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Can Cats Eat Biscuits? No, Here’s Why

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

You have probably heard about cats making biscuits or kneading a human or another soft surface with their paws to self-soothe. But should you return the favor by feeding them human biscuits? Can cats eat biscuits?

No, cats should not eat human biscuits because this food offers no nutritional value to cats and can promote long-term health concerns for cats.

Cat eating cat biscuits
Cat eating cat biscuits

Should Cats Eat Biscuits?

While your cat may try to convince you, there is no reason to feed cats or kittens human biscuits. Cats require a simple diet featuring protein, moisture, and healthy fats to help them thrive, and the ingredients in biscuits do not contribute to a balanced diet for cats or kittens.

Biscuits are thick, flaky, handheld bread products. Biscuits often appear drenched in gravy or as the bun for egg-meat-and-cheese breakfast sandwiches.

Biscuits are beloved in the Southern United States, appearing as a ubiquitous side dish for all kinds of dishes like fried chicken or a topping for peach cobbler.

Biscuit recipes typically contain flour, butter, baking powder, sugar, and salt. These baked goods are dense and used to soak up gravies, butter, and jams. Biscuits provide a decadent side dish and have high-calorie content.

In England and other places throughout Europe, biscuits are another name for cookies or crackers. These biscuits can feature sweet ingredients like chocolate or berries, and other biscuits contain savory herbs and spices. Biscuits across the pond appear flattened and usually give a satisfying crunch when eaten.

Meeting Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs

Cats and kittens require only three simple elements for a balanced diet: animal protein, moisture, and healthy fats.

As cats are carnivores, animal proteins provide the foundation for any feline’s healthy diet. Plant-derived proteins or soy-based products do not provide the nutritional value of animal proteins. Proteins build healthy muscles in cats and contribute to developing excellent eyes and strong joints.

Cats require more protein than dogs, and nursing kittens and pregnant mother cats need even more. Luckily, commercial dry cat food delivers up to twice as much protein as the minimum standards for cat food, and wet cat food offers even more protein to help cats grow and thrive. While there is no nutritional benefit to overdoing it on protein for cats, it will not harm your pet.

Healthy fats help cats digest wet food and contribute to spry joints and a shiny coat in your cat and kitten. Omega 3s, unsaturated vegetable oils, and other healthy fats appear in most wet and dry cat foods. Fats contribute to healthy brains and reduced inflammation in cats (and humans, too!).

Most cats instinctively seek out moisture to meet their needs. A simple water bowl always full of fresh water effectively takes care of their hydration. However, some cats drink less water.

If this is the case with you, consider adding a bubbling water fountain to pique your cat’s interest. Replace or supplement your cat’s feeding routine with wet food to help your cat reach ideal hydration levels.

Side Effects of Cats Eating Biscuits

A sick cat
A sick cat

On either side of the Atlantic Ocean, biscuits do not serve as appropriate food for cats, and cats do not need carbohydrates or large amounts of fats.

In fact, most active cats need only about 200 calories every day. Large-breed cats can support up to 250 calories daily in a healthy diet.

One North American buttermilk biscuit can contain nearly all of the calories a cat needs in an entire day! Biscuits in England range from 50 calories to diet-friendly biscuits to more than 100 calories per biscuit for rich and luxurious varieties.

Cats regularly indulging in biscuits can result in pet obesity. Obesity now ranks as the most significant danger to today’s pets in the United States.

According to 2019 research, about half of pets are overweight. Overweight pets happen when pets are 10 to 20 percent heavier than they should be.

Obese animals experience significant daily health challenges. Carrying excess weight wears out a cat more quickly than it should, putting unnecessary strain on a pet’s essential body systems. Obesity can cause diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and joint disorders and lead to early death.

In addition to these long-term health issues, eating biscuits can also result in short-term issues. Cats regularly indulging in meals outside of their balanced diet (remember: this means healthy fats, animal protein, and hydration) can experience stomach discomfort and gastrointestinal issues. These are common side effects that can occur when cats eat too many biscuits:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Dehydration

Consult with your veterinarian if your cat has ingested excessive biscuits. Observe your cat or kitten closely to check its bowel movements and any bodily discomfort. If your cat experiences difficulty eating more than 48 hours after overdosing on biscuits, contact a veterinary professional.

Is Any Variety of Biscuits Appropriate for Cats?

Yes! There are two instances when biscuits are appropriate for cats to eat.

First, some cultures refer to dry cat food as biscuits. If that is you, then yes, eating dry food is perfectly appropriate for cats. Many cat owners feed their cats exclusively dry kibble. Be sure the dry food delivers a balanced diet and comes from a trusted manufacturer.

Blend wet food and dry food for an effective feeding routine. This strategy meets all of your cat’s needs. They will love the variety!

The other variety of biscuits appropriate for cats is homemade or commercially-available cat treats, which some people call biscuits. Various treats exist to satisfy any cat or kitten’s tastes while still providing valuable nutrition.

Biscuits, or other hard and crunchy cat treats, can also contribute to plaque removal and healthy dental care for felines.

Even with healthy treats, always offer them in moderation. Giving biscuits to cats should never exceed 10% of their daily calorie budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s look further into the question: Can cats eat biscuits?

Can kittens eat biscuits?

Like cats, you shouldn’t feed your kitten biscuits. It is vital for growing kittens to receive proper nutrition daily as they grow healthy bones, skin, organs, and other crucial systems of their delicate bodies.

Can cats live on only dry food?

Yes! Dry food provides a more economical way to feed and nurture your cat versus dry food or other higher-cost options. Make sure to choose a complete and balanced dry food from an industry-leading manufacturer for the best results.

What human food can cats eat daily?

Cats are carnivores and can eat lean, cooked meats daily. Reach for lean cuts of beef, turkey, chicken, fish, or deli meats for a delightful cat snack. Peanut butter, scrambled eggs, and fruits like watermelon, berries, and bananas provide a lovely occasional treat for your cat or kitten.

Are biscuits toxic to cats?

No. While you shouldn’t habitually serve your cat or kitten buttermilk biscuits or the English equivalent of cookies, it will not poison your cat. Pay attention to any discomfort your cat shows after they eat any biscuits.

Conclusion

Cats and kittens do not need biscuits as part of their diet; cat owners should rely on well-balanced wet or dry cat foods instead of supplementing with human treats like biscuits.

While biscuits are not toxic to felines, the unnecessary fats, carbs, and other ingredients can result in obesity or long-term health issues. Short-term discomfort or bowel issues can also result from cats overindulging in unhealthy biscuits. Occasional treats of cat-friendly biscuits provide a lovely supplement to your cat’s diet and a bonding opportunity.

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About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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