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Can Cats Eat Crackers? What You Need Know

Our feline friends expend so much of their energy during the day playing or as well as hunting down food. The more active their bodies get, the higher the metabolic rate. That means that they will eventually get exhausted, and they will need sustenance. But just what can we feed them, outside of the regular kibble and wet food? If humans can eat crackers, how about cats? Crackers are well known for their high salt content. For this reason, experts advise that crackers are not good for your cat. However, crackers are non-toxic.


What Are Crackers Made of?

Naturally, a cracker is made from baking flour. Yeast could be used in the preparation process. That in itself makes crackers the wrong choice for your cats. But that is not all. Typical crackers contain some additives like a generous amount of salt and some herbs. They also sometimes have additives that give them a cheese scent.

The high amount of carbohydrates and sodium can pose serious health issues to your kitty, such as stomach discomfort and intestinal problems.

Finally, some substances used in preparing crackers may be toxic for your cat, like garlic powder and onions.

Any Nutritional Benefits?

It has been alleged that crackers may actually contain various benefits to human beings, such as helping in weight loss and providing enough proteins to help with tissue development. The problem is, finding those healthy crackers on our shelves is tough. It may turn out to be a hit or a miss, plus those benefits won’t necessarily pass to your cat.

woman giving cat a treat
Image Credit: Pixabay

You may not expect your cat’s body to benefit from any useful vitamins or mineral salts just because they have savored some crackers. They will just be packing some weight resulting from the high amount of starch and oil!

When to Feed your Cat with Crackers

Sometimes you may be enjoying your crackers, and your sweet kitty keeps staring at you pleadingly so much that you can’t ignore the urge to give them one or two. The first step would be going through the ingredients sections to find out what constitutes the crackers.

Too many spices will not work for them. So, if you see anything dubbed as being on the spicier end, run away from it. Remember, anything in the Allium family should also be avoided, i.e., garlic, onions, etc.

The other precaution you want to consider is the quality of crackers the cat is eating. Start out with very small portions to see how your cat responds. Also, break the crackers up to make them smaller so you avoid any possibility of choking.

You will not want a situation where the cat now prefers crackers to her actual cat food. That will not be healthy. So make this a very occasional treat.

Possible Side Effects of Giving Your Cat Crackers

Right off the bat, we want to note that cats do not have an advanced digestive system like that of human beings. That means that they may not be in a position to break down some substances effectively.

That having been said, crackers contain a pretty high amount of sodium. While your digestive system can withstand that, the cats won’t process it well. What is the result? Talk of salt poisoning, dehydration, or even worse, high blood pressure. Do you really want to take that risk?

A large amount of carbs and fats leads to overweight cats. Crackers have a hefty amount of carbs and fats. At the extreme end, your cat can become obese from overconsumption of crackers. Obesity will curtail their movement, posing a risk since their heart can also be inactive.

crackers and cream cheese
Image Credit: Free-Photos, Pixabay

Crackers vs. Biscuits

While the names may be used synonymously in countries such as the United Kingdom, where crackers are called savory biscuits or, sometimes, watery biscuits, these two do not generally mean the same thing.

Crackers are some flat and baked substances that are hard in nature. They usually contain some salt and are often topped up with some cheese and other herbs.

Biscuits are more sugary than crackers (though this may not always be the case. Some crackers are also sweet, e.g., graham crackers). Although they are also flat and baked, they are commonly smaller than crackers.

The long and short of this is that crackers do not connote the same thing as biscuits, or as some people call them, digestives. They do both bring similar nutritional value to your cats, which is little to none.

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Healthy Alternatives to Crackers for Cats

Even without crackers, there are still many foods to give your cat that will add actual value to her body. They will provide most if not all of the necessary nutrients required for a healthy and disease-free body.

First, we would recommend vegetables, as They are an excellent nutrient provider for your cat.

If your cat doesn’t take to veggies, you might want to try fruit. However, you want to moderate the amount of fruit you feed your cat due to their high sugar content.

They will provide the necessary energy and immunity your cat needs to play. Cat’s don’t have much of a sweet tooth, to begin with, so this probably won’t be an issue.

Also, be careful not to entirely replace the cat’s diet with human food. These additives should only act as complements to their diet. Also, since the inorganic options are processed foods on the shelves, check out the ingredients before settling for one. Ensure that there are no artificial additives and preservatives that may cause bloating to your cat.

grey cat looking at treat_shutterstock_FotoMirta
Image Credit: FotoMirta, shutterstock

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In a nutshell, crackers are not healthy foods for cats. Even though they may not be poisonous or toxic, there are better alternatives. Avoid them, or feed them in moderation if you must.

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