Stevia is a natural sweetener created from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. This sweetener is completely healthy for humans. In fact, it offers several health benefits as well. However, the real question is, can cats eat stevia?
According to ASPCA, stevia is a non-toxic sweetener for cats, meaning your feline can consume this ingredient. However, as your cat is naturally a carnivore, you shouldn’t add plant-based sweeteners to their permanent diet.
Read on to learn everything about stevia and its side effects on your cat.
Cats and Sweeteners
Before going any further, it’s noteworthy to mention that your feline cannot taste “sweet.” Cats have limited taste buds that cannot detect sweetness. So, if your feline likes sweet dishes, they are not in for a sweet taste. Instead, they want fat content available in those dishes.
So, according to many veterinarians, you should not give sweeteners, including stevia, to your feline as they do not offer any nutritional benefits to your cat.
Can Cats Have Stevia?
Generally speaking, stevia is a non-toxic ingredient for your feline friend. As of today, there is no proven research that this sweetener is unsuitable for your cat. Nonetheless, according to many veterinarians and feline nutritionists, you should not give your cat anything sugary.
The main reason why you shouldn’t give your cat sweet snacks is that these products are loaded with calories and fat content. As your little feline only needs a few calories per day, sugary dishes will only lead to health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, addiction to sugar and so on.
Can Stevia Hurt Cats?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has categorized stevia as a harmless sweetener. So, you can offer your feline a little amount of stevia without worrying about side effects. Furthermore, unlike xylitol and sugar, stevia does not affect glucose responses and has fewer carbohydrates. So, if your feline has diabetes, they can still consume this sweetener.
However, most stevia products out there contain alcoholic sugar for full-bodied flavor. Now, this product is quite harmful to your feline as it can lead to an upset stomach and gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea.
Other Sweeteners that are Safe for Cats
If you are worried about your feline’s health, you can rest assured in knowing that most sweeteners out there, including erythritol and monk fruit, are not toxic for your feline. So, if your cat consumes anything sugary, you don’t have to imagine the worst.
Instead, keep a close eye on your little furball and discourage this behavior. If your feline consumes a larger volume of artificial sweeteners, you may need to visit the veterinarian and check for possible side effects.
Can cats eat stevia? Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that is completely non-toxic for cats but in moderation. However, if you want to give a sweet dish to your cat, make sure other ingredients are also non-toxic. For instance, most producers use stevia and alcoholic sugar for better flavor. In that case, it would be best not to give your cat that certain product!