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Can Cats Eat Bread? What You Need to Know!

bread

Most people eat plenty of bread. It holds our hamburgers, hot dogs, melts, and much more. It’s only natural to wonder if our cats can eat bread as well. The quick answer is yes, cats can eat bread in small amounts. However, there is a lot to consider before making bread a staple food in your pet’s diet. Join us while we look at the pros and cons of giving your pet this common food.

Is Bread Bad for My Cat?

Cats are Carnivorous

Your cat is a carnivorous animal and would not eat bread in its natural habitat. Your cat’s diet should come primarily from meat products, like turkey, chicken, and fish. A cat’s digestive system does not have the enzymes to digest plant matter like wheat and oats that make up most bread and eating too much of it can lead to problems in the future.

Variety

Unfortunately, when talking about all types of bread, this food becomes a huge subject. There are countless varieties, and the recipes and ingredients can differ between two brands of the same kind of bread.  Bread can contain many ingredients that can be harmful to your cat. Some of the most dangerous include garlic, onions, chocolate, raisins, and alcohol. If the bread you want to feed your cat has any of these ingredients and many more, you will need to avoid it completely and choose another treat.

two cats eating bread
Image Credit: Zanna Pesnina, Shutterstock

High In Carbohydrates

Most bread is high in carbohydrates and eating too much of it can lead to weight gain. Pet obesity is out of control in the United States, with more than half of adult cats needing to shed a few pounds. Avoiding foods that contribute to weight gain can be an important step in keeping your pet healthy.

High In Sugar

Many kinds of bread are extremely high in sugar, especially the ones you see around the holidays, but even white bread can have more sugar than your cat needs. Sugary food can lead to dental decay in your cat as it does for humans, and it’s just as big of a problem for cats as obesity. Experts suggest that 90% of cats older than 4 years old have signs of dental disease.

High In Salt

Salt is another ingredient that many people may not realize is prevalent in bread, and a single piece of white bread can contain more than 300 milligrams. If your cat eats too much salt, they will likely retain water. They can also drink more water, leading to more frequent trips to the litter box, and it may lead to other, more serious health conditions.

No Nutrients

While some bread may have vitamin fortification, the vast majority don’t, which means that there are no nutrients that are helpful to your cat, and it’s eating nothing but empty calories and harmful ingredients.

hepper cat paw divider

Is Bread Good for My Cat?

Unfortunately, we can’t find any ways that your cat benefits from eating bread. Even if the bread contains healthy ingredients, it would be better to eat those ingredients differently.

bread loaf cut whole grain
Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

How Can I Feed My Cat Bread?

We highly recommend you avoid adding bread to your pet’s diet unless you’re using it as a way for your cat to eat medication that it doesn’t want to eat. Otherwise, we recommend choosing a different option. However, if your cat insists on eating bread, we recommend no more than a ¼ slice of a healthier low sodium wheat bread once per week. Any more than that will almost certainly result in weight gain.

Healthy Alternatives

Chicken

If you would like to give your cat some human food as a treat, one of the best options is boiled chicken. Boiled chicken with no seasonings can be diced or shredded to make it easier to eat, and it will likely be one of your cat’s favorite treats. It’s high in protein that your cat has the tools to digest, and it keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

Related Read: Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? What You Need to Know!

Cantaloupe

If you don’t want to cook but would like to give your cat a treat that it likes, you can try cantaloupe or any other melons. These fruits are not meat proteins, but cats can usually eat them without a digestive problem. They have plenty of helpful vitamins and minerals, are low in calories, and will help hydrate your cat with its high moisture content. We recommend starting small with this food and serving no more than a teaspoon to see how your cat deals with it. If there are no digestive issues, you can increase the amount slightly.

American shorthair cat eating
Image Credit: Apicha Bas, Shutterstock

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Summary

If your cat ate some bread without you noticing, don’t worry, they should be fine. However, we don’t recommend adding it to your cat’s diet unless it’s only a small amount once per week. Treats should never make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily calories, or you risk the cat gaining weight, and once your cat starts putting on weight, it isn’t easy to reverse it. The alternatives we provided are much better options and your cat will likely agree.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and have learned something new about your pet. If we helped you provide your cat with a healthy treat, please share this guide to the safety of feeding your cat bread on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for other information on what your cat can have? Try:


Featured Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

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