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Can Cats Eat Bread? Should They Eat it?

can cats eat bread

Cats are, without a doubt, our favorite companions. For that reason, we love to spoil them, but also treat them as humans as well and feed them with things that we love to eat. Only a few can resist trying a slice of freshly baked bread, but should we share it with our cat? Can cats eat bread?

Some cat owners admit their cat enjoys a bite or two because they love it. However, even though cats can sometimes beg to get bread, we need to make sure that this food won’t harm them. So, here is what some vets say about this question.

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can cats eat bread

Can Cats Eat Bread?

First, bread is a carbohydrate, which should not be included in a cat’s diet that often. When asked the question – can cats eat bread? Dr. Amy Farcas from San Francisco’s Veterinary Nutrition Care says feeding bread should be limited. As she explains, The reason for that is that cats require a diet high in protein and fat. We need to be careful with how we feed our cats because we wouldn’t like them to get overweight. This can lead to many health conditions.

This means that even if your cat goes crazy for bread, you should avoid it. Remember that a small piece of bread wouldn’t harm your cat. The problem occurs when you include bread and carbohydrates in their regular diet. Feeding your cat with protein and using commercial cat food means she is getting enough calories. Any treats or snacks the cat gets as an addition to their balanced diet should not exceed 5-10 percent of the daily calories. In other words, an occasional bite of bread won’t be a problem because cats can digest and absorb carbohydrates easily.

Alternatives to Bread for Treats

Considering the dietary needs of cats, there are numerous healthier alternatives to bread for treating your furry friend. These options provide protein and nutrients in a far more suitable form and are beneficial for cats. Cats thrive on a diet rich in proteins and fats, which mirrors their ancestral hunting patterns. Fortunately, numerous nutritious and appealing alternatives to bread can serve as treats. 

Commercial Cat Treats

The market has a lot of commercial cat treats that fit cats’ nutritional needs and taste preferences. These treats often contain meat or fish as their primary ingredient, making them an excellent source of protein. They also have vitamins and minerals crucial for a cat’s health. When selecting commercial treats, look for those with high-quality ingredients and avoid those with unnecessary fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Cooked Meats

Cooked chicken, turkey, beef, or fish can be excellent cat treat options. These should be prepared plainly, without adding seasonings, onions, garlic, or sauces, which can harm cats. Cooking meat thoroughly destroys harmful bacteria, making it safe for your cat to consume. Always cut the meat into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking.


Many cats enjoy the taste of fish, making it a popular treat choice. Small amounts of cooked, boneless fish like salmon or tuna can be offered as treats. However, fish should be given in moderation to prevent mercury exposure and to maintain a balanced diet.

Specialty Cat Treats

Special cat treats focusing on specific health benefits, such as dental health, joint support, or hairball control, are also available. These treats are made to provide additional health benefits beyond the basic nutritional value, making them a smart choice for pet owners looking to address particular health challenges.

Homemade Cat Treats

Creating your own cat treats can be a rewarding experience for those who enjoy homemade solutions. Homemade treats can be made from simple ingredients like chicken, turkey, or fish. These can be baked or dehydrated to create a crunchy treat that cats love. Homemade treats give you control over the ingredients used, ensuring that your cat is getting a healthy and safe snack.

can cats eat bread

What Types of Bread Your Cat Should Never Have?

If you decide to treat your cat with some carbohydrates, remember that some types of bread they should never have. Avoid rising dough because it contains active yeast, which can lead to intestinal blockage in your feline.  Also, this bread can cause serious gastrointestinal upset. Other types of bread to avoid are raisin bread and garlic bread, which can be toxic and even lethal to your cat.

can cats eat bread

Do Cats and Bread Go Together?

To sum up, we can’t say that bread completely harms cats. Also, we can’t advise you to include it in their diet. The conclusion would be that a small amount of bread wouldn’t hurt your feline. But this doesn’t mean that you should give them bread every day. The key to a healthy lifestyle for your cat is a balanced diet. Ensure you include protein sources and fat, and keep your cat healthy.


Is bread toxic to cats?

No, bread is not toxic to cats in small amounts. However, it’s not nutritionally beneficial for them, and you should not give it to your cat often. Additionally, certain bread can contain ingredients harmful to cats, such as garlic, onions, raisins, or chocolate, which should always be avoided.

How often can I give my cat bread?

Bread should be considered an occasional treat, not a regular part of your cat’s diet. Limiting bread treats to once a week or less is advisable, providing that it constitutes no more than 10% of their total caloric intake. Even then, it’s better to opt for healthier treat alternatives that provide nutritional value.

Can feeding bread to my cat lead to health issues?

While an occasional small piece of bread is unlikely to cause immediate harm, regularly feeding your cat bread can contribute to health issues such as obesity and diabetes due to its high carbohydrate content.

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