can cats eat bread?

If your cat is obsessed with bread, you’ll probably be asking ‘can cats eat bread?’ or more importantly, ‘is bread bad for cats?’

Although cats are carnivores, many of them love the taste of bread. There are numerous videos on the internet of cats sneaking slices of bread off countertops and getting pretty excited when they hear the toaster pop. Most cat owners are usually left baffled since no one knows why cats find bread so delicious.

The following article is a guide that aims to answer all your questions about whether bread is good or bad for your cat. 

Can Cats Actually Eat Bread?

Bread is safe for healthy cats. Although cats can eat bread, it is not recommended. Cats can obtain all their nutrients from animal proteins. As such, cats do not require carbohydrates in their diet. Since bread is mostly carbohydrates, they are of no nutritional importance to cats. All bread does is fill your cat with empty calories. 

Cats won’t have a problem taking a bite of plain baked bread. Bread which contains flavoring like garlic, onions, fruits, and even chocolate can be harmful to your cat.

In addition, your bread should not contain any toppings. This includes plain or peanut butter since both have high-fat content and plenty of calories. You should specifically avoid chocolate spread since it is toxic to cats.  

Are There Nutritional Benefits to Feeding Bread to Your Cat?

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that cats almost primarily obtain all their essential nutrients from animal products. The best way to meet your cat’s dietary and nutritional requirements is to feed him a complete and balanced diet.

Such a diet can be obtained from cat food developed with the right ingredients that are verified by a board of certified veterinary nutritionists. The diet should provide the right balance of nutrients including meat-based proteins, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and energy to maintain your kitty at an optimum level of health. Bread does not provide any of these nutrients. As such, it should only be fed to cats in very small portions.

Is bread bad for cats?

Bread isn’t necessarily a harmful food for your kitty. However, it is of no nutritional benefit to your cat. Bread is high in carbohydrates and calories but very low in protein. It is also very filling. This means that when your cat has very large portions of bread in her diet, she won’t have enough room for a complete and balanced meal that would be of nutritional benefit.

Feeding your cat too much bread puts her at risk of being malnourished. White bread contains approximately one-fifth of the calories your cat needs in a day, but with no nutritional value. 

The main instance where bread is bad for cats is when it is uncooked. Bread dough can be very dangerous and even fatal when ingested by cats. Bread dough contains yeast. When ingested, the perfect conditions are met for the bread dough to rise.

This often results in bloating or a distended stomach. A swollen abdomen is very painful and can cause a great amount of discomfort for your feline friend. In some cases, a bloat can be life-threatening. 

The yeast present in bread dough also poses another threat to your cat. The conditions in your cat’s stomach offset the fermentation process of the carbohydrates producing carbon dioxide and alcohol. Alcohol is very toxic to cats. When ingested, it is directly absorbed into their bloodstream. The amounts that would be considered harmless to humans can cause your cat to have seizures and respiratory failure. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, you should contact your vet immediately.  

Interested in Fun facts about yeast? Check this article out!

How Cats Can Safely Eat Bread

It is best to avoid feeding bread to your cat entirely. Instead of offering bread to your cat, you should instead opt for cat treats. Cat treats have nutritional benefits for your cat. However, if your cat is really obsessed with bread, you should occasionally offer her tiny bites of plain baked bread with no toppings. 

If your cat really has a taste for bread, you could use it to your advantage. You can use their love for bread to administer oral medication. You could stuff a pill into a piece of bread and then offer it to your feline friend. They should gulp it straight down. This method, however, does not work for every cat since each kitty is unique. 

Can cats eat bread and milk?

Although bread is harmless to your cat, it is not the best choice for a snack. Your feline friend will not benefit nutritionally from the addition of bread to her diet. Milk, on the other hand, should not be fed to cats. This is because most cats are lactose intolerant and may get stomach upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea from drinking milk. As such, cats shouldn’t be fed bread and milk. 

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