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Can Cats Eat Goldfish Crackers? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Goldfish Crackers
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Feeding time comes with numerous questions about what and how to feed your pet. Is it okay to give them human food? Can you share, for example, some Goldfish crackers? No, you should not be sharing your Goldfish crackers with your cat. A few crackers likely won’t kill your cat, so don’t panic if you find them sneaking into that bag you left out on the coffee table. Some nibbles likely won’t cause any harm.

However, it’s essential to note that they have no nutritional value. Goldfish crackers are meant primarily for human consumption and can have adverse effects if cats consume a lot at once. Therefore, keep an eye on your cat; if a whole bag goes missing, it’s best to take them to the vet.

Goldfish crackers have some ingredients that cats can find hard to tolerate and others that are harmful to them. Eating multiple at once can result in gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, or worse, but a few won’t cause much harm. To avoid any unnecessary complications with your cat, strive to only give them feline food, and avoid snacks that do not contain species-appropriate ingredients.

The good news is that this article is here to give you a deeper insight into this issue. Learn why feeding Goldfish crackers to cats is not a great idea and about the snack options that are more suitable for them.


Cats Eating Human Food: What’s Safe and What Isn’t?

Cats are sneaky and tend to find their way to your plate and grab a bite when you’re not looking. Or, in some cases, you may drop them a few pieces of your food. But is it safe to feed them human food?

The answer depends on what you are eating. Cats must be fed a feline-friendly diet only since their digestive system isn’t suitable for many human foods.

We recommend that you keep the Goldfish crackers away from your cat and get feline snacks instead. Vets recommend a nutritious diet specifically for cats to help them live a long life.

cat eating eggs and veggies
Image Credit: Anastasiya-Tsiasemnikava, Shutterstock


What’s in Goldfish Crackers?

Admittedly, Goldfish crackers are attractive, given their fish shape and color. But, as stated earlier, they have no nutritional benefits. The ingredients play no role in helping your kitty grow healthy and strong.

So what’s in these snacks? First, there’s lots of wheat flour in Goldfish crackers. Added to that are yeast, salt, spices, cheddar cheese, milk, sunflower oil, additives, and spices.

You’ll notice that these crackers have a large amount of oil despite being a baked product. While some cat foods contain fats, these are healthy fats, not cooking oils that don’t benefit felines.

There are also spices and additives known to harm cats. For instance, onion powder is toxic to felines! So, it’s best to avoid feeding Goldfish crackers to your cat. If they eat too many, you might find yourself rushing to the animal hospital.

goldfish crackers
Image Credit: Pixabay

Can Eating Goldfish Crackers Kill Cats?

Goldfish crackers contain ingredients that are toxic to cats. Onion powder is last on the list, so it’s not a high amount, but it is a concentrated form of onion, so it can accumulate in a cat’s system over several days. Onion toxicity destroys red blood cells in cats, leading to anemia.

The ingredients also include milk and most cats are lactose intolerant. Consuming these crackers will likely result in bloating and gastrointestinal distress. Regardless of the shape and name, these crackers do not contain any of the animal proteins that your cat should be eating, and your cat should avoid these ingredients.

veterinarian examining a cat in the clinic
Image Credit: Lee Charlie, Shutterstock

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Alternative Human Food and Snacks Safe for Cats to Consume

Now that Goldfish crackers are out of the equation, does it mean there are no snacks or foods you can enjoy eating with your feline friends? No, there are many human snacks and foods you can eat together.

For instance, you can feed a small piece of chicken to your cat if you skip the spices. Chicken is a species-appropriate treat that most cats love. A cooked egg every now and then is another great source of protein.

But what if your cat has a sensitive stomach? Shockingly, even good human snacks and cat food can cause food allergies and sensitivities. Is there a solution?

The Right Food for Felines With Sensitive Stomachs

Sometimes, cats develop sensitive stomachs and start having allergies even to meat and other cat food. Just like humans, cats can build intolerances to foods and require a specific diet. Certain foods elicit adverse reactions, resulting in stomach sensitivity and anguish for the cats. You’ll need to refrain from feeding these to your kitty. You will need to be observant and learn to recognize how your cat reacts to the ingredients in their food and the treats that you offer. Create a healthy treat list for your feline friend, and stick to it. Then, monitor how the cat responds. If the issue persists, visit a vet as soon as possible.

Like other animals, felines can develop both acute and chronic gastrointestinal conditions. A proper diagnosis is necessary, and your vet is the person with the knowledge to investigate any possible issue that your cat might have. Remember, cats tend to mask disease, so by the time that you notice it, you might be dealing with a chronic illness that might require an even stricter diet to control.

Cats with sensitive stomachs do better with diets containing natural ingredients. These should include top-quality proteins and healthy oils. You’ll have to eliminate human snacks, including Goldfish crackers, and any others that can cause more harm than good.

Cat and kitten together eating cat food
Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

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Human Food Poisonous to Cats

While Goldfish crackers aren’t lethal, some human foods can poison your cats. Cats can develop anemia when they eat scallions, onions, garlic, and shallots. These foods attack the red blood cells, leaving your pet lethargic and with dark red urine.

Chocolate must never find its way into a cat’s diet. It’s toxic to both dogs and cats.

Raisins and grapes can cause renal failure for cats and can lead to death after a while. Signs start manifesting as soon as 24 hours, with vomiting taking center stage. Rush to the animal hospital as soon as you notice it.

Also, keep away all alcoholic beverages, since alcohol gravely affects your cats’ digestive system. Cats cannot break down alcohol, meaning it circulates in the body of the animal. The pet ends up with ethanol poisoning even if they only ingested a small amount. So, keep away all alcohol and products that have trace amounts, since they can lead to the same side effects.

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When you leave a bag of Goldfish crackers lying around, the smell may attract your cats. You should avoid the temptation and never purposely feed Goldfish crackers to your cat. While a piece or two might not kill them, these crackers provide no nutritional value to cats. Although small amounts likely won’t have any lethal effects, Goldfish crackers do contain toxic ingredients, such as onion powder, and inappropriate ingredients, such as milk and wheat, which are likely to make your cat uncomfortable at least, putting them at risk of adverse health without providing any nutritional benefit to them.

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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