Felines are the second most popular pets worldwide. However, they’re more than just domesticated animals. To cat parents, felines are like a fluffy little family member.
That’s possibly why owners are so meticulous about what their little furballs ingest. Be it savory or sweet food items – the internet is teeming with questions about what cats can eat.
Can cats eat banana pudding? You should never feed your cat banana pudding. Bananas aren’t toxic to felines, but elements like milk (or condensed milk) and vanilla extract can cause health concerns and should be avoided.
That means if you’re looking to change up little ole’ Fluffy’s diet – it’s best not to look at banana pudding.
If you’re looking for a full breakdown about why banana pudding may cause your furry friend digestive stress, don’t worry. This pudding-centric feature is all about what types of pudding your little pet should avoid or can safely eat.
Is Banana Pudding Okay for Cats to Eat?
As far as humans are concerned, bananas are an excellent source of nutrients. They include goodies like Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and at least three natural sugars. But, there’s more to a banana pudding than just the fruit.
To explain why cats can’t safely chow down on banana pudding, I’m going to list out all the ingredients separately and talk about their pros and cons. Here goes.
1. Custard or Pudding Mix
Yup, it may or may not shock you to learn the primary ingredient of banana pudding is custard. Whether you make your own custard or use the instant mix variety (no judgment), may have some bearing on whether or not your feline can eat it.
You see, instant puddings don’t typically require the use of vanilla extract. On the other hand, if you’re making your custard from scratch and plan on using liquid vanilla extract, then it’s best to keep it away from your furbaby (scroll down to learn why).
Custards also require a sweetening agent in the form of sugar. And, while a lick or two won’t lead to much harm, too much sugar consumption can cause health problems like weight gain, diabetes, tooth problems, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
You can’t have banana pudding without bananas. Some animals, like hedgehogs, love bananas and this fruit makes for a perfect treat for most herbivores and omnivores. Unfortunately, cats are obligate carnivores.
While this fruit does contain a lot of wholesome components, when it comes to felines, you should only feed cats bananas in moderation. This has a lot to do not only with cats not being equipped to digest much plant matter but also with the fact that bananas contain three types of natural sugars: fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
As a rule, cats don’t need a lot of carbs to function. They derive all the nutrition they need from meat-based sources. Besides that, cats can’t really taste anything sweet. They have a total of 470 tastebuds, and none of them are designed to pick up on the taste of desserts.
If your kitty is a fan of licking the fro-yo bowl or likes a taste of ice cream, it’s not because it has a sweet tooth. Instead, it may be the fat content present in the food item that your kitty appreciates.
Long story short, your feline neither likes the taste of sweet stuff nor does it need to eat them. If your pet does ingest a sizable amount of anything with sugar, it’s more likely that its system will not be able to break down the sugar very effectively, and that’ll lead to problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and tummy discomfort.
That’s why, if you’re tempted to let your furbaby taste this delightful yellow fruit, do it in minimal quantities.
Everything from books to movies always paints a type of romance between felines and milk. But, the unpalatable truth is, your adult feline is more likely to be lactose-intolerant than grow happy and healthy from ingesting it.
A lot of cat parents around the world fall into trouble because of the myth of felines loving milk. You see, like most infant mammals, kittens are born with the ability to digest the main sugar element in milk – lactose. This helps kittens thrive and grow on the mama’s milk.
But, as they grow, kittens become less and less reliant on milk for nutrients, and their bodies reduce the production of the lactase enzyme that’s required to digest milk.
That’s why adult cats are susceptible to stomach upsets upon ingesting dairy products; their bodies no longer produce the enzyme needed to digest it. This is one area where humans and felines are remarkably alike – the human population also suffers from lactose intolerance.
Be it a kitten or a mature feline, giving them too much of any product that contains cow milk is nothing short of asking for trouble. Sure, some cats can handle eating dairy by-products, but on the whole, try not to tempt fate and keep your feline away from milk. Instead, try a natural and healthy bone broth.
4. Vanilla Extract
As per FDA rules, liquid vanilla extract can have no more than 35% alcohol. That may not sound like too much for humans, but for itsy bitsy kitty cats, just one drop of vanilla extract can lead to alcohol poisoning due to the presence of ethyl alcohol.
This is one ingredient that has the potential to do some serious harm to your furbaby’s health, and you should be vigilant about keeping your pet away from food that contains alcohol vanilla extract.
If you’ve been with me every step of the way so far, I’m pretty sure you’ve already figured out that feeding your kitty cat banana pudding has more cons than pros. There’s barely any nutritional value involved, but there are plenty of associated risks, thanks to elements like milk, vanilla extract, sugar, and custard.
There you have it, folks. I hope you found all the answers you were searching for. If you’re feeling guilty about the fact that you may not be able to share some of your favorite desserts with your furry companion, don’t be.
Remember, nature designed cats to be carnivores, and their systems function differently from ours. And, if you’re adamant about your pet not missing out, opt for time-honored feline favorites like catnip, cat-grass, liver, fish, etc.
If you’re just itching to make your cat something delicious so you can both enjoy a pudding-like dessert together, here’s a video from Maggie’s Isekai on YouTube showing you how to make cat-friendly mousse. Not only is this recipe safe for your cat, but it’s also healthy!
Can Cats Eat Vanilla Pudding?
Let’s say a part of you still wants to share the delights of a creamy pudding with your feline. It’s natural for you to wonder whether your pet can try out other types of puddings – like vanilla, for example.
One of the few reasons I chose to write about banana pudding ingredients separately was that cat parents could learn about each element’s benefits and disadvantages in detail.
On the whole, you can feed your cat vanilla pudding in small amounts, but only if you take certain precautions. First off, if you’re making the vanilla pudding from scratch, avoid using vanilla extract because it contains ethyl alcohol and is toxic for felines. Try using vanilla pods for flavoring instead.
Additionally, try and keep the sugar content to a bare minimum. That way, your feline’s system won’t get an overload of sugar and will likely be safe from problems like diarrhea and vomiting.
Last but not least, there’s no way of making pudding without milk. You can opt for alternatives like almond or soy milk, but cat parents have reported that their pets’ digestive systems don’t tolerate that any better.
That’s why when it comes to letting your kitty try out the treat, don’t give it a sizable serving. A teaspoon of vanilla pudding will suffice.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Pudding?
Here’s the thing. I’m a big believer in erring on the side of caution. Even pet experts are generally against feeding a pet some ingredient with the slightest chance of causing it harm. That’s how most cat parents feel too.
When it comes to feeding felines any chocolate-related food item or dessert, the general rule is to never feed your cat chocolate. Unfortunately, chocolate is toxic for a variety of pets – including cats. In fact, the darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it’s considered for your feline’s well-being.
If your feline ingests chocolate, it may experience symptoms like muscle termors, stomach upsets, seizures, and in severe cases, chocolate ingestion can even cause death. And, since you can’t make chocolate pudding without chocolate, this one’s an absolute no-no for felines.
Can Cats Eat Rice Pudding?
I know I’m in serious danger of sounding like a broken record, but all types of puddings include high sugar and dairy content.
That means rice pudding isn’t exactly a healthy diet option for felines because of the associated risks of ingesting sugar and milk. Plus, rice is super high in carb content, which is redundant in a feline’s diet. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend feeding your cat rice pudding.
Can Cats Eat Tapioca Pudding?
Tapioca isn’t toxic for cats, but it does contain high levels of carbohydrates. Add to that the fact that tapioca pudding will include sugar (more carbs) and milk (related to lactose intolerance), and the verdict is crystal clear – it’s best to avoid feeding your feline tapioca pudding.
If, however, your kitty cat is a fan of the dessert and can digest it without adverse effects, you can try offering your pet a teaspoon of tapioca pudding once in a blue moon.
Up Next: Can Cats Eat Saltine Crackers?