“Can cats eat corn flakes?“ Your four-legged friend’s been bugging you the entire morning, meowing and purring your ears off to let her have a taste of your breakfast cereal. You never thought you’d hear yourself say “No, Mrs. McFluffer. You can’t have a taste of my Cheerios!”
Your furry friend has to be the most curious creature out there. She doesn’t shy away from climbing onto the kitchen counters (no matter how many times you scream “Get off!”), sneaking into the pantry, and scoffing down everything she can get her paws on.
And, she’s especially attracted to corn flakes because she knows you can hear her from the living room (she always does this while you’re busy catching up on the newest episodes of Bridgerton). But, you’re starting to wonder whether these early morning escapades can cause her harm.
You don’t want your feline friend spending the rest of the day in the litterbox. So, you’re choosing to hop online, take one for the team, and look up “Can cats eat corn flakes?”. You’re pretty sure cats can eat cat food, cat kibble, and cat treats, but who’s to say it’s not worth the shot?
According to our friend over at the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), cats can eat corn flakes AS AN OCCASIONAL SNACK. Corn flakes shouldn’t be a regular part of a cat’s diet because they don’t offer much when we’re talking about nutritional value.
Corn flakes might be a great way for you to start your day. But, they’re not a great way for your four-legged friend to start hers. So, there are a couple of things to consider before running off to the nearest Trader Joe’s and stacking up on Cheerios and Frosted Flakes.
What are corn flakes?
We love them on their own or paired with other delicious foods, we eat them with milk and fruit for breakfast, and we crush them and sprinkle them on top of desserts. Corn flakes don’t get enough hype considering how crunchy, crispy, and perfectly versatile they are.
But, what are corn flakes? What are they made of? What makes them one of the most popular crunchy snacks out there?
Corn flakes are made out of flakes of corn (riveting information, who would’ve thought). They were originally made by someone named Will Kellogg (yes, Kellogg’s corn flakes are still a thing). And now they’re produced and packaged around the world.
Corn flakes are one of the most popular breakfast foods typically eaten with milk, fruit, sugar, and/or honey. Other than corn, corn flakes contain sugar, salt, and barley malt extract, vitamins, and minerals (vitamin E, niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, iron, and zinc oxide).
That doesn’t sound that bad, does it? Actually, even though they contain a not-that-modest amount of sugar, corn flakes are considered a healthy breakfast among humans. They’re easy on the digestive system because they don’t contain that many ingredients and they’re packed with nutritional benefits.
They even bring a bunch of health benefits to the table (thanks to those vitamins and minerals), and that’s why most humans give them an A+. However, your four-legged friend might not be able to reap those benefits, and here’s why.
Can cats eat corn flakes?
Here‘s the thing, our friends over at the ASPCA have already confirmed that corn flakes aren’t going to send your four-legged friend to the emergency animal center. Cats CAN eat corn flakes because corn flakes aren’t toxic and they aren’t the worst thing they can munch on.
So, the “can” part doesn’t seem as much of a problem as the “should” part. SHOULD cats eat corn flakes? SHOULD cats have corn flakes as a regular part of their diet? They shouldn’t, and here’s everything you need to know to figure out why.
Cats are obligate carnivores. They require a bunch of meat, animal protein, and animal nutrients to survive and thrive. They don’t require fruits, veggies, and whole grains the same way humans do.
And they don’t even possess the enzymes necessary for their digestive systems to break down and process most foods humans eat on a regular. Trust me, your cat’s digestive system wasn’t designed with Cheerios and Frosted Flakes in mind.
So, before the two of you head over to the nearest Trader Joe’s you might want to throw a glance at some of the things you can expect when you feed corn flakes to your cat. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, but they’re here to help you make up your mind. Can cats eat corn flakes?!
1. Nutritional value
Yes, corn flakes DO contain some pretty great things like vitamins and minerals. And yes, cats DO need vitamins and minerals in their diets regardless of the fact that they are carnivores. But, corn flakes AREN‘T a great source of nutrients for your cat.
Don’t get me wrong, cats can benefit from an occasional treat that contains blueberries, peaches, carrots, cucumbers, and other SAFE fruits and veggies. But, cats get the most nutritional and health benefits from animal nutrients (and animal protein).
Let’s just say that some human foods should stay human foods, there are not enough reasons for you to share EVERYTHING you eat with your four-legged friend.
2. Sugar and artificial sweeteners
Cats and carbohydrates don’t go together, AT ALL. As mentioned before, cats are carnivores which means they’re the healthiest and the happiest when they’re munching on meat. Wild cats pretty much ONLY munch on meat, and your not-so-wild cat requires a similar diet.
Cats can eat sugar, but they shouldn’t. Their digestive systems don’t possess the enzymes necessary to break down sugar. Corn flakes contain a bunch of sugar, and what‘s the result? Health problems (well, mainly digestive problems) constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting.
And don’t even get me started on artificial sweeteners. These pesky passengers can even cause toxicity depending on the type. Some of the most common symptoms of toxicity are weakness, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, loss of coordination, and loss of appetite.
3. Choking hazard
“Choking? On corn flakes?!“ Yes, your precious purrincess whose ancestors happen to be the lions and tigers of the world can choke when munching on corn flakes.
Cat owners don’t realize how small their cats are until they see them struggling to eat a bowl of something they don’t normally eat. Corn flakes are pretty small, too. But, they’re also crunchy, crispy, and brittle; which can make things more difficult for your cat.
Corn flakes can break off, get stuck in your cat’s mouth or esophagus, or cause blockages in your cat’s throat. When you’re feeding your cat corn flakes make sure you’re keeping a close eye on her AT ALL TIMES.
Can cats eat corn flakes with milk?
Sure, cats can eat corn flakes from time to time. But, you typically eat your corn flakes with milk, maybe some fruit, and a little bit of honey. You’re wondering whether you can share your own corn flakes with her because “sharing is caring” and you really care about her (you just can’t say “No”, can you?!).
Cats can’t eat corn flakes with milk, and milk seems to be the reason why. Believe it or not, most adult cats are lactose intolerant. They don’t possess the lactase enzyme that’s necessary to break down the lactose from milk.
Eating corn flakes with milk can cause harm to your cat’s health. Some of the side effects are digestive issues (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation) and even weight gain (sugar AND milk make for a caloric bomb).
Let‘s just say you shouldn‘t feed your cat cereal with milk, corn flakes with milk, or pretty much anything that contains milk.
Can cats eat Frosted Flakes?
Here’s the thing, Frosted Flakes are regular corn flakes coated with sugar (as if they didn’t contain enough sugar already!). You guessed it, cats can’t eat Frosted Flakes BECAUSE of that added sugar.
Cats can eat a little bit of sugar from time to time. But, eating excessive amounts of sugar can cause a bunch of gastrointestinal problems including weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.
Frosted Flakes (depending on the brand) can also contain a bunch of seasonings which can additionally harm your cat’s health.
And no, cats can’t even eat small quantities of Frosted Flakes (we know that was gonna be your next question). There are better alternatives available on the market. There’s no reason for you to risk your cat’s health and feed her corn flakes, Frosted Flakes, or any other type of flakes.