Can Cats Eat Bread?

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Bread for cats: nontoxic? Probably. Safe? That depends on your definition of safe.

Picture it: You’re buttering up some bread for a tasty sandwich, and your cat ambles by. A wistful meow, and those big golden eyes start begging you for a bite. Should you share? Bread is a favorite food for many humans. Sandwiches, toast, and rolls are staples in many people’s diets, but can cats eat bread? 

You enjoy sharing everything from cuddles to food with your cat. The question will naturally arise if cats can eat bread.  Let’s break this question down into its parts.

Is Bread Safe for Cats to Eat? 

The short answer is yes. Cats can safely enjoy the same normal bread you eat. Don’t panic if your kitty snatches a roll from your kitchen table and takes a bite. A nibble or two of bread shouldn’t make your cat sick.

There is always the chance of a rare allergic reaction of an ingredient in the bread, but this is highly unlikely and shouldn’t be severe. Your cat has likely been exposed to small amounts of the ingredients in bread before, so if she has no known allergies, she should be fine.

Do Cats Like Bread?

As we all know, every cat is unique. Not all cats like the same cat food, and not all cats will like bread.

Some cats love bread, and some don’t like it at all. The internet is full of stories about cats who grab biscuits from the breakfast table or croutons from the top of a caesar salad. Some cats have even torn open a bag of sandwich bread from a grocery delivery, owners report. But your cat may not be interested in more than a passing sniff.

Cats may be more likely to enjoy bread with meat on it (think: sandwich!) or butter (think: toast!), since those are more in line with a cat’s nutritional needs, and often more fragrant.

Are Cats Allergic to Bread? 

Most cats won’t have allergies to the common ingredients in bread. Your most basic bread is crafted from simple ingredients: wheat flour, salt, and water. None of these ingredients are particularly allergenic for cats. Other bread recipes are more complicated. Bread ingredients can include sugar, oil,

Is bread bad for cats?

While cats shouldn’t have a problem with white bread, other kinds could cause them digestive problems. It’s best to avoid garlic bread, sweetened bread, onion bread, and raisin bread. Don’t give you cat bread with chocolate swirls or chocolate chips, walnuts or other nuts, or too many seeds. Some of these items will only cause digestive distress, such as walnuts. However, others can cause deadly complications, such as raisins or chocolate.

Is bread bad for cats?
Is bread bad for cats?

Can Cats Eat Raw Bread Dough? 

Never give uncooked bread dough to your cat. Just like eating raw bread dough would you sick, raw bread dough can make cats sick. so keep them away when you’re baking bread. Not only that, but the sticky texture can present a choking hazard for your kitty.

Additionally, many raw doughs contain naturally occurring or added yeasts. If the raw dough contains enough yeast, it could expand in your cat’s stomach. This can cause great discomfort. If the expansion is extreme enough, it could even cause an intestinal blockage or other medical emergency.

Does Bread Have Nutrients? 

Of course bread has macronutrients – primarily carbohydrates – but what about the micro nutrition that cats need to stay healthy?

Different breads vary greatly in nutrient payloads, but one thing most breads have in common is that those nutrients can be difficult to absorb and assimilate, even for omnivores and herbivores. Additionally, many breads have been highly processed and the nutrition originally in the grain may have been lost altogether. Breads made with sprouted grains and sourdough breads have more nutrients that are accessible once digested.

However, a cat’s digestive system is expecting animal products as an input, and is not likely to absorb many nutrients even from the most digestible bread. Look for other sources of nutrition for your cat’s meals and snacks.

Can Cats Eat Bread?

Just because cats enjoy eating bread doesn’t mean that they should do so regularly. Cats are carnivores, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, so their bodies are geared for digesting proteins and fats. Bread is primarily carbohydrates. So bread usually won’t make your cat sick, but it shouldn’t be a large part of his diet for long-term health. Too much bread over the long term can cause weight gain, inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies.

Even though a bite or two of a buttered roll is not likely to harm your cat, it could still cause indigestion. Even short term, too much bread could cause your cat to experience constipation or diarrhea.

If your cat already has a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease, keep your cat strictly on his prescribed diet.

Cats should be fed a species appropriate diet – usually high quality wet food and/or kibble. If you’re looking for human food to share with your cat as an occasional treat, a bite of yogurt or meat is a better choice. However, fear not, as there are unlikely to be dire consequences if your silly, sneaky cat ate a bite of bread.

Can Cats Eat Wheat Bread?

Wheat bread is one of the most common breads. Wheat bread is not likely to hurt your cat, but should not be eaten in any great quantity or with any regularity. Cats needs to be eating a species appropriate, animal-based diet.

Can Cats Eat Banana Bread?

If the banana bread doesn’t contain other add-ins like chocolate, raisins, or nuts, it may be safe for your cat. However, many banana bread contain ingredients other than bananas that could be harmful to your cat. Nuts can cause digestive distress, and raisins and chocolate are toxic to felines.

Is White Bread Safe for Cats?

White bread is fairly harmless and will not likely harm your cat if you cat takes a bite every now and then.

Is Rye Bread Safe For Cats?

Rye bread is generally non-toxic for cats in small quantities.. However, it is not safe for cats to eat large quantities of over a long period of time.

Is Garlic Bread Safe For Cats?

Garlic is toxic to cats. Cats should not eat garlic or other alliums in any form, including in garlic bread.

Why Do Cats Love Bread?

Although cats are carnivores, they may be intrigued by “new” foods that are not species appropriate. Think: Doritos aren’t appropriate and healthy for us to eat, but we love them anyway. Similarly, some cats may enjoy the taste and texture of bread, even though their bodies are not designed to digest it well.

Can Cats Eat Pumpkin Bread?

If the pumpkin bread doesn’t contain other add-ins like raisins, chocolate or nuts, it may be safe for your cat. However, many pumpkin bread contain extra ingredients that could be harmful to your cat. Nuts can cause digestive distress, and raisins and chocolate are toxic to felines.

Can cats eat bread?
Can cats eat bread?

Kelsey Madison

Kelsey Madison is a cat lover, fostering enthusiast, part time vet tech & writer. She has fostered close to 300 animals over the last 10+ years, and currently has 3 beautiful tabby cats who love to stick their faces in her morning lattes. She is passionate about helping others develop a deeper understanding of their beloved felines and learn more about fostering.