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Can Cats Eat Spaghetti? Vet Reviewed Facts To Know!

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on March 29, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat spaghetti

Can Cats Eat Spaghetti? Vet Reviewed Facts To Know!


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It’s totally normal for loving pet owners to want to share their favorite foods with their feline companions. In many cases, this is a relatively harmless practice, though sometimes, it can be quite detrimental to your cat’s health. Spaghetti isn’t considered one of the most nutritious foods for humans, but it’s definitely delicious and many people dine on it with pleasure.

As you’re enjoying your pasta dish, your cat is eyeing you boldly, seeming to say, “where’s my portion?” It’s hard to deny your kitty, so you start to section off a little of your pasta for your pal before reconsidering. Now, you’re wondering if it’s safe for your cat to eat. The truth is, neither pasta nor tomatoes are toxic for your cat, though they’re also not nutritious for them either. But many of the spices normally found in pasta sauce are actually toxic for your pet.

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Is Pasta Safe for Cats?

Pasta is safe for cats to eat. It contains nothing that’s toxic or poisonous to a feline. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy food for them though. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they get all of their nutrition met by eating other animals. As such, protein is the nutrient they require the most, and carbohydrates the least.

Pasta, on the other hand, is a carbohydrate and contains very little protein. So, it’s not easy for your cat to digest and it doesn’t provide any nutritional value for your cat either. Pasta is not recommended as part of their diet. If you choose to offer some to your cat, it should be in small doses and only on occasion.

Kitten eating food from bowl
Photo Credit: Marian Weyo, Shutterstock

Are Tomatoes Safe for Cats?

Of course, pasta isn’t the only ingredient in spaghetti. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But spaghetti also contains sauce, and it’s the sauce that could be questionable when it comes to your kitty’s health.

The main ingredient in most spaghetti sauce is tomatoes. Tomatoes themselves aren’t inherently dangerous for your cat. However, the stems and leaves of the tomato plant can cause some serious side effects in your sidekick. These parts of the tomato plant are high in solanine; a substance that is toxic for your cat. 

Ripe tomatoes on a table
Photo Credit: Devanath, Pixabay

Is Creamy Sauce Safe for Cats?

If you prefer Alfredo over pomodoro or ragu sauce in your pasta, you might be wondering if it is safe for your cat. Sadly, cream-based sauces are a definite no for cats. Besides the incredibly high amount of calories and fat, cream-based sauces are loaded with lactose, a milk sugar that most cats are unable to digest. Cats and humans who are lactose intolerant lack the ability to digest this sugar because they do not secrete the enzyme lactase. The result is that lactose ends up fermenting in the cat’s intestines, causing gas, bloating, discomfort, and possibly even diarrhea. 

Toxic Herbs & Seasonings

It’s not just the tomato or the cream that might give your cat some issues. The seasonings that are commonly found in tomato sauce are also dangerous for cats if ingested. For instance, onions and garlic are both toxic to a feline. If your cat eats onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, or anything else in the same family of vegetables, it could cause their red blood cells to get hemolyzed, resulting in life-threatening anemia. A cat that ingested onions or garlic might present the following signs:

Initial signs
  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Oral irritation
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea
Signs of hemolytic anemia
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Pale gums
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increase heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Orange or red urine
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Death
Photo Credit: Ben_Kerckx, Pixabay

How to Feed Your Cat Spaghetti

We recommend you avoid feeding your cat spaghetti, as it is not a species-appropriate food for a cat, and the associated risks are just not worth taking. However, if you really want to share your pasta with your pet, then you just need to exercise some caution. Your best bet is to share only plain pasta with your feline. Overall, though, we would recommend sticking to species-appropriate foods when your kitty deserves a treat. 

Feeding your cat zucchini noodles is a safer option that can actually provide fiber and antioxidants to your cat. As long as you purposely prepare them without garlic, onion, or any other spices, sharing some zoodles with your cat will help you scratch that itch of sharing some spaghetti with your furry friend.

zoodles (zucchini spaghetti healthy for cats, dogs, humans)
Photo Credit: Megan Betteridge, Shutterstock

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Should You Feed Your Cat Spaghetti?

What you feed your cat is ultimately up to you. Spaghetti poses no nutritional value for a cat. Your cat doesn’t need to eat spaghetti and may not even like it. Since cats aren’t great at digesting carbs, plain spaghetti could cause an upset stomach. However, it is not toxic, as long as you don’t feed your feline too much. But stay away from sauces, as they usually contain garlic and onions, both of which are truly toxic for your cat, and even small doses could have a detrimental health effect.

See also:

Featured Image: ponce_photography, Pixabay

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