If you are a diligent cat owner you have very likely witnessed your little furry friend trying to steal some of your food.
They are curious and brilliant animals and sometimes want to try out the thing that we seem to be enjoying to eat.
I was surprised recently when I found my cat sniffing curiously at the toast I was holding in front of the TV without really paying attention.
It was some documentary about a shark swimming around looking for food in the ocean, when I suddenly realized my cat had bit into my toast and was now stealing my meal from me in fact.
Was I destined to go hungry forever, just like the unfortunate shark on Television?
Luckily he did not seem to like the taste of bread and left again almost immediately. For now that is…
But it does make one wonder, can cats eat bread and should they?
I had never seen a cat with my very own eyes eat bread like this, so I decided to ring the vet and check if bread was in fact safe for cats to eat just to be completely sure.
This is what he said…
Table of Contents
Can Cats Eat Bread?
Following a long lecture on a suitable diet for a 20 week cat, the vet said this:
Small amounts of bread for a cat are acceptable, but reserve the bread as a treat, not a daily food or a part of the regular diet.
Most cats are given a balanced diet of high quality cat food which is good for them and keeps them in top notch condition.
They are however able to digest, absorb, and metabolize carbohydrates and will sometimes take a liking to different types of foods.
Time went on and the cat was still liking bread a bit too much, wanting to try it again having gotten a taste for it.
One day he went to a neighbors kitchen table and pulled a loaf of sliced bread right off the table, ripped the plastic open and started helping himself to some bread right there on the spot.
It would have been hard to believe that my sweet, innocent little cat would ever commit such a heinous and monstrous deed had the “cat crime” not been filmed on the neighbors phone.
There were also bread crumbles and paw prints left at the scene of the crime.
I had a cold blooded cat burglar on my hands…
Also read: Can cats tell when you are sad?
The Cat Diet
The next step was the cat behavioral specialist, who said the cat might be lacking in particular nutrients that might be missing from his regular diet.
He then said that the hunting instinct is strong in the cat and that it might be merely trying to catch and “kill” a piece of warm bread like he would kill to survive in the wild.
I am not so sure about that one.
This might just be true to some extent though as the cat definitely preferred to try to take a piece of bread when we weren’t looking. Or that’s what he thought.
We now know that not only can cats eat bread, but it seems to be the favorite treat of some particular cats, if they happen to like it.
If we can limit the amount given or taken then it probably won’t cause any real harm. Bread is not intended for cats though, and they need their own specialized meat diet high in protein.
The cat can’t get at any foods locked away in cupboards and refrigerators, but anything accidentally left on bench tops is easy prey if your cat likes bread.
The attraction to the bread itself may be as simple as liking the yeast, we will probably never know for sure but bread is known for being high in calories so a cat might easily put on too much weight on a bread diet.
Especially if the cat has a small frame, then it could easily become overweight by doing this.
Cats are carnivores who need a diverse diet of high quality meat to survive.
Why Do Some Cats Like Bread?
The cat had now taken a liking to sourdough as well it seemed, and this was new because my cat had only liked sliced bread before.
Things were escalating fast.
I decided that I would now keep bread secure in the freezer and only take it out when we were ready to have some, as I didn’t want my cat to turn into an obese bread monster.
Back at the vet the cat had a full medical examination and was healthy overall. But, he had put on a bit of weight unsurprisingly and the vet prescribed a special feline diet which was going to meet all his nutritional needs.
Bread is not recommended to cats in large amounts.
Cats can put on weight if they have too much bread, but if you are aware of this fact then you can easily adjust their diet. In a short amount of time, few weeks your cat would be back to normal and a healthy weight.
The Taste Of Yeast
It is believed that cats love bread so much because of the flavor of yeast, but we can’t be completely certain about that.
Apparently they love the taste of yeast so much that it is actually used in some cat food products for flavoring. Now that says something.
Do Not Give Your Cat Raw Bread
Raw bread can have yeast in it and this can be deadly for cats. Raw dough can also expand dramatically in the animals stomach and cause serious bloating and stomach issues.
The yeast in raw bread can also unfortunately cause your kitty to become intoxicated or drunk basically.
It is no joke for a cat to become intoxicated and it can prove to be fatal for them, so be careful to stay away from this.
Raw dough can contain yeast, so be careful of this.
So Can Cats Eat Bread, What About Pizza?
With my cat who loved bread, all was well on that front for a few weeks.
That is until it was decided to order pizzas home. The weather was terrible and there was no way I would risk my life and limbs to go outside for now.
It turned out the cat absolutely loved pizza and wanted more and more.
Now, cats should not have pizza sauce, as it can contain onions or garlic which can hurt your cat!
Also, cats should never eat raw dough as it can expand in their stomach and harm them.
Friday nights became known as pizza nights.
Cats appear to have inbuilt knowledge of what they like and what is good for them. Because the cat is a carnivore I just offered him a tiny bit of bread at a time and a bit of ham I knew was safe for him.
I didn’t want to risk giving him the sauce or anything like that.
It is important to keep it limited if your cat is on a diet and bread is fattening for cats.
Your Cat Is Not A Human
You need to remember to feed your cat like an actual cat, and not like a human being.
Cats have different dietary needs than we do, even if it is fun to occasionally share safe human foods with them.
Should You Give Your Cat Bread?
Now that we know that cats can in fact eat bread, the question if they should have it is a whole another one.
They can have it in small amounts as a treat when they have been behaving well, but it should not become a daily habit since it is very fattening for cats.
Raw dough is also very dangerous for them, so the bread needs to be fully baked, always.
While there is nothing in fully baked bread that will harm your little furry friend (except how fattening it is), baked bread is not very nutritious for cats at all.
It is basically empty calories for your cat, even if it might enjoy the taste a lot. You should probably keep it away from your cat where it can not reach it, since he will likely not be able to help himself if he sees some bread lying around.
Some cats really get on the taste and love the flavor of baked bread.
One slice of baked white bread is going to give a cat one-fifth of it’s entire calorie supply that it would need for the whole day. Now imagine if a cat were to get into a whole loaf, and eat as much as it liked without worries.
It would easily gain weight very fast and get into some troubles as a result.
Using Bread To Give a Cat a Pill
Bread is basically a treat for your cat, and you should look at it as such.
It is something to be given rarely to the cat and as a reward for good behavior.
But, since it is such a desired treat from a cat’s perspective, it is practically perfect to use some bread to give your cat it’s meds or a pill. You can easily hide a pill inside a small piece of it, and your cat will devour it greedily without even noticing.
Also read: how to give a cat a pill in simple steps.
It depends on the cat though, if this little trick will work or not. Cats are notorious for avoiding any food that has pills or medication in it because of the bitter flavor that comes with it.
But, it might just work.
Just always be very careful that it is well baked.
The Types of Bread that are Safe
If you are wondering which types of bread would be safe for your kitty, try to keep the bread as plain as possible. And well baked of course.
Any type of flavored bread with spices could prove to be dangerous, and garlic is toxic to cats.
You do not want to give your cat any bread that has things such as raisins, garlic or cinnamon in it. Cats also despise black pepper.
Sometimes, bread can contain chocolate but that is a huge NO for cats!
Chocolate is toxic to cats so if the bread has chocolate either on top of it, or inside of it then the cat can not get to it at all costs.
Butter or peanut spread would be very high in fat and is to be avoided as well, so the ideal bread would be very plain.
Also read: Can cats eat chocolate?
These animals can eat bread in small amounts but it is not recommended for them to have it unless as the occasional treat.
Raw bread dough is dangerous for felines as it can expand a lot in the cat’s stomach due to it’s “oven like” conditions. Yes, it basically makes it expand in the animals stomach like dough can do outside of it.
This can hurt the cat’s stomach so raw dough is to be avoided completely.
Many cats love the flavor of bread and will sneak around in the kitchen trying to get some.
Bread is very high in calories and gives cats no nutritional value as they are carnivores who need meat to survive, not things like bread.
But, the occasional small piece of plain bread as a reward should be okay as long as they don’t have too much of this good thing.
Does your cat love bread? Let us know in the comments below!