Pasta isn’t the best food for cats. Simply put, our feline companions are obligate carnivores, meaning they need certain nutrients found in meat. Some sources claim cats can go vegan, which is made possible through the regular use of nutritional supplements. In practice, that seems unwise because that comes with serious complications in the best-case scenario.
With that said, Cattime and other sources say plain cooked pasta should be safe for cat consumption. The issue is that it is common for people to serve cooked pasta with something else that is problematic for our feline companions. That makes ravioli more problematic than other pasta because people always serve it with other ingredients.
What Is Ravioli?
Ravioli counts as a kind of dumpling. La Cucina Italiana says it consists of egg pasta wrapped around some kind of filling. Different regions enjoy different fillings. For instance, the Romans and their immediate neighbors enjoyed a filling of ricotta, spinach, nutmeg, and black pepper. In contrast, Sardinians enjoyed a filling of ricotta and lemon rind. Nowadays, people make ravioli using an even wider range of ingredients. Some of those ingredients are fine for cats. Others are not.
What Should You Keep in Mind About Feeding Cats Ravioli?
According to The Spruce Pets, and other sources, here are some things you should keep in mind about feeding cats ravioli and other pasta:
Consult a Veterinarian
By default, cat owners should be careful about feeding their cats new foods. To some extent, this is because of the differences between cats and cat owners. Essentially, we experience the world through our perspective, so it is common to assume that what is fine for us is fine for those around us. Unfortunately, that isn’t even necessarily true for other humans. For example, some people have food allergies. Similarly, some people follow religious rules restricting what they can and can’t eat. The issue is much more serious when it comes to cats. There are plenty of foods that we can eat that cats can’t eat at all.
Consulting a veterinarian is meant to avoid the most obvious issues that nonetheless might not be obvious to interested individuals. Veterinarians need to know about cat nutrition, so it makes sense to ask them about what cats can and can’t eat. Interested individuals might think that just makes veterinarians about as useful as a search engine. However, veterinarians have several advantages. One, their knowledge is more in-depth, thus enabling them to provide better answers. Two, they are more responsive, meaning they can address anything people are unsure about. Three, veterinarians know the cats in question, which is extremely important because individual cats aren’t necessarily safe eating everything general cats can eat for much the same reason individual humans aren’t necessarily safe eating everything general humans can eat.
Start By Offering Testing Portions
Moving on, cat owners should always start by offering their cats testing portions of whatever new food they have in mind. Naturally, testing portions should be less than what they understand to be the allowable portions as stated by their veterinarians. That is important because veterinarians aren’t necessarily right about what their cats can and can’t eat. After all, they aren’t perfect, particularly since they are always working with limited information about everything of relevance. Testing portions should reduce the potential harm if something safe turns out to be not so safe for a particular cat.
Pasta Isn’t Poisonous For Cats
As mentioned earlier, pasta shouldn’t be poisonous for cats. The important point to keep in mind is that this is true for pasta on its own and only pasta on its own. Since people tend not to consume pasta on its own, saying that it shouldn’t be poisonous for cats doesn’t go as far as what interested individuals might think. On a related note, pasta also shouldn’t be a choking hazard for cats. It is so soft that cats should be able to swallow it with minimal issues. Something that cat owners can’t always assume to be the case, particularly since cats don’t chew their food.
Pasta Isn’t Beneficial For Cats
Regardless, even though pasta isn’t poisonous for cats, it isn’t exactly beneficial for them either. There is an ongoing discussion about whether cats can digest carbohydrates or not. Still, there is no doubt that cats need to eat meat for their continued well-being. Yes, it is common for grain to show up in commercial cat food. The issue is that said grain isn’t there to provide nutrition so much as serve as bulk and binding.
Stick to Cooked Pasta
Please note that cats should avoid uncooked pasta. That is harder to digest, meaning there is an increased chance of gastrointestinal distress. Furthermore, uncooked pasta is hard in a way that its cooked counterpart isn’t. Thanks to that, cats can choke on pieces of uncooked pasta.
Stick to Plain Cooked Pasta
Instead, it is best to stick to plain cooked pasta when feeding cats, which rules out ravioli. Many of the ingredients served with pasta are bad for cats in one way or another. For instance, Rover.com says people shouldn’t feed tomato sauce to cats. Tomato sauce uses ripe tomatoes, so solanine shouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, it contains too much salt for cats. Some of the most popular pasta ingredients are straight-up poisonous to cats. That includes onions and every single one of their relatives.
Pre-Cooked Pasta Tends to Be a Bad Idea
These issues mean pre-cooked pasta is almost always a bad idea. Oftentimes, they contain ingredients that are bad for cats. After all, pre-cooked pasta is meant to appeal to humans, so safety for cats isn’t exactly a huge priority when choosing their ingredient lists. Moreover, processed foods often contain high amounts of fat, salt, and sugar, all of which are bad for cats. Certainly, some processed foods avoid these pitfalls. Chances are good pre-cooked pasta isn’t counted among them.
Be Careful About Making Cats Too Fond of Pasta
On a final note, cat owners should be careful about making cats too fond of pasta. If their cats lose interest in their cat food because of it, they are going to have a huge hassle on their hands. This issue is resolvable, but it will take time, effort, and other resources better used elsewhere.