Can cats eat goldfish crackers? Do goldfish crackers provide any decent nutrition outside of being a tasty snack that’s just as hard for most cats (and us) to resist?
Personally, I love Goldfish Crackers, and my cats will eat them if they see an opportunity to do so.
So, I’ve looked into how healthy this baked snack is, whether or not cats should be eating them, and found out some other interesting bits of information about these cute little biscuit goldfish.
What Are Goldfish Crackers?
Only the most popular baked cheese cracker in the US!
Ok, if you live outside of the US you are forgiven if you’ve never heard of Goldfish Crackers. As far as I can tell from speaking to friends in other countries they aren’t popular elsewhere in the world. I’m sure it’s your loss if you’ve never seen or tried one, but it’s likely you have something very similar just under a different name.
As for the history behind Goldfish Crackers, it’s believed the owner of Pepperidge Farm (the company that makes them), Margaret Rudkin found them in Switzerland all the way back in the 1960’s and decided to produce a similar product in the US.
They started out as ‘Original’ flavour, with the popular cheddar flavor following. Now there are and has been literally dozens of different flavors from pizza and ranch to cupcake, nacho, and all sorts in between.
Goldfish Crackers Are Nothing to Do with Actual Goldfish!
I feel the need to just point out that Goldfish Crackers are not anything to do with actual goldfish. I’ve seen a few questions about whether or not they are made from goldfish, made for goldfish, are crackers that goldfish eat, and so on.
They are called Goldfish Crackers because they are in the shape of goldfish, that’s the connection. They have little eyes and a smile and are pretty cute little fishes but that’s where the connection to actual fish ends!
What Are Goldfish Crackers Made Of?
Despite the packaging saying they are ‘made with smiles’, which I’m sure they are, there are also a lot of ingredients that are not high on the healthy list for us or cats.
They also contain:
- Wheat flour
- Cheddar cheese
- Sunflower oil
- Some spices
- Some additives
Most of the ingredients you’d expect in a cheesy baked snack. The main areas of concern for cats are the additives, and in particular the sodium. In a serving size of 55 fishes, which I’m sure a cat wouldn’t eat that many, there is 250 mg of sodium.
According to the Journal of Nutrition, on average a cat needs no more than 21 mg of salt per day. Any more can cause anything from excessive thirst, to sodium poisoning which is potentially fatal.
How Healthy Are Goldfish Crackers?
I think we both know that any form of baked snack is a treat, right? They aren’t designed to be a healthy food option, like a piece of fruit or an organic yogurt.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t eat snacks, and there are some nutritional benefits. Goldfish Crackers have some healthy fats, fiber, and protein. And, certainly when stacked up against some other snacky foods they are a better option.
In moderation, I don’t see why we shouldn’t eat a handful of these cute little smiling fishes now and then. So hopefully that helps you feel a little better.
The real issue is that they are not healthy for cats.
It’s no secret that cats are obligate carnivores. Which means they need to get most of their daily nutrition from meats and specially formulated cat foods.
So, a cheesy baked snack isn’t exactly what they’re looking for. Even if it’s what you look forward to and you enjoy sharing them with your cute furry friend who just happens to be brushing against your legs and bunting you.
They are, afterall, designed for humans.
Can Cats Eat Goldfish Crackers?
The answer to this is a firm NO.
Sure, most cats will nibble on Goldfish Crackers if you offer them one or leave them lying around. And, I wouldn’t panic if your cat has eaten a couple from time-to-time in the past, but it’s time to redirect their attention to something a little more healthy!
If your cats love cheesy treats then why not give them some cheese treats designed for cats…
Here are a couple of the best selling cheesy treats I could find on Amazon.com for example:
Friskies Party Mix Crunch Cheezy Craze Cat Treats
This bumper pack of cheesy treats will keep your cat(s) hunger for treats and cheesy snacks at bay for a while!
They are a much better option than Goldfish Crackers. They’re low in calories, packed with good stuff, made with real cheese, crunchy for good dental hygiene, just an all-around awesome alternative.
If you want a cool storage container for your kitty treats check out this post of my top 5 food and treat containers.
Friskies Party Mix Tender Crunchy Lobster Mac N’ Cheese Cat Treats
What cat doesn’t want a ‘party mix’ of mac ‘n’ cheese and lobster flavor snacky treats?
The benefit of giving your kitty a specially formulated treat over human foods as discussed in this article is that these treats are low in calories, help support dental hygiene, and don’t contain any of the bad stuff like sodium that’s in Goldfish Crackers.
My Cat Ate Some Goldfish Crackers – What to Do?
If your cat has eaten some Goldfish Crackers there shouldn’t be any need to panic or be concerned.
Firstly, do you know how much they ate? If you’ve been sharing you will know, if they’ve been crafty and nibbled on some you left out take the best guess you can.
If they’ve eaten a lot, it’s a good idea to call your vet and talk with them. They will be able to give you the best advice based on how much you think they’ve eaten, the age and health of your cat, and some other information specific to your cat.
In most cases however, the worst you should expect is a little flatulence (not pleasant by any means) a thirsty cat, and maybe a case of the tummy rumbles.
You know now that you a.) your cat likes Goldfish Crackers and will eat them given the chance, and b.) you need to lock this baked, cheesy treat away as they are not good for cats to be eating.