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Can Cats Eat Donuts? Nutritional Facts & Safety Guide

Savannah Stanfield

By Savannah Stanfield

Can Cats Eat donuts

Curiosity sometimes gets the best of kitties, which can lead them to taste foods that aren’t a typical part of their diet. This is even more true if your cat is the least bit hungry! One food in particular that always seems to intrigue cats is donuts, whether it’s the smell of the donuts themselves or the oil used to fry them in. But can cats eat donuts? And will they cause any harm to your cat?

Although plain donuts will not cause any harm to your cat, they shouldn’t eat them. The risk of your cat eating a donut is increased if the donuts are glazed or have any kind of seasonings or fillings in them. In this article, we’ll discuss why cats shouldn’t eat donuts and which ones pose more of a risk than others.


Do Cats Even Like Donuts?

Cats are carnivores, so they prefer meat over pretty much any type of food. Plus, eating meat provides all of the essential nutrients that cats need to stay healthy, so if they don’t eat meat, they won’t survive for very long.

cat eating cooked chicken
Image credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

With that being said, cats don’t often try non-meat human foods because they want to eat them. Sniffing and tasting it is your cat’s way of exploring their environment, as they would do in the wild.

With that being said, if you catch your cat eating a donut, he’s likely not doing it because he thinks it might taste good. Cats can’t taste sweets, so if he eats the donut, he probably won’t even be able to taste it, especially if it is glazed or has any kind of topping on it.

It’s possible that your cat was attracted to the donut because he smelled the oil used to fry it. But once he tastes it, he may no longer be interested in the donut since he can’t taste the sweet flavors in it. But it’s also possible that your cat may continue to explore the donut since he can’t taste it anyway, or he just likes the texture of it.

While donuts aren’t an essential part of your cat’s diet, whether or not your cat likes them just depends on the cat. But, even if your cat does like the donut, he shouldn’t be allowed to eat it since it has nutritious value for him and since some of the ingredients can cause potential health problems.

Are Donuts Safe for Cats?

Image Credit: AJEL, Pixabay

Donuts are generally not safe for cats due to the high amounts of sugar in them. A donut has around 15-30 grams of sugar in it, depending on the type of donut it is, so it is not the healthiest treat for humans let alone cats. We’re not trying to tell you how to live your life, so eat that donut if you want to. However, don’t let your cat eat because his body isn’t made to process sugar the way that ours is.

Since sugar is not a natural part of a cat’s diet, they don’t digest it easily or efficiently. This can lead to typical digestive problems, including vomiting and diarrhea. It’s worth noting that this isn’t likely to happen if your cat just takes one bite out of a donut. But the more of it he eats, the more likely he is to experience problems.

We also mentioned that despite having so much sugar in them, plain donuts are safer than glazed donuts or donuts that have seasonings on them. Again, that doesn’t mean that you should feed even a plain donut to your cat, it just means that he’s less likely to experience serious problems as a result of eating one.

Glazed and seasoned donuts are more dangerous for cats, due to the amount of sugar that glazes and toppings such as sprinkles have in them. Filled donuts, whether that be with cream or a fruit filling are also more dangerous to cats due, again, to the high amounts of sugar in them.

But if the donuts are glazed or filled with chocolate, or topped with certain seasonings such as cinnamon and nutmeg (think pumpkin spice donuts), then the risk is even higher. Although cinnamon and nutmeg aren’t super dangerous as long as your cat eats a small amount, the danger increases when larger amounts are consumed. Plus, chocolate is never good to let your cat eat under any circumstances.


What Will Happen If Your Cat Eats a Donut?

a cat that feels sick and seems to vomit
Image Credit: chie hidaka, Shutterstock

As long as your cat didn’t eat an excessive amount of a donut, it’s very likely that he’ll be perfectly fine and nothing will happen.  At the very least, you can expect mild vomiting and diarrhea, and possibly an upset stomach since your cat can’t digest sugar. These symptoms are a natural way for your cat to rid his body of things he can’t digest.

If your cat eats a lot of a donut, especially if that donut is glazed or is made with something that is inherently toxic to him, it’s possible that you may see more severe symptoms, including vomiting for a longer period of time, although exact symptoms will vary depending on what exactly he ate.

For example, if your cat eats cinnamon, he may experience mild stomach upset. Eating a large amount of cinnamon can lead to irritation in his throat and stomach, and even a faster heart rate according to the ASPCA. Inhaling cinnamon can lead to coughing and respiratory irritation as well.

Nutmeg is even worse for cats when large amounts are ingested. It can cause vomiting, dilated pupils, fast heart rate, general agitation, and even hallucinations. Then, of course, chocolate is the most dangerous for cats, which can cause a plethora of the above symptoms, and even seizures and death.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of ingredients that some donuts may contain that are toxic to cats. However, if you notice your cat exhibiting any of the above symptoms after eating a donut, regardless of what kind of donut, it’s a good idea to reach out to an animal poison control hotline or your veterinarian. They can instruct you as to what you should do and even provide treatment.

Now that you know what you can safely feed your cat, it’s just as important to find a bowl that supports their health and well-being. With whisker-friendly bowls and a wide tray to catch any spills, our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite option.

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  • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
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Final Thoughts

Although some donuts are safer for cats than others, it is not a good idea to let your cat eat a donut of any kind. At the very least, you’re dealing with sugar that your cat can’t digest, but depending on the type of donut, you could be dealing with a more serious issue. The good news is that as long as you are proactive when you notice your cat developing symptoms, he should be able to receive treatment and make a full recovery.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: MANCHU64, Pixabay

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