Today’s question: Can cats eat oatmeal?
Oatmeal is considered to be one of the most healthiest breakfast foods for us humans. It’s a great source of energy and many important nutrients such as iron and vitamin B-6. As you love your cat, you might want to share this healthy breakfast food with her. However, is oatmeal good for cats as well? Can cats even eat oatmeal?
Can Cats Eat Oatmeal?
The quick answer is yes, cats can eat oatmeal, but only in small portions. Cats have different dietary needs compared to us humans, and what is healthy for us, is not necessarily healthy for cats. Cats could benefit from a little bit of oatmeal, but only if the oatmeal does not contain milk. Also, remember that your cat is an obligate carnivore whose diet needs to contain plenty of animal protein.
Oatmeal Is Okay, but Only in Small Amounts
As cats are obligate carnivores their diet needs to be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Unfortunately, oatmeal contains a lot of carbohydrates, but not that much protein. Oatmeal cannot provide your cat with all of the nutrients she needs and because of that, oatmeal wouldn’t make a good main meal for your cat. It can only be given to cats as small treats to compliment their main food.
Making Oatmeal Porridge for Cats
When you are making oatmeal for yourself, then you might like to cook the oats in milk. That’s something you cannot do if you plan to share the oatmeal with your feline friend. As most cats are lactose intolerant, they cannot eat oatmeal cooked with milk.
However, if you use water instead of milk, then giving your cat a little bit of oatmeal is fine. You should also go easy on the salt, though, as cats have a low tolerance to salt.
As a cat is not likely to want to eat plain oatmeal, the best way to serve some oatmeal to you cat is to combine it with wet cat food.
Is Oatmeal Good for Cats
Although oatmeal is not suitable for cats as the main meal, it can still offer some valuable nutrients to our feline friends.
For one, oatmeal is a really good source of iron. Iron is essential for your cat’s blood health and proper function of certain enzymes. Iron deficiency in cats can lead to anemia.
For two, adding a little bit of oatmeal to your cat’s regular food will also help her get more vitamin B-6 and calcium. Vitamin B-6 is needed for the body to utilize amino acids, and cats who eat a protein-rich diet, actually have a rather high need of vitamin B-6. Calcium is important for many things as well. It’s necessary for your cat’s bones and blood to be healthy and proper functioning of muscles and nerves.
Can Cats Eat Oatmeal Cookies?
Oatmeal cookies are undoubtedly the best thing we’ve learned to make out of oats. They are just as nutritious as oatmeal porridge, but have a crunchy texture and sweet taste. If you have made or bought some oatmeal cookies, then you might be tempted to give a piece to your cat, but can cats eat oatmeal cookies?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Oatmeal cookies often contain raisins and chocolate, which are both toxic to cats. Even if you manage to find oatmeal cookies that don’t contain these two dangerous ingredients, then the cookies will still contain quite a lot of sugar and calories.
The recommended daily calorie intake for cats is 200 to 300 calories. One single oatmeal cookie is already likely to contain around 100 calories. Therefore, if you would give your cat some oatmeal cookies, then she is very likely to exceed her normal daily calorie intake. If that happens only once, then that’s not a big deal. However, if you’d regularly give your cat sugary treats, then it’s likely to cause weight gain and many health problems like diabetes.
Conclusion on Can Cats Eat Oatmeal?
To sum it up, cats can eat a oatmeal, but there are a few important thing to keep in mind. Oatmeal can be a healthy treat for your cat, but it’s best to only give your cat a very small portion at a time. Also, remember that oatmeal made with milk is not suitable for cats, and that oatmeal cookies and other sugary treats have no place in a healthy feline diet.