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Can Cats Eat Twizzlers? Nutrition Facts & Safety Guide

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

Can Cat Eat twizzlers

Cats love to play, and almost any kind of string seems to fit the bill. So, it’s quite likely that your cat can get super interested in your Twizzlers while you’re snacking on them. Brightly colored and wobbling around so enticingly! While most cats can be rather picky, many others would like to chew on everything, which leads us to the subject of this article. Can cats eat Twizzlers?

The red, strawberry-flavored Twizzlers, as well as the black licorice Twizzlers, are not necessarily toxic for cats, but they are certainly not good for them either. 

We’ll take a bit of a closer look at Twizzlers as well as a cat’s diet and what happens if a cat does eat them.

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A Cat’s Diet

Before we launch into Twizzlers, we’ll take a brief look at what a cat’s diet should be. All cats hunt and eat their meals at dusk and dawn, making cats crepuscular. And if your cat seems to go a little crazy at these times, now you know why!

Cats are also obligate carnivores, which means the main part of their diet is made up of meat. 70% of a cat’s diet needs to be made up of animal meat for them to thrive and survive. Eating plant matter does not provide the necessary dietary requirements for cats as their bodies cannot process fruit and veggies adequately.

So, we give them commercially prepared cat food that has been made specifically for their dietary requirements. It needs to include all the necessary nutritional ingredients with the right balance of protein, calories, carbs, and fats.

You should avoid feeding your cat food with fillers if it’s possible. Wheat, corn, soy, and animal by-products are all ingredients added so manufacturers can cut costs, but these ingredients are not beneficial for cats overall.

maine coon cat eating
Image Credit: Lita Keire, Shutterstock

A Little About Twizzlers

Let’s start by clearing something up. Twizzlers that are not black are not licorice. They are just plain-old candy. The most common and most popular Twizzlers are strawberry-flavored, containing sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, flour, palm oil, glycerin, potassium sorbate, citric acid, etc., soy lecithin, and artificial flavors and colors.

They were first produced in 1927 by Young and Smylie and were acquired by Hershey in 1977. They were initially only available in licorice, but today, they also come in strawberry, of course, cherry, grape, orange, and even chocolate. Twizzlers are a pretty tasty snack that is low in fat, and most are suitable for a vegan diet.

Problems with Twizzlers

The issues with Twizzlers should be pretty apparent: it is a junk food. They are chock full of sugar and artificial ingredients and contain wheat, so Twizzlers aren’t suitable for people who need gluten-free products.

As humans, we know that Twizzlers aren’t something we should eat regularly, so how do they affect cats?

twizzlers
Image By: WikimediaImages, Pixabay

Cats and Twizzlers

First, cats don’t actually have a sweet tooth. Their taste buds don’t allow them to taste sweet things, so they won’t be able to enjoy Twizzlers the way we do.

Secondly, Twizzlers also don’t provide your cat with any nutritional benefit and can cause health issues in cats. Even humans are supposed to eat desserts and sweet things in moderation, so any amount of junk food is bad for our cats.

Food not meant for a cat can cause an upset stomach, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is because cats’ bodies just aren’t designed to digest most human foods, particularly junk food.

There’s also the distinct possibility that a cat will develop diabetes or become obese if they eat too many sweet things over an extended period.

Additionally, there’s the chance that the sticky Twizzlers will become stuck in your cat’s teeth, resulting in gum disease and other dental conditions.

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What About Licorice Twizzlers?

Essentially, the rules for strawberry Twizzlers are the same for licorice Twizzlers. The sugar can wreak havoc on your cat’s gastrointestinal tract as well as its overall health. And they are just as sticky, so problems with their teeth can still arise.

Beyond these issues, there are some mixed messages around the use of licorice with cats. Many herbs work to ease certain conditions in cats, and the use of licorice root is one such herb.

Licorice root is known to help treat allergies, digestive issues, and respiratory problems. It can also cleanse the blood and has anti-inflammatory properties for cats with arthritis.

However, licorice root is not the same as candy, which uses licorice extract for the flavor. If you’re interested in using licorice root, speak to your vet.

What Sweets Are Most Toxic for Cats?

As you’ve read, there really is no such thing as sugar of any kind being good or even just okay for your cat. However, there are some sweets that are toxic for cats that you should avoid at all costs.

  • Chocolate: This shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s well known how toxic chocolate is for our pets. Eating chocolate can cause stomach upset, muscle tremors, panting, seizures, coma, and even death. The darker the chocolate ingested, the worse it is for our cats.
  • Caffeine: The same effects can occur with caffeine products as seen in chocolate. Muscle tremors, stomach upset, agitation, panting, tremors, and seizures are possible.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Most of us have probably heard about xylitol used as a naturally occurring sweetener. You might also have heard about how toxic it is for dogs, but what about cats? It doesn’t seem to have quite the same toxic effects on cats as it does for dogs, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and keep it away from your cat.
  • Raisins and grapes: A small number of grapes and raisins can make a cat ill and even lead to kidney disease.

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.

Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
  • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
  • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...

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Final Thoughts

So, the long and the short of it is, if your cat eats some of your Twizzlers, the worst thing that might happen is a bit of an upset tummy. Twizzlers are not toxic for cats, so if your cat snuck in a bite, everything will probably be just fine. But it’s best not to make this a regular occurrence.

Chances are that your cat won’t necessarily want any since they can’t taste sweet things anyway but try to keep them away from your cat just the same. Speak to your vet if you’re concerned about your cat’s diet or if anything was eaten that wasn’t meant for it. You certainly don’t want to risk its health as you’ll want your cat around for as long as possible.

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: Robcartorres, Shutterstock

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