Oats are highly nutritious and one of the best of all the types of cereals. But can cats eat oatmeal? Sure enough, this whole-grain food is good for cats. It’s even a popular ingredient on many cat food products because it contains excellent amounts of healthy fats and protein. But like any food item, oatmeal has its pros and cons when it comes to cats.
In this post, I discuss the key benefits of oatmeal to cats as well as the precautions you should take to prevent any side effects.
Benefits of oatmeal to cats
Oatmeal isn’t just a yummy indulgence for humans. Your cats can enjoy some too! From time to time, we give Watson some warm oatmeal as a treat. As long as it’s not high in sugar, it should be safe and fine for your kitty.
But what does oatmeal actually does for cats? The following are the five benefits of this whole grain:
1. It’s rich in fiber
The biggest benefit a cat will get from oatmeal is its fiber content. This helps digestion and in solving constipation problems on kittens. Such fiber content also assists in the elimination of toxins out of your cat’s tummy.
A well-cooked oatmeal treat helps calm down a cat’s digestive tract. Bland oatmeal is an excellent meal for kitties that have suffered from diarrhea and vomiting. It’s an effective alternative to canned pumpkin if the latter isn’t available at home.
2. A good source of fatty acids
Oatmeal is also a topnotch source of Omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy fat promotes heart health as well as a shiny coat. This is the same reason why a lot of cat shampoos have an oatmeal-based formula. Topically, it soothes itchy and swollen skin. If ingested, it will deliver a dose of fatty acids to the skin to help ease various skin problems.
A small serving of oatmeal will boost your cat’s overall health. Some vets recommend it for kitties with a weak heart, poor digestion, and skin disease.
3. Contains calcium and B-vitamins
Another great thing about oatmeal is it contains calcium. Your cat needs an extra dose of this mineral, especially in its first year of age. The kitty grows big at a fast pace, so its bones need enough supply of calcium to make your cat strong and healthy.
Aside from that, oatmeal also contains Vitamin B6. This B-vitamin boost your cat’s brain health and prevents anemia. Still, it must be taken in small amounts per day. Please note that Vitamin B6 is present on other food items other than oatmeal, so you should take it easy with the serving.
4. Packed with iron
Iron is an essential mineral responsible for the production of more blood in your cat’s body. Enough supply of iron is needed to prevent anemia and other blood diseases on your cat.
Aside from that, iron boosts the function of various enzymes in your cat’s body. A small amount of oatmeal from time to time should be enough to keep your kitty’s iron intake in check.
5. Helps overweight cats
Obese and overweight cats will benefit a lot from a small serving of oatmeal from time to time. The fiber content of oatmeal will make your cat full faster and for a longer time. This will help them while you reduce the amount of food they consume in a day.
If you are to integrate oatmeal into your cat’s diet, make sure that you’ve talked to the vet first. This way, the veterinarian can plan the diet accordingly.
How to cook oatmeal for cats?
Can you imagine yourself eating raw oatmeal? If so, you should never let your cat eat it either. You must cook the oatmeal well. Here are some ways to prepare oatmeal for your kitty:
- Plain oatmeal. Boil some oatmeal in hot water and let it simmer for up to 8 minutes. Once it has a porridge consistency, it’s ready to serve. There’s no need to add honey or any sweetener because your cat won’t taste it anyway.
- Sardine oatmeal porridge. Do you have a picky eater? One way to spice up plain oatmeal is by turning it into a sardine porridge. Prepare a plain oatmeal porridge then mix canned sardines on it. Remove the sauce or oil of the sardines, so only the fish is left. You don’t have to add any seasoning or salt to it. The sardine is enough to add taste to the oatmeal.
- Oatmeal kibble. If you don’t have sardines, you can simply sprinkle some kibble to the oatmeal. This is quick to prepare and easy to introduce to your cat.
Can cats eat oats and honey?
Oats and honey bars contain lots of sugar and dairy that will mess with your cat’s tummy. You should never give this oatmeal snack to a cat. As you know, cats are lactose-intolerant, so they can’t eat any dairy products like cheese and milk.
Aside from that, your cat won’t taste honey anyway. Unlike humans, cats don’t have the ability to pick up the sweet taste. In the long run, your kitty may not find oats and honey enjoyable.
Can cats eat oatmeal cookies?
It depends on the ingredients of the oatmeal cookie. The problem with this snack is it contains a lot of sugar, milk, and chocolate. Chocolate is highly toxic to cats, and it can cause serious digestive upset.
Also, oatmeal cookies you can buy in the grocery store are packed with preservatives and other ingredients that are not safe for your cat.
If you want, you can prepare oatmeal cookies at home without these harmful ingredients. You can even use it as an alternative treat for your cat!
Can cats eat oatmeal with cinnamon?
Cinnamon is quite a vague spice when it comes to cats. Basically, it’s not toxic to cats, but it can easily cause poisoning if given in moderate to large amounts. Also, each cat has a different tolerance for cinnamon.
To be safe, it’s best not to pair oatmeal with cinnamon. Your cat doesn’t need any herb or spices since it’s an obligate carnivore.
Another thing you should watch out for is nutmeg. It’s similar to cinnamon, so it’s quite easy to mistake it for cinnamon. Nutmeg is toxic to both cats and dogs, so it should never be given, regardless of the amount.
Can cats eat oatmeal? Yes! This whole grain is very nutritious and can be a better alternative to rice. Still, you should never overindulge your cat. Its diet should still be composed mainly of animal meat. You can use oatmeal as a treat as long as it’s properly cooked and prepared. Also, ditch the sweeteners because your cat won’t taste it anyway.