Can Cats Eat Hot Cheetos?

Can Cats Eat Hot Cheetos?

To be quite honest, I’m not sure why anyone would eat hot Cheetos, let alone cats! But it’s a popular snack for many people and so it’s not unreasonable to assume that sometimes, a feline friend or two will try to lick some or even run off with one! Can cats eat hot Cheetos or have you made a hot mistake letting the two cross paths?

Short answer: Cats can eat hot Cheetos, in that a lick or a nibble won’t cause them to drop dead, but this is another one of those foods that they really should avoid and will probably tend to avoid anyway. Hot Cheetos are not poisonous to cats, but they aren’t nutritious or a good treat either. And it doesn’t take much of this food to make cats feel uncomfortable, sick, or even succumb to sodium poisoning. It’s really not something you want to encourage them to eat.

Do Cats Like Hot Cheetos?

Good news? It’s likely cats don’t like hot Cheetos anyway. They won’t care much for the texture one way or the other, they probably won’t like the ‘hot’ sensation, and about the only thing that might tempt a cat is the cheese (and I use that word loosely) powder.

That being said, you never can tell with cats which way they will go when it comes to human foods. Some cats will want to eat everything their owner does because that’s how they bond, they are curious, and they enjoy a variety of foods (they may even like the salt!), while others cannot be bothered with any food aside from their own.

Do Cats Hate Hot Cheetos?

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that most cats will hate hot Cheetos, but since there’s nothing in them that would attract most cats, they will probably just ignore them aside from a quick lick out of curiosity. And after that, the spiciness of hot Cheetos will likely drive most cats away!

Can Hot Cheetos Kill My Cat?

If your cat did swipe a lick or even a whole Cheeto, good news: it’s pretty unlike that hot Cheetos will kill your cat. There’s really nothing in this product besides carbs and spices and a lot of salt, so one lick won’t do much to your cat (except maybe drive it to the water bowl to get the hot sensation out of their mouth).

Hot Cheetos won’t immediately kill your cat, but that doesn’t make them very safe to eat either. Cheetos of any type contain a lot of sodium, a lot of calories, and a lot of carbs, and none of these things are good for your cat to eat in high quantities. The big problem, in this case, is sodium.

Cats really cannot have more than 42mg of sodium in one day, which when you think about it, isn’t much at all. A 28g bag of hot Cheetos has 250mg, which is about six times more than a cat can handle. In fact, even a few pieces can cause your cat to become very ill due to sodium poisoning. Symptoms of sodium poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite and coordination

And too much over a longer period of time can easily lead to a stroke which can easily be fatal. Remember that it doesn’t take nearly as much sodium for cats to feel ill effects compared to humans!

Carbohydrates is the other main problem with hot Cheetos. Cats aren’t necessarily built to deal with carbs – they get a lot of their dietary needs met through meat, requiring most of their diet to contain proteins and fats. Carbohydrates don’t do a lot for cats, beyond a certain small amount, except build up as fat. And a fat cat is one that is prone to muscle pain, arthritis, diabetes, and heart (And other organ) problems. The amount of carbs in a cat’s regular cat food is about as much as they need to stay healthy and any more than that is going to cause them problems.

Cheetos also contains milk powder and cats are generally, lactose intolerant. It’s not in quantities that will be likely to badly hurt your cat, but it may cause your cat to be very uncomfortable for a while after ingestion. This is why most cats shouldn’t eat cheese or drink milk or cream either – it really doesn’t do much for cats except make them feel ill.Can Cats Eat Hot Cheetos?

Finally, you should always check the ingredients lists of any snack to ensure that there isn’t anything that will make a cat sick.

Common culprits are onion and garlic powder which is highly toxic to cats and can cause them to be very sick, very quickly. It can even be fatally toxic, depending on how much your cat ingests.

(And as a note, hot Cheetos do contain garlic powder. It’s unlikely that there is anywhere near enough in a lick or a bite to harm your cat, but it is something to be aware of).

Hot Cheetos are probably not going to kill your cat in the short term, but in the long term, eating them too often can have very detrimental health effects which will likely shorten the lifespan of your pet. There really are far better treats out there for your cat to eat, even of the human food variety, such as yogurt, chicken, or beef.

How Many Hot Cheetos are Safe for My Cat to Eat?

Did your cat swipe a Cheeto or two behind your back? You probably don’t have anything to worry about as long as it doesn’t become a habit. A lick or two of a Cheeto, or even running off with one, probably won’t harm your cat – though your pet may regret it when the spice hits!

However, no matter how little you think your cat actually ingested, it’s a very good idea to monitor your pet for a day or two after for any signs of sodium poisoning or other ill effects such as gastrointestinal upset or pain. It can also come out in an incredibly smelly trip to the litter box!


Cats can technically eat hot Cheetos, in that they aren’t usually toxic, but it’s not a good idea. They are too high in salt and carbohydrates, have nothing of them that is nutritional for cats, and will usually lead to a stomach-ache.

Fortunately, a lot of cats won’t care one bit for your snack and would probably prefer their own treats. And for the cats that do like them, it’s best to keep your snacks well away to prevent diabetes, obesity, or simply a bad run to the litter box.

Do your cats like hot Cheetos?