Can Cats Eat Pretzels? Is it Toxic to Cats?

Pretzels have a savory taste, and their salt topping makes them a must-eat snack of all time. While munching on your pretzels, your furry pet might run towards you to taste this delicious snack. At that moment, you need to know whether pretzels are safe for cats or not.

Cats can consume pretzels and are also safe if given in moderation. Do not feed excessive amounts of pretzels because they contain wheat, which your cats can not digest properly. Plus, the calorie content is low in pretzels, making it a better choice as an occasional treat.

Can Cats Eat Pretzels? Is it Toxic to Cats?

Before feeding pretzels to your furry friends, scroll down below to know more information, such as the nutrition facts, risks, ingredients, and more.

Can Cats Eat Pretzels?  

Yes, pretzels are good for cats only if given in moderation. Almost all types of pretzels include wheat flour, water, yeast, seasoning, and salt. If you offer pretzels to your cat in small amounts, there would not be any health concerns. Make this snack an occasional treat instead of giving it daily.

Small amounts of salt are alright for felines because they will drink more water after eating pretzels. Cats are awful when it is about drinking water. So, eating tiny portions of salt from pretzels can keep them hydrated for a long time. Because of this, the chances of urinary tract infections are also low.

Your cat does not get any nutritional benefits from these ingredients. Besides that, some cats are allergic to grains, and wheat is a grain. It is better to avoid the pretzels that have onion or garlic seasonings. Even low concentrations of these ingredients can lead to several digestive troubles.

In general, pretzels are also known as salted or glazed crackers. Sodium hydroxide solution, which is washing soda, is another typical ingredient used to make pretzels. This item is added for the shiny and traditional skin and also to enrich the flavors.

As the pretzels are baked, there is no need to worry about extra fat content from oil. Unlike spicy or salty flavors, there are sweet pretzels made from chocolate, sugar, or Xylitol. All pretzels with these sweeteners are not safe for your cat’s health.

Nutritional Outline Of Pretzels 

Here are the nutritional facts of the hard, salted, and plain pretzels. Every 100 grams of pretzels offers the below portion of nutrition:

  • Energy – 384 kcal
  • Protein  – 10 g
  • Carbohydrate – 80.4 g
  • Total dietary fiber – 3.4 g
  • Calcium, Ca – 27 mg
  • Sodium, Na – 1240 mg
  • Potassium, K – 223 mg
  • Iron, Fe – 4.58 mg
  • Magnesium, Mg – 29 mg
  • Phosphorus, P – 128 mg
  • Selenium, Se – 4.4 µg
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin c) – 2.1 mg
  • Niacin – 5.27 mg
  • Total folate – 166 µg
  • Choline – 29.5 mg
  • Betaine – 50 mg
  • Sugars – 2.21 g
  • Glucose – 0.69 g
  • Maltose – 1.11 g
  • Starch – 72.6 g
  • Ash – 3.51 g
  • Water – 3.13 g
  • Total lipid (fat) – 2.93 g
  • Total saturated fat – 0.391 g
  • Total monounsaturated fat – 0.727 g
  • Total polyunsaturated fat – 1.29 g
  • Total trans fat – 0.004 g. [1]

Compared to the fried snacks, pretzels come with fewer amounts of calories and fat content. They are low in protein and include tiny portions of fiber. There are several B vitamins, such as niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin.

What Are The Cons Of Pretzels? Why Are The Ingredients Harmful To Cats? 

Here are some typical ingredients of pretzels that might be harmful to your furry friends.

1. Salt 

Pretzels often have salt flavoring. Excess quantities of salt can lead to dehydration in your cats. Besides that, your felines may feel thirst frequently and urinate more often. Feeding salted pretzels with extra salt seasoning can result in an ailment known as sodium ion poisoning.

The typical signs of poisoning are diarrhea, tremors, and convulsions. If left untreated, your kitty might die from sodium ion poisoning. So, can felines consume salted and hard pretzels? No, because it causes gastrointestinal and neurological problems. The soft and unsalted pretzels have fewer amounts of carbohydrate, sodium, and potassium than the salted pretzels. [2]

2. Sweeteners 

Some sweet pretzels use chocolate and sugar. These two sweeteners are not healthy and neither safe for your furry friends. Feeding pretzels with sugar or chocolate coating can increase the risk of constant weight gain and obesity. Other dangers include feline diabetes, cardiovascular troubles, and several oral illnesses.

Some store-bought pretzels claim to be unsweetened. But, these kinds of processed food use Xylitol, a chemical that can be dangerous to felines.

3. Spices 

Some pretzels often have onion and garlic. Both these ingredients are toxic to furry pets, even in limited amounts. Feeding the pretzels that use garlic or onion can lead to fatal poisoning. These lethal medical ailments have usual symptoms such as gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort and other anemia-like signs.

4. Cheese 

A few pretzels have cheese to enhance taste and aroma. One surprising health concern of cheese is abrupt weight gain. Besides that, cheese is a dairy product that cats can not tolerate. Cheese contains lactose, and cats being lactose intolerant, can suffer from feline gastrointestinal pain.

Can Cats Choke On Pretzels? 

Yes, hard pretzels are associated with choking risks. In general, there are hard and soft pretzels. Like the name, hard pretzels are hard to bite and might lead to choking. Because of that, soft pretzels are suitable for felines, and they have fewer chances of choking.

However, regardless of whether it is hard or soft, some pretzels have chunks of seeds and nuts. Your furry pets can still choke on these nuts.

Can I Feed Flavored Pretzel Sticks? 

Like original pretzels, pretzel sticks have the same ingredients, but they differ in size and shape. Pretzel sticks are available in several flavors, and not many of them are safe for cats.

You need to avoid the most common chocolate-flavored pretzel sticks. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a toxin and is dangerous for your furry pet’s health. [3] Never feed sour cream and onion-flavored pretzel sticks because onions are lethal to cats.

The pretzel sticks with chopped nuts and a variety of tasty sprinkles might look appealing, but they are harmful to your felines. Even the cheddar cheese flavored pretzel sticks are not better for cats because it is a dairy product.

The pretzel sticks that possess spices, butter, and artificial flavors are not toxic, but they are not healthy as well. You can give one or two gluten-free and unsalted pretzel sticks to your furry friends. These are not harmful if eaten in moderation.

Can I Feed Pretzels To Kittens? 

No, do not offer pretzels to your young cats. They have sensitive and underdeveloped

stomachs and can not handle pretzels. Besides that, kittens need vital nutrition for their growth, body development, and to be active. But, pretzels can not provide the necessary nutrients.

These glazed crackers are not safe for pregnant and nursing felines. If you have senior or sick furry friends, do not feed them pretzels. Plus, pretzels are not the best option for cats with food allergies, sensitive stomachs, and weak immune health.

How Many Pretzels Can I Give My Cats? 

Many furry friends tend to enjoy the essence and taste of pretzels! Just because your kitty likes to eat these glazed crackers does not mean that you should give them daily.

Overfeeding pretzels can cause digestive problems. Plus, your cat can become obese, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle. One or two small pieces of pretzels once or twice a month are safe and do not cause any harm.

Our Verdict 

Once again, it is worth repeating that pretzels are not toxic to felines. Offering pretzels in limited amounts from time to time is safe. If your furry pet seems to like pretzels, you can keep it happy by occasionally giving a few chunks.

If pretzels have excess salt, flavor enhancers, sweet syrups, seasonings, or sweeteners – avoid them. They can lead to weight gain and cause discomfort in your cat’s digestive and gastrointestinal tract.

Make sure not to give salted pretzels to the cats, who are suffering from severe cardiovascular and other kidney illnesses. It is because the excess salt can worsen their condition.