Believe it or or not, some cats actually like to eat bread and seek it out. Strays who once had to scrounge for their own food and other cats who’ve acquired the taste might eat bread when given the opportunity, even though they’re carnivores.
While it’s safe for cats to occasionally ingest baked bread, we don’t recommend it. Bread is calorie-dense and doesn’t have the right balance of nutrients that a cat’s body needs. Offering healthy cat treats, such as Dried Bonito Flakes or Nulo Perfect Purees, in moderation are a good alternative if your kitty is craving carbs.
However, bread dough poisoning is a serious danger for cats and it’s been happening more frequently.
It’s not safe for cats to ingest raw bread dough. The ASPCA says “cats should never be allowed to eat uncooked, yeasted bread dough. Raw, uncooked yeast ferments the carbohydrates in the dough, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide. This process can continue in the stomach, leading the animal to become disoriented, bloated (potentially leading to GDV), and ataxic—and just like people, alcohol poisoning can be fatal for pets.” (GDV is severe bloating of the stomach, and ataxia is a lack of coordination.)
Dough poisoning has been on the rise during quarantining, so be sure to spread the word. Baking bread is a fun hobby many of us have picked up while spending more time indoors (yum), but it can be dangerous to leave the raw dough where your cat can access it. If you’re baking bread, consider proofing your dough in a cabinet instead of on a table or countertop.
(On a less serious note, did you know #catbreading is a thing?)