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Can Cats Eat Bread? What You Need to Know!

Humans love their bread products. Hamburger and hot dog buns, sourdough loaves, pita bread, French bread, breadstick, pizza crust — the list goes on! With bread being such a staple of our diet, it isn’t a surprise that our cats might show interest in it from time to time. But the burning question is: Can cats eat bread? Is it safe for our cats?

The short answer is yes, cats can eat bread. Eating a small nibble of bread once in a while won’t harm them. But the longer answer is that you should choose to make a bread-free diet for your beloved kitty cat. Read on to learn more about the good and bad of feeding bread to cats.


Bread Isn’t Nutritious for Cats

The truth is that bread doesn’t offer any real nutritional value to cats. Because cats are strict carnivores, they don’t need carbohydrates to stay healthy. In fact, the more food a cat eats that isn’t derived from an animal, the less room they’ll have for the animal-based nutrition that they need. Any vitamins and minerals that are found in bread, cats can get from their animal-based food.

British short-haired cat lying on the table_chendongshan_shutterstock
Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

So, any bite of bread that they eat is a bite of junk food — just like when we indulge in cakes, cookies, and pies that don’t benefit our overall health. There are ways to make bread more nutritionally beneficial for cats, such as soaking a piece in bone broth or smearing it with wet cat food. But is all the trouble worth it? A treat made just for cats is much easier and more nutritious.

Bread Could be Dangerous for Cats

Not only is bread a poor nutritional source for cats, but it can actually be quite dangerous for them under certain circumstances. If eaten raw, the dough could expand in a cat’s stomach and block their digestive system. If this happens, serious health issues could occur, including death. Therefore, cats should never get their paws on raw bread dough. If they do, an animal control center should be called immediately, and a trip to the emergency vet might be necessary.

Another thing to consider is what’s inside the bread that you might be thinking about feeding to your cat. Garlic and onions are toxic to cats, so they should never eat bread that includes these ingredients. Bread with these ingredients in them should be kept in a safe place where your cat can’t get to it when you aren’t looking.

Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

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If You Do Decide to Feed Your Cat Bread

After considering all the information that has been outlined here, you might decide that it’s fine to feed your cat a piece of bread occasionally. There is nothing wrong with that! But you should take steps to make sure that the bread, even if it’s just a bite, won’t affect your cat’s health in any way. Firstly, make sure it is thoroughly cooked first. If you aren’t sure, toast it on the stove before serving it to your cat. You should also read the entire ingredients list to make sure no toxins are present. Furthermore, you should never give your cat more than a small piece to snack on at any given time.

cat paw dividerOur Final Thoughts

Bread isn’t the worst thing that your cat could eat. If they don’t eat it often, it probably won’t affect your cat’s health in one way or the other. But because of the dangers that certain ingredients can present, you may want to keep your cat away from bread altogether. The good news is that they don’t need bread to thrive, so they aren’t missing out when you don’t offer them a piece. How do you feel about feeding bread to cats? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

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Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock, Chendongshan