Bread is the one food that tops the list of all the others that bring back memories of home and family.
Can cats, if any, eat bread? Most people value the time spent breaking bread with those they care about. Before dinner, we’ll pass around a basket, or I’ll bake a loaf and give it to our new neighbors.
As a cat owner, you may even feel compelled to give your cat a taste of what you’re eating.
It’s important to know if and how cats and bread is a healthy mix before you decide to “break bread” with your beloved kitty.
Can Cats Eat Bread?
Bread is generally safe for cats to eat. But (and this is a significant “but”), bread really ought to be treated as a luxury. Don’t make a habit of feeding your cat bread. If you insist on feeding your cat bread, limit her intake to just a few small slices.
Bread and other refined carbohydrates increase the risk of obesity and chronic diseases in feline consumers, just as they do in human consumers.
Bread & Your Cat’s Oral Health
Too much bread can damage your cat’s teeth and gums in addition to causing weight gain and blood sugar issues.
That’s because sugar is a major food source for bacteria. Bread contains refined carbohydrates, which are converted to sugar when consumed by your cat. Bad bacteria may be drawn to the sugar and thrive in your cat’s mouth. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop from the plaque that these bacteria leave behind.
Cats Are Meat Lovers by Nature
Cats shouldn’t eat too much bread because they are not omnivores by nature. This means that felines, if released into the wild, would have to kill their own prey in order to survive (rather than, say, foraging for nuts or nibbling on grass).
Your cat’s ancestors probably evolved a digestive system that was great at processing meat but terrible at processing plants. Depending on the cat, it may be difficult for the digestive system to adjust to a new food group, such as grains.
Bread, for instance, is known to cause gas and bloating in felines. Bread, sugar, and other refined carbohydrates can upset the pH balance and gut flora of your cat’s digestive tract if consumed in excess.
In order for your cat to absorb nutrients from the food it eats, the intestinal pH and flora (microorganisms, including “good” bacteria) must be just right. In its absence, your cat’s health may deteriorate.
Bread Lacks Taurine
Taurine is essential for a cat’s coat and teeth, but cats can’t produce it on their own. Bread lacks this essential nutrient. Hair loss, tooth decay, and retinal degeneration that can result in blindness are all possible without taurine in a cat’s diet. Without enough taurine, the reproductive and cardiovascular systems will be negatively impacted.
Fat metabolism also requires this amino acid. Taurine is abundant in foods like shellfish and dark meat but is notably absent in grains like bread. Your cat isn’t interested in a tuna sandwich, but rather, the tuna itself. She can’t get what she needs from bread.
What’s in a Loaf?
Consumed everywhere because it is loved everywhere.
All types of bread are equally popular around the world. You can have your bread any way you like it: rolls or loaves, baked or fried, leavened or unleavened, buttered or dipped in olive oil.
It’s a delectable treat with deep roots in both culinary and religious culture (bread has long been a Christian symbol of hospitality, fertility, and even the “Body of Christ”).
The ingredients for bread vary by culture, but they always include grains, water, salt, sugar, and yeast. Of course, going to the supermarket is all it takes to acquire gourmet bread today. Whole grain, multigrain, and even gluten-free options are readily available.
Low in Nutrients, High in Carbs
Despite its many positive attributes, both for humans and animals, bread does have some serious drawbacks.
Carbohydrates are abundant in bread. A carbohydrate is a macronutrient that the body metabolizes into sugar for energy. Carbohydrates can also be found in foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, and potatoes.
However, not every carbohydrate is the same.
Refined carbohydrates are present in bread. They are “refined” because wheat, corn, rye, and barley, the grains used to make bread, need to be ground, cooked, and otherwise processed before they are edible.
Unfortunately, grains often lose their micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) during the refining process. The glycemic index rises because of the processing steps involved in refining grains. The glycemic index indicates how much a particular food raises blood sugar levels.
Levels aboveglycemicIndex > high blood sugar > negative health effects.
So, bread is a nutrient-poor food that can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels. These surges can cause health problems like diabetes and mood swings.
If bread can have such an effect on humans, then perhaps we shouldn’t feed it to our cats.
The solution? Both, actually.
Why Cats Love Bread
Do cats even like bread? Sure. Chewy textures are popular with cats and kittens. Bread has a high fiber content despite all its flaws. Fiber can help stop diarrhea and keep your bowels regular.
However, you shouldn’t try to “treat” your cat’s diarrhea with bread. Your veterinarian should be consulted if your cat develops diarrhea.
Should Cats Eat Toast?
If you only want a quick answer, the answer is yes, plain toasted bread is safe for cats to eat. Just don’t give your cat a huge piece of toast all at once. However, many common condiments for toast are toxic to cats.
Is bread bad for cats?
Bread isn’t necessarily bad for cats to eat, but it also doesn’t provide them with any nutritional value.
There’s a good chance your cat won’t have room for their complete and balanced cat food after eating this because it’s so high in calories and filling but so low in protein.
Your cat can get one-fifth of its daily caloric requirement from just one slice of white bread, but it provides zero of the essential nutrients.
However, uncooked bread is particularly dangerous for cats. The cat’s stomach provides ideal conditions for the dough to expand, leading to bloating and a distended stomach if the cat eats raw bread dough.
Your cat may experience severe discomfort as a result of this, and in severe cases, bloat can be life-threatening.
Bread yeast, used to ferment the carbohydrates in bread dough, produces carbon dioxide and ethanol alcohol, both of which are toxic to cats.
Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream after ingestion, and too much of it can cause convulsions and respiratory failure. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe any of the aforementioned symptoms in your cat.
How to Feed Bread To Cats
Instead of offering your cat bread, it’s best to give it treats that were created with cats in mind. If your cat insists on eating bread, though, you can try giving it a tiny piece of plain, baked bread.
Bread can be useful for administering oral medication to cats when necessary.
If your cat is a bread addict, you can easily get the pill down them by hiding it in a tiny slice of bread. However, because every cat is an individual, this approach won’t work for all of them.
Have you ever wondered if cats can eat bread? Do you wish to know what other human foods your cat may consume? Find out if cats can eat eggs by reading our detailed guide.
Types of Bread You Should Never Give
Bread is generally safe for cats because it lacks ingredients that could be harmful to them, but there are some kinds that should never be given to a cat.
1. Rising Dough
Active yeast is present in raw bread dough. Intestinal blockage and severe stomach distress can result if the dough continues to rise in your cat’s stomach.
If you must feed your cat bread, make sure it is thoroughly baked. So, don’t feed her bread that’s been toasted or burned.
2. Raisin Bread & Garlic Bread
Toxic and possibly fatal for your cat are foods like raisins and garlic. Don’t risk your cat’s health by feeding it bread that has garlic or onions.
Chives (such as those found in chive cream cheese), too much salt or butter, chocolate spreads, or caramelized onions are also not recommended.
Do Kittens and Toast Mix as Well as Peanut Butter and Jam? Certainly not
Can bread be fed to a cat? Sure.
Why should they? No, absolutely not.
Bread is completely worthless as a source of nutrition. Dry cat food, wet cat food, and/or raw food can all provide adequate nutrition for your feline friend. To rephrase: you can get by without cats and bread.
However, a small piece of bread can be a tasty treat for your cat or kitten on occasion. She shouldn’t eat it every day; it’s just a treat.
You should check the ingredient list before giving your cat a small piece of bread on special occasions. Stay away from breads that use unhealthy additives like dyes and preservatives.
Don’t give it to your cat if you wouldn’t give it to your kids as a rule of thumb.
Before feeding your cat bread or any other “people food,” you should consult with your veterinarian if she suffers from any underlying health conditions, such as obesity, feline diabetes, cancer, or kidney disease.
Similarly, if your cat exhibits any signs of gastrointestinal distress after eating bread (such as bloating, gas, or vomiting), then you should stop feeding her bread immediately. Simply put, you shouldn’t bother.