Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Nutritional Yeast?
So, you have decided to start incorporating a few vegan meals, and nutritional yeast has become a staple in your kitchen. However, every time you are cooking, the cat seems interested in the food, so you start wondering if it’s safe for cats to eat nutritional yeast. For humans, it is a great immunity booster; it also helps in lowering cholesterol and aids weight loss. With this in mind, you might be tempted to give your obese cat some but before you do, let’s tell you more about nutritional yeast for cats.
Cats Can Eat Nutritional Yeast
According to Pet-Voice.com, felines draw a myriad of benefits from consuming nutritional yeast. Top of the list is that it is packed with Vitamin B. Therefore, just like in humans where nutritional yeast improves the immunity system, in cats, vitamin B12 plays a critical role in boosting immunity and making the digestive tract and the nervous system much healthier. Cats with renal failure pee a lot, and water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B are lost. For this reason, feeding a cat suffering from feline renal failure with nutritional yeast ensures that he has adequate quantities of the vitamin required for the body’s healthy functioning. With improved digestion comes the shiny coat and healthy skin in your feline. Additionally, when food is well digested, the cat has much more energy from the nutrients absorbed.
Besides, a serving of nutritional year contains around 9gms of proteins; cats need at least 2gms daily for each pound of body weight, making two servings enough source of energy. As a result, it facilitates boosting immunity, having a healthy coat and a nervous system. Cats that are picky eaters can have you wondering what else to do to get them to eat, and nutritional yeast has been discovered as an ideal solution. According to Cat Food Guide, one cat owner was concerned about her cats’ decreased appetite, which made her resort to nutritional yeast. She found out that they loved the taste, comparing it to how a fat kid loves cake. Sprinkling a little on your cat’s food will work wonders because of the flavorings. It is especially recommended to add some water to dry kibble, then add some nutritional yeast before leaving it to soak overnight. Since cats do not like wet food, leaving it overnight will make it a bit dry, and it will absorb the flavors to make it a sumptuous meal for your cat.
When is Nutritional Yeast Bad for Your Cat?
According to The Conscious Cat, you should be careful about feeding your furry friend with nutritional yeast if he suffers from renal failure. As per the article, nutritional yeast contains phosphorous, with half a teaspoon having as much as 14mgs of phosphorous. However, this should not be an issue unless your cat has kidney problems. The kidney is responsible for balancing the calcium and phosphorous levels to aid metabolism. Once there is too much phosphorous in the blood, a cat develops hypophosphatemia resulting in kidney disease, meaning that adding more phosphorous to the feline’s diet will worsen the problem. Also, not every cat will react positively to nutritional yeast. Some are allergic, and it is up to you to keep a close eye on your cat’s reaction. The symptoms of allergic reactions include skin rashes, vitamin, abnormal fecal consistency, hair loss and itchiness. As soon as you observe such changes, you should stop administering it and look for a different supplement. Nutritional yeast should also be avoided if it is poor quality or GMO because it can result in adverse reactions in your cat.
How Much is Too Much?
Although the general rule is to start with a little to check if they are tolerant before increasing the servings, Upgrade Your Cat enlightens us that consulting with the vet should be the first step. Your vet will determine the least amount to start with depending on the weight and health of your cat. Remember that if your cat already has a high amount of phosphorous, nutritional yeast would do more than harm than good. Still, you can start with a teaspoon, but the amount varies depending on the reason for feeding the yeast to your cat. For picky eaters, a pinch is enough since all you are looking for is flavor to entice them to eat their regular food. For a cat that needs more vitamins or energy, the amount could be more. While others believe you cannot overdose the cat with nutritional yeast, too much of anything can be poisonous and nutritional yeast is not exempted. Some cats have suffered from flatulence after overeating it. Since one side effect of nutritional yeast is itching, you might relate this to the amount of niacin or B3 in it. Too much niacin in human beings causes facial flushing, itchiness and burning sensation. In cats, it could be the cause of itchiness and skin rashes. While there is no safe upper limit established in both dogs and cats, niacin is considered toxic if the daily intake reaches more than 350 mg/kg of body weight.
Nutritional Yeast vs Other Types of Yeast
According to Clean Green Simple, nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast are made from the same strain yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The difference is that brewer’s yeast is a by-product of the beer brewing process and is somewhat bitter compared to nutritional yeast. As a supplement, some manufacturers add garlic which is toxic if administered to a cat. Still, both types of yeasts are beneficial to cats. Nutritional yeast is deactivated and grown for its nutritional content. The two types of yeast even have the same benefits and side effects. While the nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast are both good for cats, the one used in making bread can be problematic. Raw dough quickly produces alcohol and carbon dioxide; it can expand inside your cat’s stomach and cause digestive issues.