The answer to this common question isn't exactly conclusive. It depends largely on the type of bread and what form it is in. Read on to discover some interesting facts about bread and how it effects our feline companions on NolongerWild.com.
Want to see a safe way to give your cat bread? Check out this hilarious YouTube video showing just how much these cats "love" their bread!
Can Cats Eat Bread? They're Carnivores!
Left to their own devices in nature, your cat would eat what it could prey upon, which is mostly rodents, birds and insects. This is due to the fact that cats are carnivores and need the amino acids that are found only in these complete proteins.
Amino acids are essential for a cat's overall health and well being as they are responsible for building strong tissues, organs and muscles. It also aids in repairing your cat's cells and tissues, as well as regulating its metabolism.
Although, some bread is not toxic to your feline friend, it does not supply the needed amino acids only found in complete-proteins.
So What Is Safe?
The bread itself is okay to feed to your cat occasionally and in small amounts; however, look for those added ingredients that can make your cat ill. These include:
- Raisins - Can cause kidney failure in cats
- Garlic - Can cause stomach upset and even anemia if ingested in large quantities
- Onion - Same as garlic, toasting the bread is also acceptable to feed your cat for a special treat.
Are There Any Benefits?
Okay, so we know that bread won't necessarily do any harm to our cats, but are there any benefits? The answer to this question is no.
Bread is made up of flour, water and yeast. Together they form a carbohydrate that cats don't need in their daily diet. In fact, too much bread could lead to obesity in your cat, which can lead to a whole host of other problems.
Some pet parents may think that whole wheat bread is a better option; however, the fiber content found in this grain serves little to no additional benefits to the feline species.
Can Cats Eat Bread Unbaked?
NEVER feed raw bread dough to your cat!
When the dough hits the stomach, it will continue to raise as it's in a warm environment. This can lead to extreme abdominal bloating, stretching and pain. As the dough continues to expand it can also cut off the blood flow and affect your cat's respiratory system.
In some cases, the yeast in the bread dough will even ferment in the cat's gut, which can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Why Do They Love It?
The very ingredient that can cause huge problems in your cat's stomach, is the very reason why they love the taste of it so much. Yeast.
This ingredient is found in many baked goods; which may be the reason why Kitty also mooches those muffins and cake nibbles from you. The taste of the yeast is very tantalizing to the feline's senses and is actually used as an artificial flavoring for cat food and treats, as well as certain oral medications.
Are There Unsafe Toppings?
Whether you toast the bread or give it to Kitty plain, there are toppings to avoid feeding your pet. These include:
Chocolate Spreads: Chocolate is not good for cats as it contains large amounts of theobromine and caffeine. Chocolate toxicity can lead to many health issues like tremors, hyperactivity and even death.
Butter: Although, not toxic per say, too much butter can cause obesity in your cat.
Peanut Butter: This topping is not lethal to your feline; however, it is also high in fat which can lead to health problems for your pet.
Marmalade: This popular topping is made from the peels of citrus fruits which can give your cat stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea. Good thing most cats don't even like the smell of anything citrus-related..
Grape Jelly: Although, delicious and nutritious for us, grapes can lead to kidney failure in cats.
Can Cats Eat Bread? The Bottom Line
The bottom line to the question, can cats eat bread, is that although it isn't toxic (as long as it's baked and without added ingredients) there really is no beneficial reason to feed your cat bread.
If your cat absolutely loves this yeasty treat, then be sure to dole it out in tiny bits like feeding dogs blackberries and only for those extra special occassions. In addition, read more articles on Nolongerwild.com to gain more tips for your pet.