy. For example, wet cat food that they favor. Cats do not appreciate regular changes in food like us humans.
Are there better food alternatives than Animal Crackers for cats?
There are multiple alternatives that you can feed your cat for a quick snack instead of animal crackers. You can try getting bite-sized fish pieces (what about crab? click here) for your cats. Not only are they nutritious, but their taste is something every cat loves. In case the meat option isn’t available, try picking up snacks like cheese, berries, and even melons.
Dried fruits are always a good snack for cats to consume. However, the amount should always be kept in moderation. So try to put a limit to your cat’s excessive snack consumption and instead opt for fulfilling meals that will keep the cat’s stomach healthy for a long time.
Cat’s require a diet high in protein, so be sure to keep their meals loaded with healthy fats, meat, and other protein-rich materials. They also need hydration which is easier to get from wet food rather than dry food. However, it is possible to give your cat dry food but more focus will need to be put on their water consumption,
Can Animal Crackers cause cats diarrhea?
Unfortunately, the consumption of too many animal crackers may lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation. This is due to the highly processed and refined sugar being used within them as well as the nutritional deficiencies within the cracker overall.
Do Animal Crackers go bad?
Animal crackers do, in fact, have an expiration date that needs to be looked into. While they do have a long shelf life, it’s best to keep a check on the expiration dates. If you happen to have consumed them after their expiry dates, please do consult with a doctor as soon as you can.
There are various debates about expired food. But, the bottom line is, if it’s expired, don’t risk it. It’s not worth risking your cat’s health.
Are animal crackers high in carbs?
Animal crackers are primarily made with carbohydrates. From the white flour to sugar to the fructose syrup, the recipe for the cracks is just loaded with an extensive amount of carbohydrates. You could say the crackers are almost 99% just carbohydrates.
This means that these crackers could be a good snack to have once in a while, but making them your only nutritional intake may have adverse effects in the long run. Giving them to our cat then becomes out of the question as to the more carbohydrate intake your cat has, the more the chances of getting feline obesity are.