We humans do eat a wide variety of foods since we are omnivores. That is basic science. In most homes, breakfast is never so without bread. Its availability in various flavors and shapes makes it ideal for our breakfast needs.
The taste of bread too can be at times mesmerizing. You might be then tempted to give your cat some as she looks at you with those amazing eyes. The question then is, can cats eat bread? This article intends to explore on this contentious topic.
What is it with cats and bread?
I know you have probably seen the long list of foods that your cat can feed on, those that should be moderated and the affirmative no go zones. The list of dangerous foods for your kitty is longer in some instances.
Careful examinations of these lists reveal that some of the foods in it are not harmful to your cat, in controlled amounts. The key point is the amount. Bread falls in this category. It is safe to within certain limits.
Can cats eat bread then?
Feeding your kitty food from the dinner or breakfast can seem very cute. However, the rule of thumbs states that this human food should not exceed 15 percent of the cat’s dietary needs.
So, to answer the above question, yes! Cats can eat bread. It should be given in small doses, of course. The right amounts are however subjective and require common sense (ouch!) to figure out.
What nutrients do cats get from bread?
We have ascertained that eating bread in small amounts is not harmful to your cat. Now that the “can cats eat bread” question is now out of the way, we have to ask ourselves, does the cat benefit from eating bread?
The answer to this question provides a way forward.
Basic Science has it that cats are carnivores while humans are omnivores. This means that cats require mostly proteins for survival. They can get this from the animals they kill if it is an open door cat or the protein rich cat food you feed him.
Brown bread is normally rich in fiber. This is beneficial to you but worthless to your cat. Other breads contain mainly carbohydrates which are not needed by carnivores for survival. Feeding your cat on bread may seem cool and cute as she enjoys herself, but it is really pointless.
Why do cats love bread if it is worthless to them?
At the dinner or breakfast table, your cats would always want to have anything that you are enjoying there, be it bread, muffins or any baked stuff. The urge to give in is always hard to suppress.
The reason why cats love bread is the presence of yeast in the bread. This flavoring ingredient is a real drawer for cats. It is even used in the processing of their foods. Some medications are even yeast flavored to trick kitties into taking them.
Without the yeast, it would be hard to take something that does not help them in any way.
What about spiced bread?
The tradition in most of us is never to take plain bread without spreading something on it. This is unless I am on my own on this though. I cannot imagine my bread slices without sauce, peanut butter or chocolate spread. Your preferences may be different, but you get the point.
These toppings are very harmful to cats and are always on the list of foods not to feed your cat. Spreading butter on bread is a tradition loved by many. It may taste good for you but not to your cat. The fat and calories content is just too much for your paw friend.
Peanut butter should also be avoided as it has enormous amounts of salts and fats too. These are all recipes for obesity in your cat, and you would not want that. Be it toasted or just plain bread. Simply avoid peanut.
The same goes for chocolate toppings and spreads. This applies to any bread that may contain garlic, onions or even chives. These are detrimental to a cat’s well-being.
How about toast bread?
The hustles of life mean that in order to save time in the morning, we toast our bread, and off we go. As you leave, you might want to throw your cat a slice or two. This is not prohibited, so long as it is plain bread with none of the ingredients above.
Oh, and one thing though, if you accidentally burn the bread and is thinking of giving it to the cat because you cannot eat it, well what can I say, you do not deserve to be a cat owner.
What are some of the effects of bread on cats?
It has been established that bread helps cats minimally or does not help them at all. Here are some of the other effects bread has on your cat.
- Obesity: The carbohydrates rich bread leads to obesity in your cat if fed regularly or in large amounts. Carbs are eventually converted to fats as they are digested, making the cat look chubby. She may look cute, but she is suffering inside her.
- Too much sugars and salt: Bread contains a lot of these to make us humans like it. These are however not needed by cats.
- Preservatives: These make the bread last longer but cause a whole lot of complications for your cat.
- Taurine deficiency: Bread lacks this essential vitamin. The lack of which may lead to tooth decay, hair loss or complications in the cat’s reproductive system.
What about dough?
As you bake in the kitchen with your kitty around, she is sometimes curious and sometimes wants a bite of the dough you are busy working on. What do you do? It is very simple. Never let her have a bite!
Bread dough could be very dangerous to cats especially when taken before the dough rises fully. The yeast present in the dough needs a warm environment, which the cat’s stomach provides, to make it rise.
Imagine a lump of dough swelling inside Kitty’s small stomach. This will cause stomach pains as the dough becomes bigger.
Another issue is the reaction of yeast with the sugars inside the stomach. This provides an environment for the formation of alcohol. And man, alcohol is really dangerous for your cat. If you suspect your cat might have consumed dough, inform your vet immediately.
Conclusion: To EAT! or Not To EAT!
Can cats eat bread? Yes!!! they can, but just a little and not often. Eating bread does not provide your cat with any nutritional value. It may result in doing more harm than good when the amount is not controlled.
Only feed your cat bread as a treat when appreciating her good behavior and not as part of the diet.