We all know the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day“. For many of us this is very true.
Starting the day off with a tasty, well-balanced meal is just as important to cats as it is to us, so you might wonder, “What do cats like to eat for breakfast?“
This is where you come into play. It is your job to provide your cat with a healthy, nutrient-rich meal. As a pet-owner, you want the best for your little feline friend and will do whatever you can to make them happy – including providing them with the ideal first meal of the day.
Below, we give you some examples of breakfast food that will satisfy your cat and help maintain its health.
What Do Cats Like To Eat For Breakfast?
We are not talking about wild cats who have to hunt their prey here, but rather indoor cats who rely on us to give them everything they need. Their diet is extremely important for their well-being, just like ours.
However, also like us, there are plenty of things they really like eating, even though they aren’t the healthiest of options!
Cats are obligate carnivores. Obtaining protein from meat is extremely important for the development of a healthy cardiovascular, digestive and reproductive system. However, that doesn’t mean that all meat is suitable for your cat.
Cats may like bacon, but it is not the healthiest choice for them. Bacon is full of salt and salt is the enemy of a good cardiovascular system. This is especially true for older cats, who should have a diet especially low in salt.
Nevertheless, bacon is tasty – there is no doubt about that! Use a small amount of bacon as a treat for your cat once in a while and watch the cat enjoy it, just as you do!
You love it… and chances are your cat loves it too. It would not be a huge surprise to find your cat gazing at you while you eat it. So, can you give a piece of jerky to your feline friend?
The answer is – yes, but in small quantities. Beef jerky is filled with salts, spices and onion – all things that can be dangerous for your pet!
Nothing will go wrong if your cat has a small bit of it, just don’t do it too often.
Chicken meat is a good option for breakfast (and other meals) because it contains a lot of protein, which is exactly what your cat needs.
One important thing to note is that the chicken should be so-called “naked“. What does this mean?
It means it should be plain, with minimal seasonings or oils. These two ingredients can upset the cat’s stomach, an unpleasant experience for both of you that can be easily prevented.
Fish is an extremely important dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are key players in fighting off arthritis, allergies, kidney disease and heart disease.
Also, omega-3 fatty acids lead to cats having a beautiful shiny coat and this means they will shed less, so you can expect less stray hair on the furniture and fewer hairballs.
Canned mackerel, sardines or tuna are a great and easy option for breakfast. Trust me, salmon and tuna are your cat’s favorite food. If you don’t believe me – just try giving your cat cooked salmon or canned tuna.
See Also: Can Cats Eat Crab? Read On To Find Out!
#2 Some Cats Might Like Vegetables
Vegetables are an extremely healthy addition to your cat’s diet. They are low in calories and carbs but very rich in dietary fiber and vitamins.
Some of cats’ favorite veggies are listed below.
• Potato (but not french fries)
#3 Fruit – Not The Favorite
Have you ever seen anyone giving their pet cat cut up pieces of, for example, pear? Yeah, me neither. Turns out there is an explanation for this (provided below), but there are some fruits your cat might actually like.
Those would be:
• Watermelons (seedless)
• Apples (peeled)
• Pumpkin (Yes, pumpkin is a fruit, not a vegetable)
Related: Can Cats Eat Dates? Everything You Need To Know
Why do cats not like fruits?
The reason behind this is surprisingly simple – they can’t enjoy fruit the way us humans can. Cats have very few sweet taste receptors, so they can’t taste the sweetness of fruit.
Considering they must consider fruits to be a pretty bland food, it’s understandable that cats are not typically obsessed with fruit. However, fruit is very healthy, so having a few bites can be beneficial for your pet.
Eating bread is perfectly safe for your furry friend. Again, moderation is key. Never should it be given in high amounts and certainly not on a daily basis.
#5 Dairy products (But Not Milk)
I have a friend that is a cat parent. He calls his cat a “fatto catto“. His cat is, truth to be told, very fat. One time I asked him how his cat became so overweight and he told me that she likes cream cheese waaay too much! And it all made sense…
Dairy products such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt and butter are delicious and your cat will love you for giving it to them. But they should be seen only as very occasional treats and never as the main thing your cat will eat for breakfast.
When it comes to milk, cats should not be given milk in large quantities. Later in the article we will find out why cats should not be given milk..
You might be surprised to hear that oats are often a cat’s favorite food. The most common way of preparing oats for a tasty cat breakfast is cooking them for a few minutes in water.
Another option would be to soak them overnight in water. Milk should not be used since most cats are lactose intolerant.
Whole grain oats are a great option for breakfast. They are one of the healthiest grains on earth; full of dietary fiber, iron and many other nutrients.
This is good news; now you don’t have to eat your breakfast oats alone!
#7 Unsurprisingly – Cat Food
This is the simplest answer to “What do cats like to eat for breakfast?”
Well, this does not come as a shock – cat food is designed to provide exactly what your cat needs – it is both nutritional and tasty.
It can come in the form of cat kibble (dry food) or canned (wet food).
Whatever option you choose, you can’t really go wrong unless your cat has special dietary requirements.. Cat food is a safe and easy option for you and your cat will absolutely enjoy it. Your vet can advise you on the best cat food for your pet.
You might also like to read more about healthy cat breed-specific diets, such as what’s the best cat food for Persian cats.
What Type Of Food Should I Give My Cat For Breakfast?
Debate #1 For Young Kittens VS Adult Cats
Young kittens need more protein and more calories compared to older cats. This is because they are developing, growing rapidly and they need all of the “good stuff“ in order to become big and strong.
With that being said, this is not a strict rule. Your kitten is likely to be okay even if you don’t change its diet much to suit its age.
However, you should follow the packaging guidance on how much food to give your cat based on its age and/or weight and activity levels.
Just make sure the food you give to a young kitten is softer than food designed to be given to an adult cat. Youngsters don’t have fully developed chewing mechanisms, which makes it harder for them to eat hard food.
Suggested: How Much Should A 10 Week Old Kitten Eat? An Owner’s Guide
Debate #2 Wet Cat Food VS Dry Cat Food for Breakfast
This is a tricky comparison. The answer really depends on your cat’s individual needs and lifestyle
The benefit of using wet food is that it will provide more water content. It is important that your cat drinks plenty of water during the day.
So if you notice your cat is not really fond of drinking water and is not drinking it as much as it should – maybe try offering more wet food.
If your cat doesn’t want to eat wet food, you need to get to the bottom of that issue, as wet food should be a normal part of every cat’s diet.
The benefit of using dry food is that it provides a higher energy and nutrient intake compared to wet food of the same volume.
This is important for cats that are on the skinnier side or tend to have smaller appetites. If your kitty needs to gain some weight, I suggest reading more about homemade cat food that supports weight-gain.
It is important to bear in mind that only eating dry food or dry food in larger quantities can lead to your cat getting a little chubby.
Debate #3 Human Food VS Cat Food
There are high chances that while you’re eating, your cat is staring right at you.
You probably already know that not all human food should be given to your cat, whether we are talking about breakfast or any other meal of the day. What you might not know is that no more than 15% of your cat’s daily diet should consist of human food.
Avoid giving your cat your own breakfast left-overs. Technically, they may be allowed to eat it, but it has been proven that cats who eat human food have a tendency to become overweight.
There is a good reason why cat food even exists. It is better for them and will meet their nutritional needs and keep their weight in check.
Don’t be afraid to give your cat one bite of your food, just remember – moderation is key!
What Food Should Cats NOT Eat For Breakfast?
Here, you might find some expected and some… not so expected items!
• citrus fruits
• raw meat
• dairy milk
• peanut butter
Raw Meat – A Big No-No!
Technically, your cat is able to chew and digest raw meat. Wild cats do it all the time, proving that this is not an impossible thing. The problem is that raw meat is not thermally processed, leaving room for pathogen growth that could cause illness.
Raw meat can contain bacteria such as Salmonella, E. Coli, Yersinia, and many others (trust me, you don’t want to know how long this list gets)!
Food poisoning is no fun for your pet or for you, so it is best to just avoid giving raw meat to your pet for breakfast or at any other time.
Why is dairy milk problematic for cats?
If you want to give your cat milk, use almond milk instead of regular dairy milk! You might be aware that most cats are lactose intolerant, which means they cannot process lactose sugar.
This causes great discomfort in your cat’s digestive system, which can be accompanied by diarrhea, gas and cramping – you definitely do not want that for your little pet.
Yes, cats should not have milk, but even so, what do you think – do cats like milk?
Peanut butter should be avoided
Peanut butter should not be a regular part of cat nutrition. Yes, it is tasty for them, but very unhealthy. It is very high in calories, fats and salts – the main three things your cat does not need!
It should be only used as a treat and not given very often.
What Is A Healthy Breakfast For Cats?
Here is a short list of things that are healthy, tasty and can be given to your cat safely:
• Cat Food
If you’re often tempted to give your cat some pancakes you made yourself for breakfast, read can cats eat pancakes in order to see if that’s good for your kitty or not.
You Want To try Something New? Try These 3 Ideas!
#1 Cooked Eggs
This might seem like an odd addition to your cat’s diet, but bear with me. Eggs are absolutely packed with proteins and that’s why they’re a good choice. Good old plain eggs are the way to go to give your cat a nutritious breakfast. Cats often enjoy the taste so it is likely that eggs are an appealing meal for your pet.
The eggs must be cooked (boiled is perfect) as you don’t want your cat eating raw eggs and contracting Salmonella.
Rarely, some cats can be allergic to eggs, so keep an eye out for your cat’s reaction to eating them for the first time.
#2 Canned Tuna
Cats are carnivores so it’s perfectly safe for them to eat meat and fish.
Let’s say you are eating a tuna sandwich for your breakfast – you can safely give your pet a piece of it. A lot of cats actually love fish, especially tuna.
Give it a go and if your cat likes it, feel free to use it but not every single day. Stick mainly to cat food, with fish as a treat.
#3 Roasted Carrots
This might not seem like a “breakfast meal“ but don’t judge, just try it! I bet your cat will like it. Carrots need to be baked/ roasted because raw carrots are not easy on the cat’s teeth.
Carrots have the same health benefits for cats as they do for humans, most notably for eyesight!
When Should I Give My Cat Breakfast?
It might sound strange, but your cat has no time preferences for getting fed.
You’ve never heard a cat owner say: “Oh yeah, my cat does not like eating at 8am, she prefers 10am!”, right? The most important thing is that feeding times are regular.
Adult cats should eat twice a day, with some snacks or treats in between.
It depends on your daily schedule when you will feed your cat. If you get up at 7am, and have breakfast at 8am – then give your cat breakfast at that time too.
Just make sure to feed your furry friend later during the day as well. If your cat has a different feeding schedule to the one mentioned, do not worry because that is perfectly normal too! All that matters is that you and your cat have a regular routine that works for you.
Read Also: How Long Can A Cat Go Without Food? What You Need To Know
I genuinely hope this article explains what do cats like to eat for breakfast.
It’s important to make sure your cat has a good source of proteins and a diverse diet. With what you now know, you will be able to meet all of your cat’s nutritional needs while also providing a tasty meal for your pet.
Being a cat parent might be a bit tricky at times, but feeding shouldn’t be something to worry about. Seek advice from a veterinarian if you want tailored advice for your individual pet. . Just follow the tips given here and everyone involved will be happy!
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