Can Cats Eat Cereal? Are There Any Health Benefits?

Almost many of us had cereal for breakfast at least once. These cereals are popular for their energy-boosting properties. With that being said, you might be wondering if cats can eat cereal or not.  

Technically cats can eat cereal, but it is neither a healthy nor recommended food. Cereals are safe for furry pets if given occasionally and in small amounts. Cereal is non-toxic to felines but does not provide any nutrition that is vital for them. Thus, do not make cereal a substitute for the regular cat diet.

Going down, you can see the benefits and health risks of feeding cereal to your furry friends. Plus, these cereals are available in different flavors with unique ingredients, and we will give you a brief view of whether they are good for cats or not.

Can Cats Eat Cereal? Are There Any Health Benefits?

Can Cats Eat Cereal? 

Your cats can eat cereal in moderation without suffering from any side effects. Cereals are typical human foods that are safe for felines but do not provide any nutritional value.

Cereals are non-toxic to felines, and hence, they are not dangerous even after eating a small amount. Furthermore, you do not have to contact the veterinarian for help if your furry friend happens to chew cereals.

Cereals are rich in fibers that your kitty can not digest well. Besides that, some cats are allergic to whole grains, which are the primary ingredients in cereals. Your felines need more animal proteins in their regular meal instead of fiber from grain-based foods to remain healthy.

Cereals have excess carbohydrate content which can stimulate the energy levels of your cat. They have extra sugar content, making them not ideal for cats.

Facts – What Are The Benefits Of Cereal For Cats? 

Cereals are made from whole grains, such as wheat, rice, oat, millet, barley, rye, corn, and triticale. [1] The unrefined and unprocessed grains come with a load of beneficial minerals and vitamins.

Even though your furry pets are carnivores, they need some amount of fiber in their regular diets. Dietary fiber can support many vital functions in your feline’s body. Consumption of whole grains may help to lessen the risk of heart and cardiovascular illnesses. [2]

First of all, it strengthens the cat’s gut-friendly bacteria. This gut-friendly bacteria is a healthy bacteria present in the kitty’s alimentary canal, which supports digestion. The dietary fiber can help solidify the kitty’s stool. Due to this, your furry friend can be free from constipation and will have regular bowel movements.

Dietary fiber can make your cat feel full even if it has eaten only moderate portions of food. Because of that, adding this fiber-rich food to your cat’s diet can be beneficial. Plus, cereal can help in decreasing the weight of your obese furry pet.

The whole grains also include several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. They work best to curb the oxidative stress induced by free radicals in your feline’s body cells. Besides that, it can curtail the furry pet’s exposure to long-lasting ailments, such as feline diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and more.

Why Is Cereal Bad For Cats? 

Before feeding cereals to your feline, you need to be aware of the below information. Therefore, you can avoid the risk of any dangerous situations.

First of all, it is crucial to understand that cereal comes under a plant-based diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, and their digestive system is made to handle animal protein. Because of that, their stomachs tend to consider cereal as a foreign element. Hence, giving cereal to your furry friend can result in gastrointestinal pain, which comes along with:

  •  Feeling nauseous   
  •  Vomiting
  •  Pain near abdomen  
  •  Constipation
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Loss of weight
  •  Changes in bladder activity
  •  Abnormal bowel movements

Your cat might face difficulties absorbing the nutrients from cereals as they are a plant-based diet. Furry pets are most likely to swallow their food instead of chewing on them. As the cereal has a hard texture, it could lead to choking risks. Here are a few indications of choking in cats, which include:  

  •  Swollen pupils
  •  Runny nose
  •  Moist or watery eyes
  •  Hypersalivation

Cereals possess high fiber, which your kitties can not digest properly. Cats should have moderate amounts of fiber in their diet. Excess fiber contains a laxative effect and can lead to diarrhea and makes your feline dehydrated.

Many breakfast cereal foods are made using refined and processed grains. The refining procedure often brings up some ingredients which can be dangerous for your furry pets to consume.

Plus, almost all the cereals come with plenty of sugars that are terrible to felines. The high sugar content leads to excess amounts of calories. When increased levels of sugar accumulate in your cat’s stomach, your pet might experience vomiting and diarrhea.

High sugar levels can increase the dangers of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other cardiovascular illnesses in kitties. It emphasizes the significance of scanning the ingredients label before buying cereal to feed your furry pet.

Why Is My Cat Allergic To Cereal? 

Your furry friend tends to have specific food allergies. The most common allergens are grains such as wheat, corn, soy, rice, and more. Cereals contain these ingredients, and because of that, your feline shows adverse food reactions.

Their digestive system is meant to handle animal-based protein sources. Too many plant-based diets and grain-based foods can trigger allergies in your furry pets.

Can Kittens Eat Cereal?

No, avoid feeding cereal to your young cats. The newborn felines will get vital nutrition from their mother’s milk for body growth, development, and health. As their primary and only diet is their mother’s milk, do not feed them any other foods.

Kittens do not require any solid food. Giving them cereals can accelerate choking risks. Due to this, it is better not to provide cereals to your newborn cats.

Besides that, kittens do not have developed stomachs, unlike adult cats. The sensitive stomachs will cause adverse food reactions when your kitten eats cereal. Plus, the excess fiber and sugar content from cereal foods can lead to long-term illnesses in your kittens.

Related Questions

Are All Types Of Cereals Safe For Cats? 

No, some cereals with added flavors can be toxic to cats, for example, chocolate, xylitol, and more. However, other cereal foods with typical ingredients are not poisonous to your furry friends.

Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Cereal With Milk? 

Your furry animals lack the essential enzyme that is accountable for absorbing the nutrition of milk. In general, milk contains lactose, and your adult felines are lactose intolerant.

If your cats consumed milk, there is a risk of diarrhea and stomach discomfort. The symptoms might get worse if the milk contains sugar-laden cereals.

With that being said, milk and cereal are a dangerous combination to your cats. Your feline might experience severe gastrointestinal (GI) pains.

Are Oat Cereals Good For Cats? 

Oat cereal has high amounts of folic acid and B vitamins. It can promote the creation and supervision of new body cells. Plus, it is crucial for strong teeth, bones, and nails.

Zinc is also present in oat cereals. It can help support the shiny fur and healthy skin of your feline. For typical thyroid levels, there is manganese. Compared to other kinds of cereals, oat cereal comes with high protein content. [3]

Can Cats Consume Dry Cereal? 

Felines should not eat dry cereals because of the choking risks. They can cause throat irritation in cats and also lead to vomiting. These typical symptoms tend to make your furry pet sick and unhappy.

Can I Offer Honeycomb Cereal To My Cats? 

Your cats can consume honeycomb cereals, but only in tiny quantities. As the honeycombs are high in sugars, they are not healthy for kitties.

Excessive levels of sugar in the kitty’s body might lead to an upset stomach. A few furry pets can experience vomiting and diarrhea.

Is Rice Cereal Good For Cats? 

Though felines can eat rice cereal, make sure it is wet enough for effortless swallowing. These cereals are non-toxic and are safe for kitties in limited amounts.

Can I Offer Chocolate Flavored Cereal To Cats? 

No, chocolate is highly lethal to cats due to the presence of theobromine, a toxic agent. Chocolate flavored cereal contains high quantities of artificial sweeteners. They can cause stomach irritation and sometimes can crash the blood sugar levels of your cat.  

Can Cats Eat Corn Cereal (Cornflakes)? 

These corn cereals add some fiber content to your feline’s diet. The barley malt is a great laxative and can minimize hairball occurrences in your furry friend. The iron content can sustain the hemoglobin levels in your kitty.

For healthy and glossy skin and fur, there is vitamin E. Besides that, it can avoid and relieve flea and mite infestation on the felines.  

Conclusion 

Even though cereals are safe, they are not good for your furry friends. Do not forget that felines are obligate carnivores and need animal proteins for their overall well-being. It is best not to include cereals in their daily diet.

Feed a handful of cereals to your cats once a month as a rare treat. Never give cereals with milk because it leads to various digestion problems. Only feed cereals in moderation because the high sugar levels and grain ingredients can result in diarrhea and other upset stomach problems.