Marmite. You may personally love it. That’s likely why you have a jar at home. But will your cat love it too? Can, or should, they even eat this dark spread altogether? Here is what you need to know.
So, can cats eat Marmite? Cats can eat a very small amount of Marmite safely but should never eat it in significant quantities. While Marmite is a source of B-Vitamins, it’s also very high in salt. Other spices in the formulation could also cause issues if consumed in excess.
Cats certainly will undoubtedly take any opportunity to eat Marmite if it presents itself.
As many cat owners report.
Besides, it’s easy to leave the lid of the jar, a spoon, or a small amount on a plate. Even a leftover piece of toast on the side is likely to happen at some point.
And let’s be honest.
This is how they are likely to consume it.
At least at first.
But why would a cat go for it to begin with?
Well, cats have a good sense of smell. Very good, in fact.
And Marmite has a strong smell and a rich, meaty taste.
No wonder why the cat wants some!
Cats need meat in their diet. And Marmite appears in this way. At least to them.
So any Marmite is a significant find for them.
But is it safe?
Well, let us find out!
Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Marmite?
A small amount of Marmite here or there should not harm your cat. A teaspoon of around 5g should not cause any issues. That being said, a tablespoon of 14g or more could start to have a harmful effect.
The truth is, Marmite is not an optimal food for cats.
And that’s the key here.
While some of the ingredients could be valuable, such as the B-Vitamins, there are far superior other nutrient sources for them.
And then we have to consider the other ingredients.
And one, in particular, is of concern.
And that’s the salt.
Did you know that one serving of Marmite has almost 1g of salt?
Its a lot. Especially for a cat to process.
While it is true that salt does play a role in feline nutrition, it can also lead to issues if consumed in excess. At least in the short-term.
Excessive salt consumption can actually lead to a condition known as Hypernatremia (high concentration of sodium in the blood).
This is especially true if a cat has limited access to water, or the salt causes them to vomit or suffer from diarrhea.
And if this condition does develop, symptoms such as increased thirst, confusion, lethargy, and seizures (in severe cases).
Thankfully, PetMD also states that Hypernatremia is rarely brought upon by high oral sodium intake.
But while a small amount of Marmite should not be immensely problematic or even toxic to your cat. It could be.
That’s the key here.
It can only really be consumed in small amounts at a time.
And not being an ideal food altogether.
It’s probably best not to actively give Marmite to your cat – and be careful about leaving any open jar or significant amount around.
Other Similar Foods To Avoid
There are actually a considerable number of different spreads available on the market, and several of these should also not have a place in your cat’s diet.
The main ones are:
Peanut butter is perhaps the main one, but others to consider are:
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Hazelnut butter
All of which are high in salt, fat, and general calories (with little vitamins and minerals on offer)
Again, a small amount here and there should not cause any issues; but with no benefits either, it’s best avoided altogether.
This chocolatey hazelnut spread is far from ideal too.
Sugar, Palm Oil, Hazelnuts, and Skimmed Milk Powder are the main ingredients, none of which really should have a place in the diet of your cat.
Dairy, in general, is not good for a cat.
And clotted cream is another spread you may likely have around from time to time.
After having some scones, for instance.
Cream and other dairy products, such as cheese, should never be provided.
Most cats are lactose-intolerant.
Their digestive system cannot handle dairy foods, and the result can be digestive upset and diarrhea.
It’s more likely that margarine or butter is left on the countertop or on a piece of toast.
Again, this is a high-fat spread with minimal nutrition.
Cats will do a lot better not consuming it!
Garlic, Cheese, and Olive Oil, none of which are going to support the health of a cat and can even be very problematic.
Garlic, for instance, is very potent and toxic for cats. Even as little as one clove can be fatal.
Organ damage and failure have been reported in larger doses, but even in small amounts can cause gastroenteritis (upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea).
Better Treats For Your Cat
So, what can you even look to offer your cat as a treat?
Well, the best treats for cats are those that have been purposefully designed to be eaten by cats.
It makes sense, right?
A lot of cat treats are carefully formulated to provide the nutrition they need, while also excluding those ingredients that could cause harm.
There are a number of excellent treats available on Amazon, which is perhaps the best place to compare the different options.
Greenies are a particular favorite with cat owners. Especially their range of products that also support cats dental care and can easily be stored away:
- Contains one (1) 11 oz. tub of FELINE Greenies Crunchy Natural Dental Treats in Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor; Natural Cat Treats Plus Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients
- Crunchy texture and unique shape clean teeth and reduce tartar, while also serving as a cat breath freshener
- The #1 vet-recommended feline dental treat
- Natural formula with added vitamins, minerals, and taurine to offer complete nutrition, along with optimal dental care
- These cat snacks are proudly made in the USA, with quality ingredients sourced from around the world
Nonetheless, there is certainly a time and a place for treats.
They should get most of their nutrition from their designated feed.
But if you were to choose to offer a few human foods as treats to your cat, here are some good options:
- Berries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are best.
- Bananas; particularly those that are soft and ripe,
- Melon; both cantaloupe and watermelon are good options. Watermelon can be great in hot summer months for hydration purposes.
- Carrots; gently boil these first and give them time to cool. Raw carrots can be difficult to chew and can be a choking hazard,
- Eggs; but cook them first and ensure they have sufficient time to cool before serving
Cats can eat a small amount of Marmite here and there.
But sometimes, things happen quickly, and our cats pounce on an opportunity.
The truth is, we are unlikely to ever wave a spoon of this spread in front of our cats.
Maybe we might have; if the research proved otherwise.
Just remember this; a small amount should not harm your cat. A larger amount could cause issues.
So be sure to put a lid on that jar and tidy it up after eating.
We all know how good cats are at jumping and climbing.
If they smell it and they want it, they’ll do all they can to get it.
Other than this, do consider getting your cats some tasty nutritional treats.
It is a better way to spoil your cat, after all.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.