17 April 2023

Can cats eat jelly?

By Killian

Can cats eat jelly?

“My cat only eats the gelatin” may be a phrase that a cat sitter sometimes utters to those who have offered a bit of fresh gelatin in hot weather to cool them down, or when they observe that they only want to eat the gelatin from canned food .

Gelatin is a food product made up almost entirely of protein, with a semi-solid and brittle consistency, which can be neutral or flavored. Cats should not eat gelatin for human consumption on a regular basis, and flavored gelatin should never be taken due to its amount of sugars, especially if they are overweight, diabetic or insulin resistant. If you want to know more about the consumption of gelatin in cats, we invite you to continue reading this AnimalWised article in which we explain whether cats can eat jelly or not.

Is gelatin good for cats?

Gelatin is a product derived from collagen from animal by-products. It is a gel-type colloid of a semi-solid, brittle and translucent nature, being 98-99% protein, 1-2% mineral salts and the rest water. This product is used in the food industry to enrich food with protein, reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the product or to add vitamins. It is also used to give food shape and unity due to its gelatinous consistency, while extending its useful life.

Gelatin is also used in some wet cat foods and those that have added vitamins to protect them from contact with oxygen and light. Despite being a component that can be included in cat diets and provide them with benefits, cats they should not eat gelatin for human consumption on a regular basis. It is true that cats are strict carnivores and their fundamental macronutrient is protein, but gelatin is not going to offer them the essential nutrients that they must acquire with the protein contained in animal tissue.

As for the gelatin in the wet food made for cats, they can eat it without any problem because it is already designed for consumption by this species.

Can cats eat flavored gelatin?

Surely you are asking yourself one of the following questions: “can cats eat strawberry, grape or orange jelly?”; “Can cats eat unflavored gelatin?”. The flavored jelly contains a large amount of sugar which is not recommended for cats, since they are not designed to eat large amounts of carbohydrates because they continue dragging the eating habits of their wild ancestors, who feed on prey from which they obtain the two main macronutrients to live: protein and animal fat . From these macronutrients they get all the nutrients they need, only when these foods are scarce do they turn to carbohydrates.

Therefore, although cats can eat gelatin for human consumption very occasionally, it is better that it be neutral, that is, without flavor, or that you make homemade cat gelatin to avoid ingesting large amounts of sugar, which would worsen its health.

Can cats eat jelly?  - Is gelatin good for cats?

Benefits of gelatin for cats

The huge amount of protein of gelatin and its rich content in amino acids makes it beneficial for a multitude of aspects related to health. For example, gelatin promotes the good appearance of hair and skin of cats, and it is also beneficial for degenerative joint diseases due to its proteoglycan content, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, as well as osteoporosis.

On the other hand, it can help reduce inflammation and to improve the quality of the intestinal walls, which could help cats suffering from leaky gut or intestinal malabsorption. As it contains glycine, it stimulates the production of stomach acid to improve digestion and the assimilation of nutrients, in addition to intervening in the repair of the gastric mucosa. It also helps cats have a better intestinal transit, preventing constipation. In older or very sick cats with reduced appetite, it may be beneficial due to its high protein content.

How to give gelatin to my cat?

Can add the gelatin directly to your usual foodeither solid or soft. To do this, you must prepare the gelatin following the manufacturer’s instructions, cut it into small pieces and distribute it throughout the food. This is especially recommended if you offer them neutral gelatin, as it can be tasteless to cats and not attract their attention to ingest it.

On the other hand, you can prepare your own homemade wet food with neutral gelatin. For it, hydrate it as indicated by the manufacturer, but using homemade beef broth instead of water (without salt, of course). You can then combine it with other cat-friendly ingredients, like shredded cooked chicken, and let it set in the fridge. As it will be cold, you can cut it into small pieces and offer it in summer to refresh your cat. Likewise, you can make jelly cubes, without anything else, to give them as a snack or prize.

In case of using it to prepare a portion of food (combined with other ingredients such as chicken), we recommend consulting with your veterinarian what ingredients to add and quantities in order not to exceed the daily dose of food, which could cause overweight or obesity.

Dosage of gelatin for cats

The amount offered to a cat should be small, which would be equivalent in an average adult cat of 4 or 5 kg to a quarter of each block of gelatin sold in supermarkets, no more. Despite the fact that gelatin contains large amounts of protein, these are not of high biological value and do not cover their essential nutrients, so they require that they be fed their recommended daily dose of dry and/or wet food marketed for the feline species, or homemade food prepared by a veterinarian specialized in nutrition.

Side effects of gelatin in cats

In principle, gelatin should not produce any type of secondary effect in cats, although a excess consumption can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, in the case of sugar-sweetened jellies, frequent consumption can cause sugar-related health problems, such as diabetes or insulin resistance, and predispose them to weight gain, causing overweight or obesity, with health consequences. and quality of life that they entail.

Contraindications of gelatin in cats

Gelatin is generally safe for all cats, especially the unflavored ones because they do not contain added sugar, although some may be allergic to gelatin, being contraindicated its ingestion. In the overweight and obese cats It is also contraindicated to offer them sugary jellies and in cats with swallowing problems (dysphagia) it is also contraindicated due to the texture of this food.

Now that you know that cats can eat unflavored gelatin from time to time, don’t miss this other article in which we explain what cats eat so you can learn more about their diet.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can cats eat jelly?we recommend that you enter our Home Diets section.