From Breadsticks to Focaccia, our appetite for bread is abundant. I’m yet to find a person who is not inclined towards the smell of freshly baked dough. But, the affection is not particularly exclusive to humans. And as you might’ve noticed, your cat likes bread. Not only baked bread, but pizza, raw dough, or even the stale ones, nothing is missed from their predatory nocturnal eyes and claws.
Your cat shares more than 95% of its genome with tigers. Picture a Royal Bengal eating bread from your hands, pretty unusual. Domesticated cats are generally taken away from their mother way too early and don’t usually ‘learn’ to hunt effectively, which makes them dependant on us. Being carnivores, bread is not particularly healthy for a cat to have regularly. But occasional treats are always welcome.
1. Why Does My Cat Likes Bread:
I love when my cats sit in a loaf-like position, showing utmost trust towards me, but reasonably often I question my beliefs when it snipes through my groceries and finds the loaf of its liking.
Taste of Yeast:
The most popular theory from our fellow cat persons and forums is that they love the taste of yeast. cats can’t taste sweetness, but the salty, nutty taste of yeast in bread makes them go ‘bite through the wrapper’ rogue. Yeast in the bread is active yeast, which can cause diarrhea to your favorite feline. For this very reason, there are specific inactive yeast treats, added with flavors and nutrients are available for the cats.
There is another research-based opinion on why your cat likes bread. Nutrition craving. Possibly, your cat is not getting some of the nutrients from its regular diet, which is making it go for the easiest available source of food – like bread, crackers, and other carb-rich snacks. It has been seen frequently that, the cats, who love bread are more inclined towards more carby foods.
The texture of bread:
The texture and softness could be another reason for your cat to like bread. Cats are quirky. Each of them has distinct features that the next lacks, just like humans. As we don’t find ourselves slanted towards everything, your kitty might find the chewy texture of the bread appealing and appetizing.
Generally, cats prefer foods with aroma and texture. it’s unlikely that bread could pique the interest of a cat to beg its owners for it. But cats are unpredictable and it’s possible to derive different reactions from different cats. It’s even possible for your cat to not like bread altogether.
2. Is bread harmful to my cat?
The short answer is Yes!
“Feeding bread (or any other mostly-carbohydrate type food) should be very limited because cats have fairly high requirements for protein and fat,” says Dr. Amy Farcas, a board-certified nutritionist at San Francisco’s Veterinary Nutrition Care.
Feeding bread to your cat regularly can develop feline diabetes. Which can be fatal for your beloved kitty, as the symptoms are not as prominent as us humans.
Cats are carnivores, which means their digestive system is proficient to digest meat-based proteins and fats. It’s indeed true that carbohydrates are also necessary nutrients for your cat, but feeding them more carbohydrate-rich foods like bread can cause severe diarrhea and health issues.
But whatever you do, don’t let the angelic beast of yours eat raw dough, as the raw dough can fluff up inside their stomach to cause health issues and loss of appetite.
Yeast ingestion shows signs of vomiting, excessive gas, diarrhea, and bloating. Contact the vet’s office if you suspect your cat has eaten raw dough containing active yeast.
Also, Ethyl Alcohol and Carbon Dioxide are produced by yeast while fermenting the sugar in the dough, which can spread through the bloodstream of your cat and result in alcohol poisoning, causing seizures and respiratory distress.
Bread, made with xylitol (a sweetener used in sugar-free foods) has toxic effects on dogs. Although research has not found any toxic effects of xylitol on cats, it would be best if you avoid feeding xylitol knowingly.
3. What kind of bread, in small amount is suitable for my cat?
While regular white bread, fed in small measures occasionally is not harmful to your feline friend, but bread containing garlic and raisins are not at all advised to treat your cat with, just like raw eggs and bones. Things harmful for cats are discussed later. Check the ingredients before feeding bread to them.
Contradictory to popular beliefs, cats are lactose intolerant. Bread with toppings like cheese, butter, and peanut butter is certainly not advisable for your cat.
Have leftover toasted bread from breakfast? You should grow the friendship. Toasted bread is as safe as regular bread, but the toppings aren’t. And burned toast is obviously a NO-NO. Burned toast forms acrylamide, which causes cancer in humans and animals.
4. Which Foods are Poisonous to Cats?
Pardon my french, please.
Jokes aside, here are the foods and toppings which you should never feed to your feline friend.
- Onions and Garlic: A minuscule amount of garlic may not cause any trouble, but eating a clove or devouring a green onion can cause trouble.
- Raw Eggs, Raw Meat, and bones
- Chocolate and Sweetened Drinks
- Raw Dough.
- Dairy Products, especially milk and cheese
- Grapes and Raisins
- Packaged Foods Meant for Dogs.
- Whatever is poisonous and dangerous to us.
- Nutella, Peanut butter
5. Prevention of Cats Eating Harmful Foods:
The best prevention is to keep the foods out of your cat’s reach, behind closed doors.
The food should be considered as a treat and not a part of the diet.
A rule of thumb for feeding felines with a sensitive digestive tract is to not feed what you wouldn’t.
Raw foods are in general not healthy for your cat.
6. Which Foods Can Cats Eat?
Enough of the poisonous words. Cats love savory treats. Let’s take a look at the human foods your cat can devour as a snack.
- Fish, especially mackerel. While you don’t want your friend to steal from your cabinet, do treat them with fish once in a while for better eyesight and healthy joints.
- Poultry is a good natural alternative.
- Steamed Carrots
- Green beans and broccoli, if your cat likes them, but not too often.
Does this list look appetizing to you? It doesn’t. No doubt our cats like bread.
7. Are There Nutritional benefits to Feeding Bread?
Bread is a staple food and is being eaten worldwide for millennia. Despite the repute, bread is not considered healthy even to us. Experts often use the term – unhealthy and fattening while addressing bread. Your typical white bread often contains antinutrients, which block your body from taking certain minerals.
As carnivores, cats are dependant on animal products. While no generic diet exists, the most beneficial for your cat’s nutritional requirements is a balanced diet formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, says Theresa Enktriken, a veterinary consultant.
Your cat’s diet should consist of cat foods with balanced nutrients – formulated and certified by vets and AAFCO. As long as your feline friend is getting all the necessary nutrients from their daily diet, there are no benefits of treats like bread. In the case of nutrition, more is not always the merrier.
Whole-grain breadcrumbs are often used as an ingredient for cat treats. Which are comparatively less unhealthy for your cat.
8. When and How to Feed Cats Bread?
Don’t feed bread to cats:
- When your cat has underlying heart conditions.
- When your cat is pregnant.
- When it has shown allergic reactions to carbohydrate-rich foods.
- When the bread contains onion, garlic, or raisin.
- When the bread has a pungent smell.
How to feed a cat who likes bread:
Step 1. Ask a certified vet before introducing occasional treats to your cat’s diet.
Step 2. Calculate:
Carb treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your cat’s diet. If your cat intakes 300 calories a day, treats should not be more than 30 calories. Ask your vet again about the number of calories your cat needs.
Step 3, Check:
You should check the nutritional label and calorie contents of each bread and calculate accordingly before treating your fluffy friend with cat-sized portions.
Step 4, Monitor:
After treating your cat with bread for the first few times, keep a close watch on them. If any irregularities occur at any point, contact your vet immediately.
9. Homemade treats your cat will love:
Even if your cat loves bread, there’s no way you should include it in the daily diet. Here are two recipes for you to consider giving your cat as treats.
1. Baked Salmon and Eggs:
This recipe is from Cookie Rookie.
My cat loves canned salmon with gravy. The ingredients you will need for this recipe are Salmon, Eggs, and Flour.
- Chop the undrained canned salmon in a food processor
- Put the minced salmon, eggs, and flour in a mixer until it forms a dough.
- Roll out the dough and cut it into small cat size pieces.
- Bake until lightly brown and crispy, ideally 15-20 minutes.
Any canned cat food should work, you don’t have to use salmon particularly for the recipe to charm your kitty.
2. Holy Mackerel Cat Treats:
This recipe is from CdKitchen.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup mackerel, drained and crumbled.
- 1 cup whole bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon veggie oil
- 1 egg
- Mix the crumbled mackerel with bread crumbs and eggs.
- Use veggie oil to make the dough.
- Roll out the dough and cut it into pieces.
- Bake in 350 degrees for 8 minutes in the oven.
10. Signs of Your Cat Having a Food Allergy:
If your cat accidentally ingested bread in a large portion, look for the following symptoms:
- Lethargy and loss of appetite are giveaways of serious health troubles.
- Weakness, muscle tremors
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- High body temperature
- Increased thirst
- Orange or dark urination
- Breathing trouble
- Abdominal Pain
Do not neglect these signs and consult a vet immediately.
11. Can Kittens Eat bread?
Kittens require more nutrition than adult cats, if your feline friend is still in the nursery, it’s not recommended to feed him bread, not even in small portions. Kittens are more sensitive to diet changes and more prone to digestion-related problems. They, being so small and weak, are not capable enough to manage pain and health issues.
Kittens are frisky and bread gets chewy. they can harm themselves by trying to remove the bread from the roof of their mouth.
As adult cats, kittens are carnivores too. They also need a protein-rich diet. It’s not toxic for kittens to have bread, but it’s not recommended either.
The Bottom Line:
Cats are finicky creatures, especially when it comes to their foods. Your cat might like bread and beg for it every day, it’s also possible that it might sniff and walk off. Whatever it does, don’t push it to do things differently. Bread is not necessary for their well-being or survival.
If you ever wondered while watching your cat eyeing for your toast, why my cat likes bread, and should I consider treating him with some? the answer is yes.
Bread is not toxic to cats, it’s just like us having raw meat. Their digestive system is not ready for the atrocity. The nutritional benefit of bread for your cat is minuscule.
While most bread won’t harm your friend, consider not giving him raw dough, raisins, and garlic bread.
Bread, having regular inclusion in your cat’s diet has the potential to harm them fatally. The inclusion of fruits such as mango, oranges, and bananas in their diet is also not recommended for your cat.