Someone asked me the other day “What do cats like to eat for breakfast”?
To tell you the truth, that question had me stumped for a moment. For most cat lovers, they would actually brush off such a question as being silly or outright weird.
But this question actually got me thinking.
Many of us regard breakfast as the most important meal of the day but does this concept apply to your cat?
Although the idea of breakfast is more of a human concept, cats do need to eat in the morning due to their feeding cycle and circadian rhythm. The best breakfast for your cat is one that is part of its natural diet. There isn’t a need to feed your cat anything over the top which can be unhealthy for it.
Let us take a closer look at what do cats eat for breakfast.
What’s The Point Of Breakfast?
Some might say that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day because this meal is supposed to recharge our body after many hours of fasting (sleep).
Therefore breakfast is best served with food that’s high in nutritional value to give you the energy required to start off your day.
But the question is do cats really need a healthy breakfast as humans do?
Understanding A Cat’s Sleep Cycle
For humans, our sleep cycle or circadian rhythm is rather straightforward. The majority of us are awake during the daytime and asleep during the night till the new sunrise.
For cats, their sleep cycle is crepuscular. This means that they have two periods when they are very active. Once in the early morning and another in the evening.
This allows them to capitalize on the best times to hunt for food, especially so for wild cats.
For cat owners with indoor cats, these cats are able to adapt to our sleep cycle over time.
They are able to observe and learn when we are awake or asleep. However, there are also many indoor cats that will wake you up as and when they like.
Can A Cat Eat Human Food?
Let us list the number of usual breakfast foods that we have.
- Peanut Butter
The above list of foods is enough to make anyone salivate.
But is it good enough to get a cat’s appetite going?
But more importantly, is it safe for cats to be eating human food instead of normal cat food?
Can Cats Eat Bacon?
The smell of sizzling bacon in the kitchen is enough to wake you up and sleepily make your way to the kitchen.
Your greedy cat is already waiting at the kitchen counter expecting to be fed a few pieces.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they love meat. However, that doesn’t mean any type of meat is good for them.
Bacon is very high in unhealthy fat and salt content.
Too much salt for your cat can lead to health issues like dehydration and seizures. Furthermore, cats aren’t good at digesting fat and too much of it can cause stomach issues.
Your cat should be getting the required sodium and fat content from balanced cat food.
Can Cats Eat Sausages?
Sausages are pretty much similar to bacon when it comes to food with high unhealthy fat and sugar content.
Furthermore, there are some sausages that contain preservatives and are made of animal by-products instead of actual muscle meat.
Animal by-products don’t contain as many nutrients as muscle meat and should not be given as cat food.
Can Cats Eat Eggs?
Eggs in general are low in sodium and contain healthy fats. The thing with eggs is that they should not be eaten raw.
Even though cats are known to eat eggs in the wild, raw eggs contain E.coli or Salmonella which can cause serious tummy issues for both humans and cats.
Make sure to at least cook the eggs properly before feeding your cat.
Even though cooked eggs can be used as cat food, they should form part of an overall diet for your cat.
It’s fine to give your cat some pieces every day but one egg a day is definitely too much for your pet cat.
Can Cats Drink Coffee Or Tea?
You probably know of someone that can’t function without coffee. However the same does not apply to cats.
Coffee or tea contains an active ingredient called Caffeine which helps give us humans a little boost.
Cats, being a lot smaller in mass, have a much lower tolerance to Caffeine. A Caffeine overdose can mess up their nervous system and tummy.
Don’t freak out if you see your cat stealing a few licks from your cup. Just don’t pour your cat its own cup and enjoy the morning together.
Can Cats Drink Milk?
It’s often portrayed in the media that cats like to drink milk. As cat owners, you should be aware that cats are lactose intolerant and can’t digest milk well.
This applies to all dairy products like cheese, yogurt and butter.
The only time cats drink milk is when they are kittens and they stop when they hit two months old.
Adult cats don’t need to drink milk to get the nutrients that they need.
If your cat really likes the taste then a little milk treat every now and then is ok. But don’t get your cat started on it if it has not tasted milk before.
Can Cats Eat Bread?
As mentioned earlier, cats are obligate carnivores and require meat as their main protein source.
Cats do not possess the necessary enzyme to digest carbohydrates efficiently.
Too much carbs for cats can cause unnecessary weight gain and health issues.
Cats don’t need carbs to survive so there’s no need to feed them any in the first place.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
Many cats like the taste of peanut butter and will try to sneak in a few bites when you are not looking.
However, peanut butter is not good for cats as it has no nutritional value to cats and can even be toxic.
There are some cats that have peanut allergies and can have serious reactions to anything thing that contains peanuts.
Furthermore, peanut butter contains many preservatives that cats shouldn’t ingest.
Cat owners should not even be offering peanut butter as an occasional treat to their pet cats.
Can Cats Eat Pancakes/Waffles?
Similar to bread, these types of human foods are high in carbs and should be given in very limited quantities to your cat.
Too much carbohydrates can cause stomach and digestive issues.
Can Cats Eat Cereals?
A bowl of cereal and milk might be a complete breakfast meal for humans but it won’t do your cat any good.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates and lactose won’t make your cat’s tummy very happy.
And cleaning up after your cat when it’s having diarrhea is no fun at all.
What Do Cats Like To Eat?
When it comes to finding cats, it is rather simple.
Knowing that they need to thrive, their diet should center around real muscle meat and organs.
Human food should not replace traditional cat food nor should we make it a habit to feed them human food as a treat.
Here are some common cat food that your cat can eat.
Dry Food Or Kibble
Dry cat food is probably the most common and popular type of cat food that many cat owners feed their cats.
It’s easy, affordable and convenient.
However, it also comes at a price, your cat’s health.
Regardless of how good a quality dry food can be, it is not nutritious for your cats. Dry food contains carbs, by-products and preservatives which are all not good for cats.
The process of making dry food removes many of the nutrients in the ingredients.
Furthermore, dry cat food contains no moisture. Cats don’t drink much water as it is and the lack of moisture in their food can lead to chronic kidney diseases (CKD) as they age.
If you want the best for your cat, please don’t feed your cat dry cat food or kibbles.
Wet Cat Food
This is the next better alternative for your cat.
Although wet food or canned food can contain carbs and by-products, the manufacturing process helps to retain more nutrients as compared to kibbles.
There’s also more moisture in canned food which is better for cats as the majority of cats do not have a strong thirst as they were formerly desert animals.
However, make sure to always study and analyze the ingredients label before purchasing to ensure that real muscle meat is used.
You always want to see meat such as chicken, beef, lamb, tuna, etc as the top ingredient and not stuff that doesn’t resemble meat.
Raw Meat Diet
I know that the raw meat diet has gotten bad press from people who don’t quite realize how life-changing it can be to a cat.
The argument is that raw food contains bacteria that can harm your cat.
The thing is, a cat’s digestive tract is different from a human’s which makes it more geared toward handling raw meat.
That being said, not all raw meats are made equal for cats. Raw pork and raw eggs should not be given to cats.
Stick to the more common meats like chicken meat, beef, lamb and rabbit.
If your cat has health problems or has been on a poor diet, seriously consider switching to a raw diet.
It’s easier to switch them while they are still kittens as adult cats tend to be fussier.
For more information, check out the ‘Ultimate Guide To Feeding Cats A Raw Diet‘.
One important takeaway from this article is that human food is not a viable replacement for traditional cat food.
Too much food that is outside of your cat’s natural diet can lead to unnecessary health issues in the long run.
Always strive to give your cat the best diet that you can afford to give your cat.
So the next time someone asks you what your cat likes to eat for breakfast?
Simply smile and say “My cat doesn’t need breakfast, he just eats.”