Breakfast is often hailed as the most important meal of the day in the human world. Does the same rule apply to cats though? Or are our felines fine with skipping breakfast and having a hearty lunch instead?
What do cats like to eat for breakfast, and will serving up something special earn you extra cuddles?
What Do Cats Like To Eat For Breakfast?
Cats will enjoy a variety of feline-appropriate foods for breakfast. They include:
- Wet cat food
- Dry cat food
They can also be given some types of cheese, milk and tea. Just bear in mind that a lot of human food isn’t actually good for cats, so while giving them a couple of bites here and there won’t do any harm, don’t make it a habit.
Quality cat food is the best staple in your cat’s diet, while human foods should only be considered the occasional treat.
Cats are obligate carnivores, as you know, so a breakfast centered around meat will be much appreciated. Meat is filled with protein, amino acids and lots of vitamins and minerals that help cats stay healthy and thrive.
When preparing your cat a meat meal, make sure you use no seasoning and specifically no salt. Cats can’t eat salt, and they definitely won’t notice the meal has not been seasoned.
You can also leave your cat’s meat meal in shredable sections, as that will be most similar to what they would eat in the wild.
When it comes to the type of meat cats can eat, the options are numerous. Cats can eat raw chicken, but you can also boil it for them or fry it with no oil and no seasoning. You can also give them turkey or beef, boiled or fried.
You can also give your cat liver and intestines, and you can also give them some bone to chew on, as long as you have made sure it’s not brittle (ideally, you want an uncooked raw chicken bone).
When it comes to deli types of meats, cats can eat salami but only in very small quantities. You can give your cat bacon too, yet again very rarely. Beef jerky is bad for cats due to the high sodium content, so you shouldn’t feature it in their diet.
Provide plenty of fresh, cool water with the meat-based breakfast, and your cat will love you.
Cats also like to eat fish for breakfast. In general, it should be served grilled, boiled or baked, should not be seasoned, should not contain any salt and should not be fried in oil.
When giving your cat fish, make sure there are no bones they can choke on, and that the fish is as fresh as it can be. Canned options are okay too, as long as there is little to no oil left on the fish.
Remove the skin and bones if you’re making your own fish meal for your cat, and make sure to clean up after them, as you don’t want your entire house to smell.
Believe it or not, cats can also eat eggs, as long as they are not seasoned and are completely cooked, and only served on occasion, not more than twice a month.
Eggs are a great source of protein, so your cat will certainly benefit from eating them. If you are making the same breakfast for both of you, make sure your feline gets a portion that hasn’t seen any salt or the herbs you may use on your own meal.
Also make sure the eggs are completely cooked, since uncooked egg whites can cause vitamin deficiency in cats, as they contain a protein called avidin.
Since eggs are rich in protein and amino acids, they will keep your cat strong and healthy. Add to that the taurine, thiamine, iron, zinc, selenium and biotin, and your cat’s immune system, bones, eyes and coat will all benefit.
Don’t give your cat raw eggs, as they may contract salmonella or e.coli. Boil the egg in plain water without any salt, and only give your cat a quarter of it. You can mix it in with their regular cat food, or serve it along with some fresh meat or fish.
Cats can actually eat oatmeal, even though the idea itself sounds a bit off. After all, cats are carnivores, what would they do with a bowl full of carbs?
Oatmeal contains plenty of protein and is rich in vitamins, so it can be quite beneficial for your cat. However, given the fact that it is in fact a carb, you don’t want to give your cat a lot of it, and you certainly don’t want to give it to them too often.
Oatmeal is also rich in vitamins E and B, and its zinc, iron and selenium content all work to keep your cat’s organs working properly. They will have stronger muscles and a shinier coat, as long as you don’t overload them with carbs.
A teaspoon is all they need really, and you can give it to them a couple of times a month. Make sure to prepare the oatmeal with water, not milk, as cats are lactose intolerant, and milk can give them an upset stomach.
You can simply let your cat lick a bit of oatmeal off your finger if you’ve made some for your own breakfast: as long as it’s plain and does not contain any chocolate, vanilla or any other flavor.
Cats love broth, and it can certainly be a welcome change from the usual bowl of water. You can serve it up on its own, or you can soak some of their dry food in it, enhancing the taste and the texture.
Cats can eat chicken broth as long as it’s made without any seasoning or salt. You can serve it to them daily, and it will keep their bones and coat healthy. Prepare a small batch of chicken broth for your cat, and keep it in the fridge for breakfast time. Make sure to warm it up before serving, but serve it cool, as cats tend to start lapping it up as soon as they see it, even when it’s still too hot.
The jury is still out on whether or not you should be feeding your cat cheese for breakfast. Lactose-free cheese is probably a perfectly fine idea, as long as you stick to small, occasional portions.
On the other hand, some cats feel absolutely fine even after eating cheese made from cow’s milk. Since it’s rich in protein, there are certainly benefits to giving your cat a bite every now and then. Just make sure to keep an eye on them and see how they react. Some cats can tolerate small amounts of lactose quite well, and will not at all be affected by the cheese.
For some reason, we have grown accustomed to the idea of giving adult cats a saucer of milk for breakfast. Since our feline friends are actually lactose intolerant, this is not a good idea.
Instead of cow’s milk, cats can drink oat milk. You can also give your cat lactose-free milk if you want them to drink something other than plain water. However, bear in mind that cats don’t need milk, so they will be just fine without it. If you want to provide some variety, choose a milk that does not contain any lactose.
Cats can drink some types of tea, so if you are looking for a milk and water alternative, you can brew them a nice cup to go with their breakfast. Make sure it’s plain tea without any milk or sugar in it. Cats shouldn’t eat honey either, so don’t add any to their serving, as it’s full of sugar which they definitely don’t need in their diet.
Wet Cat Food
Cats will love to eat their regular wet cat food for breakfast. To keep things interesting for them, you can give them one flavor for breakfast and another one for dinner. Serving them their favorite food for breakfast can however backfire, as you may find yourself being woken up way too early by an eager kitty.
Wet cat food is great for cats. It’s tasty and moist, so will provide some hydration as well, alongside all the protein, vitamins and minerals your cat needs.
As long as you buy quality cat food that is not filled with too many carbs and is absolutely packed with protein, your cat will love it for breakfast.
Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food can also be a good breakfast option. It’s richer in vitamins and minerals than wet food, and it will also keep your cat feeling fuller for longer.
Some cats aren’t huge fans of dry food, and will only eat it when there’s nothing else to be had. Serving it for breakfast may thus not be the best idea, unless you sweeten the deal with a bit of chicken broth, for example.
A Note on Human Food
Whatever you decide to give your cat for breakfast, note that human food should only account for no more than 15% of their overall diet. You also shouldn’t be giving your cat your own breakfast leftovers on top of their own meal, even if it’s safe for them. They will only be consuming excess calories and will start to put on weight.
Consider human food an occasional treat, as opposed to a staple part of your pet’s diet.
Should I Feed My Cat Breakfast?
You should definitely give your cat breakfast every day. Cats need at least 2 meals a day, no more than 12 hours apart. Breakfast will fuel their morning activities, and is especially important if you are about to leave your cat alone.
Cats usually adapt well to routines. If you decide to feed them breakfast, lunch and dinner at a certain time, they will accept the schedule.
Breakfast needs to be a part of that schedule as it will give them the energy they need for the day. Plus, be certain that your cat will demand to be fed when you get up. They may even wake you up if they get too hungry.
Aim to give your cat a hearty breakfast, bearing in mind their total caloric needs for the day. If you are feeding them 3 times a day and leaving some kibble out, make sure the total does not exceed the amount of food they should be getting.
What Time Do Cats Like To Eat Breakfast?
Every cat will form different breakfast habits, which will mostly depend on your own routine. Most cats want to be fed when you get up, but will be happy to wait 15-ish minutes, if that’s what you get them used to.
Cats prefer a predictable routine. Their inner alarm will go off if you miss breakfast time, and they will be very vocal about it.
Work your cat’s breakfast into your own morning habits. If you prefer to have a minute to yourself with your morning cup of coffee, feeding your cat beforehand can ensure you get some peace and quiet. Or you may prefer to jump in the shower straight out of bed, in which case your cat will learn to anticipate breakfast after you come out of the weird waterfall.
Whenever you decide to feed your cat breakfast, make sure you stick to the routine as much as possible. Your cat will be much better behaved for it.
Wrapping It Up
Cats like to eat their regular cat food for breakfast, but will also appreciate the occasional meat or fish meal. Make sure you don’t give your cat too much human food, and their digestive system and overall health will thrive.