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Can Cats Eat Pretzels? What You Need to Know!

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy


The savory, salty taste of pretzels, on top of the enticing aroma, is irresistible to some pet cats, and it isn’t uncommon for your curious kittens to want to take a bite out of your personal stash. Cats are always getting into things that they shouldn’t. If your cat figured out how to tear open your bag of salted pretzels, you might be worried about whether pretzels are safe for them to eat.

Cats can safely consume pretzels if they are given to them in moderation. Too many of these treats, however, could create some adverse reactions. Before feeding pretzel sticks to your furry friends, read through this article to find out the protentional risks of eating them.

Are Pretzels Safe for Cats?

We wouldn’t necessarily say that pretzels are a good treat for cats, but that doesn’t mean that they are toxic for them either. You can safely feed your cat pretzels in moderation since almost all pretzels contain simple ingredients such as water, flour, yeast, and salt. If your cat can’t get enough of them, remember that too much of a good thing can eventually turn bad.

The biggest concern with feeding pretzels to animals is the levels of sodium that are present. Small amounts of salt are fine for felines because it actually encourages them to drink more water and help them stay hydrated for longer.

While pretzels may encourage your pet to drink more water, there still isn’t any actual nutritional value that comes from the pretzels. Also, most cats are allergic to grains, and the wheat flour in pretzels could upset your pet’s stomach. If you do happen to give them pretzels as an occasional treat, refrain from giving them seasoned pretzels that contain dangerous seasonings like onion and garlic.

cat licking mouth after eating
Image Credit: mik ulyannikov, Shutterstock

Nutritional Value of Pretzels

Compared to fried snacks, pretzels have fewer calories and fat. However, they also have minimal amounts of protein and fiber. Even though your cats may like the taste, pretzels don’t benefit them in many ways. Listed below is the nutritional information for 1 ounce of hard pretzels.

  • Calories: 109
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Protein: 2.9 grams
  • Carbs: 22.8 grams
  • Fiber: 1.0 grams
  • Sodium: 1240 milligrams

What Are the Negatives of Feeding Pretzels to Cats?

Here are some of the biggest cons to feeding your cats pretzels:

1. Salt

Pretzels are known for having quite a bit of salt on them. While small amounts are good for cats, too much salt leads to dehydration. Cats that consume too much sodium might be thirstier and urinate more often. It could also give them something called sodium ion poisoning that causes vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, tremors, convulsions, and decreased appetite.

salt on a wooden spoon and all over the black clothe
Image Credit: mkupiec7, Pixabay

2. Sweeteners

There are some brands of pretzels that use sweeteners with chocolate and sugar that are not safe for most of our furry friends. Do not ever give your cats pretzels with chocolate or sugar coatings. Feeding them these treats could increase their chances of weight gain and obesity. Other dangers of too many sweeteners include diabetes, oral illnesses, and cardiovascular trouble.

Many of our store-bought pretzels claim to have zero sweeteners. This isn’t always accurate advertising. Beware of processed foods that use Xylitol because it can be dangerous to cats.

3. Spices and Seasoning

Not all of us keep plain pretzels in the house. Sometimes, we like to mix it up with seasoned pretzels. The downside to this is that if a cat gets into the bag, they are going to consume large amounts of seasonings that use onion and garlic for flavoring. Feeding these ingredients to felines could lead to fatal results through poisonings or cause gastrointestinal issues.

Image: Pixabay

Can Cats Choke on Hard and Soft Pretzels?

It really doesn’t matter if the pretzels are hard or soft; allowing your cat to eat pretzels is a choking hazard if you do not supervise them. Hard pretzels are more likely to cause choking than soft pretzels. So, when possible, only give them tiny pieces of soft pretzel if you do decide to treat them.

Are Pretzels Safe for Kittens?

You wouldn’t think that age would affect what a cat can and cannot eat, yet this isn’t the case at all. Young cats have more sensitive stomachs, and their bodies still aren’t fully developed enough to handle pretzels. On top of that, kittens require vital nutrients to assist their growth and development, and pretzels offer them zero nutritional value.

Image Credit: Wallpaper Flare

Final Thoughts

It can be hard to deny our cats what they want sometimes. They look at you with those sad eyes, and you feel your heart ache a little bit. Unfortunately, this is the moment when you must be a good cat parent and make the hard decisions for them. It’s okay to give cats a few bites of plain pretzels as a treat every once in a while. Just remember that moderation and paying attention to the ingredients list is key if you want them to continue living a long and healthy life free from medical issues.

Featured Image Credit: Pickpik

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