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Can Cats Eat Cookies? Is It Healthy for Them?

Vet approved

	Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Vet, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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While a nibble of your cookie is unlikely to kill your cat, cookies are far from healthy for cats and absolutely should not be fed to your cat regularly. Human sweets are incredibly unhealthy and sometimes very dangerous for cats. So, keep cookies out of reach of your cat to the best of your abilities!

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What Can Cats Eat?

Cats are scientifically classified as “obligate carnivores,” meaning they eat a wild diet that is made up of at least 70% animal proteins. The cecum stores the bacteria needed to break down cellulose or plant nutritional material in herbivorous animals.

In cats, the cecum is “conspicuously small and relatively undifferentiated” compared to herbivorous animals. This means that the cecum doesn’t have the same ability to break down plant material.

In short, cats have reduced physical ability to break down plant material into the nutrients that herbivorous and omnivorous animals do.

However, that hasn’t stopped cats from consuming plant material, and they do have some minimal need for plant nutrients. Scientists have theorized that they would meet these needs in the wild by eating partially digested plant material from the stomachs of their prey, getting the benefits of their prey’s digestive bacteria like a person taking a Lactaid.

Still, cats are carnivorous at heart. Their primary nutrient needs come in the form of animal proteins that will help build their muscles, sustain their body functions, and keep them feeling complete for the whole day. They do not need fast energy sources like carbohydrates or sugars.

Additionally, cats don’t have taste bud receptors for sweet things, meaning they can’t taste sweet foods. Most cats will turn their nose up at sweet foods, but a handful of cats are indiscriminate enough to give them a try!

cat eating from an automatic feeder
Image Credit: Kylbabka, Shutterstock

Nutritional Value of Cookies

It’s hard to estimate the nutritional value of cookies as a general rule because there are so many different kinds of cookies with other components.

The nutritional value of a serving of Oreo cookies (three cookies) are as follows:
  • 160 calories
  • 7g fat
  • 135mg of sodium
  • 25g carbohydrates
  • 2g fiber
  • 14g sugar
  • 1g protein

The crux of nutrition in Oreos is carbs, fat, and sugar, all things cats don’t particularly need or want a lot of in their diets.

Oreos don’t represent the peak nutritional value for any creature eating them, really. The high sugar, carb, and fat contents mean that they’ll leave most people not satisfied for long, and your body will burn through the energy they produce quickly or store it as fat.

The low protein values also mean that your cat isn’t getting much from eating cookies, especially since they can’t break down the plant material into nutrients the same way humans can.

Can You Safely Feed Your Cat Cookies?

You cannot safely feed your cat cookies intended for human consumption. These cookies contain virtually no nutritional value for cats; they often have components like chocolate which are toxic for cats.

If you want to give your cat a crunchy cookie treat, you’ll want to make your cat cookies with ingredients that are safe for cat consumption!

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Cat Cookie Recipes

maine coon cat eat treat

Tuna & Cornmeal Cat Cookies

Although human cookies are not safe for cats, you can easily whip up a batch of cat-friendly cookies. Combine tuna and cornmeal to make these easy homemade cat cookies!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Cats

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Mixer
  • Rolling Pin
  • Knife or cookie cutters
  • Oven
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients
  

  • 170 g of pureed tuna
  • 125 g 1 cup of wheat flour
  • 125 g 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 80 ml 1/2 cup of water

Instructions
 

  • Combine wheat flour and cornmeal into a bowl
  • Add beaten egg, water, and pureed tuna
  • Mix the ingredients until the mixture is compact
  • Roll it out with a rolling pin and cut the biscuits with a knife or with cookie cutters
  • Bake at 180 C for 20 minutes

Notes

Image credit: Nikola Cedikova, Shutterstock
Keyword cat cookies
grey cat licking lips after eating cat food from bowl inside on floor
Image Credit: mik ulyannikov, Shutterstock

Tuna with Catnip

Ingredients
  • 280 g (1 cup) tuna in water
  • 250 g (2 cups) wheat flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tablespoons of catnip
Instructions
  • Puree the tuna and mix all ingredients into a firm dough
  • Roll it out on a work surface, flatten with your hands
  • Cut cookies out with a pizza cutter
  • Bake the cookies on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper for 10-13 minutes at 180 C.
  • Refrigerate

Crunchy Tuna w/ Catnip

Ingredients
  • 140 g of drained tuna
  • 125 g of oat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried catnip
Instructions
  • Put all ingredients in a mixer or a bowl
  • Blend all of them
  • Mix to obtain a homogenous mixture to be spread with a rolling pin
  • Cut the biscuits and bake at 180 c for 10-12 minutes
  • Store in a vacuum-sealed, refrigerated container

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Why Should You Make Homemade Cat Cookies?

Making personalized treats for your cat is a fun bonding experience that you can share with them. Show them you love them by offering them a specially made treat just for them that they can’t get anywhere else!

These recipes are even nutritious for cats. They’ll help keep your cat happy and healthy while giving them a tasty treat that they can appreciate on occasion. You can take these recipes and start making your cat treat recipes for them to sample and enjoy!

homemade oatmeal cookies
Image Credit: StarFlames, Pixabay

Ingredients to Avoid When Making Cat Treats

There are a handful of ingredients you’ll want to avoid when you’re making cat treats. These ingredients can be dangerous for cats or other animals in the household.

Chocolate

Chocolate should not be included in anything that you feed to your cats. Chocolate, cacao, and cocoa contain theobromine which can be deadly for cats and dogs.

Sugar

Cats have no need for sugar in their diets. Sugar is high in calories and low in all other nutritional values. Avoid sugar at all costs.

sugar cubes
Image Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay

Xylitol

Xylitol isn’t thought to be harmful to cats, but it can be deadly for dogs. So, if you have other animals in your household, definitely skip the xylitol. Even for cats, Xylitol isn’t toxic, but its effects on their health aren’t well documented.

Milk

While many people grew up with the image of cats drinking milk, cats are actually lactose intolerant and should not be given milk. Cat milks and lactose free milks are available.

Spices

Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg are amongst the most common spices used in making cookies and are not appropriate for cats.

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Final Thoughts

Cats shouldn’t be given human cookies. They’re bad for their health and even outright dangerous. However, we can make “cookies” with ingredients that our cats can benefit from if they want a little crunch in their life!

As always, if your cat has ingested something and you’re worried about their safety, you should call your veterinarian first. They will be able to guide you through caring for your cat and will be able to tell you if they need to be under veterinary supervision.

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Featured Image: congerdesign, Pixabay

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