Many cat owners often love to feed their cats with a wide variety of treats, such as saltine crackers, to keep things interesting. There are also some cat owners who like to give their cats homemade treats, like fresh fish and meat. However, the main disturbing question remains: can cats eat saltine crackers? Cats can eat saltine crackers, but it is not healthy for them. Veterinarians often discourage cat owners from feeding their cats salty snacks such as saltine crackers. Cats should not be fed with saltines and any other kinds of salty bread because they can be difficult to digest and have no nutritional value. Consistently feeding your cats salty foods can seriously harm their health. In this article, we will answer the question; can cats eat saltine crackers?
What Ingredients Do Saltines Contain?
Naturally, a cracker is made from yeast and baking flour. Other types of crackers contain some additives like herbs, large amounts of salt, and other additives that give crackers a cheese scent. Increased consumption of sodium and carbohydrate amounts can pose severe health complications to your cat, such as intestinal problems and stomach discomfort. Additives such as onions and garlic powder in some crackers may also be toxic for your cat. According to Petsgal, below is a breakdown of the main ingredients in saltine crackers that may be harmful to your cat:
Malted Barley Flour
Flour by itself should not be included in your cat’s diet. This is because flour can cause stomach discomfort due to the cat’s delicate digestive system. While barley is not toxic to cats, it can sometimes lead to vomiting.
Baking Soda and Sea Salt
Saltine crackers usually have a generous amount of baking soda and sea salt. Such food with extremely high levels of salt can lead to serious health complications for your cats, such as dehydration and blockages that are common in male cats.
A small amount of wheat flour can not harm your cat’s health. However, some cats are affected by the gluten in wheat, which can trigger allergic reactions and stomach pain. Since wheat is the main ingredient in saltine crackers, it is best to avoid feeding them to your cats.
Yeast can have severe health effects on your cat if fed in large amounts. This is because yeast often produces high amounts of alcohol and carbon dioxide that can negatively affect your cat’s health.
Canola and palm oil
Saltine crackers contain high amounts of canola and palm oil, which are very fattening for cats, especially if fed in large doses. While no serious side effects are linked to the use of canola oil, it can cause your cat to be overweight.
Iron is often considered an essential part of a cat’s diet, and most of its iron intake is obtained from its daily diet of fish and meat. However, saltine crackers often have reduced iron levels, which can lower your cat’s health.
Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin that helps in energy metabolism. It has been proven that cats require about 2.4x more niacin than a dog’s diet. But, excessive amounts of niacin, such as 350mp per kg of body weight, are harmful to cats.
Are there any nutritional benefits to feeding your cat with saltine crackers?
Generally, saltine crackers are not a great inclusion for cats as a treat as they contain high amounts of salt and fat that make it an unhealthy treat for them. However, a wide array of commercial cat treats on the market are considered much healthier and safer options for your cats. They will also help boost your cat’s nutritional levels compared to a saltine cracker. It has also been reported that crackers may contain some health benefits to human beings, such as providing adequate proteins to boost tissue development and help in weight loss.
The main problem is that these benefits may not apply to your cat. That said, it would be best to keenly check the quality of saltine crackers you feed your cat. Make sure to read through the cracker’s ingredients section to determine what constitutes the crackers. If you decide to feed your cat with saltine crackers, start with small portions to see how your cat will respond. Also, break the crackers to make them smaller so that you avoid the risk of choking your cat.
What are some of the healthy alternatives to saltine crackers for cats?
According to Hepper, plenty of healthy food to feed your cat will help boost their health and energy levels. They will also provide your cats with the needed nutrients to keep their bodies free from illnesses. One of the excellent alternatives to saltine crackers is vegetables, which are excellent nutrient providers for your cat. If your cat does not take vegetables, you can substitute them with fruits. However, it would be best to moderate the number of fruits you feed your cat due to its increased sugar.
Fruits will give your cat the needed energy and strong immunity to remain healthy. Some health commercial treats are considered much healthier compared to crackers but should only be used to complement your cat’s natural diet. Since these inorganic cat diet options are usually processed foods, carefully check the ingredients listed on their packaging before feeding them to your cat. Look out for artificial additives and preservatives that may lead to bloating in your cat.
What is the difference between biscuits and saltine crackers?
Crackers are flat-baked substances that are usually hard in nature. Unlike most biscuits, they contain high amounts of salt and are often topped up with some herbs and cheese. Biscuits are more sugary than crackers and are commonly smaller than saltine crackers. However, they both bring the same nutritional value to your cats, almost none.
Can Cats Eat Saltines in Small Quantities?
According to Excitedcats, some cats eat saltine crackers because they taste salt and fat. However, it is advisable to moderate the number of saltines you feed them.
When is the right time to feed my cats with saltines?
Well, there is no defined time when you can feed your cats with saltine crackers as a replacement for cat treats. However, an occasional one or two bites to complement their diet may not be so bad for them.