Despite not being dangerous to cats, It is not recommended for cats to eat marshmallows. There are a variety of reasons why you should not feed your cat Marshmallows.
One of the best parts of summertime camping is roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
Besides, who wouldn't love the distinctive flavor and the creamy texture of roasted marshmallows? However, can cats eat marshmallows too?
There are lots of ways to enjoy this sweet treat. You can roast it over the fire to make s'mores or treat yourself to spongy marshmallows after a tiring day.
Children and grown-ups alike, no one can resist the sweet taste and the squishy consistency of marshmallows.
This favorite confection is indeed a satisfying treat for people with sweet tooth. How about our furry friends? Can cats eat marshmallows?
Sharing these sweet treats with your feline buddy would undoubtedly make your camping or siesta more enjoyable.
Now the issue at hand is whether or not this sweet treat is safe for felines to eat. Of course, we don’t want to compromise the wellness of our feline pets by giving them inappropriate foods.
Sharing your favorite snack with your furball would be nice. However, can cats eat marshmallows? Is it right for them?
What makes up a marshmallow?
Before we answer these questions, we’re going to take a look at the things that make up a marshmallow.
A marshmallow is a confectionary that consists of three main ingredients: sugar, water, and gelatin.
They are called ‘marshmallows’ because the original recipe uses the sap from the root of the marshmallow plant.
The root sap was later substituted by gelatin which makes up the modern marshmallows that we enjoy today.
It is the foam that results from an intense whipping process that pushes air bubbles to spread throughout the sugar solution.
In addition to sugar, corn syrup is also added to prevent sugar crystallization and to enhance the flavor.
Egg whites can also be used to replace gelatin to act as the surface-active agent or the aerator that produces the foam.
For flavorings, additional ingredients such as vanilla extract or lemon juice are also used.
Moreover, the result is a sugary, fluffy soft confectionary that everyone loves.
People of all ages have enjoyed eating it as it is while many of us prefer to roast it over the fire for a more complex flavor and texture.
Now we go back to the question: can cats eat marshmallows?
Can Cats Have Marshmallows?
Let’s try to set things straight. Marshmallow is not toxic to felines as it doesn’t contain any toxic substance that can harm your pet.
However, we DON'T recommend it for your kitty. Why? You only need to look at the nutritional content of this sugary confectionery. It doesn't offer anything other than sugar, sodium, and calorie.
As obligate carnivores, felines don't require much sugar in their diet. They mostly rely on a high-protein meal consisting mainly of meat.
Humans like us need sugar in our body as an energy source, so we are required to consume carbs and glucose in our diet.
However, a feline's body is entirely different from ours. Felines utilize protein as their primary source of energy and not sugar.
This means that they don't need sugar for this reason. So, what's the point of feeding marshmallows to your kitty?
Even for us humans, this confectionary has very little nutritional value and overeating of it can bring undesirable effects to our health.
Since felines cannot properly break down sugar as much as we do, the effect of too much sugar intake can be worse for them.
Can cats have marshmallows? Our feline buddies are not fond of sweet foods so your kitty may not even want to eat marshmallows.
However, they often show interest in the foods we eat just for curiosity's sake. Sometimes, they would sneak in and grab a bite of our food when we're not looking.
If you ever catch your sneaky kitty eating your marshmallows, there’s no reason to panic instantly.
Eating a piece of this confectionary won't pose any problem for your pet. However, still be vigilant and observe your kitty for possible signs of adverse reactions.
Are Marshmallows Safe for Cats To Eat? Or Not?
Can cats eat marshmallows? These sugary confectionery treats are not precisely toxic to felines, but there are valid reasons why you shouldn't feed your pet with these.
Did you know that marshmallow is one of the most common choking hazards in small children?
That is why it is not recommended for children under three years of age. There have been several cases where small children nearly choked to death by eating these fluffy treats.
Due to its gelatin content, it would take some time before it melts in the mouth. Remember that gelatin only dissolves when exposed to hot temperature. Just like what happens when you roast it.
Small kids tend to think that it's okay to swallow it since it feels so soft and cottony.
However, little did they know that it could get stuck in their throats and become a deadly choking hazard.
The same is true with your furry friend. Cats have smaller throats compared to infants. Moreover, this only makes them more vulnerable to choking.
Keep your bag of marshmallows away from your kitty's reach. Also, make sure not to leave any leftovers in places where they can easily access.
High in Sugar and Calories
As mentioned earlier, these fluffy sweets are made with lots of sugar and corn syrup which can be harmful to felines in large amounts.
High levels of sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes and high blood sugar in cats. Moreover, too much sugar intake can be detrimental to your pet’s dental health.
If you’re wondering how much sugar does it contain, picture this. One regular piece of it already has 4.1 grams of sugar and 23 calories.
Adult cats have a daily calorie requirement of approximately 30 kcal/lb. So, a 9-lb adult kitty would need around 250 kcal per day.
Feeding them with ten pieces of marshmallows already covers their entire calorie requirement in a day.
Then add the calories from their usual cat food and the calorie will keep on adding up like crazy.
Therefore, marshmallows should NOT be given to them on a daily basis. Alternatively, better yet, don't give this sweet treat to them at all. It's not even an ideal option for a cat treat.
Health Benefits of Marshmallows to Cats: Are There Any?
Can cats eat marshmallows? Does this sweet treat have any health benefits to felines?
Unfortunately, marshmallows have no nutritional value to felines. This doesn't come as a surprise at all because this sugary snack also has nothing to offer even to humans.
People eat it not because it is nutritious but mainly to satisfy their cravings for sweets.
Felines don't need to eat this confectionery. If you're looking for a healthier alternative for a cat treat, there are other nutritious snacks to opt for.
Not only does a marshmallow is unhealthy to cats but it can also be a potential choking hazard.
These sweets tend to turn sticky when exposed to moisture such as water and saliva. Moreover, it's not the sticky that can melt quickly.
It tends to stick in between the teeth and gums. In worse cases, it can even get stuck in the throat.
There's nothing good in feeding marshmallows to your feline companion. This fluffy treat offers zero health benefits to cats. If anything, it can even harm your precious feline.
How Does It Affect Your Cat’s Health
Can cats eat marshmallows? As long as you're sure that your pet will chew it, then you may consider giving just a small amount of it.
However, take note of the potential health risks that are associated with too much sugar intake.
Obesity is one of the most initial signs of too much sugar in their body. Indoor cats are usually at higher risk of obesity because they often lack physical exercise to burn calories.
If your kitty continues to consume more sugar in its diet, it could result in diabetes, osteoarthritis, insulin resistance, heart disease, respiratory problems and several types of cancer.
Furthermore, sugar stuck between the teeth and gums can cause cavities and other dental problems.
It's all clear that this sugary treat has no room for a feline's diet. As much as possible, do not give it to your kitty for the sake of its overall wellness.
Precautions to Remember
Not all marshmallows are the same. While all types of marshmallows are generally not recommended to felines, there are those that are more harmful than the others.
Watch out for flavored marshmallows because these types may contain ingredients that are highly toxic to cats.
Take time to read the list of ingredients and look out for these added ingredients that can potentially poison your kitty.
Cacao, the main component of chocolate, contains the toxic agent theobromine that can cause muscle tremors, abnormal heart rhythm and seizures in felines.
It is crucial to point out that 200 mg/ kg of this compound can be lethal to your kitty when ingested.
The human body can metabolize theobromine so we can enjoy eating chocolates as much as we want. However, felines cannot.
Since this compound cannot be metabolized, it will stay in the bloodstream.
Eventually, it will accumulate until it reaches a toxic level that can instantly poison a cat.
To address the concern of marshmallows being high in sugar and calories, some brands are using zero-calorie sweetener as a substitute for sugar.
One of the most common sweeteners being used in candy-making is xylitol. If you read the label ‘sugar-free,' it is highly likely that the product uses xylitol as its principal sweetening agent.
The use of xylitol inevitably cuts down the calorie content of this fluffy sweet.
Compared to sugar, this sweetener offers 75% fewer carbohydrates and 40% fewer calories.
Sounds amazing, right? However, the bad news is, xylitol is considered toxic to animals, felines included.
When ingested, it prompts a sudden release of insulin that can lead to a condition called hypoglycemia.
High concentration of xylitol in the bloodstream is associated with symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, lethargy, and even coma.
If left untreated, xylitol poisoning can worsen and may end up with liver failure and death.
Can cats eat marshmallows? There are several factors to consider before you decide to give this sweet treat to your beloved feline.
Plain marshmallows are not toxic to felines. If you can't say ‘no' to your kitty's demands, giving a small piece of it won't be a problem.
However, it would help if you did not give any of it to your kittens. Even a small piece of this fluffy snack can get stuck in a kitten's delicate throat and can cause choking.
Can kittens eat marshmallows? Not! Can cats have marshmallows as long as they know how to chew it?
Yes, they can. However, it should not be given on a regular basis because its high sugar content can pose health issues in the long run.
If you're running out of cat treat options, there are other safer alternatives that you can give. However, it all depends on your kitty's tolerance on sweet treats.
Now, if your furry buddy happens to like sweets, apples or bananas are the better choices for an occasional treat.
However, be careful in choosing fruits for your feline because certain fruits are poisonous to them.
However, if you're serious about using marshmallows as a cat treat, then you must remember some important things.
Don’t leave your pet unattended while they’re eating it. Even if they how to chew it, never brush off the possibility of choking.
Choose the plain variants without the added flavorings and make sure to steer clear of anything that contains chocolate or caffeine.
When it comes to felines, sugar-free is not a safe label. Sugar substitutes such as xylitol are lethal to felines and stay away from products that contain this ingredient.
Can cats eat marshmallows? We'll go as far as to say ‘no,' you should not feed this sugary confectionary to your kitty.
However, instead, we recommend you to focus on more nutritious and appropriate foods that can provide essential nutrients to your feline companion.
You may also check out Miauland for more buying guides and reviews as well, and be on your way to get the best kitten food possible.