Bread may be a big or small part of your daily diet (depending on how many carbs you are consuming). It comes in a variety of flavors and consistencies and can be baked fresh or bought pre-packaged. But is this tasty staple good for our pets?
Bread is made up of flour in one form or another, with white being the most common. Commercially produced bread dough contains, on average, 80% carbohydrates, 10% fats, and 10% protein, which is okay for humans.
However, since our cats are carnivores, that low percentage of “meat” is not going to benefit them in any way, shape or form. In fact, too many carbs (whether for cats or humans) can pack on those unwanted pounds and any proper cat food will contain mostly protein.
So can cats eat bread? In general, cats can eat bread in moderate amounts and that is safe for cats. However, the key is moderation, you should give your cat bread only occasionally and only a little bit at a the time.
Watch Out For Toxic Additives
Giving our fur baby a nibble of plain bread every now-and-again won’t do him any harm, but watch out for toxic additives such as;
- Onions – this veggie contains a chemical known as thiosulphate, which can cause damage to your cat’s red blood cells. This condition is called hemolytic anemia.
- Garlic – can cause the same damage to your cat’s red blood cells as the onion.
- Raisins – although more toxic to the canine species, both raisins and grapes may lead to kidney failure.
- Cheese – most cats are lactose intolerant which could lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
Another danger to cats is eating raw bread dough. This is because the yeast that makes the dough rise will still be active in your cat’s stomach. As it continues to swell, it can cause a blockage, which could lead to death if left untreated.
Cats and Bread In a Nutshell – the Cons
A diet high in bread is not suitable for cats. In fact, the cons of feeding it to our feline friends far outweigh the pros including:
- It is high in sugar and salt
- Eating large quantities can lead to obesity
- Store-bought bread contains a lot of preservatives
- It does not contain taurine a vital amino acid which helps prevent tooth decay, blindness and even heart failure in the feline species.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is your cat can’t live on bread as it lacks the proper protein, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy life. However, giving a cat small amounts of plain bread once-in-awhile is perfectly fine, just be sure to watch out for any of those toxic additives. If you’re a baker that loves fresh bread, put the rising dough well out of reach of your curious cat to avoid a trip to the vet’s office. Our post Can Cats Eat That contains more information on how cats tolerate different human foods.