Can Cats Eat Marshmallows?

(Last Updated On: June 23, 2020)

If you’ve got a curious cat always sniffing around your food, you might wonder if that marshmallow you’re holding would be dangerous to your cat. They’re pretty delicious after all, so maybe your cat would enjoy one too. Before you let your kitty have a taste though, it’s important to ask yourself one thing: can cats eat marshmallows? Spoiler: the short answer is no.

Can Cats Eat Marshmallows?

It’s true that you should not give marshmallows to your cat. They’re not necessarily toxic, but they aren’t healthy for your cat and provide no nutritional value. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need a diet that’s mostly lean protein, not sugary treats like marshmallows.

Why are Marshmallows Harmful?

can cats eat mini marshmallow

Marshmallows have a high amount of refined sugar—4.1 grams. For your cat, that’s a whole lot of sugar. There are the calories as well, since one marshmallow will have 23 calories. Feeding your cat tons of marshmallows will lead to weight problems. This is the same reason why you shouldn’t give your cat marshmallows or too much of any type of treat.

Don’t forget that marshmallows also have a lot of sodium. They have 5.8 mg, which is a lot for a cat. This is especially high considering that felines have a very low sodium tolerance.

Not to mention that a marshmallow, with its squishy texture, can end up as a choking hazard for your cat. Think about if you were feeding a marshmallow to your child. You wouldn’t give it to a child under three years old, since it’s sugary, squishes, and can get stuck in your child’s throat. This can happen to your cat as well.

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So, if your cat does want a marshmallow for some reason, you should take it away quickly. These aren’t something that is very toxic very quickly, but they can be an immediate hazard with choking. They can also have long-term consequences if your cat eats too many.

Ultimately, there are much better sugary treats for felines to eat.

Types of Marshmallows

Obviously, you wouldn’t give your pet one of those jumbo marshmallows. But there are many types of marshmallow products, so is there any option that’s okay for your cat to eat? Once again, the answer is no.

Mini Marshmallows

You might be wondering. If choking is the worst immediate problem, and one marshmallow won’t lead to huge weight gain in your cat, can cats eat mini marshmallows? The answer is still no.

Those tiny marshmallows are still full of sugar and do not give your cat any nutritional value. Beyond that, they’re still sticky and hard to chew. It’s entirely possible that your cat can still choke even on a mini one.

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If you’re looking for a sweet treat for your kitty, try apples, mangos, or carrots. These will be much healthier for your cat and will also act as a good source of vitamins.

Cat at window

Marshmallow Fluff

Can cats eat marshmallows fluff? The biggest problem with marshmallows is that your cat can choke on them, so can they try fluff? The answer is still no. Even the fluff is just sugar and isn’t good for your pet. Too much sugar is harmful to cats and can lead to long-term health issues.

Marshmallow Ingredients

Not all marshmallows are made the same. Marshmallows contain two dangerous ingredients: chocolate and xylitol, a zero-calorie sweetener.

These types of ingredients can legitimately be dangerous to your cat even in small amounts, so check the packaging on any marshmallows you do have. If your cat ends up eating marshmallows, ask your vet about what to do if you find that your marshmallows have these ingredients.

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Cats and Sweets

Know too that cats don’t really like sweet foods. Cats can’t taste sweet things very well, so they won’t generally eat marshmallows. Some cats are unique and will try to snatch one from you anyway. But you can rest assured that usually, your cat will not want your marshmallows. Still, keep these treats just for yourself to eat.

In general, sweets don’t have any health benefits for cats. It’s the same for us humans. We eat them as treats; perhaps for a campfire night. But we don’t eat these sweets for nutrition. Just like they are junk food for us, they are also nothing more than junk food for cats.

It’s important to know that we have very different dietary requirements to cats. For us, we could have carbohydrates in our diet. But our cats really need a lot of protein. Therefore, carbohydrates (especially when they are in high levels in marshmallows) really play no role in a cat’s diet.

Our human diet requires around 2000 or more calories each day. However, a cat’s calorie requirement is so much lesser. Therefore, you shouldn’t fill your cat’s calorie requirement with junk food or sugary treats. Your cat needs a good amount of protein to grow and develop healthily.

What to Do If My Cat Eats a Marshmallow?

You can’t watch your cat at all times. It’s just a fact. So, they might end up snacking on a marshmallow without you realizing it. If this does happen, first off, make sure that your cat is not choking. If they are, then you need to call your emergency vet right away to find out what you need to do.

If your cats aren’t choking, exhale and relax. Marshmallows aren’t immediately toxic to your cat and will not be poisonous. Just take the marshmallows away and make sure that you keep them out of your cat’s reach for next time. It is not likely to leave any lasting long-term damage to your cat’s health.

You can still call up your vet too if you’re worried, or if you notice that there were some troublesome ingredients in your marshmallows. While your pet should be fine after having just one, it’s never a bad idea to ask your vet to be sure.

Generally, you should hopefully be okay though, since cats don’t generally like sweet foods. It’s not likely that felines will want to eat a marshmallow anyway, but if they do have one, as long as they aren’t choking, they’re okay to have just one.

Conclusion

So, can cats eat marshmallows? In the end, you’ll be much better off giving your pet another type of treat that still may not be super healthy for them. Something which won’t potentially lead to choking.

While marshmallows do not cause immediate poisoning, they are still not a great option for cats and should be avoided if it can be helped. Take a look around to find treats that will work better for your feline, and that will not have the same negative side effects. 

 

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