Cats are carnivores. Therefore, many people may argue that they do not prefer plant-based food items including tortillas. Tortillas are flat and thin pancakes made using maize flour. They do have a savory filling for a better taste.
The answer to the question “Can cats eat tortillas?” is yes. However, there are many other things that you must know regarding the subject.
Can cats eat tortillas?
As stated, tortillas are plant-based food while cats are carnivorous animals. Therefore, you should ensure that the cats are not consuming the tortillas in excess. The filling and other ingredients of tortillas may contain sodium and other kinds of ingredients. There may be health issues with your cat if it consumes sodium and other restricted foods in excess.
There are two main types of tortilla recipes including the “corn tortillas” and the “flour tortillas”. I will discuss these food items one by one, which will help you know whether they are healthy for your cat.
Can you feed corn tortillas to your cat?
Cats are carnivorous animals and require good amounts of protein in their regular diet. However processed corn is known for its energy-related benefits and can be a source of it due to its quick and easy digestion. When you can feed some corn tortillas to your cat occasionally, the food items should not replace any other food item in your cat’s diet. Corn tortillas can be a rare treat for your cat.
Do remember that processed foods like tortillas may contain lots of sodium. It can be a cause of health conditions including seizures and confusion, among others. You can reduce the sodium content of your tortillas or chips that you feed to your cat by making these foods at home by yourself. This way you will be able to control salt and other ingredients.
Can you feed flour tortillas to your cat?
Plant-based foods can be given to cats in moderation only. The stomach of a cat cannot process copious amounts of food like white flour. Therefore, flour tortillas can also be only an occasional treat for your cat. Your cat may suffer from digestive and other health conditions if it feeds on white flour for a longer duration. White flour can be an ingredient in many of the foods that your cat may be consuming now as well. Therefore, it is even more important that you control the consumption of the ingredients by your cat.
Ingredients of Tortillas that can Harm Cat’s Health
The savory tortillas may contain multiple ingredients that can cause an adverse impact on the health of your cat if consumed in excessive amounts. Below are the names of some of these ingredients of tortillas.
Excess salt can be as damaging to the health of pets and cats as it is to human health. Cats are much smaller when compared to humans and require salt in much lesser amounts. The maximum amount of sodium and salt that a cat can consume in a day without damaging its health is 42 mg. The cat does not require more than 21 mg of sodium in a day. However, foods including tortillas and chips can be particularly high in sodium. For instance, only two chips will have enough sodium to meet the daily sodium intake requirement of a cat. Higher sodium content in the blood may affect the body’s electrolyte balance adversely, which may be bad for the health of your cat.
Excessive intake of saturated fat can also be bad for humans as well as cats. Saturated fat can get deposited inside the blood vessels of cats and increase cholesterol levels to an alarming extent. It can damage the arteries and the blood vessels of the cat just like it does in humans. Long-term consumption of foods high in saturated fat can cause serious health complications in your cat. Therefore, you should ensure that the cat does not consume excessive saturated fat and is consuming essential and healthy fatty acids only. Tortillas may contain saturated fat, therefore their feeding should be controlled in cats.
Another unique physiological aspect of cat digestion is that it lacks an enzyme found in the human saliva that can help in the digestion of starch. Since cats lack this enzyme, they cannot break down the starch found in corn or flour effectively. A cat may suffer from indigestion and other disorders if it consumes starch in substantial amounts.
Preparing Healthy Tortillas for the Cat
You can prepare healthy tortillas for your cat at home if you focus on choosing the right ingredients. You only need the corn tortillas, vegetable oil, and coarse salt (like Kosher salt) for the preparation.
Kosher salt and some other salts contain sodium in an extremely low quantity when compared to the normal and common salt that is used in the kitchen. Consuming such salt is not bad for the health of the cat as it does not aggravate the sodium level in the feline blood.
Vegetable oils contain low amounts of saturated fat. Consumption of these oils does not aggravate the accumulation of cholesterol inside the blood.
Some Healthy Food Items For Your Cat
While tortillas can be a rare and delicious treat for your cat, you cannot compromise with the nutritious and balanced diet for your pet. Below are some food items that can ensure the good health of your feline.
- Meat: high in protein.
- Whole grains: whole grains such as corn, oats, etc. are high in fiber and can be digested easily. They are also high in protein.
- Eggs: high in protein and a healthy snack.
- Fish is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart health and the eyesight of cats.
- Cheese: a good vegetable protein source.
- Vegetables: these foods are high in water, vitamins, and fiber, which is good for the digestion and the health of cats.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ensure enough of protein in my cat’s diet?
Choose fresh protein sources including meet, egg and fish for your cat’s diet.
Can I prepare healthy tortillas for my cat at home?
Yes, you can make healthy tortillas at home by choosing suitable ingredients like Kosher salt (or any other coarse salt), vegetable oil (low in saturated fat, and whole grain flour.
It is always good to visit your veterinarian for a health checkup and vaccination of your pet such as cats. You can also choose the ingredients of the foods for your cat carefully to ensure that they remain healthy and get ample nutrition every day throughout their life. Tortillas can be a good treat for your cat but can only be fed rarely. Ensure that you make healthier versions of the tortillas at home for your cat for the pet’s longevity and good health.