It’s a constant temptation to occasionally give our cats some of our food just as a little treat. After all, a lot of the time, they seem to love our food as much as we do! Unfortunately, not all people foods are safe for our pets to consume. That means we shouldn’t be feeding our cats bites off our plates unless we know for certain that it won’t harm them.
Many people wonder whether there are any types of bread that are safe for cats to eat. So, today, we’ll look at the ever-popular and tasty cornbread. Can cats eat cornbread? Is it healthy for them? The good news is cats can eat cornbread as it is not toxic; the bad news is that it isn’t really healthy for them.
Is Cornbread Healthy for Cats?
You’ve likely noticed that corn and corn byproducts are fairly common ingredients in cat foods. Corn is a natural and whole food ingredient that provides essential fatty acids, protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidants.
That means a little bite of cornbread isn’t going to be toxic to your cat, so there are no worries there. However, it also isn’t healthy for them due to certain ingredients in cornbread.
Can Eating Cornbread Harm Cats?
Cornmeal is, of course, one of the main ingredients for cornbread. And as stated above, it’s a common ingredient for cat foods. However, cats have a difficult time digesting corn itself, so if your cornbread has whole corn kernels, it could lead to an upset stomach (or, worst-case scenario, an intestinal blockage). And there’s a slight chance your cat could be allergic to corn, though this is rare.
Cornbread often contains buttermilk, which also isn’t great for your cat. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant, so any dairy products they consume can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. That also means no cornbread slathered with butter for the kitty, either.
Sugar and salt are common ingredients in cornbread, too. While very limited amounts of these two ingredients should be okay for your cat, neither is healthy for them. While cats will typically avoid sugary items—as they can’t taste sweetness—if they do eat them, they may have difficulty digesting them. Plus, too much sugar, in the long run, is bad for cats since it can lead to issues such as obesity and diabetes. And when it comes to salt, though the amount in cornbread shouldn’t do any damage, an overabundance of salt can lead to salt poisoning, which is deadly (and it doesn’t take much salt to get there).
Finally, some people enjoy putting jalapenos in their cornbread for a bit of an extra kick. A smidge of this spicy food will likely be okay for your pet to eat, but they really don’t need to have a lot of anything involving spice. This is due to the capsaicin, a compound found in most peppers that provides a spicy flavor. Capsaicin can irritate the inside of the mouth (think about the last time you ate a pepper!) and even cause stomach upset in kitties.
A tiny nibble here and there of cornbread shouldn’t harm your cat; at least, no more than a possible upset stomach. However, too much cornbread isn’t good for them at all, as it contains several ingredients your cat shouldn’t have regularly. Though corn byproducts are commonly used ingredients in cat foods, whole corn could pose digestive issues for your cat. Plus, there’s also buttermilk, sugar, salt, and even jalapenos, all of which are unhealthy for your pet to consume. Most of these will only lead to some digestive trouble, but a couple can lead to much worse if your kitty decides to really chow down on cornbread.
Instead of giving your cat people foods, stick with a cat food that contains a high-quality protein as the first ingredient, along with no artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers. Your cat’s stomach will thank you (and you’ll be thankful you don’t have to clean up vomit or diarrhea), and their overall health will be much better for it in the long run!