Golden syrup is, well, a golden syrup, made of sugar, water, and some sort of citric acid like cream of tartar or lemon juice. It’s used in a lot of baking and often as a replacement for honey since, even though they are both vastly different in sources, they end up working similarly enough to cook with.
Golden syrup is vegan, making it a good choice to replace honey for many people, and goes well on a lot of different foods. So, it’s great for humans, but if you have a pet around the house, what about them? Can cats eat golden syrup?
Short answer: It rather depends on what the golden syrup is made up of, but even assuming you make it yourself and there’s nothing bad in it for cats, it’s still not something they should have much of because of the high sugar content.
So, homemade syrup probably won’t kill your cat or make it sick, but it’s also not something that should be added to their diet on a regular basis.
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Do Cats Like Golden Syrup?
Most cats probably won’t care much for golden syrup because it’s a sweet food and cats cannot taste sweet foods. The thick texture may also annoy them and drive them away.
That being said, you never can tell with cats! Some cats may very well enjoy a lick of golden syrup, usually out of curiosity, and a few cats do have something of a ‘sweet tooth’.
But too thick of syrup can make cats foam at the mouth and that’s uncomfortable for both cats and humans, so it’s not something they tend to get into on their own.
Do Cats Hate Golden Syrup?
Most cats also probably don’t hate golden syrup, but they will likely not care about it and won’t be too thrilled if you try to force-feed it to them. They can’t get any enjoyment out of the flavor, since they can’t taste it, and the texture may bother them. I don’t think any of my cats have ever bothered trying to eat golden syrup.
Can Feeding Golden Syrup to My Cat Kill It?
This is a tricky question because it really depends on what is in the golden syrup and how much your cat is eating and how often. In most cases, eating golden syrup won’t kill your cat right away, but eating it too often can cause a lot of problems that hit down the road in a cat’s life.
Golden syrup is made up of either cane or beet sugar, water, and then some sort of binder and thickener which can be cream of tartar or citric acid (like lemon juice).
Golden syrup from a store can also contain things like xylitol or other ingredients, but if you make it from home, it’s probably just those three ingredients. However, even these ingredients can cause cats problems:
- Too much sugar can make a cat gain weight over time which leads to an increased chance of diabetes and joint problems, as well as tooth decay
- Cream of tartar is usually fine, but citric acid like lemon juice is extremely toxic to cats
- The jury is out on xylitol, but many vets say to err on the side of caution and not let your cats have any, even if it seems like most cats don’t suffer any ill effects from it
Xylitol is the potential serious problem in store-bought golden syrup (or any other product) because while some studies claim that cats are largely immune or resistant to its effects, there’s just no way of knowing for sure.
If your cat gets into something with xylitol, watch for signs of illness that include:
Citric acid like lemon juice is also a serious problem for cats. They will generally be repulsed by it anyway, but citric acid can be quite toxic. Cream of tartar on the other hand is usually safe enough.
The other more common, and long-term problem with golden syrup is the high sugar content. For cats, sugar is not really worth the health risks: they cannot taste it anyway and they don’t get anything out of it.
Eating too much sugar simply builds up fat in a cat and makes it more likely that they will have joint and muscle problems later in life and be diagnosed with feline diabetes.
Sugar also coats a cat’s teeth and gives them oral decay, cavities, and a sore mouth later in life. These are things that ultimately could shorten your cat’s life, even if they don’t cause immediate death and disaster.
Syrups can also cause cats to just get some stomach aches and pains because they aren’t used to eating sugar! Symptoms of this include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pain, and loss of appetite. Usually, this is pretty short-term and will probably make a cat think twice before stealing any more syrups for a while afterward.
How Much Golden Syrup Can My Cat Eat?
Cats really shouldn’t be eating any golden syrup at all. They don’t get any nutritional benefits from it, and it can lead to a lot of short-term and long-term health problems.
It’s not even terribly useful to put in other foods since even homemade cat food tends towards water and good quality bone broth for its liquid element.
But if your cat was really curious and got a lick in, it’s also unlikely you have much to worry about so long as it wasn’t flavored with other things or made with artificial sweeteners.
Keep an eye on your cat for a couple of days after for any sign of illness and make sure that your cat cannot get into it again (they likely won’t bother anyway). It’s just not something we would recommend giving to your cat as part of their meals or treats.
Golden syrup is really good for humans and makes its presence known in a variety of baked goods and often on waffles or pancakes. Not to be confused with other syrups, this sugar syrup is also great for people who want to avoid animal products in their food.
But for our feline friends, golden syrup really isn’t all that helpful. They cannot taste the sweetness, the texture will probably annoy them, and it has no nutritional benefits.
So, while it probably won’t hurt a cat right away, it’s also not something that they should be eating. Stick to cat food and cat treats for your pet and keep your golden syrup to yourself.
Does your cat try to steal licks of golden syrup?
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.