Most cats cannot resist chasing anything that resembles string. If you eat Twizzlers, you will probably be well aware of this as your cat launches themselves at you as the red string-like candy dangles around.
It’s important to remember that Twizzlers are not cat toys, despite how fun it is watching them chase one. Much like most things that your cats are probably chasing, destroying and eating are not cat toys!
They are likely to try and eat a Twizzler though, so it’s important to be aware of any bad health implications if they do so.
The good news is that Twizzlers are not toxic or harmful in any way, so cats can eat Twizzlers. However, you should avoid letting them eat them and not deliberately give your cat candy as it’s not good for them.
What Are Twizzlers? (They’re Not Licorice!)
Ok, first of all, I can’t be the only person who thought Twizzlers were red licorice laces, right?
In fact, I know I’m not because I can see from Googling the topic that lots of other people thought the same thing. It’s probably because red licorice laces are also really popular and look the same as Twizzlers.
Twizzlers do not contain any licorice extract. If you read the packaging this is clear, but who closely reads the packaging of candy, right?
Anyway, Twizzlers are basically just candy shaped to look like red licorice laces. They are made from corn syrup, sugar, wheat flour, and a range of artificial flavorings – all the ingredients you would expect to find in candy.
They’re made by The Hershey Company and are available in loads of flavors. In fact, looking through the list of flavors I’ve never even seen most of them!
Related – Can cats eat caramel?
Can Cats Have Red Licorice?
No, cats should not eat red licorice. Just as with Twizzlers, other brands of red licorice is candy, it’s not licorice.
As far as I can tell, red licorice started being called ‘licorice because the texture resembled the American Licorice Company’s black licorice.
I guess it was a good marketing ploy at the time, and with licorice having such a strong ‘love it or hate it’ kind of taste it opened up a new market.
The bottom line is that you should keep all candy well out of the reach of your cat. A lot of cats will ignore sweet stuff, but there are some that get a real taste for it.
Is Licorice Poisonous to Cats?
While on the topic of licorice – even with the revelation that red licorice isn’t even licorice – it’s worth touching on whether or not licorice is safe for cats.
It’s an interesting topic because I’ve read some accounts written by vets that the licorice plant, which is called Glycyrrhiza glabra, potentially has some positive health benefits.
This doesn’t apply to black licorice in candy form though. This is still candy, it’s loaded up with sugar, preservatives, and additives. All the stuff you shouldn’t be letting your cat get their teeth into.
To err on the side of caution, the best advice is to keep all forms of candy well out of their reach.
Why Cats Shouldn’t Eat Candy
Most forms of candy are not toxic and will not do a cat any harm if they have a lick or a nibble.
As already mentioned, however, cats shouldn’t be eating candy. Cats require very few carbohydrates in their diet and the sugars used in candy are foreign to them. It’s not like they’d be hunting candy in the wild!
Some cats will experience gastrointestinal issues and may even wretch or be sick. I wouldn’t be surprised if they looked a little sorry for themselves if they ate a Twizzler.
In addition to this, looking at candy on a wider scale than just Twizzlers, there are some ingredients used in some candies that are potentially toxic.
Chocolate – Chocolate is toxic to most pets, and this is true of cats. There are a number of substances in chocolate that can cause health issues; such as methylxanthines, caffeine, and theobromine.
Caffeine – Any candy promising a boost of energy might have caffeine in it.
Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners – These sweeteners can cause serious stomach upset and even liver damage in the long term.
Related – What you need to know about the dangers of soda for cats!
Switch Out the Candy for Cat Treats!
If you have a cat that likes to nibble on treats (which is every cat I’ve ever met) then you should stock up on kitty treats and keep the human stuff for yourself.
It’s the right thing to do.
Kitty treats are specially formulated to help meet some of their complex deity requirements with still being a treat, so don’t feel too bad.
Plus, did you know that cats do not even have that good a sense of taste, especially for sweet things? Most of their senses are exceptional, but they only have a few hundred taste buds compared to thousands as we do.
This is the big tub of cat treats I always have near by and where you can find them on Amazon:
The bottom line is; treating cats is fine, giving them candy or Twizzlers is not. Stop using Twizzlers to play with your cat and get some string instead, it’ll last a lot longer!
Image credits – Header photo by Brent Ninaber on Unsplash
Is Red Licorice Even Licorice At All? – Huffingtonpost.co.uk
Twizzlers – The Hershey Company