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What is Poisonous to Cats?

It sounds insane that cats can’t taste sweet things, but it’s real. Cats have long been considered to be extremely finicky eaters, especially compared to their canine counterparts, but in 2005, scientists figured out why: feline taste buds do not have the sugar detection equipment needed to experience sweetness. This is why many cats do not even like candy. Add in the fact that almost all candy is loaded with processed sugar which is bad for cat’s overall health, so there is really no good reason to feed your cat candy.

There certainly are no health benefits in candy, which is usually made almost entirely of sugar, corn syrup, and artificial flavors. At best, candy is empty calories and unnecessary sugar, which can wreak havoc on your cat’s health in the long term. If you feed candy to your cat regularly, the extra calories will probably cause gain weight for them. If this carries on long enough, your cat probably will be overweight or even obese.

Cats who are extra weight often experienced a diminished quality of life as a result of decreased mobility, low energy levels, shortness of breath, joint pain, and a general inability to enjoy exercise. Obesity can have more severe health effects, too, such as an increased risk of diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.

All that extra sugar is a nightmare for your cat’s dental health, too. Sugar increases your cat’s odds of developing cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health problems. This doesn’t just mean your cat will have to have some teeth removed. The bacteria associated with poor oral health often ‘leak’ toxins into the bloodstream, which can slowly poison other organ systems. Extreme cases of dental health problems can even result in organ failure.

There are some kinds of candy that are more dangerous than others. The first one is chocolate. Chocolate is poisonous to cats, and chocolate poisoning can be life threatening. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, labored breathing, extreme thirst, excessive urination, arrhythmias, seizures, and tremors.

Second on the list of forbidden candies is anything sugar-free, which often contains the toxic sweetener xylitol. While xylitol will not likely do harm to you, it may cause liver failure in cats and dogs. To be on the safe side, avoid giving your cat anything that contains zero-calorie sweeteners. Other dangerous candies include those wrapped in foil and tiny, hard candies, which may pose a choking hazard.

Though we love candy, we should probably resist the urge to share our brightly-colored goodies with our cats. They do not need the extra calories and the extra sugar. Many types of candy even pose choking hazards or contain ingredients that are downright poisonous to cats. Since your furry friend can’t even taste the sweetness of sugar, there’s no real reason to use candy as a treat. Give them cat treats instead!

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