Can Cats Eat Bagels?

Apr 21, 2024 | Cats & Kittens | 1 comment

Written by: Dmytro Kovalenko. ✓ Medically verified by a licensed veterinarian: Mykhailo Ozmenchuk, DVM. Explore our editorial process.

As cat owners, it’s natural to wonder if our beloved feline companions can share some of our favorite foods. With their delightful aroma and soft texture, bagels may make you wonder: Can cats eat bagels? 

Let’s examine the facts about feeding cat bagels, explore the risks, and consider better alternatives to keep your kitty healthy and happy.

Can Cats Eat Bread?

Definitely, no, they don`t. Cats should not consume bagels. While cats can technically eat bread without it being immediately toxic to them, it’s not a recommended or beneficial part of their diet.

Bread, including bagels and toppings, provides little nutritional value for cats and can even lead to health issues if consumed regularly or in large quantities.

Here are some reasons why giving bread to your cat is not a good idea:

  • Lack of nutritional value: Bread primarily consists of carbohydrates, which do not contribute to a cat’s dietary requirements. Cats are obligate carnivores, and their diet should be rich in animal-based proteins.
  • Potential digestive issues: Due to bread’s high carbohydrate content, cats may have difficulty digesting it. This can lead to digestive problems, including upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Risk of obesity: Feeding your cat bread regularly can contribute to weight gain and obesity, as it adds unnecessary calories to their diet.
  • Allergies and sensitivities: Some cats may be allergic or sensitive to specific ingredients commonly found in bread, such as wheat. This can lead to allergic reactions or skin issues.
  • Displacement of nutrient-rich foods: Offering bread as a snack might deter your cat from eating its regular, nutritionally balanced cat food, which is essential for its overall health.

If you observe any unusual behavior, contact your veterinarian. Providing plenty of water to help mitigate any potential effects from the salt and seasonings is important, and having a good cat insurance plan can help manage any unexpected veterinary costs.


The History of Cats and Bagels

Cats have been our companions for thousands of years, and their domestication dates back to ancient times. Ancient Egyptians considered them sacred and played a crucial role in controlling pests during the Middle Ages.

Bagels originated in Eastern Europe, particularly in Poland, in the early 17th century. They gained popularity in the United States through Jewish immigrants in the late 19th century and have since become a beloved breakfast staple.

While the histories of cats and bagels don’t intertwine, both have left significant cultural imprints. Cats are cherished companions, and bagels are a globally enjoyed food item.

What Should I Do If I Decide To Give My Cat a Bagel?

If you want to provide your cat with an occasional, safe treat, there are better alternatives than a bagel. Here’s how to do it:

1. Choose cat-specific treats first: Opt for specially formulated cat treats that are safe and nutritious for feline consumption. These treats are typically available in pet stores and come in various flavors and textures to suit your cat’s preferences.

2. Then check ingredients: Read the ingredient list on the cat treats to ensure they contain wholesome ingredients suitable for your cat’s dietary needs. Avoid treats with excessive fillers or artificial additives.

3. Moderate the feeding: Treats should be given in moderation. Follow the recommended serving size on the packaging and consider your cat’s overall calorie intake to prevent overfeeding, which can lead to weight issues.

4. Observe for allergies: Watch your cat after giving them treats. Some cats may have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients. If you notice any adverse reactions, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or itching, discontinue the treats and consult your vet.


While giving your cat a bagel is not advisable, plenty of safe and delicious cat treats can provide a special treat for your feline friend without compromising their health.

In summary, cats should not eat bagels or any bread. While these baked goods might be a beloved part of our breakfast routine, they hold no nutritional benefit for cats and can potentially lead to health issues. Remember, your veterinarian is your best resource for your cat’s dietary needs.


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What specific ingredients in bagels are harmful to cats?

While plain bagels might not be immediately harmful, many contain onion, garlic, and raisins, which are toxic to cats. Excess salt and sugar, commonly found in bagels, are also not ideal for a cat’s diet.

Are there any health benefits to feeding my cat a small piece of bagel?

Bagels do not offer any health benefits to cats. Cats require high-protein, meat-based diets, and bagels lack the necessary nutrients to support a cat’s health. It’s better to stick with foods formulated for cats.

Can cats have allergic reactions?

Yes, cats can have allergic reactions to wheat and gluten, which are common in bagels. Signs of an allergic reaction include itching, gastrointestinal upset, or respiratory issues. If you suspect an allergy, consult your vet.

What do if my cat accidentally eats a large piece of bagel?

Monitor your cat for signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. If you observe any unusual behavior, contact your veterinarian. Provide plenty of water to help mitigate any potential effects from the salt and seasonings.

Are there any alternatives?

Consider healthier alternatives like small pieces of cooked chicken, turkey, canned tuna, or salmon. These options are safer and beneficial to your cat’s diet, providing essential proteins and nutrients.



1 Comment

  1. Feline

    Bagels are a staple in my house! Can cats really eat them, or should I be more cautious about sharing my breakfast?

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