In this article, we will answer the question can cats eat oatmeal?
If you are a cat owner or a prospective cat owner, it is almost inevitable that your feline friend will chow down on the food in your fridge, the chicken you have ready for guests, or even the warm bowl of oatmeal you prepare for breakfast.
So, is oatmeal good for cats? The answer is yes, but in moderation. Read on for more information on what to do if your cat decides to help themselves to your breakfast.
Can Cats Eat Oatmeal?
Cats can eat oatmeal, and it is good for them. However, there are some important aspects of feeding your cat oats to keep in mind:
- How often do you give them oatmeal
- Health problems
- Dietary restrictions
Never let your cat consume an entire container of oatmeal. Cats process carbohydrates less efficiently than dogs, and they also do not require as much energy. That amount of carbs can be detrimental to the health of your cat.
If you are making the oatmeal specifically for your cat or want to make their food from scratch, keep the ratio of oats to proteins no more than 2:1. Oats are higher in protein than most grains, but they still have a relatively high carb count.
How Often Can Cats Have Oatmeal?
Cats can have oatmeal daily, as long as it is a small amount. Try making oat tea and drizzling it over their food for a treat!
That said, be sure to read the labels on the cat food you currently feed your cats. If they already contain oats, it may not be wise to add more to their diet. Additionally, cats should only have oatmeal once a day, so make sure you are not giving them additional oats on top of what comes in their food.
Health Problems & Risks of Oatmeal for Cats
As mentioned above, cats should not have an overabundance of carbs. If your cat has diabetes, stay away from grains and other ingredients high in carbohydrates to prevent serious illness.
Too many grains can also cause diabetes in cats due to:
- Minimal enzymes to process starch
- Lack of enzymes in the digestive tract
- Pancreas failure
Carbohydrates are not the only issue when it comes to oats, though. If you free-feed your cat, meaning they can eat all day and whenever they please, or feed them excessive treats, you are putting them at risk.
Thankfully, the benefits of giving your kitty oatmeal outweigh the downsides. Your cat will feel great at any age while the oats work their nutritional magic. Oatmeal contains tons of fiber and vitamins that fuel your cat for the day and beyond.
Vitamin B6 is a notably strong contender, as it helps strengthen bones. Consuming oatmeal is ideal for kittens in this regard, as it helps them grow and become healthy adults. This trusty vitamin also helps with renal function, a common health problem for older cats.
Another superhero nutrient in oats is manganese, which helps thyroid health, and zinc, a vitamin that will make your cat have a shiny, strong coat.
Read more: Can cats eat cereal?
What to Do if Your Cat Ate Too Much Oatmeal
Simply put, your cat is alright if they have consumed plain oatmeal. However, if your oatmeal has raisins or chocolate mixed in, call your vet immediately. These ingredients are poisonous (and even fatal) to cats.
If your furry friend devoured an entire bowl of plain oatmeal, keep an eye on them to ensure they are not showing signs of illness, but they should be okay if it is a one-time occurrence. Keep them hydrated, and do not give them additional treats or dry food for at least a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have burning questions about feeding your cat oatmeal? Below are some common questions from cat parents just like you:
There are several ways to incorporate oats into the daily diet of your cat. A few ideas are:
1. Oat tea
2. Boil oats and mix them with wet food
3. Make a porridge, like with this recipe
Of course, you can also cook the oats and let them sit overnight or during the day before plopping them in the food dish, but they need to be fully cooked, as raw oats are not digestible by cats.
Cats can eat Quaker Oats if the oats are the plain variety and do not give your cat any flavored oatmeal or oatmeal with fruits.
Also, do not cook the oatmeal in milk. Cats are mostly lactose intolerant, and the combination of milk and oats will more than likely lead to an upset tummy.
Cats ordinarily love oatmeal, yes! However, some felines are finicky. If your cat does not eat the oatmeal you prepare, do not fret. Oats are not an essential part of a feline diet but a healthy addition to what they already eat.
This concept is especially true if you feed your cat dry food, as those customarily have some degree of oats in them anyway. On the other hand, if your cat cannot get enough oatmeal, make sure to hide it in a place where they cannot get to it.
You can, in moderation. Never feed your cats an entire bowl of oats every day, but a tiny drizzle or dash in their food is excellent.
Before you start giving your cat oatmeal every day, talk to your veterinarian to ensure it is safe for your cat.
Although it may sound weird, yes, you can.
Oatmeal works wonders for itchy skin, so making a paste out of oatmeal and water and putting it on any sore spots will soothe their skin in minutes.
Eating oatmeal helps with this as well, as it heals the skin from the inside out.