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Can Cats Eat Gravy? What You Need to Know!

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

gravy in a bowl

What cat could resist the opportunity to suck down a plate of leftover gravy? Broth, fat, and savory goodies made of animal protein—everything your cat loves. But is gravy safe for cats to eat? The truth is—it really depends on how the chef prepared it.

Some gravy can have certain ingredients that can be pretty harmful to a cat—especially in high quantities.

What Is Gravy?

If you’re familiar with any kind of soul food, you probably are accustomed to slathering gravy on certain recipes—especially around the holidays. But unless you are the hands that created it, you might not know exactly what gravy is composed of.

Gravy is a sauce usually made of meat juice, flour or cornstarch, and seasonings. Some have actual hunks of hamburger meat or chicken, while others offer just a thicker liquid. You can buy premade gravy, gravy packets, or make it from scratch.

gravy on a cooking pot
Image Credit: victoria., Unsplash

Gravy Nutrition Facts

Amount Per: 1 can

Calories: 236
Total Fat: 16 g
Protein: 6 g
Iron: 7%
Magnesium: 1%
Calcium: 6%
Cobalamin: 5%

Gravy Ingredients: A Closer Look

Gravy always uses a protein source as the base of the sauce. The meat of choice is slowly cooked, sometimes in milk, butter, or water.

You can make all sorts of recipes using meat sources like:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Duck
  • Pork

At its most basic, no core ingredient can really hurt your cat. It’s not about the broth or flour—but the seasonings and dairy are different stories entirely.

Potentially Harmful Gravy Pairings or Seasonings

It’s highly common to add potentially harmful ingredients to gravy that just don’t agree with cats. Some examples are garlic, onion, and chives. These are all in the allium family, which is highly toxic to dogs and cats.

These plans produce a compound called n-propyl sulfate, which is an oxidant. Since cats are highly prone to oxidative damage in their red blood cells, it is highly problematic when your cats even small amounts of these

aromatic plants.

Cats are, in most cases, completely lactose intolerant. Because of that, their liver can’t produce the appropriate enzymes to break down dairy in the system. If you served your gravy up on a delicious platter of mashed potatoes, you might have added milk and butter.

Cats Should Stay Away from Gravy

Unless you know for sure that there is nothing in the gravy that can be harmful to your cat, it’s best to avoid offering it to them at all. However, if you made it at home and know it’s totally kitty-safe, a few licks won’t hurt.

If you prepare it at home, just leave out the flour and make sure there are no added seasonings. Essentially, you’re just offering broth, which you can add to dry kibble or make your own little savory medley.

Gravy is a “people-food” high in fat with potentially toxic ingredients to cats. So, your cat should stay away entirely.

Dangers of Premade Gravy

You can easily find gravy in jars and packets that make the entire recipe creation process easier when you’re making a big meal. However, this convenience has its downfalls when it comes to your four-legged feline friends.

Many of these selections contain extra ingredients that gravy from scratch does not. It’s crucial to look over the ingredient label if your cat got into the goods.

Usually, at worst, gravy might cause some issues in the digestive tract, resulting in vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea.

Image Credit: victoria., Unsplash

Alternatives to Cats Eating Gravy

There are plenty of healthy alternatives to offer your cat in place of gravy. For instance, many companies produce lickable snacks now that are broths and gravies designed just for felines.

You can also just boil up some chicken fat or unwanted fresh meat if you can spare. You can also dehydrate meat to make jerky, so it stretches farther and stores longer.

There are tons of DIY recipes on sites like Pinterest that inspire your creativity on healthy cat treats, too.

Cats + Gravy: Final Thoughts

So, of course, your cat can enjoy gravy—as long as it is free of any seasonings that could upset your kitty’s system. If you made your gravy with milk and butter, it might cause some gastrointestinal upset, but they should still recover without a vet visit.

However, if you think your cat consumed any riskier ingredients, you should call or go in right away for further evaluation. It is always better to be safe than sorry—just in case.

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Featured Image Credit: victoria., Unsplash

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