Can Cats eat Cheerios?
According to Kipler.com (1) Cheerios are the most popular breakfast food in America. And Honey Nut Cheerios are number two.
So practically every household has a box of cheerios in their cupboard, and it’s only natural for a cat to hop on your lap while eating breakfast and you reach out and hand your kitty a couple of cheerios and Fluffy or Oliver or Lucy or whatever you call your feline buddy will gladly gobble them up.
But can cats eat cheerios? Are cheerios toxic to cats? What is the downside, if any to feeding your cats cheerios.
The answer to can cats have cheerios, in detail
First the good news. If you feed your cat a couple of cheerios (just a few mind you) according to FaQ Cats.com (2) is that Cheerios are not toxic to cats. That said, do not go to the grocery store and buy a spare box of cheerios for your furball.
First, you will want to severely limit the amount of Cheerios you give to your cat.
Second of all, stick to what cats can eat.
Can cats eat multigrain cheerios? Yes. Can cats eat honey nut cheerios? Yes as well, but in extreme moderation. Can cats eat cinnamin cheerios? Definitely not. Can kittens eat cheerios? Again the answer is no.
Are cheerios in any form toxic to cats?
The answer is no. Even if you have a toddler who slips your kitten a couple of cheerios figuring the more the merrier at breakfast, or if you have a messy eater in a high chair that manages to add cheerios to the floor and your cat or kitten laps them up, you needn’t rush your cat to the vet.
They won’t die from cherries even if they eat an entire bowlful. But there are plenty of reasons not to give your cat cheerios or any processed breakfast cereal.
The reason is that first, it’s possible for a cat to choke on cheerios, particularly a kitten.
Even adult cats risk the possibility of choking with a cheerio in their mouth.
Second, there are ingredients in cheerios that are not good for cats.
Besides the grains themselves, which cats have trouble digesting, there is a ton of sugar and carbohydrates, both of which cats cannot handle well. There are also
added chemicals such as Tripotassium Phosphate.
And if you add cinnamon into the mix, plan on at a minimum seeing your cat throw up all over your living room carpet.
Christian Adams, the editor of excitedcats.com expresses it plainly but firmly. He says that people should offer their cats better options for treats than cereal, which contains sugars, often artificial sugars, which cats never eat in the wild and their
systems are not designed to process. (3)
Will your cats eat cheerios? Absolutely. Of course, I’m not a cat, so I can’t say this with authority, but my best theory is that cats love the crunch.
What info is on YouTube
Well first, Jason Galaxy, the famous cat guy and host of “My Cat from Hell” has a long list of foods that you should not feed your cat, and while he goes into detail about several important foods never to feed your cats, not once does he caution about your cat eating cheerios or people breakfast food. (4)
Another competent YouTuber that emphasizes cooking for your cat, does mention oatmeal as a decent supplement to your cat’s diet (5)
While she specifically cautions many foods not to feed your cat, Cheerios is not on her list either.
And there are actually several videos on YouTube of cats eating cheerios like there is no tomorrow.
So what’s the bottom line on cats and Cheerios?
If you have an absolute compulsion to feed your cat cheerios, (is there some kind of psychological disfunction for mixing cheerios and cats?) then go ahead, in small doses.
But the question is why do it?
- Empty calories
First of all, most of the calories from cheerios are carbohydrates, which can upset a cat’s digestive and urinary tracts.
Second of all, there is very little useful nutrition for cats in eating cheerios.
- Cat really needs very few grains at all
And if you want your cats to have grains, they are best mixed in with his or her cat food.
- Better snack choices
Finally, there are better snack choices such as cheese, baby carrots, a little bit of berry, or even a little banana.
The bottom line. Keep the cheerios for your own use and find a better snack for your cat.