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Can Cats Eat Pasta?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: April 2, 2018
Can Cats Eat Pasta?

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When we decide to bring a cat into our home, we accept responsibility for their entire well being. This means housing in a safe place to live, caring for their health and providing their all important diet. Of course, the best starting place for cat ownership is one of love. This can include wanting to indulge their whims and offer them treats when they give us those doleful eyes. Unfortunately, not all of our human culinary passions can be passed on to our feline friends. There are some foodstuffs which may make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, but will leave our cat feeling anything but. If you are a lover of anything from spaghetti to lasagna, you might be wondering can cats eat pasta? Fortunately, AnimalWised has everything you need to consider before booking your kitty a table for two at Olive Garden.

You may also be interested in: Forbidden Foods for Guinea Pigs

Feeding cats: homemade diet or commercial cat food?

There are more and more options for feeding our cats. This isn't just the myriad range of commercial cat foods on the market. There are also options for making your own homemade cat food which either best suits your cat's individual tastes or to help supplement nutrient deficiencies if your cat has a particular health concern. mainly, if you are buying commercial cat food, you will feed them crunchy dry food, meaty wet food or a combination of both. As long as they have the right nutrients for cat, especially amino acids such as taurine, then they should be well covered.

However, some cat owners want to take care of their cat's diet in a different way. Just as many cat owners will try different diets to see which best suits them, they may try out the same for the cat. This may be a reflection of the owner's viewpoints when it comes to food. It may also be as a response to a perceived change in their cat's general well-being.

Cats are known as obligate carnivores, meaning it is necessary for them to eat meat as it contains all the necessary nutrients to help them thrive and survive. However, cooking the meat used in cat food often leeches some of these nutrients out. This is why even meat based cat food often has added amino acids or other nutrients to ensure they are completely covered. This has led to some cat owners feeding an all raw food diet. The idea is that all the natural nutrients are held within the raw food which reflects a cat's diet in the wild. You can read more in our article on raw food for cats if you want to get more informed.

Some cat owners want to provide they cat with a vegetarian or vegan diet, especially those who have a moral case against eating any kind of animal product. This is a possibility, but it comes with certain risks and those who want to feed their cats a homemade vegetarian or vegan diet have a lot of considerations to make. That's why AnimalWised has broken down everything you need to know about whether to put your cat on a meat free diet.

Can cats eat carbohydrates?

Whether pasta noodles, spaghetti o's or any other type of pasta, it is more about the chemical makeup of foods which can affect a cat's health. Pasta, just like bread or cereal, is a carbohydrate rich food. They contain starches and gluten which aren't always found in a cat's natural diet. When we ask if cats can eat pasta, we need to consider the difference between this wild diet and those of domesticated cats.

There may be carbohydrates in commercial cat food, but the main source of nutrition is in its protein. Too much carbohydrate is bad for our four-legged friends because they can't metabolize these complex sugars. The consequences can be similar to those found in humans: obesity and related illnesses. Also like their human equivalents, cats will happily eat this food despite it not being good for them. Another potential worry is that cats can also have food allergies. If they do not respond well to gluten, they can develop nasty bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean you can never give your cat pasta to eat, especially as a little taster or snack. If you do want to give your cat some of your linguine, then it should be fine if it is an every once in a while treat. You shouldn't feed your cat pasta on any sort of regular basis, nor should you give them a replacement meal all of pasta. If you don't have a protein rich feed for your cat and you are in an emergency, a small bowl of cooked rice would be better. Cats are better able to digest rice rather than the heavy carbs of pasta. There are other concerns, however, when wondering if cats can eat pasta, so keep reading to see more.

Can Cats Eat Pasta? - Can cats eat carbohydrates?

Can cats eat raw pasta?

While we have been a little vague here with our definition of pasta, it is important to make a difference between cooked pasta and raw pasta. When we say you can give your cat pasta as a snack, we specifically mean cooked pasta. If you give your cat uncooked fresh pasta, then they will not be able to digest it as well. It could cause an upset stomach and may simply be an unpleasant experience for the cat.

You can also buy raw wheat pasta which is dried. This type of pasta comes with its own concerns. You may see cats crunching away at things which are quite hard, but this doesn't mean they are good for them. Dried pasta can shatter and if a cat eats it, it provides a potential choking hazard. Cats can eat dried pasta, but they absolutely shouldn't. It will provide little to no nutrition and might be a disaster.

Can Cats Eat Pasta? - Can cats eat raw pasta?

Can cats eat pasta sauce?

Some pasta fiends might enjoy eating pasta on its own, but most of us do so we can enjoy the sauce as well. Fortunately for us, but not so fortunate for cats, pasta sauce can contain just about anything we humans eat. Let's take a look at some classics which may not be good for our kitty friends:

  • Spaghetti bolognese: while the meat will be great for cats, full of protein as it is, the sauce is tomato based. Tomatoes are generally safe for cats, but they cannot eat too much of them. However, they cannot eat tomato leaves or stems as they are highly toxic for cats. Most herbs tend to be OK. If you give your cat pasta with a little tomato sauce on it, it should be OK, but don't go overboard.
  • Mac and Cheese: cow's milk is not good for cat's, don't feed them milk heavy macaroni and cheese otherwise the dairy can upset their stomachs.

If you want to read similar articles to Can Cats Eat Pasta?, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.

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2 comments
soph
yes or no dude come on
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Soph,

We are sorry if you found the answer frustrating, but there is no yes or no answer. We would rather write a long correct answer than a short incorrect one.
Tired
Just a suggestion, just answer the question in your first paragraph.

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