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Can Cats Eat Bread?

By Stacy Painter
December 1, 2021 • 1 min. read
outdoor cat with bread

The quick answer: Yes, in very small amounts.

Bread for cats

cat with breadCats are carnivores, and because bread consists mainly of carbohydrates, cats don’t have any need for it in their diets. A small nibble here and there won’t hurt, but it’s best to limit your cat’s consumption of bread as much as possible. 

In an article by Chewy, associate professor of nutrition in the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Julie A. Churchill says healthy cats at their ideal body weight can eat small amounts of bread. The article states, “For an average cat that needs about 200-250 calories per day, bread (or any other food), should make up no more than about 20 calories,” which would be a small cube of bread about the size of your pinky fingernail. “More than this could upset the balance of the cat’s nutrition,” says Churchill.

Hazards of bread for cats

Avoid unbaked yeast dough: Though plain, baked bread is safe for pets in moderation, unbaked yeast dough is strictly off-limits for cats and dogs. Yeast produces carbon dioxide and ethanol as byproducts. The expansion of gases inside a pet’s stomach can cause serious complications, and the ethanol can absorb into the bloodstream and cause alcohol toxicity.

Overweight cats should not eat bread: You may have heard of the term “empty calories” which is the last thing an overweight cat needs. Bread offers no nutritional value and could lead to further weight gain.

No flavored or seasoned breads: When it comes to your cat, stick to plain ol’ bread. Added toppings like oil, butter, or seasonings such as garlic or salt can cause health complications for a cat.

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By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for a pet insurance company was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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