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Can Cats Eat Cake? What You Need to Know!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cake with strawberries

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Vet)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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We’ve all been there: You leave some food out and your cat gets into it. Cake is a classic culprit, but now that it’s happened what do you do? Can your cat eat cake, and what happens if they get into some that they shouldn’t? Also, now that your cat has a taste for cake, they’ll keep trying to come back for more. Can you give them cake?

While most cakes are perfectly fine for your cat, it’s generally a food that they should avoid. But not every cake out there is safe for your cats, so keep reading, and we break down everything that you need to know.

Can Cats Eat Cake?

While you shouldn’t make cake a staple in your cat’s diet, for most types of cakes, there’s nothing wrong with your cat having very small quantities. Notable exceptions to this include chocolate cake, any cake with raisins, ice cream cakes or those made with alcohol.

Still, while it’s technically fine for your cat to eat a very small portion of cake, since it’s so high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, it’s best to stick with other treats and avoid giving your cat cake altogether.

cake with mixed berries
Image Credit: yadetzy0, Pixabay

What Happens If My Cat Eats Cake?

As long as it’s not a chocolate cake, a cake with raisins, or an ice cream cake, all you need to do is monitor your cat for any reaction. Typically, they’ll be just fine, and you won’t need to make a trip to the vet.

However, if your cat ate chocolate cake or anything with raisins you must speak to a vet as soon as possible. The vet will probably need to see your cat to start treatment and monitor their symptoms and address anything before it gets too serious.

If they ate a cake that’s high in dairy, like an ice-cream cake, you need to monitor for symptoms closely and take them to a vet if anything comes up.

Can Cats Eat Cake Icing?

Since cake icing is high in fat and sugar, you need to avoid giving it to your cat. While a very small quantity might be fine, the truth is that it depends on the type of frosting on the cake and the ingredients in it.

There are many cake frostings out there that contain ingredients that are toxic for cats, so it’s best to avoid giving them any cake frosting altogether.

carrot cake
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

What Is the Worst Kind of Cake for Cats?

The worst kind of cake for cats is chocolate cake. Even a small amount of chocolate can be toxic for your cat, so if they get into any chocolate cake, it’s best to take them to a vet right away.

Still, even if it’s not a chocolate cake, it’s best to keep cakes well out of reach of cats because it’s high in sugar and other ingredients that can be harmful.

Other Toxic Foods for Cats

While cake in general is definitely a food that you should avoid giving your cat, here are five of the most toxic and problematic cake ingredients for cats. Keep them away from these at all costs!

Chocolate

chocolate bar
Image credit: Alexander Stein, Pixabay

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, ingredients that are toxic for cats, so it’s one of the worst foods that your cat can get into. Even if your cat only eats a very small amount of chocolate, you need to take them to a vet as soon as possible.

Alcohol

Wine pouring
Image Credit: Vinotecarium, Pixabay

While we doubt that you’re going to try to get your cat drunk, if you have alcohol in any of your food, like cake, it’s especially important to keep it away from your cat. Alcohol is extremely toxic for cats, so there should be no after-dinner wine for them!

Coffee

coffee on table
Image credit: cocoparisienne, Pixabay

While the worst part of the coffee for cats is the caffeine, you shouldn’t give them coffee at all. Even decaffeinated coffee can be toxic for your cat. There are tons of ingredients in coffee that your cat can’t handle. Theobromine is one such ingredient. Your cat doesn’t need a morning pick-me-up, so stick with water.

Dairy

almond milk
Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

While giving a cat a saucer of milk is ingrained into many aspects of pop culture, the truth is that most cats are lactose intolerant after weaning. So, you shouldn’t give your cat any dairy products that contain lactose.

If you really want to give your cat a saucer of milk, go with a lactose-free variety, and you shouldn’t have any issues.

Xylitol

a bowl of Xylitol with branch of leaves on wooden surface
Image Credit: morisfoto, Shutterstock

Xylitol is a plant based sweetener, and it’s one of the most toxic foods for dogs out there. It causes a sudden release of insulin which then causes low blood sugar and liver damage in dogs.  The same has not been seen in cats but caution is still urged as the study was only based on a small number of cats.

Better Cat Treats

Even though you can’t give your cat cake, there are tons of other treats out there that you can safely give them. Whether they’re giving you pleading eyes that you just can’t ignore or you simply want to spoil them, here are a few of the best cat treat options.

Salmon

salmon
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

Cats and fish go together, and salmon is one of the best foods that you can give them. Always fully cook the salmon before feeding it to your cat, and avoid any seasonings.

Spinach

A bowl of spinach on the table
Image Credit: ponce_photography, Pixabay

While cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat to survive, that doesn’t mean that some cats don’t enjoy veggies. Spinach is one of the best choices out there, and you might be surprised at how many cats enjoy eating it!  It is not suitable however, for cats with urinary tract problems, especially calcium oxalate bladder stones or crystals.

Cooked Eggs

scrambled egg
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

The only way that eggs are safe for your cat is if you completely cook them and don’t season them at all. That means no salt or pepper, and we recommend scrambling the eggs, as other methods can get a bit messy. Still, once cooked, eggs are a delicious choice for your cat, and they typically love the flavor too!

Pumpkin

pumpkin
Image Credit: Steve Buissinne, Pixabay

While pumpkin shouldn’t make up a large portion of your cat’s diet, there’s nothing wrong with it in moderation. Plain boiled or steamed pumpkin is a good source of water and fiber for cats and can help with constipation.

Chicken

cat eating cooked chicken
Image credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

Just like salmon, chicken is a completely safe choice for your cat if you cook it completely and leave off the seasonings. There’s a reason that chicken is a staple in so many cat foods, and your cat is sure to like it even more when it’s fresh!

Final Thoughts

While cake might not be the ideal choice for your cat, if they do happen to get into leftover birthday cake, it’s usually not a big deal. The main exception to this is if it’s a chocolate cake, which is extremely toxic for cats.

But even if your cat is begging for a treat and all you have is cake around, you’re doing your cat a favor if you hold strong and don’t give any to them!

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