Naturally, cats are curious pets who like trying new things and testing their boundaries. Sometimes, cats gain interest in questionable stuff, and we should determine whether it is appropriate for them to ingest whatever they are after. In this case, your cat has probably tried sneaking a sip of your favorite soda. You might wonder whether it is appropriate. If humans can take soda, can cats also safely have some too? Read on for answers and insights into whether cats can drink soda.
So, Can Cats Drink Soda?
No, your cat should not drink soda. Most sodas have ingredients that can be harmful to cats, such as added sugars, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners. The artificial ingredients and sugars mean that soda is best taken as an occasional treat for humans. For cats, it is best to keep soda off their meal. Ultimately, the ingredients that make drinking soda in large amounts potentially dangerous for humans are the same that make sodas dangerous or deadly for cats in much lesser quantities. According to FAQ Cats, while it is unlikely for your cat to develop a taste for soda, you should be ready to intervene if you notice they have any interest in stealing some sips.
Why Is Soda Harmful to Cats?
Although a diverse range of different soda brands and flavors are available, almost all commercial sodas contain several common ingredients that can be toxic and harmful to your cat. Even small quantities of particular ingredients could have negative consequences in the short term. Repeated consumption can cause more severe health concerns.
Most sodas have caffeine, a stimulant that is not good for your cat’s health. For humans, overconsumption of caffeinated drinks over a short period can result in elevated heart rates and anxiety. For cats, even small amounts of caffeine can cause these side effects and even cause severe toxicity.
Sodas also contain high sugar, an ingredient you should ensure your cat avoids as much as possible. A cat that consumes sugary drinks such as sodas regularly might gain weight, eventually suffering from various weight-related conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Also, sodas contain artificial sweeteners for flavor. Some of the brands use xylitol as a sweetener. Although xylitol is more toxic for dogs, it is still an ingredient you should keep away from your cat.
High sugar amounts are not the only reason you should avoid allowing your feline friend to drink soda. Acidic ingredients in soda, such as phosphoric and citric acids, wear away the tooth enamel over time. The ingredients can also cause a temporarily upset stomach, which can even lead to chronic digestive concerns. Cats have a vulnerable gastrointestinal tract that is significantly susceptible to such issues.
Other Harmful Drinks for Cats
In addition to sodas, there are other drinks that your cat should never drink. These include;
Coffee And Tea
These drinks contain caffeine, a toxic ingredient to cats. Keep in mind that a small quantity of caffeine in humans can cause abnormal heart rates, vomiting, or death in cats.
Cow’s milk contains lactose. However, according to Petplan, most cats are lactose intolerant. This makes them unable to digest milk resulting in bloating, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
Alcohol can cause severe effects on your cat to the extent of landing it in the veterinarian’s hospital. Similar to caffeine, alcohol affects pets more severely than humans. Therefore, keep your cats away from wine, beer, and liquor and look out for any symptoms of alcohol poisoning, such as lethargy and vomiting.
Fruit juice has useful minerals and vitamins. However, they also contain high amounts of simple sugars that can cause problems like diabetes for your cat. An occasional sip of fruit juice might not be harmful, but regular consumption could cause problems.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Consumes Soda?
If your cat drinks a small amount of soda, it is unlikely that the small amount will cause your cat any harmful effects. Also, the carbonated nature of soda and its artificial smell means that most cats won’t be interested in drinking it in the first place. However, if your cat drinks a significant amount of soda each day or week, it may show similar symptoms to caffeine poisoning.
Some common symptoms include; vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, and general weakness. If you notice that your feline has taken soda, monitor them closely for any of these symptoms and consult your veterinarian for advice. Look at any signs of illness or distress, such as drooling, shivering, vomiting, or acting lethargic. In severe cases, the cat might experience a seizure or collapse. In this case, you should contact an emergency vet.
How Should You Keep Your Cat Well Hydrated?
Now that you know soda is harmful to your cat’s health and other drinks such as alcohol, tea, coffee, and juice, how should you ensure your cat is well hydrated? The only liquid your cat should drink is water, which has no supplements or additives. It is recommendable that water should make up a significant portion of your cat’s liquid intake. According to PetMD, your cat should access clean water all through. Cat owners should ensure their felines drink around 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per five pounds of their body weight daily. Your cat can occasionally drink chicken, bone and vegetable broth, goat milk, and tuna juice.
It is also vital to watch for symptoms of dehydration in your cat, particularly during hot weather and high activity periods. These dehydration symptoms include; lethargy, excessive panting, dry and sticky gums, sunken eyes, and loss of appetite. You can also easily test if your cat is dehydrated by gently pinching the skin between your forefinger and thumb. If the cat is dehydrated, the flesh will remain in a tented position or retract slowly. In such situations, consult your veterinarian immediately.
It is unsafe for cats to drink soda under any circumstances. Soda contains several harmful ingredients to the cat, such as caffeine, added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and acids. Also, soda cannot replace the water in hydrating your feline friend. It might even make dehydration worse. So, ensure your feline always has access to clean water, and they will be less likely to want to take other liquids like sodas.