Bread is important to most of the world’s population. It is prepared from a dough of flour mainly from wheat species and water, yeast is then added and is allowed to rise, and finally, it is baked in an oven. The nutritional yeast is safe for consumption.
Bread is a staple food to people from most continents except for South and East Asians, whose staple food is rice and noodles. It is a good source of carbohydrates and nutrients such as magnesium, iron, Vitamin B, selenium, and fiber.
Due to its popularity, you are most likely to find it in most of the kitchens. If they come across it, your cats will be delighted to take a bite, and there is no cause for alarm whenever this happens since it is not toxic hence will not affect them.
Why do Cats Love Bread?
Some cats are obsessed with bread. Cat’s parents have complained of losing a bagel because the cat cut through the paper just to have a taste of the bread. You may have come across videos of other cats trying to steal bread from their parent’s plates or even cupboards if they are within reach. The main reason for this behavior is that cats love, and some crave the taste of nutritional yeast used in baking bread. This yeast is grown in sugarcane or beet molasses and comes in the form of flakes or yellow powder.
The Nutritional yeast has been used as an incentive for cats who get fussy about their food. Once sprinkled on their food, they will eat the entire bowl. Yet, it would be best if you were careful not to overdose the nutritional yeast to your kitty as there are concerns that it contains phosphorus, which can cause fatal problems for cats with renal failure. Some cat food manufacturers use nutritional yeast as part of their flavorings to better the taste of their cat food, although it has no nutritional value.
Is Bread Bad for cats?
Although bread is not bad for cats, it does not add any nutritional value to a cat’s diet. It contains carbohydrates, which is not a nutritional requirement for cats. Bread also has fiber, and although this is important for their digestive tract, it is not designed to handle very high quantities.
Cats require high animal-based protein as their bodies are designed to breakdown a meat-based diet. Bread is a carb-rich and low-protein snack which lacks the essential amino acids as per the cat’s nutrition requirements. It does not benefit your kitty, and too much consumption may lead to the path of obesity. Even so, cats can digest carbohydrates found in kibble and canned cat food.
Bread has been termed an ’empty calories diet, and when feeding it to your cats, you should consider their overall health. If your cat has diabetes, please consult your vet before giving him any bread to avoid further health complications.
What Should I really avoid when feeding bread to Cats?
Unbaked bread dough is very dangerous for cats. The stomach’s warm and moist environment causes the uncooked dough to expand, leading to stomach distention and bloating. This could lead to a digestive tract blockage that could turn out to be life-threatening depending on how much the cat ingests.
Once in the stomach, yeast ferments the carbohydrates in the dough to produce ethanol, alcohol, and carbon dioxide. This alcohol is absorbed into the cat’s bloodstream leading to dangerous health conditions like respiratory failure or seizures.
Raising bread as well as garlic & onion flavored bread contain ingredients that are toxic and potentially lethal to your kitty. If ingested in large doses, these ingredients can cause anemia and organ failure. Therefore, they should never be fed to cats, even in moderation.
While a slice of plain toast can be considered okay for your cat, any toppings that you may have added are not. These toppings, including Nutella, jelly, butter, and peanut butter, might contain artificial sweeteners that are harmful to cats.
Savoury and sweet bread contains caffeine, chocolate, and macadamia nuts ingredients, which are also considered to be toxic for our furry friends. If your cat consumes any of the forbidden ingredients, he might show the following symptoms;
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- High body temperature
- Increased thirst
- Trouble in breathing
- Reduced appetite
- Orange or dark red urine
Avoiding these ingredients will not only ensure that your kitty stays healthy, but it will also save you the cost that would have been incurred in treatment. In case your kitty ingests any of the ingredients, consult your veterinarian immediately for medical assistance.
How much bread is safe for Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivorous, which means that most of their diets should consist of meat. Overfeeding them with bread could result in health issues. Ideally, this means that only 10% or less of the cat’s diet should include treats such as bread. Instead of feeding them bread treats, you can give treats specially made for cats as a substitute.
How to feed bread to your cat
If your cat loves bread and you have ensured that there are no allergies associated with its consumption, you can use it to administer oral medication. However, ensure that you consult with the vet to be sure whether the medication can be given with food.
While bread is not bad for cats, you should understand that a balanced diet is the main concern whenever you feed him. Frequent consumption of bread could deprive him of nutrients leading to deficiency-related health complications. Once ingested, the carbohydrates will be broken down to sugar, which may attract bad bacteria into your kitty’s mouth. Over time, the bacteria cause plaque build-up leading to gum disease and tooth decay. It is therefore recommended to feed the cat with lean proteins instead of bread treats. Also, always check on your cat’s reaction to bread as some may develop an allergic reaction and stomach upset with time. In case this happens, consult your vet immediately.