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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Pizza? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts

Can Cats Eat Pizza? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts

Can Cats Eat Pizza

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Dr. Lauren Demos Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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With an endless variety of toppings, sauces, and specialty varieties, pizza is a favorite food among humans of all ages. But have you ever wondered if sharing this delicious dish with your cat is okay? Cats shouldn’t eat pizza because it’s unhealthy for them and frequently contains toxic ingredients.

In this article, we’ll go into detail about which common pizza ingredients are potentially problematic and why it’s not healthy for cats. If you want to share snacks with your kitty, we’ll suggest some better options.


What Pizza Ingredients Are Bad for Your Cat to Eat?

Here are some common pizza ingredients that may be toxic or unhealthy for your cat.

1. Raw Pizza Dough

If you enjoy making your own pizza, be sure your cat doesn’t have access to the raw dough. Raw pizza dough contains yeast to help it rise. If your cat eats the raw dough, it will still rise in the warm confines of their stomach, causing painful swelling. The fermenting yeast also produces alcohol, which is toxic to your cat.

Raw dough preparation or pizza
Image by: GreenArt,Shutterstock

2. Onions and Garlic

Most pizza contains onions or garlic in some form, whether fresh, dried, or powdered. All forms of these vegetables are toxic to cats. They can cause digestive issues or the life-threatening destruction of the cat’s red blood cells.

3. Cheese

Many people are surprised to learn cats shouldn’t eat cheese. Cheese and other dairy products aren’t toxic to cats but can upset their stomachs. Cats can’t fully digest lactose, which is the sugar in dairy products. Eating cheese may give them diarrhea.

Cheddar Cheese
Image by: HandmadePictures, Shutterstock

4. Fatty Toppings

White sauce, cheese, and some of the meat toppings on pizza are usually high in fat. Eating fatty foods can upset your cat’s stomach. Too much fat in the diet can also cause your cat to become overweight. We’ll discuss why that’s a problem in the next section.


The 3 Other Reasons Pizza Is Unhealthy for Cats

Besides toxic ingredients, pizza is unhealthy for cats for several other reasons.

1. High in Fat

Pizza is typically high in fat, as we mentioned in the previous section. Eating fatty foods contributes to obesity in cats just as it does in humans. Obesity is the most common, preventable disease in cats.

Obese cats have a shorter life expectancy overall than those at a healthy weight. They are at greater risk of developing additional medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Carrying too much weight is also hard on the cat’s joints and spine.

2. Too Many Carbohydrates

All that pizza dough provides your cat with a hefty dose of carbohydrates. As obligate (true) carnivores, cats require a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Their bodies are adapted to digest and absorb nutrition from animal sources rather than plants. High-carbohydrate diets can also lead to weight gain and could upset your cat’s stomach.

Close up Pizza
Image by: Robert Owen-Wahl, Pixabay

3. Too Many Calories

Most calories your cat eats daily should come from a nutritionally balanced diet. Treats of any kind, including pizza, should make up no more than 10% of their daily calorie allowance. If you do the math, chances are just a small bite of most pizzas will more than meet that limit!


Human Foods That Your Cat Can Eat

person feeding gray scottish cat some strawberries
Image by: Sagittarius_13, Shutterstock

Instead of pizza, you can serve these healthier and safer human foods as a snack:

  • Cooked lean chicken, turkey, or beef
  • Cooked eggs
  • Cooked fish
  • Vegetables, like cucumber or green beans
  • Fruit, like cantaloupe
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, couscous, or oatmeal

Remember, you don’t have to give your cat any human food, no matter how much they beg. Even safe human foods aren’t nutritionally balanced like diets formulated for cats. They could also upset their stomachs.

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If pizza doesn’t contain toxic ingredients, an occasional bite might be okay for your cat to eat. Just remember that pizza isn’t healthy for your cat, and unfamiliar human food could cause signs such as vomiting and diarrhea. Stick with feeding your cat a balanced diet in the proper amount and try offering some of the healthier human foods we suggested if you can’t resist giving your kitty a treat.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: PublicDomainImages , Pixabay

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