Ahh, bread. It’s amazing. Human beings all across the world eat a variety of bread.
From the saltless bread in Tuscany to the ever popular naan and the unbeatable bagel, every culture has their own type of bread. And frankly, they’re all pretty good.
But what about cats? Can cats eat bread?
All cat owners know that cats are often interested in what’s on our plates. Whether you’re eating a ham sandwich or enjoying a piece of garlic bread with your spaghetti, your cat is likely to try and snag a bite for themselves.
Luckily for your kitty, most bread is perfectly harmless as long as they are only eaten in very small quantities. Some bread is not good for cats, though, and it’s important to be sure you are only offering your cat a nibble of safe bread.
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
Human beings have been eating bread pretty much for the entirety of human history. While it’s gotten a bad rap in recent years (carbs, anyone?), it’s still a staple food around much of the world.
No matter the variety, bread contains a lot of complex carbohydrates, and many commercial types of bread contain sugar. Since cats rely on a diet primarily made up of protein, they get very little nutritional benefit from bread.
But your cat doesn’t care about nutritional benefits – they want what they want. So, it’s up to you, the owner, to make sure you are only giving your cat bread that won’t harm them, and always give it in small quantities.
We’re not sure what’s going on here between this cat and this loaf of bread…but it seems serious.
Flour is the main ingredient in bread, and flour is roughly 80% carbohydrate. While bread does contain limited amounts of protein and fat, it’s basically just one, big, tasty carb. Kind of like a handful of pretzels.
While bread is unlikely to make your cat ill or cause any sort of dangerous allergic reaction or digestive upset, you should think twice before making your cat toast in the morning.
Bread can be fed to cats in tiny quantities as a treat, and only once and a while. Because bread is filling and contains virtually none of the nutrition that cats need, it’s sort of a waste of calories.
You’re better off feeding your cat a high-quality cat food, such as Taste of the Wild, which is grain-free and contains all the protein your kitty needs.
That way, you can feel good about giving your cat a nibble of bread now and again. Also, keep this in mind if you have a nice spaghetti dinner with some bread.
Naan bread is an oven-baked flatbread that is commonly found in the Middle East and Asia. It’s pretty delicious and is gaining in popularity even outside its countries of origin.
Luckily for your cat, plain naan bread does not contain anything that will harm them. Other than being high in carbs and occasionally made with buttermilk and ghee, it’s not much different from other types of bread from a nutritional point of view.
Watch out for naan bread that is seasoned, as some naan contains garlic, which is bad for cats.
Sadly, garlic bread is the one bread you and your cat can’t share.
Garlic is especially bad for your cat’s health, as it belongs to a family of plants called the “allium plants.” There are certain properties in garlic which can break down and damage your cat’s red blood cells, which will make it hard for the cells to carry oxygen throughout your cat’s body.
Garlic bread also generally contains oil and salt, which can be harmful to your cat in large quantities.
Fortunately, most cats don’t like the smell or taste of garlic and won’t want a bite of your garlic bread anyway.
It’s never a good idea to give your kitten bread. While it’s unlikely to do them any harm, growing kittens need a diet that is rich in protein to help them grow. There’s no room for too many unhealthy treats, even if you have a kitten that overeats!
When you are the pet parent of a very young kitten, it’s best to feed them a healthy diet of high-quality kitten food, such as Blue Wilderness Grain Free Kitten Food, which is high in protein and contains all the vitamins and minerals your kitten needs.
While kittens shouldn’t eat bread, they are certainly welcome to wear it as a hat. No judgment.
Other than making your cat happy, there are few benefits to feeding your cat some bread. It contains little to no nutrition for your cat, and it is very filling, which leaves less room for the food that they need.
If your cat just won’t stop asking for a taste of bread, you can give them a little bit without worrying that it will harm them. However, keep the following in mind:
This cat is practicing perfect portion control- just a tiny bit of bread goes a long way
Is your cat crazy for carbs? Well, there are plenty of cat treats that have a similar consistency to bread, especially crunchy bread, such as Friskies Party Mix. While these treats are caloric, they can be a great alternative to bread.
Hilariously enough, there are also cat beds that are made to look like a slice of bread. Don’t believe us? Check it out.
While this bed won’t curb your cats craving for bread, it’s still pretty amazing.
Yes, cats can eat plain bread in small quantities. Avoid giving them too much, and stay away from any seasoned loaves of bread, especially garlic bread.
Overall, bread is a safe snack for your cat to enjoy sparingly. Whole wheat bread is your best bet, as it contains the most nutrition. And, as with all “people foods,” remember to watch them carefully to make sure they don’t get sick!
What about popcorn, then? Find out here if cats can eat popcorn!
Does your cat beg for bread every time you make a sandwich? How do you handle it? Have you found the perfect feline alternative to bread? Let us know in the comments, we want to hear all about it.
After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I’ve been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I’ve been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.