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Can Cats Eat Pasta? What You Need to Know!

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

Cooked ribbon pasta on a white plate

Pasta is an all-around favorite food on essentially every continent due to its accessibility, ease of preparation, and tasty starchiness. Of course, we all want a chance to share some snacks with our cats, which could make you wonder if pasta is safe and appropriate for your cat to nibble on. Here’s everything you need to know about offering pasta to your cat in this article.

Cats can eat pasta, though it should only be fed as an occasional treat. Keep reading to learn more!

Can Cats Eat Pasta?

cat eating food
Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

They sure can!

Pasta is typically made of only three ingredients–water, eggs, and flour. All these ingredients are safe for your cat, and when combined and turned into pasta, they are still safe. Be sure to check your pasta’s ingredients list, though. Sometimes, pasta may have other ingredients added, like onions, garlic, or other flavors or seasonings, which may not be appropriate for your cat. Always check the ingredients list before feeding anything to your cat that was not made specifically for them!

Is Pasta Good for Cats?

Pasta isn’t necessarily beneficial for cats, but it isn’t harmful when offered as a small treat on occasion. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that most of their natural diet consists of animal proteins and non-processed foods. Pasta is a processed food that contains very little protein. It’s high in starchy carbohydrates and typically low in fat. Cats need their primary diet to be relatively low in carbohydrates and moderate to high fat content.

How Much Pasta Can My Cat Eat?

Cooked pasta on a serving plate
Image Credit: neciodesalida, Pixabay

Pasta should not be a routine treat for your cat, and it should certainly not be part of your cat’s daily diet. This is a food item that should only be offered occasionally as a treat. Pasta is calorie-dense and not nutritionally appropriate for your cat to eat on a regular basis.

If you offer your cat a spaghetti noodle or half a piece of a penne from time to time, then there is not a risk of you creating nutritional deficiencies or causing your cat to become overweight or obese. If you are offering your cat a bowl of pasta regularly or a few pieces of pasta every day, you can be doing more harm than good for your cat.

It’s not uncommon for us to love our pets into illnesses by feeding them treats and foods that are not appropriate for them. Pasta is no exception to this. Cats have low caloric needs due to their small size and pasta is not a nutritionally sound food for them to rely on to meet those needs.

Are There Better Treats for My Cat Than Pasta?

cat eating cooked chicken
Image By: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

There are many better treat options for your cat other than pasta!

Since cats are obligate carnivores, they love meaty and fresh treats. Lean meats, like chicken and fish, are ideal options. You can also offer things like pork, lamb, and beef in small quantities as a treat. Other foods you might have around the house that are safe for your cat in small quantities include cheese, goat’s milk, tuna, and eggs. All treats should be plain and baked, boiled, or freeze-dried. Never offer raw meats or dairy to your cat without discussing the risks with your veterinarian first.

Be mindful of how many calories you’re offering your cat in treats per day, though. Most cats need less than 350 calories per day, and treats should make up less than 10% of those calories. Treats should be limited to a nibble here and there, not something repeated multiple times throughout the day every day.

In Conclusion

Pasta isn’t the ideal treat for your cat, but that doesn’t mean your cat won’t appreciate a little bit of noodle on occasion! Pasta as a treat can be enriching for your cat since it is available in so many shapes and sizes. It’s usually quite safe for cats when fed in moderation and not as part of the primary diet of your cat.

Always check the label of your pasta before offering it to your cat. There could be ingredients added beyond the normal flour, water, and eggs that could be dangerous to your cat’s health. If there are added ingredients and you’re unsure if they’re safe for your cat, go for a different treat.

When feeding pasta to your cat as a treat, make sure to only offer cooked pasta. You should also only offer plain pasta. Avoid giving pasta with sauce on it, as many ingredients in pasta sauce can cause issues for kitties. Ideally, any pasta you offer your cat should also be free of added oil and salt.

Featured Image Credit: Anestiev, Pixabay

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

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