Can Cats Eat Syrup? Is It Safe or Toxic for Them?

It’s going to happen sooner or later. One morning you finish your breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup. While you are cleaning up the dishes, you notice that your cat has climbed up onto a chair and licks the maple syrup off one of the plates. Since you’ve never given your cat syrup before, you may be startled and wonder, “can cats eat syrup?”

 Can cats eat syrup?

It is not toxic to cats, but the high sugar quality can be harmful if eaten regularly. If your cat makes a regular habit of eating syrup, you should be aware that the additional sugar in their diet can cause them to gain weight, leading to various health issues. 

The key here is to use moderation in sharing breakfast with your cat. Pancakes and syrup should be given to your cat only in small quantities and not every day.

Every cat owner should know what their feline friend can and cannot eat. Let’s delve deeper into this sugary treat and find out why you should avoid giving it to your kitty.

Your Cat’s Diet

can cats eat pancakes with syrup
Pancakes and waffles with syrup should never be fed to your cat.

Cat’s don’t need sweets in their diet and should not be given syrup or other sweets. If your cat likes licking a plate with hot pancakes and maple syrup, they are most likely attracted to the fat that’s in the syrup, such as the hot melted butter.

Cats are essentially carnivores, and need meat to survive. Now, digesting carbohydrates isn’t a problem for cats, but they will not be at their best if on a diet where they are receiving most of their calories from carbohydrates.

The occasional lick of maple syrup won’t hurt your cat, but if you’re considering making it a regular treat, don’t do it. 

You can find plenty of healthier treats out there, and your cat will like them better. Maple syrup is not the best option for us, and it doesn’t provide any nutritional value for your feline friend. 

Nutritional Information for Maple Syrup

One cup of maple syrup contains:

NutrientQuantity
Calories840
Sugars192 grams
Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids322 mg
Iron3.9 mg
Calcium216 mg
Phosporus6.4 mg
Manganese 10.6 mg
Water103 grams
Potassium657 mg
Sodium29.0 mg
Zinc13.4 mg

Although maple syrup contains some nutrients and antioxidants, it’s high sugar content makes it bad for your pet. 

(source)

Dangers of Feeding Cats Syrup

If you overindulge your cat and they gain too much weight, one of the things you should cut out is the maple syrup. Maple syrup contains high fructose syrup or refined sugar, which is not suitable for humans or cats.

Many health problems can arise from a cat being overweight, such as diabetes and kidney trouble, but the worst problem is heart trouble.

Do Cats Like Maple Syrup?

One of the reasons your cat might suddenly develop a desire for maple syrup is because it is a treat that they do not usually get. But cats don’t crave sweets the way that people do.

You might be surprised that your cats like maple syrup because it’s just not something that you think of a cat wanting to eat, but the odds are good that they will eat it because of the treat factor. 

Once they get their first taste of it, it becomes something new that they want because they didn’t have it before. 

Like dogs, cats are very aware of treats!

Why Do Cats Like Maple Syrup?

There are several reasons why your cat may have begun enjoying maple syrup. They might like it merely because it’s a different treat or because they see you eating it and think that it must be good if their owner likes it.

Although cats aren’t able to choose which foods they eat, they might decide, after a lick or two, that maple syrup is a tasty treat just because it’s something that they don’t usually get. 

It’s undoubtedly better tasting and something different from the ordinary, everyday cat treats.

Your cat might have also developed a desire for maple syrup because she notices you eating it and wants to have it. After all, you do.

Can Cats Eat Sugar-Free Syrup?

No, sugar-free or the light versions contain Malitol, a sugar alcohol that can wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive system. 

Malitol is 90% as sweet as sugar but is non-digestible in humans, which most likely means your cats may not be able to digest it. It has been linked to several digestive disturbances such as diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. 

Healthier Alternatives for Your Cat

If you don’t want to make a habit out of feeding your cat syrup or plain outright think they shouldn’t have it, you have some other options:

1. If you feel guilty because your cat is begging for syrup while you’re eating your breakfast, try feeding them some of their regular canned cat food or giving them some treats to distract them.

2. Many people don’t know this, but honey is a safe treat for cats. Just be careful how much you give them at one time because too much honey can lead to digestive problems.

3. Give your cat  “human food,” such as canned tuna, shrimp, or other unseasoned meat. 

It isn’t food, but you can give your cat a toy to take her mind off your waffles with syrup. It won’t work as well as giving her something to eat but can work well if she has a toy she loves. You can even try letting her play with a treat toy; you know, one that allows you to put a treat inside to keep her busy, like this treat ball.

If you’ve let her have a taste of syrup in the past, she’ll likely keep begging, so you’ll need to be strong and not cave in, no matter how much she begs. 

Can Cats Overeat Syrup?

With cats, just as with children, it is necessary to have eyes in the back of your head to keep track of what they are doing. Since we are all only human, we can’t watch our pets every minute, and cats are known for their sneakiness. 

Sure enough, one day, when you are busy and not paying attention, your cat can sneak off into the pantry and consume half a bottle of maple syrup before you even realize it. 

While not toxic, it could result in loose stools, diarrhea, stomach irritation, and the dreaded throwing up.

If this is the case, you should know that there aren’t many over the counter medicines that cats can take.

But Pepcid is safe for cats, and you can give your cat half of a 10mg tablet to help lower stomach acidity, which can also help with nausea.

Another medicine is Bonine, an anti-motion-sickness medication. 1/4 of a 15 mg tablet might help lessen nausea.

In most situations, your cat won’t consume an entire bottle. If she does, monitor her for adverse reactions or unusual behavior. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any symptoms or side effects.

Can Kittens Eat Syrup?

Baby kittens should never consume any human food, especially if she is under 18 weeks of age. 

Small amounts of unseasoned meat are acceptable for kittens, but never sugary foods can cause them to become ill. 

Kittens require more protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to ensure proper development. 

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cat

Not all human food is bad for cats, but you should avoid feeding them the following.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cats Eat Pancakes Without Syrup?

Pancakes are not toxic and usually contain flour, eggs, butter, and baking powder. It’s OK to give them small pieces of pancake, but not regularly.  

Can Cats Eat Waffles?

Like pancakes, plain waffles are not toxic to cats. That being said, Eggo waffles or any other brand do not contain any nutritional value to your cat. If you want to feed your cat some human breakfast food, consider supplementing their food with eggs.

Final Word

Just remember that maple syrup is acceptable for humans, but your cat can’t consume the same amount that you do. 

A bite of pancake or waffle with maple syrup is more than enough for your cat at one time. If you give your cat too much maple syrup, you could wind up with an overweight cat, and nobody wants that. 

So moderation and common sense are the things to keep in mind when sharing maple syrup with your cat.