Who doesn’t love a big bowl of pasta? Quite possibly one of the most popular starchy comfort foods, pasta is a weekly staple in most households. But can your feline also enjoy macaroni or linguine with you every now and then?
According to experts – maybe. Italians are safe for many cats and can be sampled from time to time. However, like most human foods, there are some safety factors (and potential dangers to keep in mind) that you should consider before eating pasta for your cat.
Can cats eat pasta?
Like many foods your pet may be interested in, pasta isn’t inherently dangerous, it’s how it’s prepared. The basic ingredients of pasta—flour, water, and eggs—can usually be eaten by cats. The shape of the pasta also doesn’t matter, as it’s soft in texture, so your cat can taste it whether you like rotini or linguine.
That being said, while the ingredients in pasta won’t cause any major health problems for your cat, they also don’t provide much nutritional value. Cats are carnivores, so they should get most of their food nutrition from protein sources such as fish or chicken. In fact, protein deficiency is a serious condition that can cause dangerous health problems in cats, which is why if you’re feeding your cat human food, you may want to supplement them with healthier, more nutritious options. diet, such as salmon, fruits and vegetables, and even certain types of cheese.
While it’s true that grains can find their way into many cat (and dog) foods, these substances are only used to add bulk and bind the food, and don’t provide any significant nutritional value for our four-legged friends. Pasta also lacks important vitamins and minerals that felines (and their human counterparts) need every day.
Italy confronts cat hazards
But, while pasta isn’t necessarily “good” for your cat, an occasional bite certainly won’t hurt him or her, as long as the pasta is plain and not coated in any tomato or creamy sauce (probably too sour or creamy and high fat), butter or any other ingredient. Some ingredients in many pasta dishes, such as garlic, onions, or salt, can be toxic to cats and dogs, so you definitely don’t want to share prepared pasta at a restaurant. Anything high in salt, sugar, fat and additives will not be good for your cat, including pasta and its toppings.
Another type of pasta to avoid is any pasta that has been processed (think spaghetti), and instant noodles that can have added sodium. Cats cannot tolerate high amounts of sodium, so eating salty or processed noodles can have serious consequences for your kitty.
Other dangers associated with cats eating pasta include increasing their risk of obesity and other weight-related problems. Some cats may also have difficulty digesting pasta, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea. It’s also possible that your cat has a wheat allergy, in which case they should definitely ditch pasta and any other starchy staples.
How to safely serve pasta to your cat
Always consult with your veterinarian before serving pasta or any other human food to your cat, as each kitten has unique health needs and your veterinarian can advise you on whether it is safe to share pasta. If you get the green light, start with a small bite or two and see how your cat responds. Avoid serving your cat pasta again if they show any signs of digestive issues or other health problems. If your cat does seem to like pasta, keep in mind that spaghetti should only be offered in small amounts every now and then – it certainly shouldn’t be part of their daily diet.
Another thing to keep in mind is that raw pasta should never be served to cats. Their bodies are not equipped to digest raw noodles, and if their paws happen to touch some dry noodles, it is likely to cause digestive discomfort. If your cat is exploring your countertop while you’re making dinner and accidentally eats some dry pasta, contact your veterinarian for guidance and watch for any symptoms of an upset stomach.