Can Cats Eat Pizza? The Surprising Truth

Do you love pizza and wonder if your pet can enjoy it too? Well, the short answer is no, cats should not eat pizza. While it may seem harmless to give your cat a small slice, pizza is not a part of their natural diet and can cause health issues.

Pizza contains ingredients that are harmful to cats. Cheese, which is commonly found on pizza, can cause digestive problems and lead to obesity. Additionally, pizza sauce contains tomatoes, which are toxic to cats. The crust of the pizza is also high in carbohydrates and can cause weight gain. It’s best to stick to cat-friendly foods to ensure your feline friend stays healthy.

Can Cats Eat Pizza?

The Short Answer

No, cats should not eat pizza. While it might be tempting to share your favorite food with your pet, pizza is not a suitable treat for cats. Pizza contains several ingredients that can be harmful to your cat, such as garlic, onions, cheese, and tomato sauce. Additionally, pizza is high in calories and fat, which can lead to obesity and other health problems in cats.

The Long Answer

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require a diet rich in animal protein. Pizza, on the other hand, is primarily made up of dough, cheese, and sauce, with only small amounts of meat. While a small piece of plain pizza crust may be okay as an occasional treat, pizza toppings like pepperoni, sausage, and bacon are high in sodium and processed meats, which can be toxic to cats.

Furthermore, pizza dough contains yeast, which can cause digestive problems in cats. Pizza sauce often contains garlic and onions, which can cause an upset stomach and damage your cat’s red blood cells. Cheese, while a good source of protein, can contain lactose, which many cats are intolerant to.

pizza with jalapenos and pepperoni

In addition to the ingredients in pizza, the nutritional value of pizza is not suitable for cats. Cats require specific nutrients in their diet, such as taurine, which is found in meat. Pizza does not provide these essential nutrients and can lead to health problems such as diabetes and obesity.

As a responsible pet parent, it’s essential to stick to a balanced diet of cat food and treats specifically designed for cats. While it may be tempting to share your food with your pet, it’s important to remember that cats have different digestive systems and nutritional needs than humans.

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In conclusion, while cats may be curious about pizza, it’s best to avoid giving them any. Stick to cat-friendly treats and foods to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy.

Why Pizza is Not Good for Cats

Obesity and Diabetes

Pizza is not a healthy food choice for cats. It is high in calories, which can lead to obesity and diabetes, two common health problems in cats. Cats require a balanced diet that includes protein, fats, and carbohydrates, but pizza is not a balanced meal for them.

fat cat clean litter box

Sodium and Other Harmful Ingredients

Pizza contains high levels of sodium, which can cause health problems in cats. It also contains other harmful ingredients like processed meats, onions, and garlic, which can be toxic to cats. These ingredients can lead to an upset stomach and digestive issues for your pet.

Digestive Issues

Cats have sensitive digestive systems, and pizza can cause digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Pizza is a human food and not a natural part of a cat’s diet, which is why it can be difficult for them to digest.

In conclusion, pizza is not a good food choice for cats. It lacks essential nutrients and can cause health problems like obesity, diabetes, and digestive issues. It’s best to stick to a balanced diet that includes cat food and treats that are specifically formulated for your feline friend.

Safe Pizza Toppings

When it comes to pizza toppings, some are safe for cats to consume, while others can be harmful to their health. Here’s what you need to know about the most common pizza toppings for cats:


Spinach is not toxic to cats, and they can generally consume it without too many issues. However, spinach doesn’t add much nutritional value to a cat’s diet, so there’s no need for your kitty to eat this leafy green.

The good things about spinach are that it’s low in calories and contains some omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for keeping your cat’s fur shiny and preventing shedding. 

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However, you should avoid spinach for cats suffering from urinary problems. Spinach contains calcium olaxate, which can cause crystals in the urinary tract, leading to further complications.


Mushrooms should never contribute to a significant portion of your cat’s diet, though the occasional nibble is acceptable, so long as it’s shop-bought.

Never allow your cat to eat wild mushrooms as you don’t know exactly what type they are or the harm they could do to your feline. However, the mushrooms on top of your pizza should be fine in small quantities.


The majority of a cat’s daily food intake should come from meat, so pepperoni is great in that respect. The problem is that pepperoni is high in fat and spices, which are not ideal for your cat to ingest.

There is also the possibility that pepperoni could contain garlic. Overall, this spicy treat is best left for human consumption.

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Fruit Toppings

Fruit toppings like pineapple may seem like a healthy option for cats, but they should still be avoided. Pineapple contains high levels of sugar, which can lead to obesity and diabetes in cats. Additionally, the acidity in pineapple can cause digestive issues and mouth sores in cats.

Overall, it’s best to avoid feeding your cat pizza altogether. While some toppings may be safe in moderation, it’s not worth the risk of potential health issues. Stick to a balanced, species-appropriate diet for your feline friend.

Harmful Pizza Toppings

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions are part of the Allium family, and they are both poisonous to cats. Garlic is around five times more toxic than onion. While 1g per 5lbs of body weight of onion is enough to poison a cat, just 1g per 1lb of garlic could cause a toxic reaction.

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If your cat experiences garlic or onion poisoning, it could result in gastroenteritis, red blood cell damage, circulatory problems, and low blood pressure. These can cause a number of issues in your cat, from pain and sickness to lethargy, elevated heart rate, and in extreme cases, death.


Most cats are lactose intolerant, so consuming cheese could cause stomach upset or digestive issues for your feline. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine highlights that even a tiny amount of dairy can cause gastrointestinal problems if your cat is intolerant.

Symptoms of a dairy allergy include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and gas.

Some sources will tell you that a small piece of cheese is okay on the odd occasion, but if your cat has any health issues or needs to decrease its salt intake, you should avoid cheese altogether.


What to Do If Your Cat Eats Pizza

If your cat has eaten pizza, you may be wondering what to do next. While cats can eat small amounts of cheese, pizza is not a balanced diet for them. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your cat’s health:

Watch for Symptoms

Keep an eye out for symptoms of an upset stomach, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. These symptoms can indicate that your cat is having trouble digesting the pizza. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further complications.

Consult Your Vet

If your cat is experiencing symptoms after eating pizza, it’s important to consult your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on how to treat your cat’s upset stomach and prevent any further complications. Your vet may recommend giving your cat medication or special food to help soothe their digestive system.

It’s also important to let your vet know what kind of pizza your cat ate, as some toppings can be harmful to cats. For example, onions and garlic can cause anemia in cats, while pepperoni and sausage can be high in fat and salt.

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In general, it’s best to avoid feeding your cat pizza altogether. While a small amount of cheese is okay, pizza is not a balanced diet for cats and can cause digestive problems. Instead, stick to a balanced diet of cat food that meets your cat’s nutritional needs.



In summary, while cats can technically eat pizza, it is not recommended. Pizza lacks the necessary nutritional value that cats need to stay healthy. Additionally, pizza contains ingredients that can be harmful to cats, such as garlic and onion powder.

Cats require taurine, an amino acid that is essential for their health. Unfortunately, pizza does not contain enough taurine to meet their needs. This can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and blindness.

It is important to remember that cats have different nutritional needs than humans. While pizza may be a delicious treat for us, it is not suitable for our feline friends. Instead, it is best to stick to feeding them a high-quality, balanced cat food.

In conclusion, while it may be tempting to share your pizza with your cat, it is not worth the risk of harming their health. Stick to feeding them cat food that is specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs. Your cat will thank you for it.



Does Pizza Provide Any Nutrition For Cats?

In short, no. Pizza provides little to no nutrition for cats. Our feline pals are obligate carnivores, meaning that at least 70% of their food intake should consist of meat.

In contrast, the composition of a pizza is primarily carbohydrate-based and provides inadequate nutrition for your pet. Not only that, but foods with a high concentration of fat and carbohydrate can cause your cat to become overweight, leading to several other, more severe health issues.

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Can Cats Eat Pizza Crusts?

The pizza crust is essentially the doughy part of the pizza – so can cats eat this?

While it may not poison your cat per se, you should avoid feeding the crust to your cat as it contains excessive carbohydrates. The other problem with pizza dough is that it includes many calories – way more than your cat should be consuming.

Cats are small creatures, so they don’t require many calories to perform their daily tasks. Your cat should only eat around 30 calories per day in treats. In contrast, the average slice of pizza has about 240-250 calories, so you should keep your cat’s intake to an absolute minimum. 

Too many calories can cause your cat to quickly put on weight leading to obesity and weight-related issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Not only this, but many crusts contain additional ingredients such as butter, garlic, or salt, which can seriously harm your cat’s health. The high salt level can be particularly harmful to cats as sodium poisoning can quickly become life-threatening.

How Should I Serve Pizza To My Cat?

If you do want to let your cat have a little taste of your pizza, there are several steps you can take to keep them safe.

Firstly, never allow them to eat pizza with any of the ingredients listed above. And secondly, only allow them one small bite to begin with.

Every cat is different, so it’s essential to monitor their reaction when you test out any new food.