I love cats and I love eating next to my cat. Her name is Donnie. She loves sitting on top of my belly or in any part of my body where she fits. Well, she can make herself fit anywhere.
What I liked most about Donnie is the way she response whenever I open a snack. The sound of the plastic or anything that denotes food makes her excited.
Her ears perk up and her eyes automatically look at me. And being the good pet parent that I am, I always share my food with Donnie – even marshmallows. To my surprise, marshmallows are something that Donnie loves to eat.
But I keep on wondering if it is okay to give cats marshmallows?
Marshmallows are made of squishy gelatin, sugar, water, and corn starch. All brands of marshmallows use these four ingredients. These ingredients are not good for human health and so are on animals.
Wikipedia cited that in the US, marshmallows are defined as “of minimal nutritional value”. Even if your cat loves eating marshmallows, you shouldn’t feed them this mushy candy.
Still not convinced that marshmallows are bad for your cat? Here are more reasons to convince you!
Marshmallows Can Be A Choking Hazard
According to the Ministry of Health of NZ, marshmallows are choking hazards for children under three years of age. Marshmallows can be easily squashed and can get jammed in a child’s throat.
Imagine if it happens to your cat? If you will binge-watch your favorite Netflix series with marshmallows from Sweet Apricity, don’t share it with your furry friend.
Marshmallows Are Full of Sugar
In a video posted by list25 on YouTube, he mentioned sugary food like candies as among the 25 foods you shouldn’t give your furry friend.
Marshmallows are considered are soft candies that are full of sugar. According to the video, candies like marshmallows are made with artificial sweeteners that are bad to animals’ teeth. It contains xylitol that is deadly to cats.
Besides, cancateat.com said that a marshmallow contains 4.1 grams of sugar or 23 calories. An adult cat can consume up to 300 calories a day.
If you will let your cat feast on a Darice marshmallow every day, expect your cat to put on some weight and know that it is not healthy fats.
Marshmallows Contain Sodium and It Is Bad for Your Cat
According to the USDA, a 100g marshmallow contains 80 mg of sodium. Before giving your cat a marshmallow, remember that felines have low sodium tolerance. Too much sodium intake can affect a cat’s bone density, kidney function, heart function, and blood pressure according to PetMD.
However, Donnie loves marshmallows and she keeps on giving me that ‘puss in a boots’ puffy eyes! Can I give her a small marshmallow then?
Although it is not recommended, you can still give your feline friend a small treat. A small bite won’t have a big impact on their health.
Let Us Take A Look at A Regular-sized Marshmallow Nutrition Fact
One regular-sized marshmallow contains weighs about 7 grams. It comes with 4.1 grams of sugar, which is almost 60% and it contains 23 calories.
There are different types of marshmallows too and each type comes with different calorie counts. The different types are:
- Marshmallow peep
- Chocolate covered marshmallow
- Marshmallow crème
- Homemade marshmallow
Marshmallows are made with two types of sugars – sucrose or corn syrup. According to verywellfit.com, this type of candy contains high glycemic. Glycemic food is foods that are rich in sugar and can cause the glucose level to spike.
If your cat is like my Donnie, who happens to be a bit chubby, you have to be careful in giving him or her sugary foods.
Is Chocolate Marshmallow Bad for Your Cat?
If a plain and sugary marshmallow is bad for your cat, a chocolate marshmallow has a worse effect. Chocolate marshmallow contains more sugar and sweetener and even a small-sized chocolate marshmallow can be bad news for your cat.
Remember that a cat’s digestive system doesn’t have the ability to breakdown sugar. If your cat will continue its marshmallow consumption, you will end up with one fat or obese cat in no time. having a fat cat is cool and cute, but what if your cat ends up with diabetes too?
What Type of Marshmallows to Avoid?
You should avoid all types of.
How Do Marshmallows Affect the Health of Your Cat?
The negative effect of sugar on cats is minimal (unless you give your cat marshmallow every day). The positive effect is zero.
Cats don’t need sugar in their diet. They are carnivores. They need protein in their diet. It means meat! Protein is their primary source of energy – not sugar.
Think of it this way – humans don’t get any nutrition from marshmallows. It is the same with your cat. Unfortunately, unlike humans that can break down sugar, felines can’t. This means that a little marshmallow regularly can be fatal for them.
Can Your Cat Get Any Health Benefit from Eating Marshmallow?
No. Cats don’t get any nutrition from eating a single marshmallow. Eating it every day can make them sick, not satisfaction.
Humans eat marshmallows to satisfy their cravings, but the cat doesn’t crave for sweets. They just want to eat and as a pet parent, you should know what to type of food to give and not to give.
Aside from containing too much sugar and the presence of sodium, giving marshmallows to your cat can also increase their risk of becoming obese.
Most cats are lazy. They don’t move a lot. They eat and sleep – just like my Donnie. If your cat is like mine, you have to keep sweets away from them, marshmallow included.
Do Cats Love the Texture of Marshmallow?
Cats don’t have sweet tooth. They don’t know whether they are eating something sugary or not. Why do they love eating marshmallows?
It is the texture of marshmallow that keeps them licking it, attracted to it. Though there is no scientific explanation to prove it yet, some pet parents believe that marshmallows have the same texture as peanut butter – something that cats love to eat as well.
Is There Such A Thing as Healthy Marshmallow?
If you believe that texture is the reason why cats are attracted to marshmallows, then you can surely give your cat an herb marshmallow.
Herb marshmallow is a marshmallow made of herbs and other healthy ingredients. It comes with nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamins A and B, and iodine.
Is It Toxic for A Cat to Eat Marshmallow?
It depends on the serving of marshmallow that you will give your cat. If you will give your cat a small bite of marshmallow for him/her to lick and play around with, then your cat is okay.
Marshmallow is not toxic food. It just doesn’t have much nutritional value. Besides, it contains too much sugar that is bad for a cat’s health. Regular eating of marshmallows can damage their teeth and can lead to your cat becoming obese.
There are marshmallow brands that use xylitol as a sweetener. Xylitol is a zero-calorie sweetener. You can find marshmallows with xylitol if it says “zero-sugar” on the label.
Xylitol is good for humans because it contains fewer calories. However, xylitol is known to have a negative effect on animals, cats included.
If you notice xylitol ingestion and your cat starts acting weird, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Conclusion: Should You Give Your Cat Marshmallows?
No. There is no point in giving your cat marshmallows because your cat wouldn’t benefit from it. It doesn’t have any nutritional value.
Your cat doesn’t appreciate its taste (because they have no sweet tooth), and your cat can be exposed to some risks if given a marshmallow. Among the possible risks are:
- Your cat can get choked
- Your cat can become obese
- Your cat is exposed to sodium
As a pet owner, don’t just feed your cat with human food. Your digestive system is different from theirs. If you want your cat to be healthy, give it the food intended for him or her.