Can Cats Eat Sugar? What You Need To Know

to sweet
(Last Updated On: June 13, 2020)

As humans, most of us love sugar. We tend to put it in everything from cookies to breads, or minimally in coffee or tea.

It’s easy for humans to eat sugar, but as you dig into something sweet or add a little sugar to your cooking, you might be wondering if your cat can enjoy sugar as much as you do.

At the very least, you might want to know if it’s detrimental for their health, which is why we’re here to answer the question of whether cats can eat sugar.

Can Cats Eat Sugar?

As a cat owner, you might already know that your cat cannot simply eat the same food that you eat.

They simply cannot metabolize food like we do, which is why certain human foods make cats very sick. Sugar, thankfully, is not one of those foods, meaning that yes, cats can eat sugar.

It would be best to avoid it whenever possible though for the sake of your cat’s long-term health.

Sugar is not actually poisonous to cats, so if yours happens to have some sweet cereal or a bit of something like syrup or frosting, you don’t have to worry about rushing off to your vet.

It isn’t great for the long-term health of your cat though, since it is still a junk food. In the end, you should minimize sugars in your cat’s diet wherever possible.

Tasting Sugar

Believe it or not, cats actually cannot taste sugar anyway. They won’t taste the sweetness that we enjoy, meaning that there’s no real reason for you to give your cat sugar anyway.

This doesn’t mean that your cat won’t eat something sweet though. There may be another ingredient in the food that they’re attracted to that implores them to take a bite.

For instance, think of chocolate. We all know that chocolate is dangerous to cats, not necessarily because of the sugar, but because of other ingredients.

Cats still eat it though which is why it’s important to always keep it out of reach.

Existing Health Conditions

Like humans, cats can deal with diseases like diabetes. This would make sugar very detrimental to their health if they happen to have it.

They may not be able to taste the sugar, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be harmful. Especially in this case, your cat cannot have sugar at all for the sake of their health.

If your cat does happen to have diabetes, remember to give them their insulin shot after they’ve eaten. This type of treatment will prevent your cat from experiencing worse health problems like a damaged liver.

Only Good Sugars

You shouldn’t give your cat sweet sugar that we use for baking, but like humans, cats do need certain types of sugars to function.

They need sugars from high-end, high-protein cat food rather than the ordinary table one.

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These are the types they can metabolize and use for cellular energy, although there still shouldn’t be large amounts of sugar in your cat’s food.

This is why the total sugar content of your cat’s food should be less than one percent. Ultimately, if there is glucose and fructose in urine, then that means that your cat has too much in their diet.

Long-Term Issues

Ordinary table sugar is completely lacking in nutrition, providing calories without giving your cat what they need for their health.

Since adult cats only need a few hundred calories a day, the empty calories from sugar add up quickly, potentially leading to obesity and other health issues.

Obesity inhibits the ability of your cat to lead a happy life, since they’re unable to enjoy exercise like they used to. This reduces the quality of their life and may lead to other health issues as well.

An obese cat is more likely to have conditions like osteoarthritis, insulin resistance, type two diabetes, and some cancers.

It can lead to diabetes in particular, while obesity increases the chances of a heart attack or stroke. If your cat is already obese, they certainly shouldn’t be having any in their diet.

Oral Health

There have been conflicting opinions on whether sugar has negative results on your cat’s oral health, but like humans, it’s likely that too much sugar is able to damage your cat’s oral health.

Giving your cat sugar may increase their chances of cavities, gingivitis, and other types of oral infections.

If bacteria then enters into the bloodstream, it can travel throughout your cat’s body to infect their liver, kidneys, and heart.

Especially if you do not brush your cat’s teeth on a daily basis, as many of us do not, you should try to protect your cat’s teeth in other ways.

This includes giving your cat as little sugar as possible to avoid future problems.

Talk to Your Vet

If you think that your cat has had too much sugar, or you are unsure about your cat’s diet, it’s always best to chat with your vet.

They will be able to go over your cat’s diet with you to keep them healthy long-term.


The occasional amount of sugar will not kill your cat, as it is not toxic or poisonous.

If your cat happens to like it, it’s okay to just give them a little bit here and there. But it’s important not to give them too much.

Even though it isn’t toxic or poisonous, too much of it can lead to health problems in the future. This includes oral health problems, obesity, and diabetes.

In order to keep your cat healthy, it’s best to give them as little as possible. Since they can’t even taste it, it’s likely that they won’t mind nearly as much as some of us would!


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