Bread is one of the most popular, staple foods of the human diet. Some people swear by it, some people avoid it.
Wherever you stand, there’s no denying the popularity of bread around the world. It’s versatile, it’s tasty, and it can be eaten for any meal, any time of day.
So, it’s a natural leap that cat owners would think of including bread in their cat’s diet. Perhaps, you have a cat that begs for your toast.
Maybe they are forever stealing glances at the loaf on the side. There are lots of reasons why cats like bread.
But, is there any real reason for giving in to those urges? And, are there any risks associated with adding bread into your cat’s diet?
Cats And Bread: An Overview
You spend money, time and give love to your cat. You spoil your cat. You want to make sure that they have the best of the best, and that includes their most favorite and tasty treats.
But, a part of being a responsible cat owner is being aware of the nutritional facts of these treats.
Bread has no real benefit for a cat. They may struggle to digest it, and it can cause rapid weight gain.
It can be nice as an occasional treat, but that’s where the line must be drawn.
There are times when bread is just not appropriate and can even be toxic and lead to the end of your cat’s life.
For this to be avoided, read on to find out what exactly cats can and cannot do when it comes to bread.
Bread And Cats: A Love Story Or A Tragedy?
Cats prefer and need meat in their diet, therefore they are categorically carnivorous. This means that they get most of their nutrition from eating meat, aka animal produce.
Their digestive systems are particularly well suited to digesting a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
The only way to guarantee that your cat is getting this is to follow a diet filled with high-quality cat food.
Cat’s may love bread, but they certainly do not need it in their life.
Of course, like us humans, every cat is unique. Some cats can eat some bread without any trouble at all, but the majority could well experience digestive distress.
This may include gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea (sometimes called loose stools), constipation, and vomiting.
If your cat has gastrointestinal issues after eating bread, stop giving it to him.
The only way of testing an adverse reaction is by either avoiding the food completely and therefore eliminating all risk or introducing small bits slowly and monitoring your cat’s physical response.
If your cat has any kind of health condition, don’t give them bread.
Health conditions are things like diabetes or kidney problems. But they can also be obesity and even allergies.
If you do decide to give bread to your cat, make sure that is plain.
If you accidentally source bread that has additional ingredients, such as chocolate, garlic, onions, or even raisins, your cat’s life will be in danger.
These ingredients are all fairly common to bread, but they are also extremely toxic to cats. Do not give your cat any bread that has special ingredients or flavors.
Another type of bread to avoid is any loaf that may contain nuts. Nuts are healthy food for humans, but not so much for cats.
They have high fat and often salt content. While nuts aren’t always toxic for cats, they are not good for their health either.
How Should You Feed Bread To Your Cat?
Small amounts of baked bread are usually fine for cats to eat in moderate quantities.
Cats shouldn’t eat too much bread every day but, rather, they should reserve it for a special occasion.
Don’t, for example, make two slices of toast, butter them up, and then pop them in your cat’s bowl.
However, little bits of plain bread can be fed as treats or mixed up into their daily meals.
The other major benefit of a tasty treat such as bread is that it can be a big help while administering oral tablets to your cats.
If you’ve ever had to do this, you know that it can be a tricky task.
Hiding the tablet inside a piece of bread can be an incentive for your cat, or even trick them into taking the medicine with less fuss.
The Dangers Of Giving Bread To Your Cat
Flavorings And Ingredients
Let’s circle back to flavorings and ingredients.
Too much salt is toxic for cats. But, there are other ingredients that can cause a painful decline and lead to death as well.
These include garlic, onion, chives, chocolate, raisins, and macadamia nuts. You can also never be too careful with certain herbs and spices.
While they may not be toxic, there are certain spices that your cat’s digestive system may not be able to tolerate.
Uncooked Bread And Yeast
If you ever find that your cat has eaten raw bread dough, it is worth a trip to the vets.
What is the danger of raw bread dough? Yeast.
Yeast, when uncooked, is a killer of cats. This is because it can produce co2 and alcohol.
Just like yeast helps the dough to rise and expand, it can do so inside your cat’s stomach. This can lead to a whole host of health problems and death.
The dough may have to be surgically removed which can be distressing for your cat and yourself, and cost a lot in vet’s bills.
Signs to watch out for include gas, bloating, sickness, and loose stools.
If any of these things occur after your cat eats raw dough, make a vet appointment as soon as possible.
Bread is very high in carbohydrates. This equals calories. Have you ever noticed that after eating a sandwich or any form of bread, you feel full almost instantly?
Well, it’s the same for cats.
If they have too much bread to eat, they will not want to eat their proper food. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and an overall decline in health.
To sum up, bread is okay for your cat. As long as it is just plain old bread, with no trims or toxic additions such as garlic or chocolate.
Plain bread holds nothing to fear for your cat aside from unnecessary calories that can fill them up rapidly.
However, there is no real benefit to giving your cat bread.
It doesn’t provide any groundbreaking health benefits, and it is really high in carbohydrates, which are a slippery slope to making your cat overweight.
An occasional treat, perhaps. This is where bread is best left for your cat.