Can Cats Eat Donuts? - Cat Kingpin
Can Cats Eat Donuts

Can Cats Eat Donuts?

Who doesn’t love a donut? Perhaps the ultimate guilty pleasure, it’s estimated that some 10 billion donuts are eaten each year in the United States alone!

Everyone knows that donuts aren’t a health food, but are they as bad for cats as they are for people? Can cats eat donuts?

Perhaps more importantly, are donuts as yummy to our feline companions as they are for us?

In this article we’ll cover the following:

  • Cats and Donuts, What You Need to Know
  • Can Cats Eat Donuts?
  • Can Kittens Eat Donuts?
  • Benefits/Drawbacks to Cats Eating Donuts
  • Healthy Alternatives to Donuts for Cats

Cats and Donuts, What You Need to Know

Donuts are a fried dough confection often eaten for breakfast and sometimes as a dessert food. Most typically, donuts are served in a round, ring form, though many other shapes without a middle hole are also popular.

Much like bread, the common ingredients in donuts include grain flour, water, leavening, eggs, milk, sugar, oil, and shortening. Many donuts come covered with various toppings or icing, and some are filled with jelly, custard, or “creme.”

Small pieces of donuts are often referred to as donut holes. Coffee and donuts is a popular combination at donut shops, though they are commonly paired with milk as well.

Cats gain most of their nutrition from eating meat. So, it’s easy to see that our feline friends won’t get much out of eating one of these sweet treats.

Can Cats Eat Donuts?

Yes, as long as they don’t contain chocolate, your cat can eat donuts, at least in small amounts. However, the real question is: should your cat eat donuts?

First of all, donuts are a pretty poor choice nutritionally for your cats. As obligage carnivores, all they really need to eat to satisfy their nutritional requirements is meat.

Secondly, since cats don’t really have a sweet tooth, don’t be surprised if they simply aren’t interested in eating donuts.

Despite the fact that donuts are low in many of the nutrients your cat actually needs for a balanced diet, many kittys do seem to like them. Let’s watch the video below and see.

Can Kittens Eat Donuts?

Kittens are more susceptible than adult cats to most things because they are tiny and have not yet fully developed. Potentially harmful ingredients, such as chocolate, are more likely to affect a kitten than an adult cat.

Similarly, kittens could be more sensitive to the laxative effects from the fiber in donuts. This could cause diarrhea, possibly leading to dehydration and a trip to the vet.

Instead of donuts, why not try giving your kitten a healthy kitten food like Blue Wilderness kitten food? This type of food has everything your kitten needs to grow up big and strong, without anything that could cause harm.

Benefits/Drawbacks to Cats Eating Donuts

Donuts without chocolate ingredients or icing are normally a safe snack for your cat, but they aren’t really good for them.

While donuts do contain essential nutrients such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, along with fiber, they are high in sugar, fat, and calories, making them unhealthy for people or cats.

While cats can enjoy a diet proportionately higher in fats than humans without any negative effects, that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. The main problem with cats eating a high-fat diet is they could become overweight.

Even more concerning is that many donuts contain chocolate or are covered chocolate icing. Chocolate contains the chemical compound theobromine, which can be toxic to both dogs and cats.

As cats do not have taste receptors for sweetness, you don’t often hear about chocolate poisoning in cats. This is because chocolate is usually an ingredient in sweetened foods.

However, cats are also affected and may even be more sensitive to theobromine than dogs. Theobromine can impact a cat’s body in several ways including:

  • Increases heart rate
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Increases loss of fluids because it’s a diuretic
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Relaxes smooth muscles

Because the highest level of theobromine are found in dark and baker’s chocolate, the reality is that most cats won’t be harmed by eating small amounts of donuts, even ones with chocolate.

However, why risk your beloved pet’s health by giving them something that contains chemicals known to be poisonous to them?

The cat in the following video seems to recognize the threat posed by the evil chocolate donut:

Additionally, as the main ingredient is flour made from grains, donuts usually contain moderate amounts of fiber. Cats don’t need fiber in their diet, and eating food containing fiber can result in runny stools and messy litter boxes.

The truth is you’re better off never giving your cat donuts.

Healthy Alternatives to Donuts for Cats

There are many healthy alternatives to feeding your cat donuts.

For cats that like a little more variety in their diet, there are Sheba cat sticks that come in chicken, tuna, beef, and salmon flavors. They’ll keep things interesting for your feline friend.

In general, it’s best to stick with giving your feline companion a high-quality cat food like Blue Wilderness. It’s grain-free and is primarily made with meat.

So, Can Cats Eat Donuts?

Now you know that cats can eat donuts, though only in small amounts, and never if they are made with chocolate icing or ingredients.

Because of their sweet taste, not all cats are interested in eating donuts and they are a poor choice for your cat nutritionally-speaking. Make sure your cat gets the bulk of their diet from a high-quality, meat-based cat food, such as Wellness or Taste of the Wild.

What did you think of this post? If you have any questions or would like to share a story about your cat and a healthy snack they really enjoy, please tell us in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

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Phil R.

Phil’s lifelong love of animals began as a young boy growing up with three pet dogs. As a teenager and young adult, Phil spent six years working as a veterinary technician, later earning a B.S. in Animal Science. After college, Phil continued working as a vet tech part-time while caring for a private collection of mountain lions used in wildlife educational programs. During this time, Phil volunteered at the Dallas Zoo and was eventually offered a position as a zookeeper in the zoo’s naturalistic Wilds of Africa area. Phil became the primary keeper for a black leopard named “Grady” and a caracal named “Tut” in the predator/prey exhibit.

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