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Why Do Cats Like Bread So Much? 5 Likely Reasons

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

geay cat smelling bread on the table

Cats are known for their unusual quirks and behaviors, but one that might interest you is your cat’s unexplained attraction toward bread. Whether it is the smell, texture, or taste of bread, there seem to be many felines who cannot resist trying to eat it. This might lead you to have an unexpected visitor while you try to make a sandwich or an obsessed can that tries to “break into” the bread bag or tin.

While it is not uncommon for cats to show an interest in a variety of human foods for strange reasons, their taste for bread is fairly simple to answer.


The 5 Likely Reasons Why Cats Like Bread So Much

1. Yeast

The taste of yeast seems to be irresistible to our feline companions. It is likely the number one reason why your cat likes bread so much. Most bread has active yeast as an added ingredient. The yeast allows the bread to rise when it is in its raw dough form as it feeds on the sugars from the flour. The yeast may give off a pleasant taste that some cats like to eat.

2. Smell

Depending on which ingredients were used to make the bread, the smell can be quite enticing. This is true for both freshly baked and raw bread dough. However, raw bread dough is not safe for cats to consume.

The smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house is enough for most cats to come running. Combined with the taste of yeast and the texture of the bread, most cats like it enough to try to get into cabinets and bags where the bread is stored.

cat looking at the bread
Image Credit; jamstraightuk, Pixabay

3. Texture

This reason is perhaps more common with cats fed on a dry food diet since the crunch texture of bread can be a tasty snack for most cats. If your toasted bread leaves crumbs around the counter, your cat may start eating them up.

The crunchy texture and taste of the bread can be quite appealing to felines, and they may even wait by the toaster or areas where the most bread crumbs drop. Perhaps the crumbs mimic their kibble, or the texture is nice for them to crunch.

For softer bread, the taste might not be as appealing. However, some cats still enjoy it.

4. It Is Easy To Access

Many people leave bread around since it does not necessarily need to be stored in the fridge. This makes bread and other carbohydrate-rich human foods easy for cats to access. This allows your cat to break open the bag to get to the bread, especially if your cat has proved to already be a bread bandit.

Since cats are so agile, they will easily jump or climb onto shelves and countertops where the smell of bread is drawing them too. If you want to discourage your cat from trying to eat your bread or prevent them from rubbing and pawing at the bread packaging, try placing it into a secured bread tin instead.

two cats eating bread
Image Credit: Zanna Pesnina, Shutterstock

5. Cravings

Since cats enjoy the taste of yeast, they may crave it and smell it in bread. This is common in cats who have already gotten a taste of bread, and they may actively try to search or beg you for more bread because of how much they like it.

If it is the yeast your cat is craving, you could add nutritional yeast to some of their foods. Most cats will take a liking to nutritional yeast since it lacks the bitter taste of many other yeasts. Nutritional yeast also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your cat.

hepper cat paw divider

Can Cats Eat Bread or Bread Dough?

As carnivores, bread is probably not the healthiest food to feed a cat. Bread is rich in carbohydrates and generally offers little nutrition for cats. Using bread as a treat for your cat isn’t ideal, nor does your cat need bread in their diet.

No matter how much your cat likes bread, it should still be fed in limited amounts to your cat, or not at all. There are plenty of healthier food alternatives that you can feed to your cat and ones that offer your cat better nutrition.

When it comes to feeding your cat raw bread dough, it is a big no. Cats can get seriously ill from consuming raw bread dough, and it can be a medical emergency. Bread dough contains active yeast, which is what causes bread dough to rise. This yeast can continue to rise in your cat’s stomach, leading to bloating, gastrointestinal obstructions, and even ethanol intoxication.

Ethanol intoxication occurs from the yeast organisms consuming sugars in the dough that produces ethanol as a waste product. Abdominal distention is also a huge worry in cats who have consumed raw dough, which is why safety measures should be considered if you plan to bake bread from scratch in a home with cats.

a tabby cat being fed a cat treat by hand
Image Credit: Jakub Zak, Shutterstock

hepper cat paw divider


There could be various reasons why your cat likes bread or a combination of reasons. It could be due to the taste, smells, and consistency of bread, or perhaps a craving or easy accessibility. Even though many cats do like bread, it doesn’t mean that they need it as part of their diet. Not everything that cats enjoy is healthy and beneficial for them, bread included!

Featured Image Credit; bellena, Shutterstock

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