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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Gingerbread Cookies? Vet Reviewed Nutrition Facts

Can Cats Eat Gingerbread Cookies? Vet Reviewed Nutrition Facts

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Gingerbread cookies are a yummy treat, especially during the holidays. For cat owners, you may notice your cat meowing at your feet because it wants a taste of the tasty treat as you bake away in the kitchen.

When you give your cat treats, especially if it’s human food, you’ll need to ensure the food isn’t toxic for your cat. So, what about gingerbread cookies? Is it good for them? Unfortunately, gingerbread cookies are not a good treat to give your cat.

Let’s dive deeper into why gingerbread cookies are not a good treat for your cat and explore safer and more suitable treats for your feline furball.

divider-catCan Cats Eat Gingerbread Cookies?

Most gingerbread cookies’ ingredients are neither safe nor hold nutritional value for your cat to eat. These cookies have sugar and spices that can cause digestive issues for your cat. Let’s break down common ingredients found in gingerbread cookies and dissect the issue with your cat eating them.

Gingerbread Cookies
Image Credit: JumpStory

Common Ingredients Found in Gingerbread Cookies

  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg is not an innocent spice for cats and contains a toxin called myristicin. While a small amount of myristicin will not seriously harm your cat, a large amount can cause high blood pressure, abdominal pain, increased heart rate, dry mouth, and even seizures. However, gingerbread cookies will have a small amount of nutmeg, but it’s still better to avoid giving any to your cat to be safe.
  • Cinnamon – According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), cinnamon is not toxic to dogs, cats, or horses. However, the form of the cinnamon will determine if your cat has issues. For example, if your cat ingests a large amount of cinnamon powder, it could develop vomiting, diarrhea, low blood sugar, and liver damage. A large amount of the powder would have to be ingested to cause problems, but to be safe, it’s best to avoid the spice, as a small amount could cause digestive discomfort.
  • Brown Sugar – Brown sugar isn’t toxic to your cat but has no nutritional benefit. Cats don’t digest and break down sugars like us humans, so it’s best to skip it. Sugar is empty calories, and you don’t want to give your cat sugar because it could cause obesity and even diabetes down the road.
  • Ginger – This ingredient (in small amounts) actually has health benefits for your cat. There is evidence that ginger can effectively treat nausea and vomiting, but you should consult your veterinarian before giving ginger to your cat.
  • Cloves – The form of the clove will be a factor regarding whether it’s harmful to your cat or not. Small amounts of clove in a recipe should not pose a health risk, but clove oil should be avoided. Clove oil contains a compound called eugenol, which could cause liver toxicity in cats.

Treats to Avoid Giving Your Cat

We all want to give our cats yummy treats, but the treats need to be safe and non-toxic. Raisins, chocolate, and grapes should be avoided at all costs, as these foods are all toxic to pets.

If your cat goes nosing through the trash or jumps on the counter when you’re not looking and eats something toxic, you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Center to get immediate help on what to do.

Chocolate pudding in a white ceramic bowl
Image Credit: Bethany Hicks, Pexels

Healthy Treats for Your Cat

Cats love special treats, and you want to ensure you’re giving a healthy and beneficial treat rather than something that can be harmful to your kitty. You can try blueberries, carrots, cooked meat, pumpkin, or other safe goodies you may have at home.

You can also buy healthy treats from your local pet store or online; just be sure to check the labels to ensure there are no added artificial preservatives, flavors, or additives.

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divider-catFinal Thoughts

While most of the ingredients in gingerbread cookies are not extremely toxic to your cat, it’s best to skip it. The only beneficial ingredient is ginger (in small amounts) because it can treat nausea and vomiting. All other ingredients serve no nutritional value and are simply not worth giving to your cat due to the potential digestive issues that may come with it.

Stick to the healthy treats mentioned above, and your cat will love you even more!

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Featured Image Credit: nicole-michalou, Pexels

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