Fig newtons are a staple, especially if you have kids! These cookies have been around for a long time and they are popular for being sweet, but not overly, and soft. But if you keep these cookies around, do you have to worry about more than just your kid or spouse getting into them?
Can cats eat fig newtons as well?
Fig newtons are certainly not toxic for cats, but they’re not very healthy either. If your cat snuck a nibble or two, you probably have nothing to worry about, even if it’s not the behavior you want to encourage!
Fig fruit on the other hand (and the leaves) can cause problems for your cat, so if you’re growing any sort of fig plant, keep your cat away from it.
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Do Cats Like Fig Newtons?
If a cat is going for your fig newton, it’s probably simply because they are curious about what you are eating. The sweetness of the cookie is not something that your cat will be able to taste, so they’re not going to find that appealing. If they do find these cookies tempting, it’s likely the soft texture that they are enjoying.
My cats have never shown the slightest interest in fig newtons, though I think my young cat went after a few crumbs once.
Do Cats Hate Fig Newtons?
It’s equally unlikely that cats will hate fig newtons as much as completely ignore them. Fig newtons don’t always hold much appeal for cats, so they will turn up their nose if you offer them a bit.
If this is your cat, don’t worry about it. Fig newtons don’t really contain anything of benefit to cats, so they won’t be missing out.
Can Fig Newtons Kill My Cat?
It’s extremely unlikely fig newtons will kill your cat unless your cat lives on them or has a bad accident on them. Where does the concern come from though?
Figs can cause problems for cats. Figs (as well as their stems) have ficain and psoralen in their sap. The ficain can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, and lungs while the psoralen can cause nausea, itching, and burning.
Either way, they are not comfortable for cats to endure, so it’s important to keep cats away from unripe figs. Ripe fig fruit on the other hand poses less harm to cats, with the ficain really only a serious problem in unripe fruit. Still, even ripe figs can cause problems for cats.
Fig toxicity symptoms include:
- Irritated skin and sores
- Head shaking
However, these are problems if your cat goes for the fig fruit or the fig leaves. When it comes to fig newtons, you probably don’t have to worry about your cat suffering these.
Where fig newtons can cause problems is that the simple fact that they are high in sugar and starch. Cats cannot process these things very well and so eating too many of them can lead to health problems, most notably feline diabetes.
Diabetes in cats requires daily shots of insulin, can decrease their quality of life, and is generally the cause of their death later in life. It’s manageable, but by making sure your cat doesn’t have too much sugar or carbs in its life, you can prevent it.
Fig newtons also have a lot of oils in them which don’t harm us or kids but can make cats a little ill if they eat too many of them.
And of course, cookies aren’t really something that cats are built to eat, so most of it is simply going to go to fat build-up with no real nutritional benefit to your pet.
You can’t even really say that the figs themselves provide any sort of nutritional benefit since they are thoroughly processed. Fig newtons are, pure and simple, junk food for cats and should be treated as such.
How Many Fig Newtons Can My Cat Eat?
Fig Newtons aren’t toxic to cats, but they also aren’t really something cats should eat in high quantity either (and most cats probably wouldn’t bother gorging on them).
It’s also important to make sure that your cat cannot choke on fig newtons as they are soft, but they can turn to a sticky paste fairly quickly which can cause problems for swallowing.
If your cat is going to have fig newtons, the best thing to do is to break up part of a cookie into bite-size pieces and let your cat eat part of one that way. Cats should really only have a part of a cookie once in a while – it should be regarded as an occasional treat, not something that is part of their usual diet.
If it’s the first time your cat has ever had a fig newton, monitor your pet for a day or two afterward to ensure that it had no negative side effects from the treat. Common ones can include itching, vomiting, and diarrhea, which usually signals that the cookie didn’t agree with their digestive system.
Don’t try to induce vomiting in your cat if it ate some fig newton as it’s not necessary and can do more harm than good. Instead, put the rest of the cookies somewhere out of your cat’s reach!
It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to brush your cat’s teeth afterward as the sticky cookie can get caked on and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. There’s a lot of sugar in fig newtons after all and cats won’t scrub their teeth on their own.
Fig newtons are not likely to cause your cat any harm and they certainly are not toxic. However, eating too many of them leads to the same problems that eating any food meant for humans will cause – potential digestive problems, obesity, and an increased chance of diabetes later in life.
If your cat likes fig newtons, it’s best to keep them as an occasional treat and try to keep them from eating too many at a time.
Does your cat like to share your fig newtons?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.