Pancakes are some of the yummiest and most nutritious treats for humans. Pancakes are incredibly easy to prepare too. So, it comes as no surprise that these cakes are a popular delicacy in many homes around the world.
If you’re a pancake lover who also happens to own cats, you may have realized that your feline friend never leaves the kitchen whenever you’re preparing pancakes. Well, that’s only to be expected, as pancakes have an irresistibly inviting aroma.
After preparing your pancake, you’re in a dilemma as to whether you should share some with your cat or not. But cats are known for their sheer persistence, especially when begging for human foods.
So, after a brief consideration, you decide to slide some pancakes to your cat’s bowl and the animal gulps it down. A couple of hours pass by and your cat becomes sick. You’re left wondering if the cat’s sickness has anything to do with the pancakes it ate for breakfast. Like any concerned cat owner, you may be left wondering, can cats eat pancakes?
Answer: The short answer is yes, cats can eat pancakes but only in moderation. Like most people foods, pancakes can harm your cat if fed in excess amounts. The greatest risks of pancakes for cats come from ingredients like milk, butter, salt, and spices.
The good news is that the potentially toxic ingredients in pancakes will need to be abundant in large amounts for the cat to get sick.
Read on as we expound further on the topic of cats and pancakes.
What Constitutes Pancakes?
One of the frequently asked questions by cat owners is, can my cat eat pancakes, will it get sick?
As we’ve just indicated, your cat can eat pancakes in small amounts. That’s the unwritten rule for most human foods that aren’t animal protein. But before we delve further into the possible effects of pancakes on cats, it’s important to understand exactly what pancakes are.
A pancake goes by numerous other names, including a hotcake, a flapjack, a griddlecake, to mention but a few.
Basically, a pancake is a flat, thin, and round cake that’s prepared from starch-based batter, which usually contains milk, eggs, and butter.
The ingredients can vary a bit, depending on region and individual preferences.
Generally, the name of the pancake changes depending on the ingredient that forms the major portion of the batter. For instance, if the batter is mostly made of potato, then the pancake is now known as a potato pancake.
In addition to potato pancakes, we also have banana pancakes, blueberry pancakes, vegetable/vegan pancakes, etc.
Once the ingredients are in place, the flour is fried on a hot surface, such as a frying pan or griddle, usually using oil or butter.
But regardless of the variety of pancakes, the question remains – are pancakes okay for cats? As you shall find in the following section, that largely depends on the individual ingredients used.
Last update on 2021-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Common Pancake Ingredients and How They Affect Your Cat
The main ingredients used in pancakes include flour, baking powder, milk, eggs, butter, salt, and (in some cases, spices).
Let’s examine the possible risks of each ingredient for cats.
1. Flour and Baking Powder
Flour is a plant-based product and that mere fact makes it an unwelcome treat for cats.
It’s important to note that cats are obligate carnivores and thrive almost exclusively on a diet of animal protein. Being obligate carnivores, your cat’s digestive system is not designed to process plant-based foods like flour.
A small amount of flour will unlikely affect your cat. However, high amounts of it will definitely lead to gastrointestinal distress, which produces symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
So, flour alone doesn’t make pancakes an unhealthy treat for cats, provided that you feed the pancake to your feline friend in moderation.
Along with flour comes baking powder. Baking powder is typically used as a leavening agent. It produces gas that causes the batter to rise.
Just like flour, cats can safely ingest baking powder in small amounts. However, large quantities of baking powder can lead to electrolyte imbalance (low calcium and potassium vis-à-vis high sodium), muscle spasms, and congestive heart failure.
It’s almost impossible to find a pancake that doesn’t contain eggs in it. But are eggs in pancakes safe for cats?
Yes, cats can safely eat pancake eggs. In fact, eggs are considered as some of the most nutritious foods for cats, as they’re abundant in animal protein and other essential nutrients like calcium. Therefore, you can comfortably offer egg-based pancakes to your feline friend without worrying about any immediate side effects.
⚠️ However, there are three caveats to take into consideration. First, eggs are high in calories, so only feed egg-based pancakes to your cat in moderation.
⚠️ Secondly, avoid feeding your cat pancake that’s made of raw or undercooked eggs, as that could present the risks of bacterial infections. And lastly, ensure your cat is not allergic to eggs. Fortunately, egg allergies in cats aren’t too common.
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Last update on 2021-03-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
3. Milk and Butter
Milk and butter are dairy products, something that already makes them unhealthy foods for cats.
As you may already know, cats are lactose intolerant. They lack the enzyme, lactase, which can effectively digest the lactose that’s present in dairy products. Consuming a large amount of dairy products like milk and butter will most certainly lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Again, the rule here is moderation. Small quantities of pancakes are considerably low in milk and butter, and will unlikely cause your cat any problems.
When offering milk-based pancakes to your cat, you should be careful that your cat doesn’t develop a love affair for pancakes, considering that cats love milk. Yes, it’s quite ironical that while milk is considered unhealthy for cats, cats actually love it.
There are two main reasons why cats love milk. First, milk contains protein and fats that cats can enjoy. Secondly, milk also happens to be the food that cats used to drink while they were young. Milk is less of a problem for young cats than it is for adult cats because kittens can manufacture the enzyme lactase on their own.
So, now that kittens can safely drink milk and pancakes often contain milk, can kittens eat pancakes?
Unfortunately, the fact that milk is harmless to kittens doesn’t necessarily make pancakes safe for them. Remember that pancakes might still contain other ingredients that cats should not eat. If anything, kittens have more sensitive stomachs and will likely suffer severe gastrointestinal issues from eating pancake.
4. Salt and Spices
Salt is the main condiment that we use to flavor pancakes. However, it’s not advisable to add salt to pancakes if you’re intending to share the cakes with your feline friend.
Excess salt leads to sodium ion poisoning, a severe medical condition that’s symptomized by nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, as well as neurological symptoms like seizures and body tremors. If untreated, your cat could die of sodium ion poisoning.
Most spices, such as onions and garlic, are just as toxic to cats as salt is. A small amount of onions and garlic might lead to garlic/onion poisoning, a fatal condition that begins with gastrointestinal distress, before degenerating to anemia-like symptoms.
Last update on 2021-03-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Does The Type Of Pancake Matter?
Pancakes come in various forms, depending on the ingredient that mostly comprises the batter.
Let’s review the possible benefits or potential toxicity of some of these ingredients for your cat by answering a series of frequently asked questions relating to cats and pancakes.
Can cats eat banana pancakes?
Yes, cats can safely eat banana pancakes, provided that all the other ingredients are safe. Bananas are loaded with essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, and dietary fiber that your cat can benefit from.
Just ensure that you offer banana pancakes to your cat in moderation as these fruits may be a bit difficult for the cat to digest.
Can cats eat blueberry pancakes?
Like bananas, blueberries are other fruits that are considered safe for cats to eat.
The main health benefits of blueberry pancakes for your cat are attributed to the high levels of antioxidants and dietary fiber in these fruits.
Can cats eat pancakes with syrup?
Another common concern among pancake-loving cat owners is, can cats eat pancake syrup?
The rule of moderation applies here as well. A small amount of pancake with maple syrup is okay for cats. However, too much of pancake syrup might cause your cat to throw up or develop severe diarrhea.
Can cats eat chocolate chip pancakes?
Unfortunately, most artificial sweeteners are considered toxic to cats. That includes chocolate, xylitol, refined sugar, etc. So, chocolate chip pancakes are not safe for cats.
Can cats eat vegan pancakes?
Vegan pancakes are definitely safer and more nutritious for cats compared to pancakes made of dairy products like milk and butter.
However, ensure that you go for vegetables that vets recommend for cats, such as spinach and cauliflower.
How to Make Pancakes for Your Cat
As we’ve stated before, pancakes are safe for cats in small amounts and potentially harmful for them in large quantities. So if you can, avoid feeding pancakes to your cat at all costs. But if you must offer some pancakes to your feline friend, consider preparing the pancake following healthy recipes.
Here’s is an example of such recipe.
What You’ll Need
- 1 cup of ground chicken or meat
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of catnip
- 3 tablespoons of oatmeal
i. Put the meat into a clean bowl and add catnip to it.
ii. Beat the egg into the mixture and stir well.
iii. Add oatmeal and continue stirring until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
iv. Knead the mixture into small, soft, and round balls before flattening them.
v. Put the flattened balls on your oven and grill for between 8 and 10 minutes at a temperature of around 180 degrees Celsius.
NOTE: You can also pan-fry instead of grilling the pancake. When panfrying, start by heating a non-stick pan over medium heat and grease the pan with olive oil before frying the pancake on both sides.
vi. Once they’re ready, cool the pancakes for about an hour.
vii. Slice the cakes into bite size portions and offer them to your cat.
So, Can Cats Have Pancakes?
Cats can definitely have pancakes. However, there are two things to keep in mind. Only offer pancakes to your cat in small amounts and as an occasional treat. Most importantly, ensure that the ingredients used are safe for your feline friend to consume.