In the UK alone we consume over 450,000,000 loaves each year. That’s a lot of bread! With such popularity it’s no wonder many of us query whether our feline friends can get in on the carby action. Whilst you might think cats would have no interest in bread, take one look at Reddit and you’ll see many a post shared by puzzled owners outing their cats for having stolen their bread. This really answers our question, as yes, cats can eat bread and it’s not toxic to them. Sure bread may not be toxic, but the real question we should be asking is whether your kitty should be eating the stuff, and if it offers them any kind of benefit…
Can cats eat bread?
@lexiyounng We finally found out who has been stealing the bread off the counter #fyp #comedy #cat #catsoftiktok #funny #funnycat #foryourpage ♬ bad guy（meow version） - funny
As this video proves cats can eat bread and will even do some feisty things to get their mitts on it. However, just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a diet high in animal protein to thrive. Meat and fish provide essential amino acids like taurine that your kitty is unable to make in their own body.
The phrase obligate carnivore often gets misinterpreted as meaning your cat should only eat meat or fish. This is a crude and gross misinterpretation. Quality non animal nutrients like water help deliver other core requirements like carbohydrate, fibre and fat as well as providing a whole host of nutritional benefits to keep our kitties healthy.
How much bread can a cat eat?
As we’ve just flagged, your cat does need some carbohydrates. Carbs should make up around 10%-15% of a cat's diet. Bread is roughly 49% carbohydrates, so not something to solely feed your cat as it would be way above over your kitty’s recommended intake. Therefore, you should NEVER feed your cat a diet of bread alone.
If your cat does want to eat bread, a little nibble of plain bread now and then won’t cause any harm as it's not toxic. Just make sure it’s only a very special treat and not given on a regular basis.
Types of bread your cat should NEVER eat
Not all bread are feline friendly. Step away from the garlic bread...You should never feed your cat bread that contains any toxic ingredients like garlic or is spread with anything harmful or toxic like peanut butter (typically contain xylitol). Here are the other toxic ingredients to avoid:
- Any kind of Allium species e.g. onions, garlic, chives, leeks
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia Nuts
Raw dough is another no no. Raw dough will expand in your cat's tummy causing some unpleasant side effects like boating and gas. The uncooked yeast in raw dough can also ferment, producing ethanol (alchy) and CO2, which we also now know is toxic.
Albeit rare, if your cat has a gluten intolerance or allergy, you should avoid feeding any kind of gluten-containing bread. Similarly, if you have a diabetic cat bread is best avoided as your cat will need a diet restricted in carbs.
What happens if a cat eats bread?
If you have caught your cat bread-handed don’t panic as it’s not harmful. However, you will want to prevent your kitty getting their mitts on it again. As we’ve mentioned bread doesn’t contain the nutrients your kitty needs to thrive, and is also pretty calorific. One slice is equivalent to roughly 1/5 of your cats daily needs, which makes the chances of the beginnings of a paunch much more likely.
Help! My cat’s obsessed with bread
If you’ve caught your cat sneaking into the bread bin one too many times, it’s no loafing matter. The easiest way to stop your cat from eating bread is to prevent any access. Go all out on a stylish new bread bin, the cat proof kind. No mean feat if your cat is as cunning as our Boo. Our recco would be a clip and lock airtight bread bin. If your cat manages to get into one of these, let us know, as you’ve got a genius on your hands!
Better than sliced bread
The next step will be to find a treat they love just as much and is healthy for them too! Look for a cat treat that’s packed with plenty of quality ingredients, lots of tasty animal meat or fish from a named source, aka not “meat and animal derivatives”. You'll also want to avoid any added sugar or salt, and nasty artificial additives and preservatives which can play havoc on your cats’ tum. Make sure to support this with a complete food such as our Turkey wet food.
Check out these little loafs...
The Master Baker
The Cat Sandwich
The Bread Head