Yes, cats can occasionally eat plain oatmeal in limited quantities.
Oatmeal is a cooked cereal grain that is usually eaten by humans at breakfast time. Steel-cut, rolled, or instant oats are commonly used to produce this healthy meal. Depending on the oats, the dish can contain vitamins E and B6, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
This nutritious grain can be served to your cat with some conditions. First, it should not be prepared with milk as most cats are lactose intolerant. Your cat may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and an upset stomach from eating milk-based porridge. Likewise, flavourings such as sugar, honey, and cinnamon should not be included since these will not benefit your cat. More importantly, do not offer her oatmeal with chocolate, raisins, and certain nuts (such as almonds and walnuts) as these are toxic for her.
How to feed oatmeal to your cat: Get your veterinarian’s approval before letting your cat try anything new. When preparing feline-friendly oatmeal, only use water to cook it. Choose rolled or steel-cut over instant oatmeal, as the latter may be packed with preservatives. Only offer her a few bites of warm oatmeal. Feed her a tiny lick, and observe her over the next 24 hours for any changes.
Since cats are obligate carnivores, they need less carbohydrates to function. Follow your doctor’s recommended oatmeal serving and frequency. Make sure her treats don’t go over 10% of her daily caloric needs.
Here are three ideas for oatmeal treats your cat will love:
- Top a spoon of your cat’s oatmeal with a slice of her favourite fruit.
- Combine chicken chunks with oatmeal to make it a more filling treat.
- Treat your cat to some sardine porridge.
In summary: Stick to the plainly cooked variety when feeding oatmeal to your cat. Only give small portions, as too much of this fiber-rich food may cause digestive issues. Aside from oatmeal, learn which other vegetables, seeds, and legumes you can safely feed your pet cat under our “can cats eat” category.