We all know that dogs love eating salty foods, but what about cats? Many people have heard of or seen pictures of their pets licking salt off of food, which is usually considered weird.
A few years ago, however, there was an article published talking about how some cats will eat just enough dry food to make it wet by adding water and sugar, then calling it a meal. The experts who wrote this paper said that this behavior has become more common as hungry kittens are growing up in homes with children who leave food out for them.
This article also mentioned a couple of cases where veterinarians saw dried-up food left over from before the cat would drink its own weight in liquid every half hour. When they tried to get the kitten to eat, he or she would throw the food away!
By the time the child got home from school, the kitten had wasted away and died. Sometimes parents don’t realize what’s happening until too late because they were busy at work when they should have been watching their kids’ backs.
Drinking your own milk is very normal for newborn mammals, but adult cats aren’t exactly self-feeders. They need us to help them learn how to do things like use the bathroom, enjoyed soft toys, and take good care of themselves. If we let them, many eventually find their way to loving other animals and even cooking for others.
History of gummies in cats
Many veterinarians believe that dried milk-based products such as gummy snacks or treats are an easy way to provide your cat with needed nutrition.
A few studies have even suggested that these foods may reduce stress by acting like food toys, making eating more enjoyable for animals.
However, not all experts agree that this type of snack is a good idea. Some say there’s no need for them because most cats can eat meat!
You should only use dried milk-based snacks as a reward or treat if your cat seems hungry and would normally eat meat, says Dr. Becker.
But many dogs and some cats simply cannot tolerate meat so you should avoid offering it to those pets as a regular part of their diet.
For other cats, especially older ones, cooking meat can be difficult due to health issues or lack of energy.
Making sure your cat is healthy before trying the next level of cuisine makes sense. You also want to make sure the kitchen staff does not leave any leftover bones behind.
Drinking water must be made accessible to your cat at all times while they are being fed so she does not get dehydrated.
How to give gummies to cats
Recent reports indicate that some veterinarians are adding gummy snacks, or “chew toys” for your cat as an alternative to dry food. These types of treats contain gelatin, which is usually sourced from animal bones and bladders.
Some have even made claims about these gummies helping promote weight loss by replacing solid foods with liquid nutrients that your kitty can ingest more easily.
While it is true that some dogs enjoy eating jelly products, this does not apply to all breeds nor does it work for every age group. For example, puppies and kittens cannot consume enough gel to satisfy their nutritional needs.
Also, since most dogs eat less than half a gram of protein per day, there is no need to add too much gel to make it seem like they are getting enough nutrition.
As with any new diet, timing is important. Most vets recommend changing the type of food before giving the gummies as an option. This way, your cat gets used to the new food and knows what to expect.
Sadly, some studies show that when animals lose weight due to changes in feedings, pets may develop psychological issues such as depression or anxiety.
Overall, switching diets is a difficult process for many dogs and cats. If you must offer them alternatives, be sure to do adequate research first!
How to help your cat eat gummies
Many food brands offer something called gummy snacks or dessert-like foods for cats. These are usually sweet, soft chewy textures that most dogs love!
Many veterinarians suggest giving your dog or cat these products as an alternative to cooked meats as part of their diet.
Some people even use them as a way to promote weight loss by helping get rid of extra gut fat.
But what about gummy snacks like Kongs or Froots? Are they safe for cats? More importantly, can gummy snacks be good for your cat?
Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used in place of professional veterinary care.
I have included links to some helpful resources at the end of this article.
Most chewable toys contain gelatin which is mostly made from animal skin and bones. Some sources say that ingesting small amounts of gelatin is fine but anything larger may cause stomach irritation or vomiting.
Dogs with sensitive digestive systems sometimes develop allergies to gelatin so it is best to avoid it completely unless you make sure your pet does not consume any while using the toy.
If your dog already has digestive issues you could risk making things worse for him. Only try one type of gel drop snack for a few days to see if he seems happier or healthier before adding more types to his diet.
Tips for giving gummies to your cat
If you are ever given gummy snacks for your cat, make sure they are not in powder form or wrapped up in plastic. These can be choking hazards as well as potential poisonings if your cat is able to eat them.
If you find that your cat has ingested any kind of gel or jelly-type snack, take them away immediately!
Never try to give your dog or cat these types of food again. They could seriously get sick or even die from eating something they did not neutralize in their digestive system.
Your best bet would be to soak the object in milk until it disappears. However, never force your pet to ingest anything that does not taste good to them because it may contain harmful chemicals or drugs that affect their health.
Tips for helping your cat eat gummies
Many veterinarians recommend giving your dog or cat an empty bowl to explore with toys while they are eating so that they associate food with these new textures. This can work for gummy snacks like kitten treats, too!
If you have to take your pet out of the room during mealtimes, make sure there is nothing else they could use as a distraction. The way some dogs enjoy chewing things is by rolling it around in their mouths, so leave them alone with something they can chew to help distract them.
You may also want to try putting the snack in a different location in the house to see if that helps. For example, if your cat does not like cold foods, you might be able to put the treat in the microwave instead of the refrigerator.
Some cats feel more comfortable eating off of high-sided dishes, so look into whether those make sense for your animal’s personal preferences.
Does gummy food harm cats?
Recent reports say that some types of gummies can be harmful to your cat! Unfortunately, these are not uncommonly found foods for most brands.
Many manufacturers add preservatives or chemicals such as xylitol, sorbitol, or glucose-fructose (“corn sugar”) to make the product more stable. These additives are totally harmless when consumed by humans, but not so much for your dog.
Cats are naturally drawn to sweet things just like dogs are, so it makes sense that they would enjoy eating them too. However, due to their smaller size, a lower metabolism, and less efficient elimination systems, cats need higher amounts of sugars to feel satiated.
That is why there is an upper limit to how many sweets your average cat will eat before becoming hungry again. Some believe this limit is around eight grams per meal which is what one stick of Trident Gum contains!
Eight grams may sound like a lot, but it is very doable if you are careful with your kitty. Most people know that dessert should have an appropriate amount of milk to satisfy your hunger, the same goes for snacks. Make sure your cat has enough milk or other liquids to drink while they are eating these treats.
If your cat seems overly thirsty after a snack, try limiting the amount for the next few hours to see if this helps. Also, let your cat play outside or take longer breaks during supervised times to reduce activity levels.
Are some types of gummies bad for cats?
As mentioned earlier, while there are no studies confirming that chocolate is harmful to most dogs, it can be very dangerous or even deadly for some breeds!
Certain cat breeds are known to have thin skin which makes them more susceptible to external factors like allergens and chemicals. This could potentially cause an allergic reaction or internal chemical reactions in your kitty.
In fact, one such allergen that many people notice when eating chocolate is carmine dye which comes from the cocoa powder used to make chocolate. Caramel colorings contain the same ingredient as red food additives so if you ever see your feline acting sickly, give chocolate a chance to possibly cause serious health problems.
That being said, certain gummy candies may not be appropriate for your kitten or dog. Because they do not need a saliva wash before ingesting the medicine, these types of foods may lack the needed efficacy.
Are some brands of gummies bad for cats?
Unfortunately, not all types of gummy snacks are safe for your cat! Some types of tartar control products contain xanthan gum as an ingredient. Xanthan is a strong thickening agent that may cause issues if your cat has sensitive skin or is very hungry.