Can Cats Have Pup Cups?

Do you love spoiling your feline friend with treats? Are you a cat owner who’s curious about whether your furry companion can indulge in a Starbucks pup cup?

For those who may not know, a pup cup is a small serving of whipped cream that Starbucks offers to dogs who visit their stores with their owners. This sweet treat has become quite popular among dog owners, but what about cats? Can they have pup cups too?

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As an expert in cat care, I decided to dive into this question and provide you with the answer. In this blog post, we’ll explore whether cats can safely consume pup cups and discuss the potential risks and benefits.

Spoiler alert: it’s not a straightforward yes or no answer. While some cats may tolerate a small amount of whipped cream, others may experience digestive issues or other health complications.

So if you’re wondering whether your cat can have a pup cup and want to learn more about the potential risks involved, keep reading. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the information you need to decide whether treating your feline friend to a Starbucks pup cup is worth it.

What is a Pup Cup?

You might have seen it being served at your favorite coffee shops or fast-food restaurants. A pup cup is a small serving of whipped cream, specially made for dogs to enjoy. The name “pup cup” comes from the fact that it is traditionally served in a small paper cup. This delightful treat is designed to make your furry friend feel special, while you indulge in your own sweet treats.

However, it’s worth mentioning that pup cups are not standardized and can vary from place to place. Some may contain different flavors of whipped cream, sprinkles, or even dog biscuits. It’s important to note that not all dogs can digest dairy products like whipped cream. Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal upset, while others may become obese due to the high sugar and fat content in whipped cream. Therefore, it’s essential to monitor your dog’s diet and health before giving them a pup cup.

If you’re a cat owner wondering if your feline friend can also enjoy a pup cup, the answer is yes. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of their dietary needs. While cats can enjoy whipped cream as an occasional treat, it’s not recommended to feed them regularly. Some cats are lactose intolerant and should avoid dairy products altogether. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new food item into your cat’s diet.

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If you’re looking for alternative treats for your furry friends, there are plenty of options available. For instance, you can offer your cat a small piece of cooked chicken or fish as a protein-rich treat. Fresh fruits or vegetables like blueberries or green beans can also be a healthy snack option for them.

Can Cats Have Pup Cups?

Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no. While whipped cream may seem like a harmless treat, it can actually be quite harmful to cats.

Firstly, cats are lactose intolerant, and whipped cream contains high levels of lactose. This can lead to digestive issues such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to keep in mind your cat’s dietary restrictions and avoid giving them any dairy-based treats.

Additionally, whipped cream is packed with calories and fat, making it an unhealthy option for cats. Overconsumption of dairy-based treats can lead to obesity and even diabetes in cats. Since cats require a protein-rich diet that’s low in carbohydrates, it’s best to avoid giving them pup cups or any other dairy-based treats altogether.

Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and healthy treat options available for cats. Consider giving them small amounts of cooked meat or fish as a treat, or even some fresh fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to steer clear of toxic foods like chocolate, onions, garlic, and grapes.

The Pros and Cons of Giving Cats Pup Cups

One such indulgence is the pup cup, a small serving of whipped cream or ice cream that is typically given to dogs. But before you offer this sweet treat to your kitty, it’s important to consider the pros and cons.

Let’s start with the good news: offering your cat a pup cup can be a fun and tasty way to bond with your pet. Many cats enjoy exploring new tastes and textures, so sharing a small amount of whipped cream or ice cream can be a special treat that they’ll love. Additionally, if your cat needs additional calories or nutrients, a pup cup can help supplement their diet in an enjoyable way.

But before you get carried away with the idea of spoiling your cat, it’s important to acknowledge the potential downsides. First and foremost, many cats are lactose intolerant and cannot properly digest dairy products like whipped cream or ice cream. This can lead to digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. So if you notice any signs of discomfort after offering your cat a pup cup, it’s best to steer clear of dairy-based treats.

Another concern is that pup cups are often high in sugar and fat, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. Over time, excessive sugar and fat intake can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems in cats. So while an occasional pup cup may not be harmful, it’s important to offer them in moderation.

So what’s the verdict? Ultimately, the decision to give your cat a pup cup is up to you and should be based on your individual pet’s needs and preferences. If you do decide to indulge your furry friend with this sweet treat, make sure to do so in moderation and keep an eye out for any signs of digestive upset or other health issues.

Potential Health Risks for Cats Who Eat Pup Cups

Before sharing a pup cup with your kitty, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with this indulgence.

One of the main concerns is that pup cups are typically made for dogs and may contain ingredients that are not safe for cats. For example, dairy products like milk or whipped cream in pup cups can cause digestive issues for cats who are lactose intolerant. Symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea should alert you that your cat is having difficulty digesting these treats.

Moreover, pup cups can contribute to weight gain in cats due to their high calorie and fat content. Obesity in cats is a serious health concern that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems. It’s essential to monitor your cat’s diet and avoid giving them treats that could contribute to weight gain.

Another issue is the risk of allergic reactions. Some cats may be allergic to certain ingredients in pup cups such as dairy or artificial sweeteners. Allergic reactions in cats can range from mild symptoms like itching and sneezing to more severe reactions like difficulty breathing or anaphylactic shock.

Lastly, xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly found in some pup cups that is toxic to cats. Even small amounts of xylitol can be deadly for cats, causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and potentially liver failure. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid giving any treats that contain this ingredient.

Alternatives to Pup Cups for Treating Your Cat

Although pup cups may be a popular choice for dogs, they are not always the best option for cats. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives available that can satisfy your cat’s taste buds and keep them healthy.

Here are five alternatives to pup cups that you can offer your cat:

  • Homemade frozen treats: Get creative in the kitchen by blending fresh fruits or vegetables with water or low-sodium broth and freezing them into ice cubes. You can also try freezing plain yogurt or unsweetened applesauce for a creamy, healthy treat.
  • Cooked chicken or fish: Treat your cat to some small pieces of cooked chicken or fish that are free from harmful ingredients. Just make sure to remove any bones and avoid seasonings that can cause harm.
  • Plain canned pumpkin: This tasty vegetable is not only delicious but has many health benefits for cats, such as aiding digestion and promoting healthy skin and fur. Offer your cat small amounts of plain canned pumpkin as a treat, and watch them gobble it up.
  • High-quality store-bought treats: If you prefer store-bought options, look for treats made with high-quality ingredients that don’t contain added sugars or artificial flavors. Choose treats specifically made for cats to ensure their safety.
  • Plain cooked rice or pasta: Believe it or not, cats can enjoy small amounts of plain cooked rice or pasta as a treat. Just make sure not to add any seasoning or sauces that might upset their stomach.

Tips for Giving Your Cat a Special Treat

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not all treats are created equal, and some may even be harmful to your cat’s health. Here are some tips for giving your cat a special treat that is both safe and enjoyable.

Avoid Dairy-Based Treats

While cats may love the taste of dairy products like whipped cream, it’s not the best option for their health. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their diet should consist primarily of meat. Additionally, many cats are lactose intolerant, which means they cannot digest dairy products properly and can experience gastrointestinal upset if given whipped cream or other dairy-based products.

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Opt for a Small Amount of Plain Yogurt

If you’re set on giving your cat a special treat similar to a pup cup, consider offering them a small amount of plain, unsweetened yogurt instead. This will provide some probiotics and calcium without the added sugar and potential digestive upset from whipped cream.

Offer Cooked, Unseasoned Meat

Another option for a special cat treat is to offer them a small amount of cooked, unseasoned meat. Chicken or turkey are good options, as long as they’re boneless and skinless. Just be sure to avoid any seasoning or spices that could be harmful to your cat.

Read Ingredients Labels Carefully

When choosing treats for your cat, it’s important to read the ingredients label carefully and avoid any products that contain xylitol or other harmful additives. It’s also best to start with a tiny amount and observe your cat’s reaction before giving them more. If your cat shows any signs of digestive distress or discomfort, stop giving them the treat immediately.

Choose Cat-Specific Snacks

Cat-specific snacks are another option for giving your furry friend a special treat. These treats are specifically designed with their nutritional needs in mind and are often lower in fat and calories than human or dog treats. They may also contain added vitamins and minerals that can benefit your cat’s overall health.

Limit Treats and Monitor Your Cat’s Weight

It’s crucial to remember that treats should always be given in moderation. Too many treats can lead to weight gain and other health issues, so limit the amount you give your cat and stick to high-quality treats made specifically for felines. Additionally, be sure to monitor your cat’s weight and adjust their diet as needed to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

Benefits of Giving Your Cat Healthy Treats

One of the simplest ways to do that is by providing them with healthy treats. And the benefits of doing so are numerous.

Firstly, healthy treats can promote better digestive health in cats. Many felines suffer from digestive problems, but feeding them high-fiber snacks can improve their digestive function and prevent constipation and other digestive issues.

Furthermore, healthy treats can assist in maintaining your cat’s weight. Obesity is a common problem among cats, leading to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. By providing low-calorie, nutrient-rich treats, you can help control their weight and reduce the risk of these health concerns.

But it doesn’t stop there. Healthy treats can also enhance your cat’s dental health. Gum disease and tooth decay are typical dental problems among cats, causing pain and discomfort. Treats designed to clean their teeth and promote oral hygiene can reduce the risk of such issues and keep their teeth healthy.

Don’t forget that treating your cat with healthy snacks is also an excellent way to keep them happy. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a tasty snack? However, ensure that you choose safe options like plain yogurt or cooked meat, read labels carefully, stick to cat-specific snacks in moderation while monitoring their weight to avoid health issues.


In conclusion, while the idea of sharing a Starbucks pup cup with your feline companion may seem like a fun treat, it’s important to weigh the potential risks and benefits. While cats can indulge in whipped cream as an occasional delight, it’s not advisable to make it a regular part of their diet due to lactose intolerance and the high sugar and fat content. Fortunately, there are plenty of other safe and healthy options available for cats to enjoy.

From cooked meat or fish to fresh fruits and vegetables, canned pumpkin, and high-quality store-bought treats, there are numerous ways to pamper your cat without compromising their health. However, when choosing treats for your feline friend, always read the ingredients labels carefully and steer clear of harmful additives like xylitol.

Moderation is key when it comes to treating your cat. Overindulging them can lead to weight gain and digestive issues. By providing your cat with healthy treats in moderation, you can help promote better digestive health, maintain their weight, enhance dental health, and keep them happy.

So next time you’re tempted to share a pup cup or any dairy-based treat with your furry friend, consider one of these safe alternatives instead.