Did your cat take a sneaky nibble from your breakfast? Don’t panic: a bite out of a waffle now and then isn’t going to hurt your feline friend. Cats can eat waffles without severe side effects, so there is no need to take your pet to the vet.
However, making waffles a part of your cat’s regular diet is not recommended. Although an occasional nibble shouldn’t cause problems, too much waffle consumption can be harmful to your kitty.
Do Waffles Have Health Benefits for Cats?
Waffles provide no nutritional benefit for cats and are therefore not worth making an effort to add to your kitty’s regular diet. In fact, adding waffles to your cat’s diet is not healthy since waffles lack the necessary nutrients that healthy cats need.
All cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a high amount of animal protein in their diet, which is not exactly abundant in waffles. Protein is essential for a cat’s health, and without it, cats can suffer a number of issues. For instance, if cats do not get enough protein, their muscles and organs will begin to break down. This occurs in extreme cases, but it is still important to note that protein is more than beneficial to your cat’s diet—it’s vital.
Cats depend on protein to get their amino acids, which are necessary for the function and health of the body. Two essential amino acids that cats cannot sufficiently produce for themselves are arginine and taurine.
Arginine helps cats to remove waste from their bodies. If they do not have enough arginine, they can suffer from serious complications such as significant weight loss, vomiting, seizures, and tragically, even death.
Taurine plays a vital role in a cat’s visual, reproductive, and gastrointestinal health. Without adequate taurine intake, your cat will see a decline in its health in several areas. Another significant issue that insufficient taurine causes is dilated cardiomyopathy or an enlarged heart.
While your cat will not have immediate issues with one or two pieces of waffle, a waffle should not make its way into your cat’s regular feeding habits. Cats can’t get many nutritional benefits from waffles, and depending on what is on or in the waffle, frequently eating them can cause medical issues.
Problems Waffles Could Cause Your Cat
Depending on the ingredients inside the waffle or topping it, your cat could suffer complications ranging from worrisome to severe. Common toppings for waffles, such as syrup or whipped cream, are not suitable for cats due to their high sugar content.
Although syrup is not toxic to your cat, too much syrup over a prolonged period of time can lead to significant complications. These issues can include short-term problems like diarrhea and vomiting, but they can also include much more severe, long-term difficulties such as weight gain and diabetes.
Cats will probably not enjoy sweet waffle toppings. Cats cannot taste sweetness! This means that not only is sugar not good for your kitty, but it is also not something they like to eat.
Another ingredient to look for is chocolate, such as chocolate chips or chocolate syrup, which are often found on waffles. Chocolate brings more concerns for your kitty than just the high sugar content—chocolate is toxic to cats. This is due to the caffeine content and other chemical compounds in chocolate that do not sit well with cats. So, if you have chocolate around the house, be sure to keep it away from your cat.
Signs of chocolate toxicity usually show up soon after ingestion, leading to troubling symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tremors, seizures, and at high enough doses possibly a coma.
If you think your cat has ingested any chocolate, immediately contact your veterinarian.
What Other Foods Are Bad for Cats?
If you are wondering what other foods may be harmful to cats, the good news is that most of them are not usually paired with waffles. If your rambunctious cat got a mouthful of a waffle with toppings, as long as none of the harmful ingredients are included, your cat should be fine.
Food that should not be given to cats includes alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, dairy products, onions and garlic, tuna, fat trimmings, and raw meat or eggs.
If your cat somehow gets a hold of any of these items, you should discuss if they need to be seen at the veterinary clinic.
What Can Cats Eat?
There are plenty of foods that you and your cat can both eat. Some of these are more obvious, such as meat and fish (as long as it is not raw), but others are a little more fun. You can give your cat whole grains, eggs, cheese, and even vegetables!
However, it is still important that cats should only indulge in fun new foods in moderation. Good quality cat food should still be the primary food for your cat. Overfeeding a cat can make them less active and lead to complications such as liver disease, heart disease, pancreatitis, or diabetes.
It is essential to pay attention to the condition of your cat’s body to avoid overfeeding. Deciding on a balanced diet, portioning the meals properly, and adjusting the diet to suit your cat’s individual needs is the best way to combat overfeeding.
If you want to make human food a part of your cat’s regular feeding routine, talk to your vet first. Make sure to introduce the new foods gradually to minimize stomach problems. So, if you want to share breakfast with your cat, cook up some plain scrambled eggs! Just be sure to leave their portion unseasoned.
Although cats can technically eat a piece of a waffle and still be okay, making waffles a standard part of your cat’s feeding routine is unhealthy. There are plenty of other human foods that cats can eat that offer them nutritional benefits, so look to those for inspiration if you would like to share a meal with your furry friend.
Featured Image Credit: kruszyzna0, Pixabay