Gingerbread isn’t a single thing. Instead, it encompasses a wide range of baked goods. For proof, consider how gingerbread cake is soft and moist whereas gingerbread biscuits are hard and dry. Still, these baked goods do have some things in common. Generally speaking, gingerbread is flavored using ginger as well as other spices, which explain much about its name. Furthermore, it is sweetened using either sugar or some other sweet-tasting substance. Whatever its exact form, gingerbread is a popular treat, so it is natural for cat owners to wonder whether they can share it with their cats.
Can Cats Eat Gingerbread?
Unfortunately, gingerbread is one of those things that cats shouldn’t be eating. Strictly speaking, it doesn’t seem to be poisonous. However, gingerbread contains multiple ingredients that can cause serious issues for cats in both the short term and the long term when eaten in excess. Ginger itself shouldn’t be a problem for cats when consumed in small amounts. Supposedly, it can even help them out with a number of common issues.
In particular, ginger is said to be capable of helping out with nausea, motion sickness, and gastrointestinal distress. However, if cat owners are interested, they should make sure to get the go-ahead from their veterinarian before proceeding further. This is particularly true because the right dosage varies depending on the cat’s age, weight, and general health, meaning that interested individuals need to avoid overdoing things.
Moving on, the other spices that see regular use in gingerbread seem to be more problematic. Cats should avoid eating nutmeg because a large amount of the spice is outright poisonous for them. Nutmeg poisoning is very noticeable because it comes with symptoms such as tremors, seizures, hallucinations, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
If cat owners ever see their cat suffering from these symptoms, they should seek out either their veterinarian or some other source of emergency veterinary assistance as soon as possible. Their cat may or may not have nutmeg poisoning, but it seems safe to say that their cat has been affected by something serious. Gingerbread often includes cloves and cinnamon as well. Unfortunately, these are problematic as well. Cloves contain eugenols, which can cause liver problems for cats.
Unsurprisingly, that is something that cat owners should seek to prevent as much as possible. Meanwhile, cinnamon contains a substance called coumarin that cats can’t digest. Thanks to that, eating cinnamon can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other signs of gastrointestinal distress in cats. There are even claims that higher concentrations of cinnamon can cause liver problems for cats, which is why cinnamon essential oil is considered to be more dangerous than the powdered cinnamon that tends to be used in foods and beverages.
Regardless, the important point is that both cloves and cinnamon can cause serious issues for cats when eaten in excess. Interested individuals should also take note of other gingerbread ingredients. For instance, baked goods are baked goods. This matters because cats are obligate carnivores meant to eat a high-protein diet. As a result, there are claims that eating a lot of carbohydrates increases a cat’s chances of developing obesity as well as other serious medical conditions that can have a very detrimental effect on their quality of life.
Meanwhile, the most common sweeteners are also bad for cats for much the same reasons. On top of that, they don’t even offer anything to said animals. After all, cats have lost the ability to taste sweetness, meaning that they can’t enjoy eating sweet things in the same way that we can. Summed up, cats shouldn’t eat gingerbread.
Cat owners shouldn’t panic if their cat has eaten a small amount of gingerbread because that shouldn’t cause too much of a problem. Still, they should keep a watchful eye on their cat so that they can seek out their veterinarian if they notice something wrong. In contrast, if cat owners know that their cat has eaten a large amount of gingerbread, they should seek out their veterinarian right away because it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
What Are Some Other Things That Cats Can’t Eat?
There are a lot of other foods that can be eaten by humans but not by cats, meaning that cat owners need to watch out for them:
Alcohol can be very dangerous for cats. It isn’t clear whether cats are even more susceptible to the stuff than humans on a pound-for-pound basis. However, cats are much smaller than we are, so the same amount of alcohol would hit them much harder than it would hit us. Anything containing alcohol should be considered off-limits for cats. In fact, it is interesting to note that the potential for raw yeasted dough to produce alcohol is one of the two reasons why cats should never be fed that.
Stimulants can hit cats harder as well. Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, both of which are considered to be dangerous for cats. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Be warned that this doesn’t mean that white chocolate is safe for cats, though it is safer when compared with its counterparts. In any case, gingerbread is sometimes made using chocolate, so that should be considered extra-dangerous for cats. On a semi-related note, caffeine can also be found in coffee and tea, so those should also be considered dangerous for them.
It isn’t clear why grapes are harmful to cats. However, the fact of the matter is that even a small amount can be very damaging for a cat’s kidney. As a result, cat owners shouldn’t hesitate to seek out help if they know that their cat has been eating grapes. Be warned that this extends to raisins as well because whatever it is about grapes that causes these issues in cats, it isn’t removed during the process of turning grapes into raisins. As such, cats getting into gingerbread made using raisins is a much bigger problem than cats getting into gingerbread.