If you drop a piece of a graham cracker, a regular cracker, or just about any type of snack foods, most cats will munch them up in a hurry. I know mine will!
We have to be very careful what we allow (or don’t allow) our kitties to eat though.
Cats have sensitive stomachs and a lot of “human foods” can cause them anything from a stomach upset, to some serious health issues.
Can Cats Eat Graham Crackers?
If your cat has nibbled on a graham cracker, don’t panic. They’re not toxic or harmful in any way – in small amounts.
On the other hand, crackers do not provide any good nutrition for cats. They’re also high in salt content (for cats), which can lead to increased thirst and other health complications.
So, the bottom line is, if your cat has had a nibble here and there they shouldn’t have any issues. Going forward, I’d keep crackers and other snack foods well out of their reach through.
What Are Graham Crackers? What’s in Them?
Graham crackers, which get their name from the fact that they’re made with “graham” flour, are similar to other crackers in nutrition.
They’re typically made with flour, sugar, salt, butter, milk, and honey. This makes it easy to understand why most cats are attracted to them, most of the stuff my girls go crazy for.
As for nutrition, according to VeryWellFit.com, a single serving (which is 5 crackers, way more than any cat will eat – I hope) of graham crackers provides:
- Calories – 59
- Fat – 1.4g
- Sodium – 67mg
- Carbohydrates – 11g
- Sugars – 4.4g
- Protein – 1g
As you can see, not a bad snack for us. But for cats, none of that nutrition is ideal. The sugar and sodium/salt content is cause for concern too.
Related – Can cats eat pretzels? Some interesting pretzel-related kitty facts.
Can Cats Eat Regular Crackers?
There are various types of crackers, and each varies slightly in their ingredients and the process they go through while being made.
Generally speaking though, most crackers contain similar ingredients and nutrition. So the same rule applies, they’re not harmful but shouldn’t be given to cats.
While we’re on the topic, you should keep all the snack foods to yourself. There are more than enough cats treats to choose from that have been specially formulated to be better for them, and even tastier!
Which leads me nicely on to:
What Should You Give Your Cat Instead of Crackers?
As far as what I call “human foods”, which is the stuff we eat on a regular basis, there really isn’t a lot you should be giving your cat.
Cats are very different from us. In fact, they are obligate carnivores. This means they need meat in their diet. Hence why wild cats survive almost exclusively on the prey they catch.
You need to give mean meat though, they will get all the key nutrients from a quality shop-bought cat food.
With this in mind, the best food you can share with your cat is meat. I’m sure you’re well aware that your cat will happily take any meat scraps off your hands.
Yet, you still need to be careful giving them meat because most of the meat we eat has been processed and treated with salt and preservatives. Both of which are bad for cats.
Just take a read of these articles for example; can cats eat spam, and can cats eat Vienna sausage?
I hate to say it, but we (and this includes me) should be more strict and only give our cats cat treats.
Something like these Temptations available on Amazon, for example:
It’s just as fun and rewarding to give you cat these treats than leftovers from your plate. It’s way better for them too.
Some Foods You Should Never Give Your Cat
While crackers are fine in small amounts, there are some foods that you should never give to your cats.
The main known problem foods that are potentially toxic or poisonous are:
Raisins and grapes – These are known to be very toxic. Causing vomiting and stomach upset, and even kidney failure.
Dairy – Hard to believe that cats are lactose intolerant, isn’t it? They become intolerant as they age, so keep all the dairy away to avoid tummy rumbles and gastrointestinal issues.
Chocolate – There are compounds in chocolate that are toxic to most small animals and household pets.
Garlic and onions – I love garlic and often have it laying around the kitchen. Luckily my cats can’t stand the smell, because it can cause some damage to their red blood cells if they eat it.
Alcohol – This is another substance that is incredibly dangerous to cats. Even a little sip of a strong drink can cause a cat to fall seriously ill.
Now you know some of the foods you shouldn’t share with your cat. Some that you can in moderation, like graham crackers. And best of all, some better alternatives.
Living with three cats for most of my life, I know how much they pester us for food and how quickly they’ll finish off a plate of scraps.
It’s our job to make sure they aren’t getting hold of any foods that can potentially make them sick. Stick to the kitty treats, that’s my advice.
Image credits – Photos by Tim-Oliver Metz, Mustapha Muhammedon, and Valentina Pescape’ on Unsplash
Cracker nutrition facts – VeryWellFit.com