Cats can eat flour, yes. If your cat has had a little nibble or a lick of flour, there’s no need to panic. You shouldn’t deliberately feed your cat flour though, cats are carnivores and can struggle to digest grains and similar foods.
What’s in Flour? How it’s Made
If your cat has eaten something, it helps to know exactly what they have ingested. Just in case they show any signs of being unwell over the next 24-48 hours or so.
If you’re sure they’ve eaten flour, then it’s pretty obvious that’s going to be the reason. Just take note of what type of flour they ate, and try to get a rough idea of how much.
Flour is made by grinding raw grains, beans, roots, and seeds. The process is called ‘milling’. Milling grinds up the grains and separates the flour, which is a powder-like substance, from the harder parts of the grains.
There are various types of flour, and it’s one of the staple ingredients used in some of the most popular foods around the world.
Biscuits, breads, cakes, just about any foods that are baked and need to rise are all made with flour. If you enjoy baking at home – as I do – then you almost certainly have flour in the cupboard.
Related – Can cats eat crackers? (Some, yes)
Is Flour Harmful or Dangerous to Cats?
Generally speaking, flour is not harmful to cats, no. In fact, a lot of cat foods contain a small amount of flour, grains, and other similar ‘filler’ foods.
Some cats are known to have grain allergies though. If this is the case, they will typically have symptoms like vomiting, nausea, loss of weight, and other general signs of being unwell.
If your cat is allergic to grains, you’ll probably be aware of it by now. Vets are usually quick to recommend switching to grain-free cat food if you have a cat showing the above symptoms after eating food.
Allergies or not, the bottom line, however, is that cats shouldn’t be eating raw flour. It’s just not a good idea. Harmful or not, there are no nutritional benefits for cats eating flour. It’s not something you want to become a habit, that’s for sure.
Plus, do you really want your cat sticking their head into a bag of flour or jumping up on your kitchen side when you’re baking?
It’s a quick way to make a big mess in the kitchen and they’ll be a nuisance when you’re baking!
What Kind of Flour Can Cats Eat?
There are lots of types of flour; self-raising, oat, bread, cake, whole wheat…..I researched whether or not one type presents a higher risk than another, but couldn’t find any evidence.
It’s best to treat all flours the same – by keeping them out of the reach of curious cats.
What Treats Are Ok for Cats?
There are a lot of human foods that are fine for cats in small amounts. I’m sure if you’ve had a cat for any length of time you will have seen them helping themselves to various leftovers and scraps.
The general rule of thumb is that you should never intentionally give your cat leftovers. They really should stick to a diet of high-quality cat food and the occasional kitty treat.
Cats have complex dietary needs. They are obligate carnivores, which means they absolutely need the nutrients found in animal flesh to maintain optimal health.
Don’t worry, your cat doesn’t need to go out hunting at night for prey. These nutritional requirements are met by dry and wet foods.
If you want to treat your cat, my advice is to stick to kitty treats. Here are the treats I have in my cupboard for when my cats get the munchies:
Some Foods Cats Should Never Eat
While we’re on the topic of cats trying human foods, it’s always a good idea to be aware of any foods that are potentially poisonous or dangerous to your feline friend.
Here are some of the foods that cats should never get a hold of according to Hillspet:
- Chocolate and caffeinated drinks
- Raw eggs and raw meat
- Raw dough
- Milk and dairy products
- Grapes and raisins
- Dog food
If your cat has eaten any of the above, you should be proactive and contact a vet for advice. Some of these foods and drinks, alcohol, in particular, can be fatal to cats.
Cats stealing food and sticking their noses into places they really shouldn’t is a fairly common occurrence – at least around my home.
It’s our responsibility to make sure they aren’t getting their teeth or tongues into foods and substances that are harmful to them.
As I’ve explained, if your cat has eaten a little flour, it isn’t a big deal. The mess and the fact that your cat has possibly contaminated your flour is probably going to be a bigger headache!
Image credits – Header photo by Erica Marsland Huynh on Unsplash
How flour is made – Fabflour.co.uk