Cats may be attracted to goldfish crackers. Well, who isn’t? They are so delicious but also unhealthy for us, humans. But can cats eat goldfish crackers?
You leave your goldfish crackers on the table unattended for just one second and turn around to deal with something else and you suddenly realize that you kitty grabs a couple of goldfish crackers. Sounds familiar? Cats do that, don’t they? Sometimes they steal such foods that cat parents start getting worried. The question is can cats eat goldfish crackers. What if your cat ate goldfish crackers?
Can Cats Eat Goldfish Crackers?
The short answer is NO, but don’t panic just yet. A couple of goldfish crackers probably will not harm your kitty immediately unless it has allergies to one of the ingredients inside the crackers however they are very unhealthy for your cat and they also have toxic substances inside such as salt which can even be fatal if consumed in large quantities and they have little to no health benefits at all.
Cats are obligate carnivores and their main source of nutrition is animal meat. Since goldfish crackers do not include any kind of meat (yes, I am aware of the common dad joke about goldfish crackers and no they don’t include any goldfish) or healthy vegetables for cats, they don’t hold any kind of nutrition for our little friends.
So what is inside goldfish crackers?
Are the Ingredients of Goldfish Crackers Unhealthy for Cats?
To be honest I personally do not see anything on the list of ingredients that can benefit your cat meaningfully. Actually, most of these ingredients are what you want to keep away from your cat. Remember these are unhealthy food for your cat even when they are taken as individual items.
- Cheddar cheese
- Wheat flour
- Sunflower oil
- Some spices
- Some additives
The first two ingredients in the list are milk and cheddar cheese which are both carry the potential of diarrhea for cats because cats lose their ability to process lactose and become lactose intolerant after sometime after their mothers stop feeding them her milk.
Wheat flour which is basically carbohydrate is not something cats really need a lot. Cats need only 10-15% of their diets come from carbohydrates. Considering you will feed your cat its regular cat food anyway and that the cat food already includes that amount of carbohydrates, giving your cat goldfish crackers regularly can add up and lead to even obesity which is very dangerous for cats.
The yeast inside goldfish crackers is a Monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is a flavor enhancer. Some cats can be allergic to MSGs just like humans and these substances can cause serious health issues for kitties depending on the severity of the allergy.
Sunflower oil or any other kind of oil can cause diarrhea, vomiting and increased heart rate in cats unless given in moderation. It can also lead to weight gain and even obesity if consumed regularly in large amounts. However, it is not toxic at all.
Salt might the biggest issue with goldfish crackers because the recommended daily intake of sodium is already included in the cat food. Since too much salt can cause salt poisoning which is one of the most dangerous health issues for cats that can even be fatal and a serving of 55 goldfish crackers contain 250 mg of sodium, only a few crackers is considered too much for your cat. There is a really good article on US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health about salt and its effects in cats.
Sugar is not something cats can taste because they don’t have taste buds for sweetness and as we all know sugar is the number one cause of obesity around the world. So it both an unnecessary and an unhealthy substance for cats.
Spices and other additives whether they are chemical or natural can be big issues for cats because most of these substances are toxic to cats and you should really pay attention to your cats behavior if you realize your cat consumed some and call your veterinarian if you notice any out of ordinary behavior.
Can I Give My Cat Goldfish Crackers?
Only one or two goldfish crackers will not immediately harm your cat but considering how unhealthy they are and the risks associated with eating too much goldfish crackers for cats, it is best if you don’t give any goldfish crackers to your cat. Instead you may want to give some healthy alternatives such as cauliflower or lettuce.
Can Cats Eat Goldfish Crackers – Conclusion
Goldfish crackers are unhealthy both for cats and humans however they don’t do much harm if your cat steals one or two every few weeks.
Although there are toxic substances in goldfish crackers they are not in toxicity levels as long as your cat doesn’t eat more than one or two.
So let’s ask one more time: “Can cats eat goldfish crackers?”. The answer is yes, they can eat one or two crackers without immediate adverse effects but they really shouldn’t.