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Can Cats Eat Xanthan Gum? (Toxic or Cause Diarrhea?)

If you have heard of Xanthan Gum before you may be wondering if this is ok to feed your cat…

Can Cats Eat Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is considered safe for dogs and is assumed to also be safe for cats. If you give too high of a dose, it may cause diarrhea in your cat. This can also occur if you give lower doses if your cat has a sensitive stomach.

So, now you know. But, what is the controversy with it? Are there any health risks linked with it? Will it be OK for kitens? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…

What is Xanthan Gum?

Can cats eat Xanthan Gum?

A cat eating from a bowl.

Xanthan Gum is used to thicken and emulsify things such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and processed human and pet food. You can also find it in industrial products such as paint, grout, wallpaper glue, and toilet bowl cleaners.

It is an ingredient that has been approved by the FDA, and it is marketed as an “all-natural” ingredient.

Xanthan Gum is created by fermenting glucose, sucrose, and lactose with the bacteria known as Xanthomonas campestris.

The carbohydrate used to manufacture Xanthan Gum is usually corn or wheat. The purpose of Xanthan Gum is to increase the frequency and the softness of bowel movements.

What is the Nutritional Content of Xanthan Gum?

Source: USDA (per 100g) *

Name Amount Unit
Calories 333 Kcal
Protein 0.00 g
Carbs 77.78 g
Fat 0.00 g
Fiber 77.8 g

* See the source for the full list

One tablespoon of Xanthan Gum contains 30 calories. There is no fat content or protein in it. It includes 8 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of dietary fiber.

The sodium content is 260mg and the potassium content is 29mg. There is no other nutritional value of Xanthan Gum.

It does not contain any vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, or iron.

Why is Xanthan Gum Controversial?

Xanthan Gum is controversial when it comes to pets and humans. This is because it is a food additive, not really natural. It is manufactured in a process that would not occur in nature. This is why some cat owners question if it is safe to feed their cats.

However, if your vet has told you that your cat has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), your cat should not have Xanthan Gum at all.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Xanthan Gum?

There are a few health benefits of Xanthan Gum…

01. Reduce Blood sugar?

When it is consumed in larger doses, it has been shown to reduce blood sugar. It can also lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, improve bowel regularity, thicken liquids and foods, and it has some cancer-fighting properties.

02. Reduce constipation?

Xanthan gum is known to reduce constipation. It also helps improve swallowing, which could be beneficial for older cats who have a hard time eating.

03. Increases lubrication for swallowing food

Xanthan Gum increases the amount of saliva in the mouth, making it easier for food to move down their throat.

Are There Any Health Risks of Xanthan Gum?

Although this ingredient is approved by the FDA, according to this site, there are reports of forms of colitis in infants. And other reports of it being linked to deaths of infants, according to this site.

Xanthan Gum is also known to cause digestive issues. When given to animals in large doses, it increases the softness and frequency of their stool. It also causes gas and can also alter the bacteria in the gut. It is also known to worsen conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

However, every pet is different. When you feed them something like Xanthan Gum, you should always monitor them closely to see how they are reacting to it. If you notice any negative reaction, you should stop using that food immediately and find something different.

Should You Feed Your Cat Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan Gum is considered to be safe to feed to your cat. However, it is important to consider all of the health risks before feeding it to them. You should also consult your vet to get their opinion on whether or not it is okay for your specific pet.

If you know that your cat has a sensitive stomach and has bowel issues, you should avoid feeding them Xanthan Gum at all costs. It can cause issues for them like upsetting their stomach, increasing the frequency of their bowel movements, and causing diarrhea.

Is Xanthan Gum OK for Kittens?

Kittens have very sensitive stomachs. Xanthan Gum can be harmful to their little bellies because they are not fully developed yet. You should avoid feeding your kitten Xanthan Gum.

You can start your kitten on food that doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum as an ingredient.

Once your kitten gets older, you can mix some of their non-Xanthan Gum food with a type of food that contains Xanthan Gum that has similar ingredients. This will let you know if your cat has a sensitivity to Xanthan Gum or not.

Are There Better Food Alternatives than Xanthan Gum for Cats?

There are some alternatives to Xanthan Gum that would be better for your cat. Psyllium fiber is a natural source of insoluble and soluble fiber.

It is known to add bulk to your cat’s stool as well as increase how quickly it will move through the digestive system.

Chia seeds are another alternative to Xanthan Gum. They are becoming more commonly incorporated into pet foods, but you can also add it to your pet’s diet on your own. Flaxseeds are another way of boosting your cat’s digestion healthily.

Can You Get Cat Food Without Xanthan Gum?

There are brands of cat food that do not contain Xanthan Gum. You can definitely buy cat food without this ingredient if you feel it is not safe for your cat.

For instance, if you have a kitten or a cat with stomach issues, you will want to buy food without Xanthan Gum.

If you do buy cat food without Xanthan Gum, you can then use an alternative in your cat’s food if they have an issue with digestion. By adding an alternative, your cat will benefit from healthier digestion and fewer tummy aches.

Does Xanthan Gum Cause Diarrhea in Cats?

Xanthan Gum is known to cause diarrhea in cats. This is because it works to soften their stool to make it easier for them to pass. If they are getting too much Xanthan Gum, it can soften their stool too much, causing diarrhea.

If your cat is having issues with their stool being too soft, you should check the ingredients of the food they are eating (are the sushi sheets OK for cats? click here). If Xanthan Gum is an ingredient, you should try switching food to see if that is helpful to them.

Is Xanthan Gum a Contributing Factor to IBD in Cats?

Xanthan Gum can be a contributing factor to IDB in cats. Some of the causes of a cat having irritable bowel disease is their diet, imbalance of the bacteria in their gut, and how their immune system works. If your cat has a sensitivity to Xanthan Gum, it could definitely be a contributing factor to IBD.

To manage IBD in your cat, you should change their diet to see if that helps. If you switch your cat to a food that does not contain Xanthan Gum and they seem to be doing better than they were, then you know what was causing it.

When trying to determine what might be causing IBD in your cat, you should discuss it with your vet. They can give you specific recommendations of what might be the cause and what you should switch your cat to instead. Every pet is different, so it is best to get a professional opinion for your pet.

Lindsey Browlingdon