Can I Feed My Cat Pizza?
Pizza may be one of the greatest foods ever invented for humans, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to feed it to your cat. No matter how much your adorable little ball of fur begs for it, or stares as you desperately while you eat each slice don’t give in.
Pizza is loaded with things that are bad for cats, and some can even be deadly. Here are just a few reasons why you should never feed your cat pizza.
Yeast is a common ingredient in most pizza doughs, and it can be dangerous to cats. Many cats are allergic to yeast, and if they eat it, they may experience symptoms that include skin irritation, sneezing, vomiting, gas, and diarrhea.
In severe cases, cats may lose their ability to control their muscles, become lethargic, and develop an increased heart rate.
Yeast can also lead to ethanol poisoning if it begins to ferment sugars in the gut. This can be deadly in cats. Symptoms of ethanol poisoning include nausea, excessive drooling, lethargy, and loss of balance.
Onions and Garlic
Both onions and garlic contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can be deadly to cats. They are present in all forms of garlic and onions, cooked and uncooked. Not only are garlic and onions standard toppings on many pizzas, but they can also be present in the sauce.
That means even if you don’t see onions or garlic on your pizza, there could still be traces of them that could make your cat sick.
Sulfoxides and disulfides can cause severe and sudden anemia in cats. They may become severely lethargic, and their gums may turn pale.
If left untreated, anemia can permanently damage a cat’s vital organs and lead to death. Anemia can be treated by a veterinarian with corticosteroids and immunosuppressant drugs.
Dairy products of any kind should not be given to cats. While many people assume it’s okay to give them milk and cheese, many cats are actually lactose intolerant and have severe reactions to any types of dairy products. Cats do not have the enzymes needed to digest cheese and other dairy products.
Dairy products also contain a protein called casein, which can prevent the absorption of other nutrients that cats need.
Adult cats should never be given dairy products, and cats who do consume cheese from a pizza or other dairy products should be monitored closely.
They may exhibit signs of dehydration, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal issues. If these symptoms become severe, the cat may require medical treatment.
Everyone knows that pizza can be greasy, but did you know that pizza grease can be dangerous to your cat? Grease is too hard for cats to digest, and they can experience a variety of gastrointestinal problems if they eat it. Pizza grease can lead to severe diarrhea and dehydration.
It can also cause stomach pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Cats who consume pizza grease regularly are at risk for obesity and heart problems.
Tomatoes are toxic for cats. Tomatoes are often used as pizza toppings and are the main ingredient in most pizza sauces. Parts of the tomato contain a glycoalkaloid called solanine.
This is also present in many other fruits that are toxic to cats. As tomatoes ripen, the solanine levels drop, so there is some debate on whether it’s okay to feed cats ripe tomatoes.
According to the ASPCA, “Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family. Ingestion of the greenery, flowers, and green fruit can cause clinical problems in dogs and cats.”
If you have concerns, it’s best to avoid tomatoes altogether. Cats that eat tomatoes may experience a variety of symptoms including upset stomach, diarrhea, excessive drool, confusion, lethargy, behavioral changes, and a slow heart rate. Some cats may also have an allergy to tomatoes and exhibit more severe symptoms. Some may even require medical attention.
Pizza can contain high amounts of sodium, which can be dangerous to cats. It can lead to severe and sudden dehydration as well as sodium ion poisoning.
According to the Journal of Nutrition, “Average-sized cats should consume no more than 21 milligrams of salt per day.”
Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning can be severe and even life-threatening. Those symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, seizures, and even coma.
Cats can go downhill quickly and require immediate medical attention if you suspect they may be suffering from salt poisoning.
They may need to be hooked up to IVs to treat the dehydration and flush the salt from their bodies. Some cats may recover on their own if they did not consume too much salt, and the symptoms are not severe.
There are many herbs and seasonings used to improve the flavor of pizza sauce, and in most cases, it’s hard to know exactly which ones present. Cats have very sensitive stomachs and digestive tracts and can’t tolerate most spices.
If they consume spices, cats may experience severe stomach pain, painful bowel movements, diarrhea, nausea, excessive drooling, a burning sensation in their mouths, and loss of appetite. Spices can also cause stomach ulcers and intestinal problems.
Most of the ingredients on pizza have high-fat content. A cat’s diet should consist of mostly lean proteins, and their bodies can’t process a lot of fat properly. Pizza can cause your cat to gain weight, which can lead to diabetes and heart problems.
While cats can have some fat, the processed fats in pizza are the most harmful. Eating food with too much fat content can also cause stomach pain, constipation, gas, indigestion, and foul-smelling bowel movements.
According to Joe Bartges, professor of medicine and nutrition at the College of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Tennessee. “Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in cats.”
Cat Food Aversion
Cats that are allowed to eat human foods often become addicted to them and can even crave them. Although pizza is bad for cats, they will still eat it. If they are allowed to eat human foods, they may decide that they no longer like cat food.
This can cause serious problems. Your cat may refuse to eat their normal cat food and even develop an aversion to it. They may only want pizza or other human foods.
It can be hard for a cat owner to watch their pet go hungry, but you shouldn’t give in. If your cat has been eating pizza and no longer wants its cat food, you have to wait it out. Eventually, the pizza craving will wear off, and hunger will get the better of your cat.
According to the National Research Council, “If your cat goes more than a couple of days without eating or has any symptoms that may cause you to suspect a health problem, seek help from a veterinarian.”
Keeping Your Cat Healthy
According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, “Cats evolved as hunters that consume prey that contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and their diet still requires these general proportions today.” As a pet owner, it is your job to make sure your cat is eating properly.
Don’t make the mistake of giving your cat pizza and potentially making it severely ill. Cats don’t always know what foods are bad for them. While most animals avoid eating things that are toxic to them, pizza contains so many ingredients that it’s hard for cats to tell them apart.
If you can’t pass up a cheesy piece of pizza, don’t expect your cat to do it either. If you want to protect your cat’s health, don’t just avoid feeding it pizza, make sure pizza leftovers are stored or disposed of properly so your cat can’t access them.
If your pet does accidentally eat pizza, monitor it closely for symptoms of an allergic reaction or gastrointestinal problems and seek veterinary care if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
If you want to know more about the dangers of giving your cat pizza, check out this YouTube video.