Can Cats Eat Granola?

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I love a quick granola bar when I’m in a rush in the morning. Who doesn’t?

These nutritious, tasty snacks are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and fat that’s extremely convenient for us to eat.

But is it the same for cats? Can cats eat granola too? 

I was pretty determined to find out. So I started researching some of the benefits and risks of this treat. Here’s what I discovered.

Can Cats Eat Granola?

Yes, you can feed your cat granola, provided it’s plain. But, your cat should avoid any granola treat containing raisins.

Sometimes, granola can contain substances or foods that are toxic to cats. For example, some granola products can be harmful to cats because they contain xylitol or chocolate. And they can include certain nuts that can also be toxic.

With any human food, you must check the ingredients before giving them to your cat.

Is Granola Good for Cats?

Plain granola on its own is perfectly safe for cats as an occasional treat. That being said, sometimes granola products include toxic ingredients that can seriously harm your cat.

Let’s look at some of the benefits and risks associated with granola.

Calcium

Calcium plays a vital role in your cat’s diet. It helps build strong, healthy bones, maintain muscles, and protects nerves. An adult (9lb) cat needs about 0.18 g of calcium daily.

A single granola bar contains roughly 17.1 mg of calcium, way above a cat’s recommended calcium allowance.

Consuming too much calcium can be life-threatening for cats. It can cause cats to suffer from abdominal pain, constipation, depression, bone pain, and diarrhea. It can lead to coma and problems with the kidneys, central nervous system, and cardiovascular system in severe cases.

Fiber

Granola bars are full of dietary fibers.

Fiber is crucial for the digestive system. It helps prevent constipation, control blood sugar, reduce cholesterol levels, and nourishes healthy bacteria.

But, large quantities of fiber can result in an upset stomach and may irritate the digestive system.

Protein

Protein is the most crucial nutrient in a cat’s diet. It is necessary for a variety of bodily functions. Plus, protein helps repair and build muscles, bones, tissue, and organs.

It also aids the creation of hormones, enzymes, and other vital chemicals in your cat’s body. Cats need about 12.5 g of protein per 250 calories every day.

A single granola bar contains approximately 28.3 g of protein. So it’s an ideal food for cats, on paper.

But cats are meat-eaters. They can only get certain nutrients and amino acids from their diet. So while a granola bar can seem tempting to give your cat, there are plenty of meat alternatives that are packed with protein.

In fact, 100 grams of chicken contains 27 g of protein. What’s more, chicken is packed with nutrients like omega fatty acids, taurine, and other beneficial amino acids.

Potassium

Cats need to consume about 0.33 g of potassium per 250 calories. Potassium is essential for your cat to make blood vessels and healthy muscles.

But, granola contains unhealthy amounts of potassium. In fact, a granola bar (1oz) has 94.1 mg of potassium. Consuming high amounts of potassium is likely to lead to hyperkalemia, muscle weakness, depression, and even arrhythmias in cats.

Sugar

Sugar isn’t toxic for cats, but it’s not beneficial for them.

Too much sugar in a cat’s diet can lead to serious health issues like diabetes, heart problems, weight gain, obesity, and arthritis.

A granola bar contains roughly 8.5 g of sugar. This is exceptionally high for cats, so it’s not advised to feed it to your furry friend.

Calories

An average adult cat needs around 260 calories per day. But, a granola bar contains about 132 calories. This makes up half your cat’s daily calorie allowance.

Generally, it’s best to avoid feeding your cat granola. This is especially true for overweight or diabetic cats. Too many calories can cause heart problems, as well as weight gain and obesity.

Fat

Cats need fat to help them stay healthy. Fats help the body absorb the essential nutrients from the food. Plus, they act as natural energy sources.

That being said, these healthy fats should come from meats. High-quality, nutritious meats contain omega fatty acids that promote heart, joint, muscle, skin, and coat health.

Granola is loaded with unnecessary fats that can be harmful to cats. These can cause weight gain, obesity, and other serious health problems. Always double-check the fat content in any food before giving it to your cat.

Is Granola Safe for Cats?

While cats can eat granola, it can often include toxic substances and ingredients for cats. In fact, some ingredients are even fatal if your furry friend gets their paws on it.

Chocolate

Who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate? Many people enjoy this delicious treat. But, chocolate is incredibly toxic for cats.

Chocolate granola products contain an alkaloid called theobromine, commonly found in cacao plants. This bitter stimulant can cause cats to suffer from symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and in worst cases, death.

Your cat must stay away from chocolate of any kind. Never give it to them as a treat.

Nuts

Not all nuts are safe for cats to eat.

Cats should avoid almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. These are all toxic to cats.

On the other hand, plain peanuts are safe for cats to eat. They can be an excellent source of calcium, fiber, protein, and potassium. Peanuts can help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels too.

But, from a nutritional standpoint, they don’t contribute anything significant to your cat’s diet. They get most of the nutrients and amino acids they need from animal meats.

Raisins

Raisins and cats simply shouldn’t mix. They’re highly toxic to cats. In fact, just a few raisins can cause kidney failure.

Simply, cats should never eat raisins.

Xylitol

This artificial sweetener is incredibly toxic for both cats and dogs. It’s generally used in most granola bars from the grocery store. Even the smallest amount is deadly to cats.

Xylitol causes a cat’s blood sugar to drop, which can cause liver failure. If your cat has eaten a granola bar containing xylitol, take them immediately to a vet clinic.

Can Cats Eat Plain Granola?

Yes, cats can eat plain granola, provided you’ve checked for toxic ingredients.

Although, it’s best to give it to them occasionally, rather than regularly as a treat. Granola can be loaded with calories that can lead to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes in cats.

Can Cats Eat Honey Granola?

Technically, yes, cats can eat honey granola.

Honey is okay for cats, although cats don’t like it most of the time. And while it’s acceptable for them to eat it, it still contains rich amounts of sugar. Excessive sugar intake can cause diabetes, weight gain, and obesity in cats.

Can Cats Eat Granola Bars

Granola bars are made for human consumption. So usually, cats should avoid them.

What’s more, granola bars simply don’t have the nutrients our feline friends need to maintain their good health. They’re full of sugar and salt and contain harmful ingredients like chocolate or raisins.

Let’s take a look at some granola bars and see if they’re safe for cats.

Can Cats Eat Oats and Honey Granola Bars?

No, cats should not eat oats and honey granola bars.

The odd bit won’t cause them significant harm, but they are full of sugar. And consuming too much sugar can quickly cause obesity, diabetes, and heart problems for cats.

Can Cats Eat Nature Valley Granola Bars?

No, cats should avoid Nature Valley granola bars.

Nature Valley granola bars contain processed foods. Plus, they’re full of sugar. But, while these bars have high concentrations of protein, from a nutritional perspective, they add nothing to a cat’s diet.

Excessive sugar intake can lead to various health problems for cats; they can suffer from diabetes, heart problems, and obesity. Obesity can also contribute to other serious health problems like arthritis.

What To Do if Your Cat Ate Granola

Most granola products contain harmful ingredients. They can be made with nuts, chocolate, raisins, and xylitol, which can be incredibly toxic for cats.

If your cat has eaten granola with any of these ingredients, you should watch for the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Coma
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Inability to balance
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

If you notice these signs, take them immediately to a vet clinic. In severe cases, time is crucial. Unfortunately, these ingredients can be fatal for cats.

Take a sample of the food your cat ate too. This can make it easier for a vet to diagnose and treat what’s been ingested.

Vets may recommend inducing vomiting to get rid of any toxic ingredients. However, they may administer IV fluids, dialysis and keep the cat overnight for observations and monitoring in severe cases.

Granola Is Bad News

Granola poses several risks to cats because it’s usually made with highly toxic ingredients like xylitol, chocolate, or raisins.

However, while it can be tempting to give your cat the odd bite here and there, it can be extremely harmful to them.

As cat owners, we love to introduce new foods, flavors and smells to our cat’s diets to add a bit of excitement. But no food is worth the risk of your cat’s health. There are plenty of healthy, safe, nutritious foods you can offer your cat instead.

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James Fuller and Mollie

James Fuller

Founder & Chief Content Creator

I’ve owned a pet most of my life. In fact, I currently have both a cat, Milo, and a Jack Russel, Mollie! I’m the founder of Honest Whiskers. And my mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information.

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