It’s safe to say that bread is a universally loved food . In fact, it’s been a staple in the home pantry ever since it was first invented over 10,000 years ago, when a couple of smart humans in the fertile crescent decided to grind up their abundant wild wheat and barley grains and mix it with pulverized plant roots and water to create a dough which was to be baked and turned into a food we all know and enjoy up till today.
As humans, we love our bread in many different ways. Toasted, baked, deep-fried, or steamed – there seems to be no shortage of methods to produce anything from a painstakingly layered croissant, to a simple slice of rustic sourdough, and everything else in between.
But if you’ve ever had a slice of bread and butter as a snack only to find your little feline friend looking up at you with expectant eyes, you’ve probably wondered if your cat can eat bread. After all, if it’s so good for us humans, it must be good for my cat, too, right?
Well, here’s the short answer – yes, cats can eat bread. But that doesn’t mean that you should bring your tiny tiger to go crazy at the bakery! There are many considerations to think about before you serve bread to your cat. Read on below to find out more about these considerations so you can prepare yourself for anything unexpected that could happen, as a responsible cat parent should do.
Is Bread good For Cats?
There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread in the oven, and the taste and texture of bread makes eating it one of the simple joys in life. Bread is also an important source of dietary fiber – this is an essential component that maintains the health of the digestive system, controls our cholesterol levels and regulates our blood sugar levels, not to mention the ability to help us feel fuller for a longer period of time.
However, the truth is, these same benefits do not necessarily apply to cats whenever they consume bread. Cats are obligate carnivores – this means that their digestive systems have been fine tuned over the generations of their cat ancestors to only receive all of the nutrients that they need from meat or meat products. And the best way they can receive a well balanced mix of all the necessary nutrients they need for a healthy, happy life is through scientifically-researched commercial cat food products.
So from a nutritional standpoint, bread has little to offer when it comes to a balanced diet for your cat. In short, it’s not good, but it’s not bad either!
Can My Cat Eat Bread?
The simple answer you’re looking for is yes – so slice up some of that oven fresh sourdough and serve it up for your furry companion! Here’s a caveat however: always put nutrition before treats. Bread is not considered to be an essential part of your cat’s nutrition, therefore it must be considered as a treat. Occasionally serving bread is fine, but if it becomes a regular part of their daily diet – then you might run the risk of developing complications in your cat’s health.
Risks For Cats Eating Bread
So what are the risks that your cat faces when eating bread? Here’s one of the biggest risks you should know about. Bread is a high-carb food, which means if your cat consumes too much bread in her diet, these carbohydrates will eventually get in the way of your cat’s required intake of protein and fat calories found in the cat food that she eats. This can lead to digestive issues in the long run.
Your cat’s digestive system is fine-tuned to require only meat in their diet to achieve well-balanced nutrition levels, and unlike us humans, they do not require complex carbohydrates for energy.
What About Bread Dough?
Bread dough is never safe for cats! Bread dough contains raw yeast, which produces alcohol during the fermentation stage. This can lead to alcohol poisoning in your cat’s bloodstream, which causes serious issues like seizures, or total respiratory failure.
The Types Of Bread You Should Never Feed Your Cat
Although cats love the taste of bread, not all breads are made equal. Here is a list of breads that you should never feed your cat.
- Raisin Bread
Raisins are toxic to cats, which means you should never let your cat near this popular bread type.
- Garlic Bread
Garlic is also known to be toxic to cats. Avoid at all costs.
- Burnt Toast
Burnt toast contains acrylamide, which causes cancer (in both humans, and animals!). So if you’ve burnt your toast, throw it away and don’t feed it to your cat.
- Bread with Spreads
Common bread spreads such as chocolate, nutella, butter, or peanut butter may taste great for us humans, but they are not good for cats. For example, chocolate is toxic to cats, and while peanut butter or butter by itself is not toxic to cats, it contains abnormally high amounts of fat and calories for your cat’s digestive system to handle.
How Should I Feed My Cat Bread?
If this is your first time feeding bread to your cat, rip or cut off a tiny portion for her to try. Cats are picky eaters anyway, so if she walks off after sniffing it, don’t force her to eat the piece of bread. However, most cats love the taste of cooked yeast, so you’ll find that the above scenario may be an exception, rather than the rule.
The key thing to remember is that you should only feed your cat small, bite sized portions one at a time. This is to avoid any choking hazards, as well as reduce any risk of overconsumption.
Sharing bread with your feline companion can be a priceless bonding experience for both of you. However, always consider their nutrition and health first before feeding bread to them – they don’t need it in their regular diet, but if it is served as an occasional treat, then go for it. They’ll love it, and you’ll love it too!