Can Cats Eat Caramel? (No Sugary Treats!)

By Phil / April 5, 2020
Can Cats Eat Caramel

I have a sweet tooth, I’m happy to admit that. I always have all kinds of chocolates and sugary treats around the house. My cats are well aware of this too and will help themselves given the chance.

Can cats eat caramel? Caramel is not toxic or harmful to cats in small amounts, so don’t panic if they’ve had a nibble. It’s not good for them though, so I have to advise you never deliberately give your kitty caramel.

What’s in Caramel?

What's in Caramel

Like most sugary treats, most people don’t know exactly what’s in caramel. Neither do most people want to, as it’s often shocking how much sugar is in this stuff!

Caramel recipes vary a little, but typically this is what’s in caramel:

  • Lots of sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Cream

It doesn’t take a qualified vet to help you realize that pretty much all of those ingredients (obviously water is fine) are bad for cats.

Is Caramel Bad for Cats?

As I mentioned above, a small amount of caramel isn’t going to do any harm. A large amount, on the other hand, is going to do a cat a lot of harm.

Cats do not need foods with added sugar in their diet. Sugar can cause weight gain, diabetes, and other diseases that also impact humans. It’s just that cats are so much smaller they can’t tolerate much.

Excessive amounts of salt will cause a kitty to have an upset stomach. Not to mention diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargic behavior, and worse if they continue to eat salt.

Then there’s the butter and cream. Two things cats love, but two things they should not eat.

A little known fact outside of cat enthusiasts is that cats are lactose intolerant. Especially the older they get. So, digesting, or trying to digest lactose doesn’t go down well with a lot of cats.

Some of the Foods That Cats Should Never Eat

Some of the Foods That Cats Should Never Eat

While we’re on the topic of foods that cats should not eat, here are some of the most toxic and harmful foods for cats:

Chocolate – A compound in chocolate called methylxanthine is known to be toxic to cats, and most other pets. It’ll cause some nasty stomach issues.

Dairy Products – As I mentioned above, as cats age they become lactose intolerant. This means ice cream, cream, milk, cheese, and so on can cause them some issues.

Raisins/Grapes – This is the one that catches most owners by surprise. Raisins and grapes are very toxic to cats. Symptoms will appear within hours, this can be anything from vomiting to kidney failure.

Garlic and Onions – If the strong smell isn’t enough to warn off cats, some of the compounds in these vegetables are. They can cause damage to red blood cells, which will lead to a number of health issues.

Alcohol – As little as a tablespoon of strong alcohol can cause a cat to go into a coma. Keep the drinks cupboard locked up!

Raw Dough – Raw dough produces alcohol (ethanol) as a by-product, and also expands in the stomach. Never leave your cat unattended with some raw dough.

Can Cats Eat Caramel Popcorn?

I had someone ask me this once, so I thought I’d add a few lines to explain why this is a bad idea.

First of all, I’ve covered above why cats shouldn’t eat caramel. While caramel popcorn doesn’t have a lot of caramel on it, it’s still covered in sugar.

The second reason is that cats shouldn’t be eating popcorn either. While it’s not toxic to them, it doesn’t include any good nutritional value.

So, no – cats should not eat caramel popcorn. But I don’t doubt most will do so give the chance.

In Summary

My advice; keep the caramel to yourself. Don’t leave it unattended either, there’s a good chance your cat has a sweet tooth too and will have a nibble.

Even if they don’t eat it, they are probably going to lick it. That’ll do them less harm, but it’s no better for you is it.

Resources

How to make caramel – Delish

Foods that are dangerous or toxic to cats – Hillspet.co.uk

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