Can a Cat Eat Sugar: Understand the Effects of Sugar on Cats


by Cindy Smith


Cats are wonderful pets that offer companionship and bring joy to the home. Sugar may be present in cat food or human foods that cats eat. Before feeding your cat, you must know sugar’s effects on felines. So, can a cat eat sugar? Read on to find out. 

Table of Contents

Do Cats Like Sugar?

Your cat doesn’t like sugar because it can’t taste “sweet.” While humans have, cats only have 470 taste buds. None of the taste buds can detect sweetness in food or drinks. So, your cat doesn’t have a way to discern sweetness. 

Nevertheless, cats are curious and will try to taste new food. For example, your cat might try to unwrap the treats you bought for your children. Similarly, your cat will be interested if there is fat or meat in a sugary meal. 

Cat Eating

(Cat Eating)

Can Cats Digest Sugar?

Cats naturally require fat, protein, and other nutrients that they can get from prey. Table sugar and artificial sweeteners are unnatural to cats, and do not digest sugar well.

The Cat and the cake

(The Cat and the cake)

Is Sugar Bad for Cats?

While your cat can digest carbohydrates, sugar shouldn’t constitute more than 3% of the cat’s daily meal intake. Excessive sugar consumption can cause diabetes mellitus, obesity, and digestive problems in felines. 

(grey cat eating)

Digestive Problems

The cat’s pancreas, small intestine, and stomach can’t handle many carbohydrates. Also, since cats lack essential enzymes, sugar consumption can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. As a result, the cat will experience diarrhea, vomiting l, and flatulence. The severity of these symptoms will vary depending on the amount of sugar in the cat’s diet. 


Sugary foods can cause your cat’s weight to rise by over 20% above the average. Obese cats cannot perform most physical activities and may have a lower quality of life. Another disadvantage of obesity is that it aggravates other disorders.

When your cat becomes overweight, it will struggle to climb stairs. Instead, your feline friend will spend most of his time lying or sitting down, with less desire to move.

Diabetes Mellitus

Cats get diabetes mellitus due to obesity and the effects of glucose concentration on the cat’s body. When your cat consumes too much sugar, glucose in the blood increases; at some point, the glucose will cross a specific threshold and absorb much water. It can result in frequent urination as well as dehydration. 

You will notice that your cat starts to drink excessive amounts of water. In addition, the body may break down protein and fat, resulting in weight loss. 

Is Sugar Toxic?

You may still be wondering: can a cat eat sugar? While sugar isn’t toxic to your feline pet, some sweets may be problematic. 

Xylitol: A case in point is the xylitol and artificial sweeteners in mints and other treats. Sweeteners contain xylitol, a compound that is toxic to cats and dogs. This sweetness can change your cat’s blood pressure and damage the liver. 

Caffeine: Chocolate is also poisonous to cats. The darker the chocolate, the greater the danger. Chocolate ingestion can result in stomach upsets, seizures, and abnormal heart rates(arrhythmias)

Raisins and grapes: These fresh and dried fruits can cause cat kidney failure.

cat eating lollipop

(cat eating lollipop)

Healthy Foods for Cats

Cats are meat eaters, so their best food must contain meat. Cats’ favorite foods include cooked turkey, chicken, and beef. You can also give your small cat pieces of cooked fish, which contain omega-3 fats that cats require but are only produced in trace amounts naturally.

Whole grains are another excellent source of nutrition for your cats. The grains contain fiber, iron, and vitamins for added nutritional value. You can also use eggs. Vegetables, cheese, and avocado are also essential foods.

Kittens’ diet is especially important because their joints and bones are still growing. Also, please do not feed your kitten raw meat until it is 20 weeks old.

cat eating healthy food

(cat eating healthy food)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cats get a sugar rush and become hyper?

Cats can be victims of a sugar rush, making them agitated and hyper. The agitation can increase blood sugar to dangerous levels. 

Can cats get addicted to sugar?

House cats have little interest in sweet foods and drinks. However, cats can get addicted to the sugar in snacks. 

How can I prevent my cat from eating treats containing sugar?

Eliminate all forms of sugar from the cat’s diet. Also, keep any sugary items away from the cats. For example, install cat-proof locks on your cabinets. Also, position the trash can in a location where your cat can’t go for “dumpster diving.” If you position the dumpster in an open place, your cat can smell tasty food and scavenge in the trash can.

(A cat and cake)


Sugar is one of the most common foods available in any home. If your c