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Can Cats Eat Cotton Candy? Vet Approved Facts & Risks

Visnja Radosavljevic

By Visnja Radosavljevic

Cotton Candy

Vet approved

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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While many human foods are considered safe for cats, others could potentially cause harm to our feline friends, so you should know which foods are safe and unsafe for cats. Many cat owners wonder if their furry friends can eat sweets like cotton candy. So, can cats eat cotton candy? Or is this human treat unhealthy for cats?

Although cotton candy isn’t toxic, it is very unhealthy for them, so you definitely shouldn’t feed it to your cat.

Read on to find out what a well-balanced feline diet should look like, the possible health risks associated with cats eating cotton candy, and if cats can eat sweets at all.

A Well-Balanced Feline Diet

As obligate carnivores, cats need to eat animal protein to survive. There are specific essential nutrients, like taurine, our feline friends can only obtain from meat.

Your cat’s diet should be age appropriate, and contain the correct balance of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals that they need to thrive. This is most easily achieved by feeding a high quality commercial food, but their needs can also be met with a balanced, vet approved homemade or raw diet.

Beautiful feline cat eating on a metal bowl
Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com, Shutterstock

Should Cats Eat Sweets?

Did you know? Cats lack the taste bud receptors to detect sweet flavors, so they don’t tend to crave the taste of sugar like humans do!

If your cat eats a sweet or two, it is unlikely that there will be any problems, but as the main ingredient of all sweets is usually sugar, this is something that cats certainly don’t need, and can become harmful if consumed regularly.

There are a few ingredients, however, that do pose serious toxicity risks to your cat, including:

  • xylitol – an artificial sweetener sometimes used in “sugar-free” sweets
  • chocolate – contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to cats
  • peppermints – the essential oil used in these sweets can be toxic to cats in high amounts

If your cat has eaten anything that contains these ingredients, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Should Cats Eat Cotton Candy? Is It Healthy for Them?

Cotton Candy
Photo Credit: JumpStory

Considering that cats shouldn’t eat sweets, cotton candy is definitely not a good food choice for our furry friends. This human treat provides no nutritional value and contains various ingredients that could jeopardize your cat’s health.

The main ingredients of cotton candy include:
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Corn syrup
  • A pinch of salt
  • Food coloring +/- flavoring

Cotton candy is primarily made from sugar. This is unnecessary for cats and could cause several health problems, such as weight gain and obesity. It’s also possible for store-bought cotton candy to contain artificial dyes and sweeteners that are unsafe for cats.

What Are the Potential Health Risks of Cats Eating Cotton Candy?

1. Weight Gain/Obesity

obese cat sitting on the floor
Image Credit: Benoit Daoust, Shutterstock

Cats that eat cotton candy are at a higher risk of gaining weight and becoming obese. This human treat is virtually all sugar; calories that are unnecessary in a cat’s diet. Cats that experience weight gain and obesity will eventually be more prone to other health troubles, such as diabetes and joint problems, which is why it’s best to avoid offering cotton candy to your cat.

2. Tooth Problems

veterinarian examining cat's teeth
Image Credit: Sadasiva Pandava, Shutterstock

Although tooth decay from sugary foods is not a common problem for cats, consuming sticky, sugary foods like cotton candy could lead to tooth problems in your feline as plaque forms and accumulates, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease.

What Are Safe Alternatives to Cotton Candy That You Can Feed Your Cat?

Sugary sweets are never a good idea for cats, and they’re unlikely to be at the top of your cat’s list of favorite foods anyway. If you are looking for a way to give your feline friend something a little bit special, you can always try making some cat-safe treats at home, or stick to commercial cat treats that have been made with feline needs in mind.

Final Thoughts

Cotton candy may not be toxic to cats, but this human treat provides them with no nutritional value and could jeopardize their health. Therefore, it’s best to keep cotton candy away from your cat and not offer this, or any other sweets, to your feline.

There are plenty of cat-friendly treats that your feline (and their taste buds) would much prefer. You can even try your hand at a homemade cat food or raw food recipe!

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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