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Can Cats Eat Flour? Everything You Need to Know!

Your cat probably isn’t sticking their head into a bag of flour in search of a meal. But if you have any concerns about a flour-based food item, you might wonder if cats can eat flour. After all, flour is used for breading on other cat-friendly foods like chicken or pork.

Plus, there might be certain types of flour in commercial cat foods on the market. So just how healthy is flour for cats, and should you include it in their diet? The answer is that, while it’s non-toxic, they shouldn’t have it very often, and it depends on the type of floury food you’re considering.

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Types of Flour

There are several types of flour, usually made from grain. Cats show little to no sensitivity to most flour.

Some of the most common types of flour you might have in your cupboard at home include:

All flours serve the same purpose, but some are better for baking certain food items than others.

The Danger of Uncooked Flour Dough

cat rolling dough
Image Credit: kuban_girl, Shutterstock

Uncooked flour dough can actually kill your cat. That’s not because it’s toxic, but instead, because it continues to rise in the stomach. If you’ve ever made any flour dough item, you know that if you leave it set, it’s self-rises.

That is because the yeast in the flour activates from the sugar, causing it to release carbon dioxide. It develops a gummy texture with tons of gas bubbles.

If a cat eats the raw dough, it will continue to rise in the stomach causing the gases is to release in their gut. It causes a condition called bloat, otherwise known as gastric-dilation volvulus. Bloat is a hazardous and often fatal condition.

Symptoms of Bloat

If you fear your cat ate raw dough, look for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting or burping
  • Dry heaving
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Lethargy

Don’t hesitate to immediately get your cat to the vet if they consumed any amount of uncooked flour dough.

Fried Foods

Are fried foods really good for anything? Granted, they’re delicious but maybe not the best meal choice. If your kitty took a piece of fried chicken off your plate, the good news is no harm will come to them.

But over time, repeatedly feeding your cats fried leftovers can wreak havoc on their digestive systems. It can also cause other issues later in life leading to medical problems.

It’s no not so much the breading or flour that’s the problem here. Fried foods contain a large number of oils and fats, which aren’t good for your kitty.

Instead of pieces of fried chicken or pork, try to give your kitties plain boiled lean meats with no extras.

Grain Allergies in Cats

Contrary to food-related troubles, grains are among the least likely causes of allergies and cats. Grain-free diets on the market are studied extensively, showing that there’s no real benefit to them.

In fact, some of these diets don’t cover the bases of cat nutrition, lacking in several essential nutrients, such as:

  • Thiamine
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Niacin

A deficiency in these essential values long-term can cause a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure in cats.

flour and egg
Image Credit: Emilia_Baczynska, Pixabay

True Grain Allergies in Cats

A small percentage of cats, however, can experience allergies triggered by grain-based foods. Symptoms of food allergies are basically the same. You have to use food trials to determine the underlying trigger.

In the rare event that they do have a grain-related allergy, some symptoms might include:

  • Scratching
  • skin abrasions
  • bumps or irritations
  • frequent yeast infections of the skin
  • lethargy

If you think that your cat might be suffering from a grain-related allergy, work with your veterinarian diligently to determine the root cause of the problem. Switching their diet without sufficient evidence might do more harm than good.

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Cats & Flour: Final Thoughts

Your cat shouldn’t have flour all the time. However, it is non-toxic to cats. It might not be very easily digested, mainly depending on what type of floury food is in question. Try to avoid dried foods—and definitely steer clear of raw bread dough at all times.

If you have any concerns about grain-related allergies, be sure to speak to your vet before switching foods to know the actual underlying trigger.

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Featured Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay