Can Cats Eat Bread?

freshly baked bread
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Whether you're baking a fresh loaf on a cold winter day or simply throwing a quick sandwich together for the road, bread is a staple in most homes. With furry friends around, however, it's important to know if this kitchen staple is safe for our cats. So cat owners, listen up! Let's find out if our beloved bread is safe for kitties.

Can cats eat bread?

In short, yes, cats can eat bread but only in moderation. Cats that enjoy bread are safe to indulge in small amounts, as their bodies can digest, absorb, and metabolize carbohydrates.

Felines should only have bread sparingly as they naturally require high amounts of protein and fat in their diet. Foods like bread that are high in carbohydrates dump a lot of calories into your cat's tummy, making less room for the needed protein and fat.

If your kitty is in good health with a lean body weight, it is just fine to give him a small piece of bread here and there. An average cat requires 200-250 calories per day. Any human foods, including bread, should not make up more than about 20 calories. Treats should not exceed 5-10 percent of a cat's daily caloric intake. The majority of a cat's nutrition should come from healthy, balanced commercial cat food.

If you feed your cat a piece of bread, it should be no bigger than a small cube, approximately the size of your pinky finger.

baby cat
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Is bread ever a good idea?

Bread offers no real nutritional value for your kitty, and it should only be considered an occasional treat. Like cheese, however, bread can be useful for hiding and feeding medication to stubborn cats. Just make sure the bread is safe (white, wheat, and unseasoned) and that your cat doesn't have any health problems that would make bread detrimental. If the bread is high in salt, for example, this is not a proper food to feed a cat with heart or kidney disease.

Concerns about bread.

There are some types of bread that should always be avoided. White and wheat are fine in small amounts; however, seasoned, savory breads should always be avoided. These breads may contain toxic ingredients such as garlic or onion.

Even if you give your cat a small piece of bread as a treat, make sure to avoid feeding them raw dough at all costs. Because a cat's stomach is warm and moist, the dough will start to rise which stretches the abdomen and causes extreme pain. Eventually, digested dough can affect your cat's blood flow and hinder his breathing. Poor kitty! If your cat does ingest bread dough, see if you can remove it slowly and carefully from his mouth. If he has already swallowed, consult your veterinarian immediately for care and further instructions.

Conclusion

Feel free to enjoy the inviting smell and taste of freshly baked bread. But, when it comes to your kitty, always remember moderation is key.

Bread can be an acceptable treat for cats; their bodies are able to properly digest foods that are high in carbohydrates. Just make sure the bread is plain, unseasoned, and never raw dough! Bread provides your cat with no actual nutritional value so it is best to use sparingly and stick to a diet dominated by protein. Your kitty will thank you.

Learn more about your cat's nutritional needs by reading our daily caloric-intake guide and scrolling through this list of foods that are safe for cats.