Toffee is the delicious candy treat combining caramel with a rich buttery flavor to create a yummy confection. The question is, can your cat enjoy this sweet treat alongside you?
Cats should not eat toffee for many reasons. Firstly the sugar content is far too high, which can lead to digestive issues, weight gain, and diabetes. In addition, dairy products can trigger gastrointestinal problems as most felines are lactose-intolerant. And the product has a high-fat content, which can leave your cat feeling sluggish and lethargic.
So toffee’s not ideal for your feline, but what happens if they eat a piece when you’re not looking? And how about toffee that replaces sugar with sweeteners? Keep reading to find the answers.
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What Are The Ingredients In Toffee?
Toffee is commonly made with sugar, milk, butter (or cream), and an ingredient that prevents crystallization – such as lemon juice or golden syrup. You make toffee by caramelizing sugar with butter; occasionally, people also add flour.
Sometimes people confuse toffee with caramel, and while the two have similar ingredients, there is a key difference. Both contain sugar and dairy products, but toffee has the additional butter component.
Can Cats Eat Sugar?
Cats can eat sugar – it’s unlikely to do any serious harm as it’s not toxic to them – but they shouldn’t. While sugar won’t poison your feline, they will have a tough time digesting it.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their diet should be rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat. Sugar is just empty calories to them, and if they consume too high of a quantity, it can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and many other health concerns.
Why Is Sugar Bad For My Cat?
It’s not just digestive complications that make sugar unsuitable for your kitty; sugar contains a high number of calories too.
Cats are much smaller than we are and require far fewer calories to engage in their daily routine (around 40-45 per kg of body weight). No matter how much playtime you have with your feline, they can burn only so many calories during the day.
Excess calories will lead to weight gain and cause your feline to become sluggish or lethargic.
Can Cats Eat Artificial Sweeteners?
Sugar is not only harmful to cats; it can be seriously detrimental to human health too. As the population realizes the perils of high sugar consumption, alternative ingredients are added to our sweet treats.
Products such as Xylitol bring sweet flavors to our foods without the additional calories. But, while these may be an excellent alternative for humans, they are not such great news for your feline friend.
Xylitol, in particular, is highly toxic for dogs and could adversely affect your feline too. Don’t assume that because a product is “sugar-free,” it will necessarily be healthy for your pet. Sweeteners such as stevia and aspartame may be safe for your cat to consume, but there’s no guarantee that these artificial ingredients won’t upset your cat’s digestive system.
Always check the label before giving human food to a pet; if in doubt, don’t do it. Instead, keep the treats cat-specific; they’ll enjoy them just as much.
Can Cats Eat Butter?
Butter isn’t poisonous to cats, but it’s not a food you should allow your feline to eat. Not only is it extremely high in fat, but it’s also a dairy product.
High amounts of fat can severely impact your cat’s health as they have no way of riding their bodies of this product. Instead, they store the fat, becoming increasingly overweight, and triggering several health conditions.
In addition, butter is a dairy product, and most cats are lactose intolerant. At birth, these felines happily consume their mother’s milk. But, as they grow, they lose the enzyme that helps them digest dairy. This means if adult cats ingest dairy, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
Don’t worry too much; butter is relatively low in lactose, so your feline will be okay with the occasional lick of butter – just don’t let them do it regularly.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Toffee?
If your cat ate a little piece of toffee when you’re back was turned, don’t worry. For most felines, this will have little to no effect in small quantities.
However, if your cat ate a whole batch of toffee when you turned your back, you could have a problem. The best thing to do if you’re unsure is to call your local vet or the pet poison helpline (855) 764-7661; they will be able to assess the potential harm to your kitty.
Most likely (even if they did consume a bit too much), your cat will display symptoms of an upset tummy for a day or two, returning to their happy, healthy selves with no harm done. As long as the toffee consumption is a one-off, not a regular thing, your feline should be fine.
Does My Cat Like Toffee?
You may find that your cat doesn’t even like the taste of toffee; bearing in mind they can’t taste sweet flavors, this caramel treat could seem rather bland.
While humans possess approximately 9,000 taste receptors, cats only have 470, and none of them can detect sweetness. If your cat is interested in toffee, it’s more likely to be the smell or texture that draws its attention.
Knowing that your cat cannot enjoy the sweet deliciousness of toffee, even if you give them a small piece, may help alleviate your guilt and have you reach for something that is more cat appropriate.
Our fur babies mean the world to us, so it’s natural to want to share our treats with them. The problem is that not all human treats will suit your feline, and some could cause serious harm.
It’s best to stick to the diet that nature intended and keep your feline’s diet high in protein and low in carbs and fat. Avoid excess sugar, dairy, Xylitol, or other ingredients that could cause discomfort in your cat, and opt for cat-friendly treats to reward your feline for good behavior.