Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
Granola bars are delicious treats for us humans as they are easy to carry around and act as great sources of energy for those busy days. Best eaten in the morning with some milk, these have ingredients like fiber and they give us the needed boost for the day. As cats don’t usually eat grains, these aren’t a usual part of their meal but are they bad for them as a treat? Can cats eat granola or is this a bad idea? Let us discover this together.
Cereals have a lot of carbohydrates and that is why we use them to get a fast boost of energy. Our cats on the other hand usually lead quite sedentary lives and this means that a high quantity of carbohydrates will put a lot of pressure on a cat’s pancreas.
The cat’s pancreas is quite different from ours and their body isn’t adapted to eating cereals so they don’t produce the enzymes required to digest large amounts of carbohydrates. Over a longer period of time this will lead to obesity and this itself increases the risk of diabetes, arthritis and pancreatitis, so keep these to a minimum.
Obviously, these can come in a large variety of added tastes and you have to take each of them separately to make sure they are fine. The main ingredient in granola bars is whole grain like rolled oats or puffed rice and these aren’t toxic for cats. That being said, they also aren’t the typical cat food and they only way they would eat these in the wild is if they were in the stomach of some bird or rodent they ate.
Dry cat food usually has some corn added which was ground and prepared to be digested with ease by cats but granola bars weren’t made this way. This means that your cat will have some difficulty assimilating them and this may disturb their stomach.
The fruits (dried berries, peaches, bananas, pineapple, and other tropical fruits) and nuts often found in granola bars were added there to improve the amount of vitamins they provide and also to make their taste more diverse. Some even add chocolate to them and thus you should consider if these additions are safe for cats. Chocolate definitely isn’t and neither are raisins so keep those for yourself.
Other less dangerous ones but still not quite safe are peanuts that can contain allergens and also have a very high fat content, making them unhealthy for cats. The sugar, salt or honey added to these bars along with the many artificial sweeteners or preservatives can lead to a very bad combination for cats so it’s better to just give them some plain granola bars if you want to add some cereals into their diet.
Plain granola bars are safe but don’t offer any nutritional value and can create some problems so if you really want to feed your cat some keep it to a minimum.