We all know that Garfield loves lasagna. But what about cats of the non-fictional kind? Do they like it? And if they do, is it safe for them to eat? In all probability, your cat has never shown the slightest interest in tasting a bit of lasagna from your plate. Cats aren’t dogs, after all. But what if your cat isn’t quite so picky as most? Should you be humoring them by giving them a few sneaky bites? Or is there something potentially dangerous lurking within?
Can Cats Eat Lasagna?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple yes or no answer to the question of whether cats can eat lasagna. Ultimately, it all depends on how it’s been made and what ingredients have been used. That said, even a lasagna that’s been specially made to exclude any potential toxins isn’t necessarily something you should be feeding your cat. Why? Because it’s lasagna. Lasagna is people’s food. Cats, no matter how much we anthropomorphize them, aren’t people. They’ve got different digestions, different metabolisms, and very different nutritional needs. Intentionally feeding your cat lasagna is a no-no. These are obligate carnivores we’re dealing with. They need protein and lots of it. Pasta, tomatoes, and everything else that’s packed into a lasagna? Not so much. Carbohydrates in the quantity found in lasagna aren’t going to do your cat’s digestion any good. And as for the other ingredients? Let break it down…
Why You Shouldn’t Feed Lasagna to Cat
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients found in a typical lasagna. There’s…
- Pasta – As crazypetguy.com says, pasta isn’t outright bad for your cat. It’s not going to kill them. But it’s also not going to do them any good whatsoever. Cats thrive on protein. They’re not omnivores who can eat a bit of this and a bit of that and still get all the essential nutrients they need. The only thing they need in quantity is protein. And pasta, no matter how fancy it is, no matter how fine its ingredients, or how pretty its shape, is almost completely devoid of protein. If they slurp up a bit of pasta that been boiled in plain water, they’re going to survive the experience. But even so, it’s not a food that should be a part of their diet.
- Meat – Meat equals protein. Protein equals good stuff for cats. So, all good on that score, right? Wrong. Plain meat might be great, but how many lasagnas are made from plain meat? To suit our palettes, it’s usually been seasoned to high heaven, loaded with spices, and lavished in garlic and onions. None of which spells good times for your cat’s digestion. Too much salt is bad, but even the tiniest amount of garlic, onion, and certain spices can be potentially lethal. Forget that old adage ‘everything in moderation’: when it comes to garlic or onions, just the tiniest morsel can cause a potentially fatal form of anemia in cats.
- Sausage Meat – If your lasagna has been made with sausage meat, we’re looking at a case of double trouble for cats. First, there’s the high sodium content. Secondly, there’s the addition of spices, herbs, and flavor enhancers. While most herbs aren’t going to cause your pet any problems, the same can’t be said for all those spices and flavorings.
- Cheese – A tiny bit of cheese every now and again isn’t going to hurt your cat. Essentially, it’s an animal product, and like all animal products (the plain kind, anyway), it’s not going to cause your cat to become ill. But, there’s a problem. A tiny sliver of cheese is one thing. Yet how many lasagnas are made with just a tiny sliver? Cheese in the quantities used in lasagna adds way too much sodium to your cat’s diet to be considered healthy. If your cat’s lactose intolerance, you’re looking at even more trouble.
- Tomatoes – Lasagna is packed with tomatoes. That’s a problem. In small quantities, fresh, ripe tomatoes aren’t too much of an issue for your cat (unless we’re talking about their stems and leaves, in which case, they most definitely are): they’re not going to do them all that much good, but neither are they going to do them much harm. The issue is, the tomatoes used in most lasagnas aren’t fresh. They’re canned. And canned tomatoes and tomato sauces have an awful tendency to be packed with salts, sugars, and other ingredients like garlic and onions that shouldn’t be allowed to come within a foot of your cat’s dinner bowl.
Is Lasagna Ever OK to Feed to Cats?
As cattime.com comments, lasagna’s main ingredients of meat and pasta aren’t toxic to cats. But lasagna is made from a lot more than just meat and pasta. Depending on your recipe, you might inadvertently be introducing ingredients to your cat’s diet that not only aren’t safe, but might even be lethal. If you make a deconstructed lasagna made to a cat-friendly recipe, a tiny little bite won’t hurt your cat. But anything more than that isn’t going to do them any good at all. No matter how it’s made, a lasagna will always contain far too much carbohydrate to make it a healthy addition to your cat’s diet. Carbohydrates not only fail to provide your cat with the essential nutrients they need to prosper, but they can even lead to feline obesity down the line.
Should I Worry if My Cat Eats Lasagna?
Ultimately, cats aren’t dogs. Unless you have a very, very exceptional cat, it’s very unlikely you’ll come back to find the plate licked clean if you leave your lasagna unattended. At most, they may have had the tiniest of licks. If you made the lasagna yourself and didn’t include any potentially dangerous ingredients (garlic and onions), there’s no reason to panic. If they had a particularly big mouthful, they may experience a few bathroom issues from all that cheese, but it’s unlikely they’ve done any serious harm. If, on the other hand, the lasagna was store-bought, it’s wise to take the advice of faqcats.com and give your vet a quick call. In all likelihood, they’ll have eaten too little to cause them any major grievance, even if the lasagna contained less than ideal ingredients. But as with all things pet related, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.