Rice Krispies are a beloved breakfast cereal made from puffed rice. Kids love this sweet food for its fun popping sound. Some may want to share this tasty treat with their kitty, but is this a safe snack for cats?
Well, Rice Krispies are technically safe for cats, but there are multiple reasons that your cat shouldn’t be fed Rice Krispies intentionally. Read on to learn more about why cats shouldn’t eat this cereal below.
Why Are Rice Krispies Not Good for Cats?
Rice Krispies are puffed rice and sugar, so they are high in carbohydrates. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a diet that is high in animal protein and relatively low in carbohydrates. Although some carbs are necessary for proper body function for cats, those carbs ideally shouldn’t come from simple starches like corn syrup and white sugar.
Sometimes, Rice Krispies are found in recipes and treats, like Rice Krispies treats. These are even worse for your cat than Rice Krispies on their own. The reason for this is that Rice Krispies contain even more sugar than the cereal itself because of the marshmallows in the recipe. This treat also contains a large amount of butter, which can be unhealthy for your cat because of the calories and fat content, which could potentially lead to stomach upset.
Will Rice Krispies Make My Cat Sick?
It’s unlikely for a few Rice Krispies to be dangerous for your cat, but there is a risk with your cat being fed Rice Krispies in large quantities or on a regular basis. In the short term, Rice Krispies can lead to digestive difficulty and stomach discomfort for your cat. This is due to the carbohydrate load, additives and sugar in the cereal, which can cause gas and abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and even vomiting.
If Rice Krispies and other sweet cereals are fed to your cat in the long term, they can lead to a variety of serious health issues. The most concerning diseases are malnutrition, obesity and diabetes, all of which can be deadly to your cat. All of these diseases are usually related to your cat’s diet—the quality of your cat’s diet, as well as the number of calories they consume per day compared to their activity level.
What Should I Do if My Cat Eats Rice Krispies?
The good news is that there isn’t really anything you’ll need to do if your cat consumes Rice Krispies. If consumed in large quantities, you can expect some signs of gastrointestinal upset, but these signs are rarely dangerous. If your cat picks up a couple of Rice Krispies off of the floor, then there is very little risk for any negative side effects.
Most cats won’t take an interest in cereal, though. Interestingly, a study has shown that cats lack the ability to taste sweetness in foods, so it’s very likely that your cat wouldn’t find the same appeal in eating Rice Krispies that you might.
Rice Krispies aren’t unsafe in the short term for your cat to eat, but they aren’t appropriate for the obligate carnivore diet of cats. In the long term, they will lead to poor health and potentially dangerous malnutrition.
If your cat consumes any Rice Krispies, there’s minimal risk of any impact, but you may see some digestive symptoms for a day or so afterward. If you feel like your cat seems to be experiencing significant discomfort, though, make sure to contact your vet.
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Featured Image Credit: David Pimborough, Shutterstock