There is one thing that gets my attention in the morning. Not coffee, not donuts but a freshly made waffle.
The comforting and doughy smell of a homemade waffle is like music to my nose. It is my favorite breakfast item.
Interestingly enough, guess who else loves waffles in the family?
Yes, my cat.
He’s already waiting at the kitten counter ready to steal a few bites from me.
But can cats have waffles?
Yes, cats can have a few small pieces of a waffle as an occasional treat. But you have to make sure that there are no ingredients in or on the waffle that can be toxic to cats.
What Are Waffles Made Of?
The basic waffle is pretty simple to make and can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. The main ingredients are usually water, buttermilk, eggs, salt, baking powder and flour.
Some will add other ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon or even fruits to add some variety and flavor to their waffles.
Are Waffles A Healthy Choice For Cats?
Definitely not the best type of treat for feeding cats and you can end up doing more harm than good if you are not sure about what cats can and cannot eat.
I’m not saying that you can’t spoil your feline friends with the occasional human food. And plain waffles in general are safe for cats. But waffles aren’t something you want to feed your cat for breakfast.
But as a responsible cat parent, it is very important to understand the diet requirements and restrictions of your cat.
What Can Cats Eat?
A cat’s diet is actually very simple to understand. They need meat and lots of it.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they require a high protein diet to be healthy. Unlike most animals, cats do not have the necessary enzymes in their digestive tract to digest plant matter.
This means that there is no need to feed your cat any carbohydrates as cats lack the ability to digest it.
Many cat owners tend to feed their cats dry food which is a poor diet for cats. Dry cat food lacks the required nutrition and moisture for cats.
We strongly encourage all cat owners to try and put their cats on a raw food diet. This diet is the most natural food source for cats and many are fine with it.
You can learn more about the raw meat diet here.
Dangerous Ingredients In Waffles
Although cats can eat waffles, there are certain ingredients used in the making of waffles that can cause some side effects in your cat.
Flour is the main ingredient when it comes to making waffles. Your cat won’t be too keen on putting its nose in a bag of flour but it’s flour-based products that we are concerned about.
Flour is made from corn or rice which makes it plant-based. And as mentioned earlier, cats can’t digest plant matter well and this can cause them discomfort.
The majority of cats don’t show any sensitivity to flour but if you have a cat that has food allergies, it would be best to not feed it any waffles.
One important point to note is that raw dough is very dangerous for cats. It can self-rise in their tummies if eaten and can cause a very bad bloat that can be fatal.
So please keep your cats away from raw dough.
Milk And Butter
The next most integral ingredient to making waffles will be dairy products like milk and butter.
Cats are drawn to human foods that are high in fat content which makes stuff like milk and butter a hot favorite for many cats.
Unfortunately, many adult cats are lactose intolerant and can have some side effects when consuming dairy products.
This is because adult cats lose the enzymes that help to break down lactose as they get older. Kittens do have this enzyme to help them digest and absorb their mother’s milk. But for most adult cats, eating dairy products can lead to bloating, vomiting and diarrhea.
Not a pretty sight when cleaning up the litter box.
If your cat really likes milk, get those lactose-free milk that is made especially for cats.
The eggs used in the making of waffles are safe for cats to eat. Even though we advocate raw meat for your cat’s diet, you should not be feeding your cat raw eggs of any sort.
Raw eggs contain bacteria like Salmonella and E.colli that can cause many nasty symptoms and make your cat very ill.
Some cooked eggs every now and then are a healthy treat for your cat as it is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Just don’t feed your cat the whole egg but small pieces of it each time.
The salt content in waffles isn’t a reason to be concerned about. But if you are someone that loves salty waffles (weird) or if the vet has told you to reduce your cat’s salt intake then be aware of your cat’s daily sodium intake.
Some salt is necessary for healthy bodily functions. But too much of it can cause health problems for your cat such as vomiting and dehydration.
Cats don’t need more than 40mg of sodium daily in their diet. And if you already feeding your cat dry cat food, the sodium content can be quite high.
Can Cats Have Blueberries?
When we eat waffles, adding blueberries to them is a common thing to do. The good thing is blueberries are safe for cats and there are some health benefits as well.
The antioxidants, fiber and water present in blueberries are good for cats. However, it isn’t something that you want to feed your cat on a daily basis since it’s not part of their diet.
Can Cats Have Cinnamon?
This is one spice that I love adding to my waffles to enhance the flavor. Cinnamon isn’t toxic to cats but it can be if the concentration level is high enough like in Cinnamon essential oil.
I would still make it a point to keep any form of cinnamon away from my cat as you have no idea how much spices can affect your cat. And accidentally inhaling cinnamon powder is going to upset your kitty in a bad way.
Can Cats Have Chocolate?
No cats cannot eat chocolate and it can be fatal for them. Chocolate ranks high up in the ‘do not eat or feed’ list for cats.
It contains Theobromine which is a toxic compound for cats. This can be found in all types of chocolate, even white chocolate, chocolate powder and baking chocolate.
Ingestion of theobromine can cause heart problems, seizures, tremors and even death.
If you enjoy adding chocolate chips or chocolate syrup to your waffles, keep them far far away from your cat.
Can Cats Eat The Syrup On Waffles?
It is fine if they take a couple of licks as syrup is just pure sugar (maple syrup or honey). But too much sweet food in your cat can cause obesity and feline diabetes.
Here’s an interesting fact.
Cats don’t have the taste buds that allow them to taste sweet stuff like humans. So they can’t really taste the sweetness it the syrup but is more likely drawn to the smell of it.
Are Waffles Safe For Kittens?
It largely depends on how old your kittens are. If they are already a few months old and are comfortable eating solid food like adult cats, a few pieces as a treat is fine. But make sure to make the waffle pieces very small to prevent choking.
If the kittens are still at the age where they require milk to survive then they should not eat waffles at all.
Kittens need their mother’s milk or a specialized milk formula to grow and develop healthily. Feeding them such human foods isn’t helping the cause.
Can Cats Eat Pancakes?
Yes they can if the pancakes are prepared very similarly to plain waffles. The same health restrictions would apply when it comes to any ingredients used that can be toxic to your cat.
Alternatives To Waffles For Your Cat
What your cat eats should be decided by you. There are many other healthy alternatives that you can make for your cat.
One homemade treat that many cats can’t resist is tuna. You can add some tuna water to your cat’s meal or food some water-based canned tuna as a treat.
But if your cat likes the smell of waffles or pancakes, you can make a simple tuna cookie for your cat as a healthy treat.
You can make a simple cookie batter using flour and eggs. Mix in some water-based canned tuna and bake it in the oven until the dough is properly cooked.
Let it cool and feed your cat while keeping the rest in an airtight container.
When it comes to eating dangerous foods, we as cat parents need to be our kitty’s first line of defense. Cats are smart and very intuitive when it comes to avoiding toxic food but sometimes they don’t always get it right.
It can be tricky when it comes to feeding food like waffles which it might seem safe on the surface. But make sure you know what the individual ingredients are before feeding them to your cat.