can cats eat syrup

Can Cats Eat Maple Syrup?

There are some foods that may not be suitable for your cat due to the high sugar content or allergic reactions.

Syrup is one of them.

Maple syrup is a sweetener that can cause intestinal problems and diarrhea in cats.

For this reason it’s best to avoid feeding your cat maple syrup because they might get sick from it!

Why Maple Syrup Is Bad For Cats

As a general rule human food is not good for cats if consumed regularly.

However a small taste of syrup or most other human foods is not going to do your cat any harm.

maple syrup

The trouble with our food is that it usually contains a lot of carbohydrates which aren’t necessary in a cat’s diet as they are obligate carnivores.

Carbohydrates are made up of sugars, or in the case of syrup lots and lots of sugar!

These high levels of sugar are uneccessary in your cat’s life and in the short term could cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Long-term consumption of maple syrup can cause serious tooth decay and obesity-related problems which can lead to death.

Why Do Cats Like Maple Syrup

The Truth is most cats do not like maple syrup.

Most cats will have no interest in it at all because they don’t have the ability to taste sweetness.

They may sniff it to see what it is and that is as far as their interest in it will go.

However the fact that you are reading this article probably means that your cat is one of the rare exceptions to this rule.

Some reasons why your cat may enjoy maple syrup include:

  • They see you eating it and want to try whatever you’re eating.
  • The maple syrup may be on another food type (such as pancakes) which they have a taste for.

Cats & Sugar

While cats can use digestible sugars as an energy source their ability to do this is far more limited than it is for omnivores (like us or dogs) and herbivores.

cat and sugar bowl

This means that in the short term if your cat has a lot of sugar they are likely to suffer from diarrhea and vomiting as its body tries to clear the excess sugar out of their digestive system.

If syrup consumption becomes a habit for your cat then the long terms consequences can be life-threatening and are likely to cause serious health problems for your cat.

Can Syrup Consumption Kill A Cat?

There are numerous ingredients in human foods which can be fatally toxic to cats.

These include things such as garlic and onion (sometimes found in hummus), chocolate and alcohol.

Fortunately, syrup is not toxic to cats so there is no danger that they will fall fatally ill after eating some.

However regular long term consumption of syrup will cause weight gain which can significiantly shorten your cats life span significantly .

Weight gain shortens your cats lifespan for numerous reasons:

Obesity puts your cat at far greater risk from serious health conditions including:

  • Cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Joint degeneration
  • Bladder stones

…many of these can be fatal.

Syrup Alternatives For Cats

If your cat starts meowing at you every time they see the syrup jar then it’s a good idea to distract them with a healthier alternative.

Some suggest honey as an alternative, however we don’t recommend this as it is also very high in sugar so leads to many of the same problems as syrup.

The good news is cats don’t have a receptor for sweetness so they are oblivious to the sweetness of the sugar in syrup.

So can switch the syrup for a healthy savoury snack and they won’t begrudge you for not giving them their sweet treat.

The best alternative to syrup for a cat is a purpose-made cat treat. The best cat treats should be almost 100% meat (usually chicken or tuna) meaning they have very high protein levels.

These are perfect for your cat’s needs and won’t cause them any short or long-term health problems.

As mentioned you should avoid giving human foods to a cat as much as possible due to the danger that they may contain toxic ingredients such as onions, garlic or chocolate.

High levels of carbohydrates also make human foods a bad choice of alternative snack for a cat.

Keep your cat’s snacks simple; low in carbohydrates and high in protein and you will have nothing to worry about.

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