Our furry feline companions often want a taste of what we are eating. This can be something that might smell delicious, like chicken, or it might simply be something they see us eat, like cotton candy. Can cats eat this sweet treat? It may seem like a question with an obvious answer, but the subject of cats and human food is tricky.
Cats are meat eaters, so they need a diet based on high-quality animal proteins, not sugar. While it is doubtful any responsible purr parent will purposely feed their kitty candy, it is always possible a curious cat might snag a bite or two of something they should not have. When this happens, owners are concerned and may need help figuring out what to do.
We look into what happens if cats eat cotton candy. Will foods as high in sugar as this hurt a feline? We discuss these common questions and discuss what owners should do if their purr baby happens to sneak a bite.
Can Cats Eat Cotton Candy?
This confection is essentially spun sugar and artificial flavoring. Sugar is heated and spun at a very high speed to create the fluffy confection of our childhoods. Humans love candy, and the sweet, fluffy stuff is a fun, nostalgic treat. However, when it comes to nutrition, unfortunately, it has no value.
Felines should not eat cotton candy. There is no gray area around this one. This confection has no nutritional value for them (or us) and is something owners should keep away from their fur babies at all times. High-sugar foods, with mainly artificial content, are not suitable for felines to eat in any circumstance. A cat eating a bite or two may not necessarily be an emergency, but also not something that owners want to let happen often. It is best to keep this sugary food as far away from feline family members as possible.
Kitties do not taste sweet flavors the same way we do. They do not have the same number of sweet flavor receptors; therefore, a food like this will not interest them for the taste. They may be curious about its texture, especially when freshly spinning. The wispy, almost spiderweb-like strands may draw their attention as a toy, or they may see their owners eating and enjoying it and want to investigate. It is doubtful that felines would seek this confection for the flavor.
Can Cotton Candy Harm My Cat?
Cotton candy is not necessarily poisonous to cats unless it contains artificial sweeteners. Sugar is not something that their systems are built to digest. Eating too much of it can cause extreme discomfort and stomach pain. Kitties who eat too much sugar may also vomit and experience diarrhea. High sugar consumption also contributes to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, dental concerns, and more. While an occasional bite is not going to cause long-term harm, sugar is not a food that has any real place in a feline’s diet.
What Does Sugar Do To Cats?
Sugar does not offer kitties many benefits when it comes to nutrition. Because they cannot taste the sweet flavor, they will not develop a liking for it or be as attracted to sweet, sugary foods as humans are.
While sugar itself may not be toxic to cats, they cannot digest it properly. The sweet stuff has a similar effect on them as it does on us humans. They will become extremely agitated and hyperactive. It may take a few days for it to entirely pass through their systems, and they will likely experience stomach discomfort, pain, and other mild symptoms. Kitties that are acting extremely lethargic or have low energy should be seen by the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Even though they cannot taste the sweet flavors, felines can actually develop an addiction to sugar. They crave foods that are flavorful and high in fat. Many human snacks contain high fat and high salt, something felines crave. They may seek this out from human foods and then become addicted to the feeling they get from eating those things.
A general rule of thumb for kitties and human junk food is that a bite or two might be okay, but it is not a good idea to make a habit of allowing your feline friend to eat these kinds of foods. A pet owner’s responsibility is to provide their fur baby with the highest quality, species-appropriate nutrition possible. Felines are obligate carnivores. They need meat-based diets to develop properly, have enough energy, and live long lives. Highly processed sugars just do not have a place in their diet.
Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are extremely dangerous to felines and canines. As we replace sugar in many foods with these alternatives, the risk to our felines is greater. Xylitol is one artificial sweetener that is extremely toxic to both dogs and kitties. Even in very small amounts, this sweetener can trigger sudden drops in blood sugar, causing hypoglycemia. This condition can lead to rapid liver failure. Cats and dogs should never eat anything with xylitol. This substance is extremely dangerous to them. Eating this sweetener can lead to seizures and coma and requires emergency medical attention.
Ingestion of xylitol by either a feline or canine is an emergency. Take your pet to the nearest emergency vet if yours is unavailable. This condition requires quick, aggressive treatment, and your cat will likely need extended hospitalization.
Most of the time, this spun sugar candy is made up of a few ingredients, sugar, artificial flavor, and coloring. It can also be made from hard candies, which can contain many other ingredients, including artificial sweeteners. Some candies also contain chocolate, or caffeine, both of which are extremely harmful to felines. Because it can be very hard to tell what is in candy, except for sugar, it truly is not a good idea to allow your pet to eat this.
Felines do use some natural sugars in their body functions, and those can be found in their foods. This is the reason many commercial cat foods contain ingredients like corn, apples, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and other nutritious forms of healthy sugar.
Can Cats Eat Cotton Candy Grapes?
A curious kitty might be drawn to grapes because their round shape and tendency to roll around are intriguing and triggers a natural instinct to investigate and hunt. The subject of cats and grapes is a tricky one. It is well known that grapes are toxic to dogs, and it has been widely assumed that they are also toxic to cats. There is not as much clear evidence that grapes trigger the same toxic reaction in felines. To be on the safe side, veterinarians recommend keeping grapes away from your feline.
Grapes are considered potentially harmful for cats because there is unknown potential for them to be toxic. Grapes contain an unknown chemical that triggers a rapid and sometimes fatal response in dogs. It can trigger unstoppable kidney failure and even be fatal. Because of this potential risk, it is always best to keep your cat away from grapes of any kind.
Sweet grapes can be an excellent substitute for our human sweet tooth and are far better for our bodies than sugary treats, but these are never a good choice of snack for our pets. Because they are so risky to pets, always be exceptionally careful if bringing grapes into your home.
Feline Friendly Treat Alternatives
There are plenty of alternative treats for purr pets than to eat human sweets and confections. Felines crave the taste of meat and will enjoy a treat that is better designed for their dietary needs. There are several wonderful options available on the market to help owners fill their cat’s need for fresh meat and give them that special treat.
Felines can eat some human foods in moderation. They should always be prepared especially for a feline and not mixed with ingredients like onion and garlic, which are harmful to felines. Learn more about what human foods cats can eat in our comprehensive guide.
Freeze-dried treats are always a great choice. These are often made with one protein and from human-grade ingredients. They are cooked fresh and then freeze-dried and retain wonderful flavor and nutritional value. There are even freeze-dried raw choices available.
PureBites Freeze-Dried Raw treats are a great choice. These pack a ton of flavor, are affordable and contain only one ingredient, ocean-caught human-grade yellowfin tuna. 100% natural, low-calorie, and full of animal protein goodness.
Stella & Chewy's
Stella & Chewy’s makes freeze-dried kibble. This can be used as a meal, a topper, or a treat. We love that kibble is cooked fresh in small batches. Has the raw meat taste kitties crave and is packed with nutrients.
Raw Paws Compressed Catnip Balls
Felines also love the taste and effects of catnip. There are several catnip treats available on the market. These Raw Paws compressed catnip ball toys are a great find. They give purr babies something to chase after and a reward when they get it. No meat here but lots of good fun.
HolistaPet Cat CBD Treats
Along with freeze-dried and catnip treats, owners can also try CBD treats for their purr babies. CBD has beneficial properties for their health and can help alleviate symptoms like inflammation, pain, poor appetite, and low energy. HolistaPets makes delicious salmon-flavored CBD cat treats, oils, and calming chews. A much better choice than sweet confections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my cat love cotton candy?
If your feline friend happens to have an affinity for the stuff, they are not after it for the taste. Likely they have discovered that this stringy, fluffy, malleable substance is fun to play with. If kitties live in a home where this confection is a familiar presence, they may show interest in it because their trusted humans like it. There is no better way to get a human’s attention than to stick a kitty’s paw or face right in whatever they are eating. Try to distract your pet with more suitable treats, new toys, or one-on-one playtime. For kitties who like to chase around string-like things, look for a ribbon toy or feather toy you can use with them.
Is cotton candy toxic for cats?
Cotton candy is not necessarily toxic to cats. However, any kind that contains artificial sweeteners has the potential to be. Sugar is not toxic, but it is not healthy either, and kitties who eat a lot of it will experience digestive issues and potential long-term health effects.
Can my cat eat fairy floss?
Cats cannot eat fairy floss. This confection is essentially the same thing as cotton candy. Spun strands of sugar nestled in a bunch on a paper cone. Steer clear of any variations of this treat for your feline. It is unhealthy for them, they cannot taste the sweet flavor, and this food is not worth the potential health risks.
We know that responsible and dedicated pet parents are not allowing their furry babies to eat a lot of sugar or human candy on purpose. We also understand that accidents do happen. Cats are incredibly intelligent and very curious. They are also amazing climbers and can quickly learn how to open cabinets and drawers where sweet treats like this might be stored away. Some felines may especially enjoy the challenge of getting into that high kitchen cabinet.
While an occasional bite of cotton candy will likely not be an emergency, it is still risky. Because it may contain toxic artificial sweeteners, keeping this sweet treat far away from your curious kitty is always best.