While cats can safely eat many kinds of foods that humans eat, it’s best to refrain from feeding your cat granola. You can find some varieties of granola that don’t contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, but many granola blends incorporate ingredients that can make cats sick. Granola also doesn’t add very many nutritional benefits to a cat’s diet. So, even if it has a crunchy texture that’s similar to baked cat treats, you can find much safer snacks to feed your cat.
Is Granola Safe for Cats to Eat?
Granola typically has a base that consists of rolled oats that are bound together with a sticky sweetener, like honey or syrup. It also usually includes a blend of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. While none of these ingredients are toxic to cats, they can still cause an upset stomach or contribute to long-term health issues.
For example, oats may be an excellent source of fiber, but adding too much fiber to a cat’s diet can cause digestive issues and may prevent proper nutrient absorption. Cats also don’t require carbohydrates in the same way as humans or dogs, and they don’t have taste receptors that register sweetness. So, there’s no benefit from feeding them sweet foods like honey, dried fruits, and sugar. Your cat may not get sick from licking a small amount of honey, but eating too much in one sitting can cause an upset stomach. Continuing to feed your cat sugary treats will quickly lead to excessive weight gain and obesity.
Nuts and seeds in themselves generally aren’t harmful to cats, but they’re not a necessary part of their diet. Many nuts and seeds are high in fat and calories, which can cause weight gain. Larger varieties of nuts can also be a choking hazard, and seeds can get stuck in your cat’s teeth and lead to dental issues.
Also, keep in mind that some granola blends contain chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to cats and feeding it to cats can lead to fatal consequences. Chocolate contains compounds called methylxanthines that are harmful to cats. Some kinds of chocolates may also contain xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that’s toxic to cats.
What to Do If Your Cat Has Eaten Granola
If your cat eats a little bit of granola that doesn’t contain chocolate, you usually don’t have to worry. Just store the granola in a safer location and monitor your cat’s condition. Be on the lookout for signs of digestive issues, like vomiting or diarrhea. If signs persist for more than 2 days, it’s recommended to consult your veterinarian.
It’s also helpful to check the granola’s ingredient list and look for any potentially harmful ingredients, like artificial sweeteners and chocolate. If your cat has potentially ingested a toxic ingredient, make sure to contact an animal poison control hotline or your veterinarian right away.
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Overall, granola isn’t a recommended treat for cats. Many granola blends don’t contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, but cats can still get sick from eating too much granola. Since granola doesn’t really contain ingredients that are a natural part of a cat’s diet, it’s best to give your cat a different treat.
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