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Can Cats Eat Oreos? What You Need to Know!

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

Stack of Oreos on the table

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Vet)

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

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Oreo cookies are a delicious treat for humans. They’re one of the most popular cookies and are available in everything from fudge to ice cream. Due to their popularity, it’s very possible that your cat will come into contact with Oreos at some point in their life, whether you bring the cookies home or someone brings them to your house for a party. It’s important for you to know if cats can eat Oreos before your cat gets a hold of one. Here’s everything you should know about cats eating Oreo cookies, and why you should never feed them one.

Can Cats Eat Oreos?

No!

You should not give your cat Oreo cookies. If you drop a small piece of cookie on the floor and your cat eats it, it’s likely nothing to be overly concerned about. However, Oreo cookies are not recommended for cats and can even be toxic.

oreo cookie with milk
Image Credit: 1150199, Pixabay

Why Are Oreos Dangerous for Cats?

Oreo cookies contain cocoa powder, which is toxic to cats. What makes cocoa powder toxic to cats is the caffeine and theobromine present in it. An Oreo contains 4.5% cocoa powder.

Caffeine toxicity in cats can lead to gastrointestinal upset, like vomiting and diarrhea. It can also raise your cat’s blood pressure and can lead to dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. You may also notice an increase in the amount of urine your cat produces for a few hours after consumption of something containing caffeine.

Theobromine is a compound similar to caffeine, but even more of it is present in chocolate and cocoa powder than caffeine is. Theobromine toxicity can cause similar symptoms as caffeine toxicity, but it can also lead to restlessness, panting, muscle tremors, and seizures. As symptoms progress, it may lead to a sudden drop in the cat’s blood pressure. In larger quantities, theobromine can lead to status epilepticus, coma, and death.

They are also high in sugar and fat which can cause problems in cats prone to pancreatitis, digestive sensitivities, or diabetes.

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What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Oreos?

Oreos contain very little pure cocoa powder per cookie, so the risk of toxicity from a couple of bites of a cookie is low. If your cat gets into a bite or two of Oreo cookies, it’s a good idea to closely monitor for any signs of stomach upset or increased urination. If you see any indication that your cat is experiencing any additional symptoms or the symptoms you’re seeing are severe, then you should have your cat checked out by a veterinarian. When in doubt, contact the pet poison hotline for guidance.

Depending on the age and size of your cat, if it consumes a whole Oreo cookie, they are likely to experience some mild symptoms of gastro-enteritis. If your cat consumes more than one Oreo cookie, a vet visit is ideal for treatment and monitoring to ensure your cat does not begin experiencing serious symptoms.

Veterinarian examining teeth of a persian cat
Image Credit: didesign021, Shutterstock

What are Safe Treats for Cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores and do not need sugary foods as any part of their diet, which means that Oreos would not be appropriate for cats even if they were a safe food. The best cat treats you can offer are commercial cat treats since they are formulated specifically with the nutritional needs of cats in mind. However, if you want to offer treats at home that are safe for your cat, try lean meats that have been baked or boiled without oil and seasonings. Chicken, fish, and turkey are all good options. Red meat, like beef and lamb, is also a good option in moderation. Cats will often enjoy tinned fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel.

Treats should account for no more than 10% of your cat’s daily dietary intake, so make sure to keep track of how much you’re offering.

In Conclusion

Oreo cookies may be a delicious human treat, but they provide no nutritional value for cats and can be quite dangerous, even deadly. You should not intentionally offer Oreos to your cat, even in small quantities.

There are many factors that can impact how much theobromine and caffeine your cat can safely tolerate, including your cat’s age, weight, and health status, so it’s difficult to say just how many Oreos could be safe or not safe for your cat. It’s best to avoid them overall and provide your cat only with treats that are safe and appropriate for them.

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Featured Image Credit: robertsebi, Pixabay

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

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