If you’re a cat parent, you want to make sure your feline friend is getting the healthiest diet possible. The labeling on cat food can make it difficult to determine whether or not the food is actually healthy for your cat.
Xanthan gum, a common thickener and stabilizer used in many kinds of cat food, has become a topic of debate in the pet food world.
The safety of xanthan gum in cat food has been called into question by some experts, while others defend its use. What, then, is the reality?
In this article, we’ll delve into xanthan gum and discuss the pros and cons of giving it to your cat. Prepare to learn the truth about a controversial ingredient in cat food.
Can Cats Eat Xanthan Gum?
As with dogs, it is assumed that cats can safely consume xanthan gum. A cat may experience diarrhea if an overdose is administered. This is also possible if your cat has a sensitive stomach and you give it a lower dose.
So, there you have it. But why is there so much fuss about it? Is it dangerous to your health in any way? Will kitens be able to handle it? If you want the answers to these questions and more, keep reading…
What is Xanthan Gum?
Cosmetics, drugs, and processed foods for both humans and animals can all benefit from the thickening and emulsifying properties of xanthan gum. Paint, grout, wallpaper glue, and even toilet bowl cleaners are just some of the industrial uses for this compound.
The Food and Drug Administration has given their stamp of approval to this ingredient, and it is promoted as being completely natural.
Xanthomonas campestris bacteria are used in the fermentation of glucose, sucrose, and lactose to produce Xanthan Gum.
Xanthan Gum is typically made from corn or wheat starch. The goal of taking Xanthan Gum is to have softer, more frequent bowel movements.
What is the Nutritional Content of Xanthan Gum?
The USDA (per 100 grams) *
The complete list is available in the source.
There are 30 calories in 1 tablespoon of Xanthan Gum. It has zero fat and zero protein. There are 8g of carbs and 8g of fiber in the serving.
There is 260 milligrams of sodium and 29 milligrams of potassium per serving. Xanthan Gum has zero other nutritional value.
It’s devoid of essential nutrients like vitamin A and C, plus calcium and iron.
Why is Xanthan Gum Controversial?
Xanthan Gum’s safety for both humans and animals is up for debate. This is because it is an artificial ingredient in processed foods.
It is produced in a laboratory using methods that do not exist in nature. Because of this, some pet owners worry that feeding their cats is dangerous.
However, your cat should not have any Xanthan Gum if your vet has diagnosed it with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Are There Any Health Benefits of Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum has a few positive health effects…
Reduce Blood sugar?
It has been shown to lower blood sugar levels when consumed in larger quantities. It has anti-cancer properties and can also thicken liquids and foods, reduce cholesterol, help with weight loss, and improve bowel regularity.
Constipation can be alleviated with the help of xanthan gum. For senior cats who have trouble swallowing, this may be a welcome addition.
Increases lubrication for swallowing food
Xanthan Gum boosts saliva production, which makes swallowing food much simpler.
Are There Any Health Risks of Xanthan Gum?
There have been reports of infants developing colitis despite the fact that this ingredient has FDA approval. According to this site, it has also been linked to the deaths of infants in other reports.
Xanthan Gum can also trigger stomach pain and other unpleasant symptoms. In large doses, it improves stool consistency and frequency in animals.
It not only changes the bacteria in the gut, but also causes gas. Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are also known to worsen under its influence.
However, every animal companion is unique. It’s important to keep a close eye on your pet whenever you give them a new food or supplement, and Xanthan Gum is no exception. If you have a bad reaction to a certain food, you should stop eating it right away and try something else.
Should You Feed Your Cat Xanthan Gum?
It is not harmful to give Xanthan Gum to your cat. But before you give it to them, you should weigh the benefits against the risks to their health. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you on whether or not it is safe for your pet.
If your cat has a delicate stomach or has digestive problems, you should never give them Xanthan Gum.
They may experience stomach distress, an increase in bowel movement frequency, and even diarrhea as a result.
Is Xanthan Gum OK for Kittens?
The stomachs of kittens are extremely delicate. Due to their immature digestive systems, Xanthan Gum should be avoided. You shouldn’t give Xanthan Gum to your kitten.
You can wean your kitten off of Xanthan Gum by feeding them food without it.
When your kitten is older, you can start introducing a small amount of Xanthan Gum-containing food into their diet. If your cat reacts negatively to Xanthan Gum, you’ll know it from here.
Are There Better Food Alternatives than Xanthan Gum for Cats?
You can find safer options than Xanthan Gum for your cat. Psyllium fiber comes from plants and can be used as a source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
The stool will be bulkier and pass through your cat’s digestive system more quickly after eating this.
Another option to Xanthan Gum is chia seeds. They are showing up in more and more commercial pet foods, but you can also give them to your pet on the side. You can also improve your cat’s digestion in a healthy way by feeding it flaxseeds.
Can You Get Cat Food Without Xanthan Gum?
There are Xanthan Gum-free cat food brands available. If you’re worried about the safety of your cat, you can find food that doesn’t contain this ingredient.
If your kitten or cat has digestive issues, for instance, you should look for food without Xanthan Gum.
If your cat has digestive issues, you can try using an alternative in their food if you purchase cat food without Xanthan Gum. You can help your cat’s digestion and prevent stomachaches by switching to a different food.
Does Xanthan Gum Cause Diarrhea in Cats?
Cats often get sick after consuming Xanthan Gum. This is because it helps to loosen their feces, making bathroom breaks less of a hassle. Too much Xanthan Gum in their diet may cause diarrhea due to its laxative effects.
Check the ingredients of the food your cat is eating (are the sushi sheets safe for cats) if you notice that their feces are unusually soft. The link is here. If Xanthan Gum is an ingredient, trying a different brand of food may help.
Is Xanthan Gum a Contributing Factor to IBD in Cats?
Cats may develop IDB if they eat Xanthan Gum. The immune system, the bacteria in the cat’s digestive tract, and the cat’s diet can all play a role in the development of IBD.
Irritable bowel disease (IBD) in your cat is a real possibility if your feline friend is allergic to Xanthan Gum.
You can try altering your cat’s diet to see if that helps with the IBD. If you notice an improvement in your cat’s condition after switching them to a food without Xanthan Gum, you now know the cause.
Talk to your vet about the possibility of IBD being the cause of your cat’s symptoms.
They will be able to give you advice on what may be the problem and what you should give your cat instead. Since every pet is unique, it’s always best to consult an expert.
In conclusion, xanthan gum is a popular food additive that is frequently used to enhance the texture and flavor of cat food by thickening and stabilizing the product.
While most felines should be fine eating xanthan gum, some may have an allergic reaction.
There are plenty of alternatives to xanthan gum that can be used to achieve the same results in cat food if you’re worried about giving it to your cat.
Before making any changes to your cat’s diet, consult with your veterinarian and read the label for any potentially harmful ingredients.
If you educate yourself and make well-informed decisions about your cat’s diet, you can help guarantee your pet’s long, happy, and healthy life.