The old adage, “curiosity killed the cat,” is literally accurate in the case of some feline friends. You can’t leave them alone for more than a minute without finding them smack dab in the middle of something they shouldn’t be touching. The good news is that unless it’s chocolate, a PopTart won’t hurt your cat.
But PopTarts aren’t exactly a healthy choice for a snack, and neither you nor I should eat them on a regular basis. Here’s the skinny (that has to be a new sentence…) on PopTarts and felines.
Can Cats Eat PopTarts?
Pop tarts are not a good snack for cats. Pop-tarts contain sugar, flour, and other unhealthy ingredients that aren’t good for a cat’s diet.
Pop tarts aren’t the healthiest option for you or your cat, but they’re also not the worst. Pop-tarts contain many ingredients that are bad for cats and contribute nothing to their diet.
Cat Nutrition: What Foods Are Healthy for Cats?
Knowing what a healthy cat diet consists of will help you explain why your cat shouldn’t be eating PopTarts.
Cats are classified as “obligate carnivores” by experts in the field. This means that cats have a distinct lack of morphology related to the digestion of plant materials, and that their bodies are biologically designed to break down animal proteins.
The caecum, for instance, is the organ most commonly thought of when discussing the digestive process of plant foods. The gut flora required to metabolize plant matter into nutrients is located here in herbivores and omnivores.
Cats, like herbivores and omnivores, have this section of the intestine, but it is significantly shorter. It differs from herbivores and omnivores in that it lacks macroscopic differentiation.
Cats, however, do require a sprinkling of plant matter in their diet. Cats have a reputation for whole-prey consumption in the wild. Everything from the flesh and muscles to the bones and organs is fair game.
Scientists believe that this is how cats satisfy their requirements for plant-based foods.
Eating their prey’s stomach contents not only provides them with the plant materials, but also has the added benefit of already having been partially digested by an organism with the gut microbiome needed to digest the plant materials.
However, there are repercussions and effects for the animals who share the characteristics of obligate carnivores. Sugars and carbohydrates found in plants are the primary “fast” energy sources.
Cats can get by with a lower intake of carbohydrates because their primary sources of fuel are fat and protein. Carbohydrates make up less than 25% of a cat’s ideal diet, and sugar is unnecessary.
What is the Nutritional Content of PopTarts?
Instead of asking if PopTarts are nutritious, we should be asking if they are nutritious, and we will be answering that question. To my surprise, they don’t contribute much to your diet.
Approximately 170 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 115 milligrams of sodium, and 14 grams of sugar can be found in a single PopTart. According to the Strawberry Frosted PopTarts food label, this is the case. All of this is bad news for your cat’s health, to put it bluntly.
When compared to humans, cats are noticeably smaller. In general, cats of all sizes should consume between 240 and 300 calories per day, with only extremely large cats needing more than 300. Half of your cat’s daily nutritional needs can be met by a single PopTart.
This study found that cats required about 45 milligrams of sodium per day, or 500 milligrams per 1,000 calories, from Iams. There is a lot of jargon here; allow us to clarify. About 500 milligrams of sodium for every 1,000 calories your cat consumes is ideal.
About 170 calories can be found in a PopTart. Therefore, your cat will consume 690 milligrams of sodium for every six PopTarts it eats (1020 calories total), which is far too much sodium for your cat’s needs.
The PopTart, with its whopping 14 grams of sugar, must not be forgotten. Fourteen grams of sugar is a lot. About 0.47 grams of sugar! Even people can’t handle that much, much less a cat!
In conclusion? Cats should not eat PopTarts. It won’t provide them with enough of the nutrients they need.
Reasons Cats Should Not Eat Pop-Tarts
Your cat shouldn’t eat pop tarts for more than one reason. Read on to find out why pop tarts are so bad for you.
Pop-Tarts Are Full Of Sugar
Pop tarts contain a lot of sugar, which is something you probably already knew as a kid. Cats should not be fed sugar, and you should avoid giving it to them. Pop tarts are unhealthy because of all the added sugar.
Pop-Tarts Are Empty Calories
Pop tarts are empty calories because they don’t provide any real nutrition to cats. Your cat will need to work off the calories in the pop tart if you feed it to it. It’s important to give your cat nutritious, high-quality food to ensure his optimal health.
Your Cat May Choke On The Sprinkles
Sprinkles are a great addition to some pop tarts, and let’s be honest, those are the best kind. If your cat manages to get its paws on this pop tart and doesn’t pay attention, it could choke on the sprinkles.
Your Cat May Expect To Get Pop-Tarts
Your cat may develop a pop tart expectation just like he develops an expectation for any treat you give him regularly. It would be best if you didn’t give your cat unhealthy treats like pop tarts in the first place.
Pop-Tarts Have Carbs
Carbs aren’t good for a cat. Pop tarts are high in carbohydrates, which are not essential for a cat’s diet and can have a negative effect on your cat’s health and lead to weight gain.
Your Cat May Gain Weight
Pop tarts can cause your cat to gain weight for a variety of reasons, including the sugar and carbohydrates they contain. Your cat will require a special diet if he gets too fat.
Heart disease and diabetes are just two of the many health problems that excess weight can cause. An inactive lifestyle contributes to further weight gain in an overweight cat.
Are Pop-Tarts Bad For Cats
It’s true that cats shouldn’t eat pop tarts. If you stop trying to feed your cat pop tarts, that will help.
Pop-tarts don’t provide much nutritional value for humans. The same goes for your cat and pop tarts. Do not make it a routine to feed your cat pop tarts because they are not healthy for cats.
Pop-tarts are completely useless to your cat’s diet. This means that there is no nutritional benefit to giving your cat pop tarts. Pop tarts have a lot of unnecessary fat and sugar, both of which can make you fat.
In addition, as we shall see in the following chapters, felines are strict carnivores.
Meat is essential to a cat’s health and survival. Pop tarts don’t contain any meat, so they’re not a good option for your cat’s diet. Sharing your pop tart with your cat may make you feel good, but it could actually be harmful to your cat.
Pop Tart Alternatives For Cats
There are no great substitutes for pop tarts because they are a human food that cats shouldn’t eat. There are a variety of treats available for feline companions.
Instead of pop tarts, try some of these alternatives if you want to give your cat a tasty treat that you can also eat:
- unseasoned, cooked seafood
- Scrambled eggs
- Chicken and other meats. Meat of any kind needs to be cooked all the way through and served unsalted.
You shouldn’t give your cat pop tarts, but there are plenty of other human foods that are safe and healthy for you to give to your cat as treats.
Consider what you eat when deciding what to feed your cat. Meat, for instance, needs to be cooked before being consumed. However, your cat doesn’t care about flavor, so feel free to leave out the seasonings.
Things to Consider
In this article, we touched on the ingredients used to make pop tarts, but let’s look more closely at a few of them.
While carbohydrates are a necessary part of the human diet, they are unnecessary for a cat’s diet. Carbohydrates are indigestible for a cat.
Stomach aches and loose stools are possible outcomes. Continued consumption of carbohydrates by cats will result in weight gain if the animal is not sufficiently active to burn off the extra calories it consumes.
Pop tarts contain a variety of sugars, including high fructose corn syrup and white table sugar. Sugar, like carbohydrates, is not necessary for a cat’s diet. Cats shouldn’t be fed sugar because it’s bad for their health.
While your cat’s digestive system may fare better if you include sugar in its diet, you should expect to see rapid weight gain. Sugar has a negative effect on cats just like it does on humans.
Cats are susceptible to developing heart disease and diabetes if they gain too much weight. Your cat’s heart will have to work harder as it gains weight and slows down its activity level, especially as it ages.
Potential long-term consequences include heart failure. Your cat’s blood sugar can quickly become unbalanced if its diet contains an excessive amount of sugar, just like it can in humans.
This means that there are no advantages to feeding your cat pop tarts. If you want your cat to stay active and healthy, resist the urge to feed it your favorite junk food and look for an alternative. There are a lot of other options that are better for you than pop tarts.
PopTarts may be a tasty snack for humans, but they should be kept well out of your cat’s reach. Your furry family member may be tempted by your PopTarts, but they should only be allowed to sample the crust on occasion.
If you think your cat has swallowed something it shouldn’t have, make an appointment with your vet immediately. They will have a more complete picture of your cat’s general well-being and behavior patterns. Cats are masters at disguising the signs of illness. It’s preferable to err on the side of caution.