Many Americans’ idea of a perfect morning starts with a big bowl of Cheerios and a glass of milk. A quick and easy breakfast option, each bite is sweet and relatively healthy. While Cheerios may be a healthy choice for people, cats probably shouldn’t rely on them for their nutritional needs.
Cheerios will not poison a cat. But you shouldn’t feed them to your cat and they shouldn’t be given to your cat as a treat. Though tasty, this cereal isn’t nutritionally necessary for a cat and won’t fulfill any of its dietary requirements.
Can Cats Eat Cheerios?
Unless they have a gluten or sugar sensitivity, cats can safely enjoy one or two Cheerios without any ill effects. That doesn’t mean your cat will enjoy munching on Cheerios, though. You should probably look elsewhere for a reward.
You can give your cat something healthier in the short term without worrying about negative effects on their health in the future.
The ingredients in Cheerios make them unhealthy, so don’t give them to your cat even as a treat. Gluten and artificial sugars are particularly harmful to your cat’s health.
What if My Cat Eats Cheerios?
Technically speaking, your cat won’t be harmed if they eat some Cheerios or another type of cereal.
There is no risk of choking because the cereal is already small and dissolves quickly. However, your cats won’t get any health benefits from eating the cereal.
Cheerios may not be suitable for cats who have allergies to wheat or sugar. Some felines may experience nausea or vomiting, but this is rare.
Therefore, there are better options than whatever you have in your pantry if you want to give your cat a tasty treat.
Is Sugar Dangerous for Cats?
Cheerios have a mildly sweet flavor that has made them popular. Honey and other sugar substitutes are responsible for the delicious sweetness.
Some synthetic sweeteners can also be harmful to felines. Cats and other pets could develop diabetes and other obesity-related health problems if they consume too much sugar.
Some brands of cereal may contain the following artificial sweeteners:
- Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is commonly found in keto and low-carb diet options.
- When compared to sugar, aspartame is 2,000 times sweeter. Cats and dogs may experience gastrointestinal distress.
- Sucralose is better known by its brand name, Splenda. Pets can safely consume it, but eating too much can make them sick.
- Stevia: it could be toxic to dogs or give them diarrhea.
- Sweet’N Low’s primary component is saccharine. If consumed, pets may experience gastrointestinal distress.
- Sweetener derived from the extract of the monk fruit. Dogs and cats can safely enjoy this plant.
Are Grains Dangerous for Cats?
Cheerios are constructed from oats. Sugars are more dangerous to cats than many grains. Grains like oats are fine to include in a cat’s diet, but they should be used more as filler than anything else.
Some of them may even be rich in protein, nutrients, and essential vitamins and minerals. However, given that cats eat mostly meat, the benefits of grains to them are minimal.
It’s possible that giving your cat a grain-based diet will only make it hungrier and dissatisfied with its food.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Cheerios?
While regular cheerios are safe for cats, many of the flavored varieties should be avoided. Never give your cat chocolate cheerios or any other kind of chocolate cereal.
Chocolate is toxic to cats due to an ingredient called theobromine, which is found in all chocolate.
Cats can develop abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, tremors, and even death if they consume chocolate in any form. Dark chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate used for baking are the most dangerous.
Can Cats Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?
It has been established that cats can occasionally consume cheerios, but can your feline friend enjoy a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios? The general opinion is that you shouldn’t give your cat honey because it contains too much sugar, which is bad for cats.
The high fat content of the nuts can also cause digestive issues in your cat. Pancreatitis can be brought on by eating too much fat, while diabetes and obesity can be brought on by eating too much sugar.
How Much Cheerios Can Cats Eat?
Cheerios have a lot of fiber, so some people think it’s good for cats to eat them. Moderate amounts of fibrous food may aid the cats’ digestion, but excessive amounts are not recommended.
Two different kinds of fiber, when combined, promote regular and healthy bowel movements.
Insoluble fiber aids in the prevention of diarrhea, while soluble fiber aids in the prevention of constipation.
If a cat has indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation, it may find relief from eating a handful of cheerios every once in a while, just as it may find relief from eating grass when it has an upset stomach.
Diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers are less likely to develop in cats with good digestive health.
However, there are other factors to think about besides quantity when considering whether or not to give your cat cheerios.
While Cheerios are a good source of fiber, they are also a carbohydrate. Cats’ digestive systems aren’t designed to process a lot of carbohydrates.
In other words, if you give your cat a large amount of cheerios, which are essentially empty carbohydrates, it may develop stomach problems, diarrhea, or even vomit.
Seek immediate veterinary attention if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after eating cheerios.
What Is a Cat’s Natural Diet?
Cats, whether wild or domesticated, are obligate carnivores that must eat meat to stay healthy.
Even if you don’t give your cat a raw diet like it would get in the wild, you should still make sure it gets plenty of meat.
The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables is minimal, and even wild cats eat a small amount of plants with their meals.
Healthier Alternatives to Cheerios for Your Cat
There are numerous options for a quick and healthy snack that you can give your cat. Feed them small pieces of boneless fish or meat to mimic their natural diet.
Cheese works just as well. It’s important to remember that many felines have lactose intolerance or sensitivity, so don’t feed them any dairy products.
Even if these don’t correspond to their natural diet, they still have access to a wide variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables.
You can feed them small pieces of banana, melons, berries, or baby carrots. Since not all cats are interested in fruits and vegetables, deciding which ones will be up to your cat’s preferences.
Last but not least, if you need to get them to eat more, try adding rice to their meals. It’s a good way to get some protein and texture into their diet without giving them gluten or extra fat.
Things to Keep in Mind When Feeding Cats
Long-term, it’s not a good idea to feed your cat Cheerios. Prolonged use may cause a variety of negative health effects. In addition, they offer no nutritional value and do nothing to help your pets.
In addition, your cats could gain weight from eating so many of these empty calories. Problems with diet and exercise as well as an increased risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are all linked to obesity.
Chocolate Cheerios are the most dangerous variety for your cat to eat. Chocolate is toxic to cats and has twice as much sugar as regular Honey Nut Cheerios, so you should never feed it to yours.
Accidental or not, it’s not a good idea to give your cat Cheerios out of curiosity or because you thought it might like them.
Instead, give your cats treats that are good for their health and that complement their regular diet. A bowl or two of Cheerios here and there probably won’t kill you, but why take the chance?