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Can Cats Eat Pretzels? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Jordin Horn

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat pretzels

Can Cats Eat Pretzels? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

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

Learn more »

Pretzels are baked snacks with a dusting of salt on top. They’re addictive to you, but can your cat enjoy them with you? No, your cat shouldn’t eat pretzels, as they are not species-appropriate snacks. To find out more, we did our homework to bring you the latest information about cats eating pretzels.


Are Pretzels Okay for Cats?

While eating a pretzel or two probably won’t harm your cat, they do not provide much nutritional value. Pretzels mostly contain wheat flour, water, yeast, shortening, and salt. A cat requires a large amount of protein and fewer carbohydrates in their diet, and pretzels have just the opposite of this ratio.

Moreover, some pretzels contain seasonings like garlic or onion, which, even in powder form, are toxic to cats and should be avoided. Although sweet pretzels are not likely to entice your cat (cats can’t taste sweet flavors), do not feed your cat chocolate-covered pretzels or pretzels with xylitol in them. These ingredients are also toxic to cats.

pretzels close up
Image Credit: Pixabay

Do Pretzels Offer Any Nutritional Benefits to Cats? 

Most pretzels are high in carbohydrates and low in protein, and the extra calories they provide are not very nutritious. A 30-gram portion of pretzels has between 110 and 160 calories, which represents almost the entire daily calorie allowance of a 5-pound cat. So, pretzels are not worth giving as treats to your cat.

What About Salt?

Some cat parents might be concerned about giving their cats too much salt if they feed them pretzels. Although high sodium levels in the bloodstream can be fatal for cats, consuming enough salt to cause damage would be nearly impossible.

Even in a study where a cat was given three times more than the daily recommended amount for over 2 years, no adverse effects were present. However, a cat can experience salt toxicosis if they ingest 2–3 grams of salt per kilogram of body weight in a day, and the lethal dose is 4 grams of salt per kilogram of body weight.

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Snacks Cats Can Eat

“Human food” or cat treats should not make up more than 5% -10 % of your cat’s diet, according to WebMD. Also, be sure your cat can chew up and swallow the food you give them without choking (which also goes for pretzels). Kitties and senior cats, with weaker teeth, might need softer food than adult cats.


cat biting meat
Image Credit: DarkBird, Shutterstock

Meat and chicken, as protein sources, are ideal treats to share with your kitty but remember to be mindful of the amounts. Also, while meat is a healthy option, it is not complete and balanced enough to provide everything a cat needs.

Your cat’s daily calories (85%–90%) should come from cat food. You can use these proteins as top-ups or enhancers, but keep them within 10%–15% of their calorie allowance.

Cheese and Yogurt

Although cats are generally lactose intolerant, it’s okay to occasionally give them small amounts of cheeses (low-lactose varieties) or no more than 1 teaspoon of plain Greek yogurt.

These products contain less lactose and are easier for cats to digest than regular milk. Still, you should keep the portions on the small side and monitor your kitty. Avoid dairy products altogether if your cat has an adverse reaction.

Cooked Grains

Cat eating rice
Image Credit By: miophotolap, shutterstock

Oatmeal can be used as an occasional snack for a cat, along with rice, couscous, and other cooked grains. However, they are carbohydrate sources, so they shouldn’t be your first choice unless your cat has kidney or digestive issues.

Prepared Fish

Fish is a classic cat food. Its proteins and omega-3 fatty acids are as good for cats as they are for us. Baked fish or smoked salmon can make great additions to your cat’s diet.


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

Eggs are an excellent protein source for your cat. Just make sure they are cooked thoroughly.


Although some cats will turn their noses up at veggies, others love them. You can let your cat happily munch on any vegetable they like, as long as they aren’t in the onion and garlic family.

Snacks Cats Can’t Eat

Here is a quick list of foods that cats shouldn’t eat:
  • Anything with onion or garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Bread dough
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Xylitol, an artificial sweetener

The Best Homemade Food for Cats

Cooking and preparing food at home for your cat is a daunting and time-consuming task, though some claim that a raw meat diet does wonders for a cat’s health. It’s not always easy to know the exact measurements of protein, fat, and carbs your cat needs or doesn’t need. That is why prepared cat food from a reputable brand is best for your cat.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before you give your cat homemade meals. Usually, giving your cat a small amount of your food is okay as long as you are sure it does not contain any potentially toxic ingredients or is not prepared with too many oils.

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Avoid feeding pretzels to your kitty. Salty snacks do not provide any nutritional benefits for your cat and are mostly empty calories. Feeding food to your cat that’s not specific to felines too often can be harmful to their health. There are better options that you can share with your kitty. Just remember: everything in moderation!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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