Soft, sweet, and chewy – words that don’t express any sign of toxicity at all, and these are the exact terms used to describe marshmallows.
For cat owners with a sweet tooth, a bite of this confection is like floating in the clouds with rainbows, cats, and unicorns.
But, what if their cats beg for some of these sugary treats? What should they do? Can cats eat marshmallows?
Can Cats Eat Marshmallows? Is It Safe to Give?
With the sweet taste, saccharine aroma, and spongy consistency of a marshmallow, eating it feels like a treat sent from the heavens above.
For sure, somehow you are tempted to share even just a bite-size marshmallow with your kitty. But, is it safe for him or not? And does it give him some health benefits at all?
If we, humans, are not even spared from the dangers of sugar, then, how much more our cats? So, the short answer to the question raised above is unfortunately no.
While marshmallows are not toxic to cats, there are still a lot of reasons why it’s not advisable to give them this sugary treat.
And as a cat parent, you should not feel bad at all for not giving your cat a taste of this sinful and potentially harmful human delicacy.
Why You Can’t Give Cats Marshmallows?
Would you give your cat something that he won’t enjoy and benefit from, and that can even cause several safety and health issues for him? Of course, not, right?! We are asking because that’s how exactly is a marshmallow for felines.
Marshmallows are basically confectionery made from sugar, water, and gelatin whipped to a dense, soft, and sticky consistency.
And these sweet treats are essentially just empty calories for cats that would not only cause significant weight gain but also be detrimental to their overall health and safety.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why as a responsible pet owner, you should not give this junk food to your cat.
First, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they rely on meat, and on a diet that is rich in protein.
Giving them high-quality commercial or homemade cat food is enough for them to meet their daily nutritional needs and calorie requirement.
You don’t have to give them sugar-rich or even plant-based foods for them to live and thrive each day. For occasional treats, you can also resort to an animal product that they love, as well as healthy cat treats that you can make at home or purchase at a local pet store.
Second, another reason why you should skip this unhealthy human food is that it can be a choking hazard for cats and other small animals. It’s also a problem for children under the age of 3; that’s why marshmallows are not recommended for them.
As mentioned earlier, these sugary treats have a solid and sticky consistency. Combined with its size and shape, it can easily lodge into a cat’s throat and cause obstruction. So, it’s very important to keep an eye on your cat if you are munching on a bag of marshmallows.
The next reason why you should not give marshmallows to your cat is due to its high sugar content. In particular, one standard size marshmallow contains 4.1 grams of sugar.
If you have a standard-size house cat, he would typically need 300 calories a day. Now, a piece of marshmallow already has 23 calories. Apparently, munching on these treats can result to feline obesity and other health problems.
The fourth reason is that a marshmallow contains 5.8 mg of sodium. This amount is already more than enough for cats considering their very low tolerance to sodium in their diet.
Being a high-calorie treat packed with sodium and sugar, it only goes to show that a marshmallow doesn’t offer any nutritional value to cats at all.
Moreover, to add fuel to the fire, some marshmallows also contain ingredients that can be toxic to cats. The two common ingredients to watch out for are xylitol and chocolate. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in sugar-free marshmallows and candies.
It’s very important to read the label when buying these sugary treats, especially if there’s a slight chance that your cat might sneak on an opened bag of marshmallows left somewhere inside your household.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, cats are “sweet blind.” This means, they can’t also enjoy the sweet flavor of marshmallows as much as we, humans, do. Marshmallows don’t offer anything good to our feline buddies, so they are better off without these treats.
In fact, this should not even be part of a human diet. And no one should take delight in a piece of marshmallow at all considering the health issues associated with it and the absence or lack of nutritional value of this confection both for humans and cats.
We bet the only time that a marshmallow would be beneficial for humans is in case of a hypoglycemic attack where a dose of sugar could be helpful.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats Marshmallows?
If you suspect that your cat is chewing a marshmallow, you should first prioritize his airway to make sure that he is not choking.
If you see signs of choking, don’t panic. Instead, call your vet right away and follow their expert advice on what to do next.
Nonetheless, if your cat was able swallow a piece of marshmallow safely, you shouldn’t worry at all as long as you pay attention that it won’t happen again.
As mentioned earlier, marshmallows are not toxic to cats, but they don’t need these sugary treats at all. Also, some marshmallows contain xylitol and chocolates that are both poisonous to cats.
If your cat has never seen you eat a marshmallow before, then, it’s best to eat this sweet treat out of his sight. Again, you should not feel guilty for not giving in to his begging eyes in case he sees you enjoying a piece of marshmallow.
Alternatively, you can make yourself feel better by rewarding your cat with a piece or two of healthy treats that you’ve made yourself or you purchased from your local pet store.
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