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Can Cats Have Cheerios – Are They Safe Or Healthy?

Most of us have heard how important a healthy breakfast is for us to get our day started correctly, but what about our cats? Sure, most of us feed our cats as soon as we wake up, but cats never get to eat different breakfast foods, like eggs, milk, and especially cereal like Cheerios. You’ve read and heard about how good Cheerios are for heart health, and you want your cat to have a healthy heart too! Before you fill your cat’s bowl up with Cheerios, you should ask yourself, can cats have Cheerios?

Cats should not have Cheerios. Cheerios are not toxic to cats, however, they are made of oats and have carbs that can adversely affect your cat’s health. Cereals provide little to no nutritional value to cats.

Cheerios are a heart-healthy option for humans, but when it comes to your cats, you should skip feeding your cat’s Cheerios. There are very few ingredients in Cheerios that are good for your cat, and any good content in Cheerios is overshadowed by those that are bad for your cat. There is a lot to know about how your cat reacts after eating cereal, so keep reading to learn more!

Can Cats Eat Cereal 

Technically speaking, yes, cats can eat cereal.

If we are talking about whether or not cats can physically eat cereal, yes, they can. The cereal is small enough to fit in your cat’s mouth and is soft enough to chew, even though it is a little on the crunchy side. Cereal may be even softer than dry cat food, especially when it becomes wet from your cat’s saliva. 

Nutritional value aside, cereal is a cat-sized food. There is a small chance that your cat could choke on cereal if he does not chew the piece of cereal, but his saliva will soften the piece of cereal if it is stuck in his throat. 

Even though cats can eat cereal, it is not the snack or meal of choice for your cat. We’ll talk about this further in the rest of the article. 

Are Cheerios Bad For Cats

Cheerios are bad for cats. You should avoid feeding your cat cereal at all costs.

Let’s get one thing straight before we start talking about Cheerios: Cheerios are not toxic to cats. If your cat eats a Cheerio that you accidentally dropped, the cereal will not poison your cat.

Although Cheerios are not toxic, they are still not good for your cat to eat.

Cheerios do not have any of the necessary nutrients that your cat needs to stay healthy. Cheerios, conversely, is only made of empty calories for your cat. There is no nutrient in Cheerios for cats. 

Cheerios are an oat-based cereal, and cats do not need oats in their diets. Cats get their nutrients from eating meat, not oats that translate to carbs. 

Empty calories from Cheerios could cause some of the following health problems:

  • Weight gain from the empty calories
  • Diabetes from extra weight
  • Diarrhea if they are not used to eating Cheerios and oats
  • An unbalanced diet if your cat gets to eating Cheerios

Can Cats Eat Dry Cereal

If you’ve heard that cats are lactose intolerant, then you may assume that cereal would be healthier for your cat without milk.

Unfortunately, even dry cereal is not suitable for your cat.

Dry cereal means that you will not be giving your lactose-intolerant cat milk, which could translate to a stomachache or even vomiting. The milk, however, is not the problem when it comes to cereal.

You’re doing an excellent job by skipping the milk, but you might as well skip the cereal too. There is no way to serve your cat cereal and make it healthy. 

Dry or with milk, the ingredients of the dry cereal make it unhealthy for your cat, not the milk that it floats in (even though that isn’t good either!).

While the ingredients in cereal can vary based on brand and type, many cereals also have ingredients that translate into carbs. Everyone is on the fence about whether or not people should eat carbs, but it has already been confirmed that cats do not need carbs. 

Cats’ bodies do not have the necessary skills to break down carbohydrates. For humans, carbohydrates can be used as a form of energy that keeps us feeling full and going strong, but that does happen for cats. Your cat will not be able to use the carbs for energy or fuel. Your cat could eat and eat carbs but will show little benefit and many adverse effects.

No matter the kind of food you want to feed your cat, it is essential to remember that cats’ bodies do not run the same as humans. 

Can Cats Eat Whole Wheat Cheerios

Whole wheat or whole grain Cheerios may be an excellent option for people looking for an alternative to their normal cereal. Still, it doesn’t make it any healthier than regular Cheerios.

Here are some ingredients in Cheerios:

  • Whole grain oats
  • Whole grain corn
  • Corn starch
  • Whole grain rice
  • Brown sugar syrup
  • Salt

Whole wheat oats, of course, are made of different kinds of whole grains, like oats, corn, and rice. As we’ve already covered, your cat does not need oats or grains in its diet to stay healthy.

Grain and oats aren’t just empty calories. They could also lead to a few issues with your cat in the short term, like:

  • Allergies
  • Intolerance to the food if they never ate it before
  • The health of your cat’s skin, which could translate to dry, flaky skin that causes your cat to itch
  • Quality of your cat’s fur, including the shine and thickness of your cat’s fur

Thus, these Cheerios are created with humans in mind, but not your cats, as most of the ingredients are something that your cat doesn’t need to eat. 

There is also 8g of sugar in whole grain Cheerios. For the average person, this is about 16% of their daily intake of sugar. 

As you can imagine, this is a lot of sugar for your cat, who does not need any sugar in their diet.

Can Cats Eat Honey Nut Cheerios

Your cat should not eat Honey Nut Cheerios, even if these are your favorite flavor of Cheerios. 

Honey Nut Cheerios has many of the same ingredients as whole wheat Cheerios, but most of the grains are not whole grains, as you may have guessed. This flavor of Cheerios also has honey in it.

Honey may be good for you and makes your breakfast tastier, but the honey in these Cheerios increases the salt and sugar quantities of the cereal. 

Unlike Whole Grain Cheerios with 8g of sugar, Honey Nut Cheerios has 12g of sugar. 

12g of sugar may not be too much for a human, but we’re talking about cats here. Your cat is much smaller than you are, so this extra 4g of sugar translates to a lot of sugar for your cat. 

Sugar consumption won’t come without intended consequences either. You may see the following problems with your cat when they eat sugar, especially over a prolonged amount of time: 

  • Vomiting, especially when your cat has never eaten sugar before
  • Diarrhea, if your cat’s digestive system cannot handle it
  • General discomfort, which may come from bloating
  • Weight gain over time
  • Diabetes
  • Tooth problems if your cat starts to eat too much sugar 

Many of these symptoms can be avoided by simply not giving your cat sugar and cereal, which is easy enough! 

How Much Cheerios Can Cats Eat

Cats should not eat any amount of Cheerios.

You don’t need to worry about how much Cheerios a cat can eat because a cat shouldn’t be eating Cheerios in the first place.

A small amount of Cheerios won’t harm your cat in any way. We’ve all dropped a piece of Cheerios on the floor or the counter and decided we would clean it up after we eat. There is no need to worry if your cat gets to it before you do. 

Cheerios become a problem for your cat when they start to eat them over a prolonged amount of time, so a one-time snack on Cheerios won’t do anything to your cat.

If your cat is not used to eating something like cereal, your cat may get diarrhea, but it probably won’t be enough to cause your cat to throw up. 

What Cereal Can Cats Eat

Cats should not eat any breakfast cereal.

If you want to share breakfast with your cat, cereal is not the way to go.

We’ve talked about how Cheerios are not a good choice for your cat, but the fact is that no cereal is going to be good for your cat.

Cheerios are one of the healthiest breakfast cereals you can eat like a human, which means that other cereals will have more harmful ingredients, like sugar. Most cereals are also made with grains, which are never the best option for your cat. 

You may enjoy having cereal for breakfast, but it is best not to share it with your cat. If your cat is looking to sneak a piece of cereal, try to feed your cat at the same time you are eating breakfast.

If you want to switch your cat’s breakfast meal, don’t do this with cereal. Try changing his diet. For instance, most people only feed their cat wet food either as a treat or only once a day. Consider giving your cat wet food for breakfast to make it a special treat.

A picky cat may also want to help you eat your breakfast, but there is a solution for that too. Keep a few cat treats or pieces of dry cat food in your hand. Please give it to your cat immediately before or after you fill your bowl. It will make your cat feel like he is eating your food too!

Things To Consider

We talked about cereal in this article, but since we’re on the topic of breakfast foods, let’s talk about some options that are safe and unsafe for your cat.

Like anything else, any safe foods should only be given to your cat as a treat. You might think cat food gets boring for your cat after a while, but cat food keeps your cat strong and healthy.

Good: Eggs

Eggs are an excellent option to feed your cat as a snack. Cats thrive on protein, which eggs have.

Always make sure that you cook the eggs that you are giving to your cat. Raw eggs are as harmful to cats as they are to you.

In addition, do not add any spices to your eggs. You may be tempted to add salt or pepper when you scramble eggs for yourself, but do not add this to the eggs your cat is eating. To be safe, skip the butter and any other oils you may use when making your eggs. 

Bad: Bacon And Sausage

Next to cereal, bacon and sausage are some of the most popular breakfast foods, but you should not give them to your cat.

Cats are meat-eaters, but the problem with bacon and sausage is that they are full of fat and are often cooked in oil. Very few people eat bacon and sausage without seasoning.

Good: Fruits

If you’re someone who likes to eat fruit for breakfast, you can share your fruit with your cats.

Surprisingly, cats can eat fruit. Here are some excellent options:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mangos
  • Oranges

Most fruits are still high in sugar, so it still isn’t a good idea for you to replace your cat’s breakfast with fruit.

Bad: Milk

We all like to picture a cat lapping up milk from a bowl, but cats are lactose intolerant.

Do not offer your cat milk. Whether you knew it or not, cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot drink milk.

Even a small amount of milk could upset your cat’s stomach, leading to diarrhea or vomiting.