Can Cats Eat Pizza? (Solved & Explained!)

After a long day at work, it’s nice to treat yourself to the occasional pizza as you binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix. You may find that your feline wants to join you, but should you let them?

Snuggle and watch Netflix? Definitely. Share a bite of your pizza? Maybe not. Not only do pizzas contain way too much carbohydrate and salt for your kitty, but the cheese can trigger lactose intolerance, while the toppings can cause an even more severe reaction.

Continue reading to discover if it’s ever okay to let your kitty nibble on a slice of your pizza, plus a list of toppings that you’ll definitely want to avoid.

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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.

What Are The Dangers Of Feeding Pizza To A Cat?

The most significant danger of feeding pizza to a cat lies in the toppings. And something as innocent as a rogue slice of opinion could cause severe issues for your furry friend.

Both onion and garlic are toxic to cats, and if they ingest even a small quantity, it can have serious health implications.

Can My Cat Eat Common Pizza Toppings?

Some pizza toppings are fine for your cat to consume, while others can be seriously detrimental to their health. Here are the most common pizza toppings:

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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.

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.

Cheese.

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.

Spinach.

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. 

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.

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.

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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.

Pepperoni.

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.

Which Pizza Toppings Should I Avoid For My Cat?

When it comes to pizza toppings, some are worse than others where your felines are concerned. Here are the ones you’ll definitely want to avoid:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Spices
  • Spicy foods

And in case you were thinking of crafting your own weird and wonderful combination (I mean, who decided that pineapple should be a pizza topping?), always avoid feeding grapes and citrus fruits to your cat.

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.

Final Thoughts.

There are far better treats that you can provide to your cat than a slice of pizza. From the carb-filled crust to the toxic toppings, pizza is more hazardous than healthy to your feline. If you feel compelled to share your pizza, opt for a meaty topping and treat them to a slice of chicken or beef.