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Can Cats Eat Nerds? (Or Is This a Serious Blunder?)

If you have a pack of Nerds you may be wondering if your cat would appreciate your sweet treats…

Can cats eat Nerds?

Cats should not eat Nerds. the main reason for this is their high sugar content. Sugar is known to cause digestion issues in cats. Essentially they are obligate carnivores and gain their nutrients from animal protein. They are not equipped to deal with sugar-based foods.

So, now you know. But, are there any health benefits with them? Can kittens have them? Can candy kill a cat? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

What are Nerds?

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Nerds are a sweet candy treat that looks like little pebbles. They can have various flavors including orange, melon, etc. They are a favorite amongst kids and adults.

Like most candy treats they are made to eat occasionally because they have a lot of sugar. But, it is easy to eat too many because they taste quite sweet and tempting.

Ingredients of Nerds

Source: USDA (per 100g)

Dextrose Carnauba Wax
Sugar Color Added
Malic Acid Red 40 Lake
Corn Syrup Yellow 5
Natural Flavors Yellow 5 Lake

What are Nerds mainly made of?

Nerds are mainly made of sugar. According to this site, one tablespoon can have as much as 60 calories and this may be up to 14 g of sugar.

This level of sugar is quite high. And, they are quite small in size, so it’s easy to eat quite a few and not feel full, meaning they can easily be eaten in large quantities.

You may also notice that corn syrup is in the ingredients. Although it is deemed as a small amount, it is worth mentioning this (more on this later).

Are there any health benefits of Nerds?

There are no documented health benefits of Nerds that I can find. At best they may offer some temporary enjoyment with their taste.

But, they need to be consumed in moderation or you can easily overeat or consume too much sugar.

Are there any health risks of Nerds?

In this section, I will discuss any potential health risks of Nerds. Eaten in moderation they are fine. But, like any candy item, if they are abused they can cause issues.

01. Increased Weight?

Because these sweets are small and calory dense it’s easy to eat them and not feel full at all. Therefore, if you lack self-control, it is easy to just keep eating them.

If this is done over a long time, not straight away, it could lead to increased weight. So, it’s best to have a balanced diet and use them as treats.

The challenge, mainly for humans is controlling their urges. Sweet treats, like Nerds, to some people, are irresistible. Meaning, they may have addictive personalities and binge on them secretly and pile on pounds of weight.

02. Tooth decay?

Like any sugar-rich food item too much on the teeth, and not enough brushing, can lead to tooth decay. Obviously, cats have no way of brushing their teeth, so they would suffer more.

Because cats rarely have sugar-based foods they do not have the same issues as us humans have. But, that does not mean that can’t have issues with their teeth, they definitely do.

03. Obesity?

Earlier I mentioned that weight gain from sugary candy can lead to weight gain. Well, if this is persisted on a long-term basis it could lead to obesity.

Granted, it will take a lot of abuse over time to get to an obese stage. But, for those that find it hard to resist these sweets, they probably have a list of other calory-rich food they find hard to resist too.

Should you feed your cat Nerds?

You should not feed your cat Nerds. This is mainly because of their sugar content. But also, these Nerds are very small meaning a cat could easily swallow these and get them stuck.

To avoid this I would not feed them these sweets at all. Many other nutritional foods can be offered to your cat (more on this later). So, there is no real need for this.

Cats can’t appreciate sugar.

Another factor to consider is your cat’s taste buds. Unlike us humans, they cannot State or appreciate sugar. So, one of the best bits about nerds, the sugary sweet flavor, in my opinion, cannot be appreciated by them.

This happens because of the way their taste buds are made. They cannot detect sugar like us humans. Therefore, This totally negates the point of them having it in the first place.

Are Nerds OK for Kittens?

Kittens should also not be fed Nerds. This is mainly for the same reasons as an adult cat. Too much sugar and a choking risk. In addition to this, these kittens are fragile and require a strict diet to keep them growing well.

As young kittens, they should be relying on their mother’s milk which is crucial for their early development. Following this, within time, they will be weaned (click here if your kitten is hard to wean) onto solids.

Even if a cat struggles to take its mother’s milk, gruel is another alternative. So, there is never a need for sweet foods like these.

Are there better food alternatives than Nerds for cats?

There are many other food alternatives to Nerds that you can consider. For example, wet cat food (click here if your cat is not taking to it) is a popular choice amongst cat owners.

Wet cat food in particular is great because it has a lot of moisture. Cats do not drink as much water directly as dogs do. Therefore, to avoid dehydration, they get a lot of their water from their food.

Therefore, wet cat food is a good way for them to get this moisture without having to drink the water directly. Some cat owners also go ahead and mix wet ad dry food for those cats that prefer dry food.

Do Nerds go bad?

Nerds do have an expiration date so technically they need to be consumed by that date. However, there have been some reports of them lasting years without going bad.

However, other factors affect this. For example, if they are exposed to moisture or not. If they are secured in an air-tight bag they are likely to last much longer.

Can Candy kill cats?

Can Cats Eat Nerds?

Nerds candy in pink & purple.

Some candy treats can be fatal for a cat. Chocolate contains caffeine as well as theobromine which is known to be bad for cats. But, also other candy items that claim to be sugar-free can still be bad.

Regarding these sugar-free food items, one of the well-known ingredients that can be fatal for cats is xylitol. The reality is cats have no need for candy, and as discussed earlier, they can’t appreciate the sweet taste either.

Is sugar digestible for cats?

Sugar is not easily digested by cats. And, in some extreme cases, you may see them vomit or have an upset stomach from eating it. To avoid these issues it’s better to avoid sugary food for your cat.

Who makes Nerds?

Nerds originated back in 1983 by the Willy Wonka Candy Factory. But, since then they are done by Nestle. The company was purchase by them several years ago.

Is the corn syrup in Nerds bad for cats?

Corn syrup is bad for cats and there are debates about its effects on humans. You may have heard of it as HFCS, or High-frequency corn syrup. The concerns are its mercury content and the effects this has on humans.

Lindsey Browlingdon