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Can Cats Eat Gingerbread? Nutritional Facts & Safety Guide

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By Misty Layne

Can Cats Eat gingerbread

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Tabitha Henson

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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We love our cats and want to give them treats every now and then. Sometimes those treats are people food rather than cat treats, which is generally okay if you do it sparingly. But there are certain human foods cats can’t eat either because it will make them ill or it’s downright toxic to them.

When it comes to holiday foods, you might be wondering if it’s safe for your feline friends to have a nibble of gingerbread. Who doesn’t love cookies, right? Unfortunately, you’re better off not giving it to your cat with gingerbread.

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Is Gingerbread Safe for Cats?

It may seem like a fun little treat to give your cats, but gingerbread is not safe for them to eat. It’s not because of the bread part or even the ginger. Turns out it’s all the other ingredients in gingerbread that can make your kitty feel unwell.

Gingerbread has lots of sugar and spices that can harm your pet’s digestive system and overall health. One of the ingredients that is not great for cats that’s sometimes found in gingerbread is nutmeg. While tiny amounts may not be terrible, large amounts can cause a range of negative issues such as an upset stomach, increased blood pressure and heart rate, hallucinations, and seizures. No treat is worth all that!

birman cat lying
Image Credit: Piqsels

Another ingredient used in gingerbread is cinnamon. While the ASPCA listed cinnamon as non-toxic for cats, too much of it can lead to issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and blisters inside the mouth. It may even irritate their lungs. Then there are cloves. Cloves can cause liver toxicity in cats due to a compound known as eugenol.

Finally, the sugars in gingerbread are an issue because cats’ bodies cannot break them down as our bodies do. This inability to break down sugars properly can lead to stomach upset and even diabetes.

Can Cats Eat Ginger?

While gingerbread may not be safe for your kitty to eat, it turns out ginger is (at least in small amounts)! It’s not only safe, but it can also be beneficial to them and is quite popular with vets who practice holistic medicine. Ginger is good for soothing digestive issues like indigestion, stomach aches, and nausea; it can even aid your cat if it is prone to motion sickness.

Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

If you want to try ginger out the next time your cat is feeling a bit sick to its stomach, you can do so by grating a bit of fresh ginger root and feeding it to them (although that will only work if your furry friend decides they’ll deign to eat it!). You can also go the supplemental route and give them ginger via capsule, tincture, or powder (which may be easier).

What to Do If Your Cat Eats Gingerbread

If your beloved feline was only able to get a nibble of gingerbread, then they should be fine. Keep an eye on them, though. Watch for any of the symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, or seizures. If any of these symptoms occur, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

If your cat managed to eat a ton of gingerbread, then it’s best to talk to your vet straight away to see what your next steps should be. Though, honestly, gingerbread is likely too sweet for your kitty to want to eat a lot of it.

Now that you know what you can safely feed your cat, it’s just as important to find a bowl that supports their health and well-being. With whisker-friendly bowls and a wide tray to catch any spills, our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite option.

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  • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
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Though it’s tempting to give our furry friends some people food occasionally, it’s vital to be exceptionally careful when we do so. Sometimes, human foods aren’t compatible with the feline body, and gingerbread is one of those foods. While a tiny amount shouldn’t harm your pet, more than a nibble could have negative consequences such as stomach upset or worse.

These health issues arise not from the ginger or bread but from other ingredients used in gingerbread such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves (so remember not to feed different foods with those ingredients to your cat either!). In fact, ginger itself is acceptable to give your kitty in small doses; it can even benefit their health!

You can use ginger to help tame your pet’s nausea, indigestion, or even motion sickness. So, try giving them a bit of ginger next time you take your cat on a long car trip – we’re sure you’ll both be happier for it.

Just keep the gingerbread out of reach!

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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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Authored by

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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