Can cats eat bread?
Cats are obligate carnivores—obligate meaning "necessary" and carnivore meaning "meat eaters". Bread, and carbohydrates in general, aren't things that cats biologically need to survive. Cats technically can eat bread, but it's not recommended.
That said, we're no strangers to cats trying to paw at bread as it pops out of a toaster, or trying to take a bite of a bun from our plates. Lots of cats can be quite obsessed with bread, but as their human, it's up to you to make sure that they're getting a complete and balanced diet, full of protein, not carbohydrates.
What's wrong with carbohydrates for cats?
There are different types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches, and fibers. Dr. Donna Solomon of Animal Medical Center of Chicago explains, "An ideal diet for a cat would be five-to-six mice per day... Unlike omnivores, cats are unable to process and store carbohydrates well. Cats fed high carbohydrate diets have higher blood glucose levels compared to cats fed low carbohydrate diets due to their failure to convert excess glucose to glycogen (storage form of energy). Many cats recently diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus are placed on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, and their diabetes has gone into remission. These cats no longer need insulin. In addition, it has been speculated that cats fed high carbohydrate diets may have a have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal disease (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) due to their poor management of carbohydrates ingested and resultant bacterial overgrowth in their gastrointestinal tract." TLDR? Carbs can mess with cats' ability to be healthy and happy, so they're best to avoid.
Back to bread...
It's okay for cats to have a small bite of plain, baked bread. On occasion. Preferably not intentionally.
Cats should never consume flavored bread, like garlic or cinnamon raisin, as these have ingredients that are toxic to cats.
Cats should also never eat raw bread dough. Yeast dough is toxic to cats, and raw dough can rise in your cat's digestive system, which leads to bloating and gas. The yeast in raw dough can also lead to alcohol poisoning in cats, as the yeast fermenting produces carbon dioxide and ethanol alcohol. Ultimately, this can lead to seizures and even respiratory failure.
[#BeginTLDR#]Cats can technically eat bread, but they really don't need to.[#SplitTLDR#]Cats should never have flavored bread, as these could contain toxic ingredients like garlic or raisins.[#SplitTLDR#]If your cat swipes a bite of bread from your plate, it won't be lethal, but try to avoid building bad habits.[#EndTLDR#]
We teamed up with feline nutritionists to cook up three recipes that cut the filler and focus on what cats need for a happy, healthy life.Learn More