Do you find you often have Pop-Tarts in the house thanks to your kids or to satisfy your inner child’s appetite? You might wonder if cats can eat Pop-Tarts. But the truth is—realistically, humans shouldn’t even eat Pop-Tarts. They are full of preservatives, artificial dyes, and empty calories. But hey! We’re not out to ruin your childhood by talking bad about your favorite fast breakfast pastime.
When it comes to your cat, just like us, Pop-Tarts aren’t toxic. They’re just unhealthy. Plus, cats are obligate carnivores who can’t taste sugar, so they are not a good use of empty calories in terms of satisfying your feline. Let’s take a bit deeper look.
Pop-Tart Nutrition Facts
Serving Size is 1 pouch, 2 Pop-Tarts
As you can tell from the ingredients, Pop-Tarts have pretty solid vitamin and mineral content—but don’t be distracted by the bad news: 330mg of sodium, 75 carbohydrates, and 410 calories should be enough to make you raise your eyebrows.
The main ingredients in Pop-Tarts are listed as enriched flour, vitamin B2, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and sugar. The fact that sugar-based ingredients are in the first six listed should be a big red flag.
Cats Shouldn’t Eat Pop-Tarts
Cats do not benefit from a single ingredient in Pop-Tarts. In fact, Pop-Tarts can actually really impact your cat’s health if you let them eat these foreign, sugary treats often.
Granted, you’re probably looking up this article because they licked your Pop-Tart and you’re worried about possible toxicity. But if for some reason you have a cat that has some weird hankering for Pop-Tarts, here’s why you should deny the request.
Now, let’s give them some credit. The ingredients list for Pop-Tarts is extensive—and most of it is not good. The fruit base, for instance, contains real apples, strawberries, and pears. However, the number of dyes, flour, and starches is prevalent.
No Nutritional Value
Sure, you have lots of vitamins listed in a Pop-Tart, which can be deceiving. But when you consider how many calories and carbs are stuffed in these little infinitely preserved treats, it kind of cancels out the good stuff.
The most important nutrients for cats are protein, amino acids, taurine, and omega fatty acids. This product contains next to none.
In just one Pop-Tart, there are 15 grams of sugar and 205 calories. Not only does your cat lack any benefit of sugar in their diet, but they also can’t taste it.
Cats Can’t Taste Sweetness
You might look at your lazy lad or lass lounging in their window hammock and wonder how a species could come so far from their wild ancestors. But even as spoiled as domesticated cats are, their dietary needs haven’t changed.
In the wild, cats eat other animals. They never snack on plants unless it’s munching the occasional grasses. Since our kitties are obligate carnivores, that means they have no evolutionary reason to taste certain flavors.
Do Cats Like Foods Like Pop-Tarts?
Most cats would take one curious sniff of a Pop-Tart and walk away with a brief inspection. It’s definitely not something most felines would want to eat. But all cats are different. You might have a cat who likes the texture or just wants to gnaw on something, but it’s not probable that they will show interest.
There are no smells emulating from a Pop-Tart that would entice a cat’s appetite. So, whether or not your cat takes a shine to these breakfast treats is an unlikely gamble.
If you plan to give your cat a “people-snack”, consider boiled shredded meats or broths with no additional ingredients.
A Cat’s Ideal Diet
Your cat should eat a daily diet of wet food, dry kibble, or veterinary-approved homemade diets. Occasionally, it is safe for them to have cat-specific snacks or plain meats. Cats are obligate carnivores and don’t eat plants, but occasionally they might like to gnaw on grasses.
It’s best to always stay within the realm of recommended nutrition to keep your cat feeling their best.
Cats + Pop-Tart: Final Thoughts
You probably already figured, but cats shouldn’t eat Pop-Tarts. There’s just really no upside to that. But the good news is that Pop-Tarts are non-toxic, so even if your feline takes a nibble, they will be just fine.
Since your cat can’t taste sweetness, it’s much more likely that they won’t bother with a Pop-Tart. But if they enjoy this preservative-filled pastry for some strange reason, it’s best to give them alternative options instead.
- You may also want to read: Can Cats Eat Prosciutto? Is It Healthy for Them?
Featured Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock