Cats like to snack every so often, and they tend to have a liking for human snacks such as crackers and chips. Tortillas are also some of their favorites. But are they safe, and can you feed them to your cat often?
If you are anything like me, you probably like to snuggle up on the couch with a warm blankie to watch a movie as you snack, and if your cat is anything like mine, they probably like to curl up next to you and share your snack as it purrs the night away.
A good number of domesticated cats like to have human snacks, and there are cat owners that have observed different likings from different cats. There are cats that like sugary snacks such as cookies, cakes and biscuits while yet others have noticed that their cats prefer salty snacks such as potato chips and salty crackers.
There are actually cats that will not have their own food until they have a snack/treat. Of course, this habit is discouraged, but a cat is a cat, and stubbornness is a big part of them. Tortillas are an essential part of most of our diets, and for this reason, some cats have developed a taste for them. But are they any good for your cat, and are they safe?
Tortillas – What are they made of?
Tortillas are a form of flat bread made using corn flour that is unleavened. In some rare cases, wheat flour is used. They are made from dough that contains the flour, some form of oil (usually lard), salt, baking powder and water. They are cooked over a hot skillet and are eaten as an accompaniment for stews and sauces.
So, are they safe for cats?
Cats are obligatory carnivores, meaning that they are biologically engineered to eat meat. Their stomachs have the capability to efficiently digest high levels of protein to supply their bodies with nutrients. This is not to mean that they cannot be able to eat other non-meat foods. But what is it about tortillas that make them bad for cats?
The thing about cats is that they lack amylase. This is an enzyme that is responsible for the digestion of starch, and it is most abundantly found in human saliva. Since cats lack this enzyme, they are largely unable to digest starch, and have been reported to develop bad indigestion and hard stool from consuming high starch foods.
Tortillas are mostly comprised of corn flour. Corn is known to have a high concentration of starch that can reach up to 18.5g for every 100 grams. This means that cats cannot be able to digest tortillas properly.
Presence of Salt
The second and probably most important thing is the fact that tortillas contain salt. Salt is highly toxic to cats, and when ingested in high amounts, it can cause severe dehydration, poor appetite, lethargy, poor coordination, coma, seizures, tremors and, in bad cases, death.
Cats should, therefore, be fed very little salt as it may prove fatal to them.
So what human foods can your cat safely snack on?
Pieces of chicken
These are highly beneficial to cats since they are loaded with protein and saturated fats. While saturated fats cause health problems to humans, they have zero effect on cats. They actually make food more palatable to them, causing them to eat better.
Also packed with protein, fish helps your cat get healthier. The presence of fish oils also improves your cat’s cardiovascular and respiratory health. It also keeps kidney disease and arthritis at bay. Do not, however, feed your cat canned or raw fish. Eliminate all foods that may have a lot of sodium and preservatives that the cat may react to.
These are protein packed foods that are also highly beneficial to your felines. Ensure they are cooked as it is unlikely that your cat will fancy raw eggs. They may also have E. Coli which could make your cat sick.
If your cat is one of those that like to nibble on vegetables, it gains great benefit in so doing as they add vitamins and minerals to your cat’s highly protein diet. Cucumbers and other broccoli are excellent veggies for your furry friend.
This food is not just a super food for humans. It is also highly beneficial to felines since it has Vitamin A, B6, C and E and are ideal for keeping your cat’s skin and coat healthy.
What other foods should you not feed your cat?
Here are a few foods that may be potentially harmful to cats.
Garlic and onions
These are highly toxic to cats. When ingested in large amounts, they tend to break down your cat’s red blood cells which results in anemia in the long run. Keep them away from cats in all their forms, whether fresh or ground.
Raisins and Grapes
These awesome fruits are actually dangerous for cats. They may cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and abdominal pain in cats when ingested. They can lead to eventual kidney failure.
Consumption of chocolate can prove fatal to cats. It contains compounds known as methylxanthines. They cause high body temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmia, muscle tremors, seizures, thirst and subsequent death. Darker chocolates have a higher concentration of these compounds. This same compound is present in caffeine.
All cats are lactose intolerant. They are only able to handle lactose from their mothers when they are kittens, but after outgrowing this, their stomachs are unable to digest it. This may cause them a lot of digestive discomfort.
While it’s a lot of fun feeding your cat food from your plate, it is important that you be careful not to feed it stuff that may be potentially toxic. While they may have a taste for tortillas, you are discouraged from feeding them large amounts. They may develop serious gastrointestinal issues along with poisoning from salt. Try and find your cat other human foods that it can snack on and still reap healthy benefits from.