For many of us, oatmeal is a food we consume daily at breakfast. Its popularity is partly due to the fact it’s easy to make, and it also has the benefit of being a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
As oats and oatmeal are so good for us, many owners have started to wonder whether we can offer this food to our feline friends, and if they will experience the same health benefits as us humans.
Keep reading to find out if cats can eat oatmeal, or if they should stay away from this breakfast staple.
Can cats eat oatmeal?
Yes, cats can eat oatmeal! In fact, oats – even when raw – are generally regarded as safe for cats and they’re even added to a range of commercial cat food diets. Oatmeal is an easier formula for cats to eat, but you should only serve it mixed in water, rather than milk. This is because many cats are actually lactose intolerant and, when fully grown, they lack the enzymes needed to digest milk properly.
That being said, oatmeal is an acquired taste, and many cats won’t be particularly keen to eat it on its own. And even if your cat is keen to try this food, oatmeal should only be offered in small amounts as an occasional treat. This is because if oatmeal makes up too much of your cat’s daily food intake, the diet will not be balanced and your feline will not be able to get all the nutrients they need.
Is oatmeal good for cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores and get everything they need from high-quality cat foods containing ingredients from animal-based sources. So, oatmeal isn’t something cats really need adding into their diet, and definitely shouldn’t replace their normal food. It’s also worth noting that the high fibre content in oatmeal can cause digestive problems in cats, especially those that already have gastrointestinal issues.
How to feed oatmeal to your cat
When it comes to feeding oatmeal to your cat, make sure you cook it for a few minutes or pre-soak your oats overnight in water. And only ever offer them a small amount as a treat or, alternatively, you can try mixing a small amount of oats with their wet food. Also, make sure you only ever serve the oatmeal plain, and don’t ever add any toppings such as sugar or cinnamon.
As mentioned previously, oatmeal doesn’t need to be a permanent fixture of your cat’s diet, and they can do without it, so it’s best to only offer it occasionally. And remember to avoid feeding your cat oatmeal made with milk as, even though they may enjoy the taste, it may cause a stomach upset and diarrhoea.