I know I’m not the only one who’s faced those curious eyes fixed on your plate as you enjoy a delicious meal. The temptation to share with them is hard to resist, but before you reach for that tortilla, there are some important things you need to know about cats eating tortillas.
Cats can eat tortillas as long as they are plain and unflavored. Avoid giving your cat tortilla chips as they are high in saturated fats and salts. Stick to corn tortillas compared to flour ones as they are healthier for cats.
However, there are also a few drawbacks to consider. Plain flour tortillas do not contain much protein, so they may not be the best option for active cats or those who need to gain weight. Additionally, they can be high in carbohydrates, which may not be ideal for some cats.
Can Cats Eat Flour Tortillas
Flour tortillas are not toxic to cats. However, they are not the best source of nutrition either. They normally have high fat making them bad for cats. Some cats are also allergic to the gluten in flour tortilla chips.
If your cat happens to steal some flour tortilla chips, you don’t have to worry as they will be fine. Just make sure to watch them for any signs of an allergic reaction.
To avoid triggering an allergic reaction in cats, the flour tortillas have to be baked for roughly 15 minutes at around 350 Fareinheights.
However, this is not something that I would actively feed my cats.
Can Cats Eat Corn Tortillas
Cats can eat corn tortillas. Corn is a safe vegetable to cats and would provide a needed burst of energy. The corn flour also lowers the risk of guten allergies in cats. Grain flour also provide cats with dietary fiber which is beneficial to their digestive system and hearts.
Generally corn tortillas are lower in calories, carbs and fat than flour tortillas.
To give you some context, here is a table comparing a large corn tortilla (44g) and a medium sized flour tortilla (45g)1.
|Corn Tortilla||Flour Tortilla|
|Carbs||19.6 g||22.2 g|
|Proteins||2.5 g||3.7 g|
|Fat||1.3 g||3.6 g|
|Fiber||2.8 g||1.6 g|
|Calcium||35.6 mg||65.7 mg|
|Iron||0.5 mg||1.6 mg|
|Magnesium||31.7 mg||9.9 mg|
|Sodium||19.8 mg||331 mg|
However, for corn tortillas to be safe for cats, the salt levels need to be low. Corn tortilla chips should also not make up more than 10% of a cat’s diet.
Corn tortillas also tend to be smaller than flour tortillas. In most cases, they’ll be used in twos to make tacos. While this makes the taco sturdier, it also doubles the calorie intake, so you should keep that in mind before feeding your catto some tacos.
Can Cats Eat Tortilla Chips With Guacamole
Avoid feeding your cat tortilla chips with guacamole. Guacamole’s main ingredients, onions and lime are toxic to cats. When taken in large amounts, they are lethal.
Cats should also stay away from avocados as they are toxic to them. Avacados contain persin which affects their hearts and mammary glands. However, a small lick would not harm them. But ofcourse, it would be best if you don’t offer your catto any avocados.
Benefits of Tortillas for Cats
1. Source of Carbohydrates
Carbs get a bad rep in the cat world. But cats, just like any animal, need carbohydrates.
In the wild, a hunting cat only eats meat. What most people don’t remember is they also eat the whole animal, including whatever the animal was eating. Most prey are herbivores and would most likely still have some carbs in their system.
Your house cat may not have the privilege to hunt down mice and eat the grains in their tummy alongside the mouse. This means that they have to get their carbs from somewhere else.
Although tortillas are not the best source of carbs for cats, they can still provide an energy boost. Cats need carbohydrates to be energized, maintain their body energy, and digest food.
Related post: Simple ways to make cats and guinea pigs co-exist peacefully.
2. Provides Proteins
Tortillas provide a decent amount of proteins. However, under no circumstance should they be the main source of proteins.
Cats mostly rely on animal protein to meet their daily requirement. Animal-based proteins are easier for cats to digest compared to plant proteins.
3. Source of Minerals and Vitamins
Tortillas provide several minerals and vitamins necessary for a cat’s health. The starchy snack is loaded with calcium, an important mineral that helps with bone and tooth health.
Tortillas also have magnesium which helps with brain, heart, and muscle health. The dietary fiber is also important as it helps ease things for your cat in the litterbox department.
Possible Dangers for Feeding Your Cat Tortillas
1. Danger of Obesity
Tortillas, especially flour tortillas, are high in carbs which could easily lead to obesity in cats.
Tortilla chips also have high levels of saturated fats which can affect artery health and cholesterol levels in cats.
2. Risk of Developing Diabetes
With obesity comes a long list of health problems that can affect cats. One of them is diabetes and heart health problems.
3. Possibility of Allergies
Cats, just like humans, can be allergic to gluten. Flour tortillas can trigger an allergic reaction.
4. Digestive Problems
Corn is a great source of carbs for cats. However, not all cats can digest carbs easily.
Studies have proven that cats have lower levels of amylase. Humans have plenty of this enzyme in our saliva, making it easy for us to digest carbs.
For cats, they may face challenges properly digesting tortillas.
Fiber from the whole grain may also cause some digestive problems in cats. If the fiber is too much, the cat may end up having lose stool or diarrhea.
5. Risk of Sodium Poisoning
Cats require low sodium levels and can easily meet their daily needs. If they go a little overboard, they can experience an imbalance of electrolytes.
Electrolytes are important elements in cats’ bodies (and ours too) that help our cells function normally.
An average medium sized house cat requires a minimum of 21 mg and a maximum of 42 mg of sodium per day.
If your cat eats a corn tortilla, they’ll most likely be just fine as it only has 19.8 mg of salt. However, if they eat a medium sized flour tortilla, they’ll be way over what they can handle. A medium sized flour tortilla has 331 mg of sodium.
The high salt level in flour tortillas can lead to sodium poisoning. Some of the symptoms include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Decreased appetite
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your cat after they’ve eaten a tortilla, you need to rush them to the vet right away. This is a serious medical issue that can claim their lives.
How to Give Your Cat Some Tortillas
1. Start Small
As with any new meal, it’s always best to test the waters with a small portion. If your cat shows any unpleasant symptoms after eating a tortilla, then you should stop.
2. Avoid Salt
Salt is the biggest risk in cats eating tortillas. The best walk around this would be to prepare home made ones. This way, you have control over how much salt the tortilla wraps have.
3. Avoid Certain Fillings
Tortilla wraps have all sorts of fillings. Stay clear of any filling with onion, garlic, hot pepper and sauces as these will negatively affect your cat’s health. Take onion for example. Long term exposure to onions, garlic and leeks make cats to become anaemic.
4. Observe Your Cat
It’s possible your cat may be allergic to corn or gluten. If it’s the first time they’ve had tortillas, make sure to observe them for any allergic reactions. Some common symptoms of allergies include itching, swelling, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty in breathing.
If you observe the above symptoms in your cat, it’s best if you contact your vet.
Can Cats Eat Tacos
Cats should not eat tacos. Tacos have some toxic ingredients to cats such as the hot sauces and the seasoning on the meat. They also have high salt levels that are harmful to cats.
Can Cats Eat Doritos
Cats can eat doritos but only as a treat. However, Cool Ranch doritos are unsafe for cats as they have onion and garlic powders, both f which are toxic to cats.
I’ve prepared a detailed post on cats eating doritos that you can check out on the effects of cats eating doritos.