If you or someone you know owns a cat as a pet, it is safe to say that at some point, you’ve been skeptical about what to feed your feline friend. We love our little friends so much that we can’t help but wonder what to feed them? Can they eat oatmeal? Is it good for them?
Oats have high nutritional value for cats as compared to other grains, and it’s loaded with antioxidants and fiber in addition to other great nutrients, meaning cats can eat oatmeal. The suggestion would be for it to be cooked before consumption.
Before we can really explain the benefits and the possibility for oatmeal to be consumed by our feline friends, let’s learn about the proper cat diet and related topics.
Ideal Cat Diet
Although it might sound controversial, experts suggest that a cat’s diet should be based on the least processed products possible in an ideal world. But that’s not the most practical option for all of us.
A cat’s diet is usually adapted to its owner’s lifestyle. That’s why if commercial food is going to be the preferred route of food for your cat, you should also try to incorporate raw foods.
When it comes to choosing the type of food, whether dry or wet, regardless of the lousy rep wet food might have, it holds more nutrients than its dry counterpart, and you are securing hydration without sacrificing the presence of proteins.
We refer to the hydration aspect since cats are not big water drinkers, and the moisture found in wet food has the added benefit of providing hydration. In the end, any food that will supplement a cat with a water deficiency would be ideal for them.
What Cats Shouldn’t Never Eat
Even though there are many food choices out there that we can provide our feline friends, there are plenty that we should avoid. In the following we listed some food options that should never be fed to your cat:
- Raw Eggs: There is a protein in egg whites called avidin protein. This glycoprotein binds to Biotin and leads to cats being unable to absorb vitamin B. Furthermore, the fact that raw eggs may contain salmonella and other harmful bacteria makes them unsuitable for your pet.
- Onions: it is not advisable to give your cat any onions as they hold disulfides and self-oxides. Since they impact red blood cells, it could lead to anemia. Cats are very susceptible to this.
- Garlic: As with onions, cats can’t digest garlic. Its consumption leads to an upset stomach in your kitten.
Other foods you should refrain from feeding a cat are grapes, fat trimmings, bones, mushrooms, and yeast dough.
Can Cats Eat Oatmeal? Is It Good For Their Health?
Oats are super nutritious for humans since they imply numerous health benefits. There are multiple oatmeal-based cat foods available. However, lots of them just have extract, but nothing compares to the freshness of oatmeal.
Adding a little oatmeal to your cat’s diet will contribute some iron, vitamin B6, and calcium. A well-balanced diet heavy on iron is vital for healing and avoiding anemia in your cat.
Vitamin B6 And Iron Deficiency
To better understand the benefits of vitamin B6 and iron, let’s address what a deficiency of these will cause in your feline pet:
- Failure to properly grow, vitamin B6 participates in reaction to the metabolism. Therefore, its lack will have a growing impact.
- Iron is responsible for oxygen transportation in hemoglobin. When there is a deficiency of this mineral, cats will show symptoms of low oxygen levels.
- During the synthesis of hemoglobin in your cat’s blood cells, vitamin B6 works as a unifying agent for incorporating iron, meaning that the absence of this vitamin could also lead to anemia and low iron-related diseases.
- Finally, if your cat has diabetes or has been called out for having high sugar levels, vitamin B6 is a crucial nutrient for a cat to balance that out.
Blood coagulation is aided by calcium. The majority of calcium in the diet is needed for the formation of bones and teeth. Cells use calcium to deliver signals, contract muscles, such as the heart, and send and receive neurotransmitters.
It is important to remember that oats should not be considered a full meal but more so a supplement. The introduction of this food to cats needs to be slow.
What Kind Of Oatmeal Can Cats Eat?
Plain oats are good for cats to eat. They should only be given to your cat as a special treat on occasion.
Oats are a good source of fiber, which aids digestion. Bacteria in the cat’s stomach can break down some of the threads in oats, resulting in short-chain fatty acids that help feline digestive systems.
Salt, sugar, and condiments, in general, are usually not ideal for cats; they don’t process these the same, and the excess of these could lead to impaired digestion.
Oatmeal is entirely safe for cats to eat if it is served plain, without any artificial flavors or milk to enhance the flavor.
Sugar and salt levels that we crave will not be tolerated by a cat. Therefore the suggestion would be for the oatmeal to be slightly cooked for easier consumption without any additional garnish since felines don’t benefit from complex meals.
How Do You Make Oatmeal For Cats?
Now that we’ve established that oatmeal is beneficial for cats, we need to address the ways the oatmeal could get cooked for your cat’s enjoyment.
Before we can tackle cooking it, you must comprehend that cats don’t process salt the way humans do. Keep the salt to a minimum. Excessive salt can result in frequent urination and, in rare cases, sodium overdose. It only takes a pinch of salt, and it’s enough.
Now, when it comes to oatmeal preparation, the procedure could be simplified to a single step: Fifteen minutes of boiling to tenderize the oatmeal, so your cat doesn’t have any feeding issues.
To add a little more flavor, you could add pumpkin puree, and they’ll love it. Pumpkin is high in fiber and has a variety of other nutrients that assist your cat’s immune system, eyesight, cellular respiration, and hemoglobin formation, among other stuff.
Can Cats Eat Other Whole-grains? And If So, Do They Have Any Benefits?
There is no definitive proof that whole grains are detrimental to cats in general. Grain is more than just a “filler.” Grains are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and vital fatty acids, among other nutrients. Some grains also include protein that is easily digested.
Whole grains are high in antioxidants and fiber, and they are an essential part of a healthy, well-balanced diet for cats. Rice is OK in modest amounts, but other grains such as oats, barley, and whole-wheat breadcrumbs may be preferable. These smaller chunks are simpler to digest for cats and include more nutritional value.
When it comes to what we feed our cats, there is a certain level of complexity that must be taken into consideration. The basic rules you should follow when arranging your cat pet’s diet are:
- Cats don’t consume the same things humans or dogs eat, so what might seem like an average pet-friendly snack/meal might not bring any benefit to your cat.
- Oatmeal is a whole-grain food option beneficial to your cat, but it shouldn’t be the main focus or recurrent dish. Occasional small portions would be ideal since cats are natural carnivores. They need meat and other supplements to thrive.
- Oatmeal does hold a high carbohydrate value which isn’t a suggestion for cats. Therefore, we must make emphasis on the understanding of this being a treat, not a meal.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.