Ramen noodles are a college student’s best friend. Cheap, filling, and easy to make, they can be whipped up in a matter of minutes.
But can cats eat ramen noodles? The answer is yes – but there are some things you need to know before feeding them this type of food.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the ingredients in ramen noodles and how they might affect your feline friend.
We’ll also give you some tips on how to safely introduce ramen noodles into your cat’s diet. So read on to learn more!
Table of Contents
- Can Cats Eat Ramen Noodles?
- Are High Carbohydrates Bad for Cats?
- Is Too much Fat Bad for Cats?
- Are Salty Foods Bad for Cats?
- Are Garlic, Onions, and Spices Bad for Cats?
- Can Cats Eat Ramen Noodles without Seasoning?
- Can Cats Eat Ramen Chips?
- How Many Times Can Cats Eat Ramen a Week?
- Can a Cat Die from Eating Ramen Noodles?
- Can I Feed My Cat Homemade Noodles?
Can Cats Eat Ramen Noodles?
Yes, cats can eat ramen noodles in small amounts. However, ramen noodles are bad for cats because they are high in carbs, fat, and salt. Cats should only eat a small number of ramen noodles as rare treats.
Reasons Why Ramen Is Bad for Cats
Ramen is detrimental to cats for the following reasons:
- High Carbs
- High Fat
- Too Much Salt
- Dangerous Spices – Garlic and Onions
Next, we’ll cover each of these in turn.
Are High Carbohydrates Bad for Cats?
Wild cats before today’s domesticated variety were obligate carnivores. They only ate animal products and what little carbohydrates they consumed likely came from the digestive system of the animals they ate (source).
While doing that for today’s domesticated cats would be ideal, it can get expensive. Hence, a lot of modern dry cat foods contain grain or tuber products to lower the cost.
Most canned cat foods are still primarily meat and oil-based.
Many people think that carbohydrates are bad for cats, but this is not necessarily true. While too many carbohydrates can lead to problems like obesity and diabetes mellitus, moderate amounts of carbohydrates can be included in a cat’s diet.
Is Too much Fat Bad for Cats?
Feline obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. An estimated 60 percent of our pet cats are overweight or obese (source). That’s a lot of fat cats!
Carrying around all that extra weight takes a toll on your cat’s health. Just like us humans, excess fat increases susceptibility to diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and even certain types of cancer (source). Fat cats are also more prone to skin problems and respiratory difficulties.
Are Salty Foods Bad for Cats?
Not in moderation. However, 4,000 mg of salt (a little over 0.5 tsp) can make a 10 lb cat sick and 8,000 mg of salt (1.2 tsp) can kill a 10 lb cat (source).
A full seasoning packet included with one package of ramen contains 1,500 mg of salt. If that’s given in addition to their normal food they could get close to 4,000 mg of salt and get sick.
The numbers above are based on an average 10 lb cat. The guideline is that 2 g/kg makes a cat sick and 4 g/kg kills a cat.
Use this list for other sized cats:
- 5 lb cat – 4 grams (0.6 teaspoons) makes them sick, 8 grams (1.2 tsp) can kill
- 10 lb cat – 8.8 grams (1.2 tsp) makes them sick, 16 grams (2.5 tsp) can kill
- 15 lb cat – 13 grams (2 tsp) makes them sick, 27 grams (4.2 tsp) can kill
- 20 lb cat – 16 grams (2.5 tsp) makes them sick, 32 grams (5 tsp) can kill
Salt is an essential nutrient for cats and they need it in their diet. It helps to regulate blood pressure and water balance, and it also helps to control inflammation. Too much salt can be harmful, but the average cat consumes far less than the toxic dose, so some salty foods are not generally dangerous for them.
Are Garlic, Onions, and Spices Bad for Cats?
Yes, allium species (garlic, onions) are toxic to both dogs and cats. These toxins damage red blood cells in cats and can cause anemia. Other symptoms of allium poisoning include gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea.
The danger with ramen is that garlic and onion spices are more concentrated than the whole food version making it easier for cats to ingest more of them.
Pets should always be kept away from any food that contains garlic or onions.
If you plan on sharing a little ramen with your cat always skip the seasoning packet or rinse the noodles you plan to give them.
Can Cats Eat Ramen Noodles without Seasoning?
Yes, in moderation. Ramen noodles without seasoning remove the high salt and spice levels, but they are still high in carbohydrates and fat. Cats that are on a diet should only eat ramen noodles occasionally and in very small quantities.
Can Cats Eat Ramen Chips?
Yes, cats can eat ramen chips! While most people think of ramen noodles as being quintessential college student food, they can be a great treat for your favorite feline friend.
Just make sure to get the plain kind and don’t use the added seasoning package which includes salt, MSG, and sometimes alliums (garlic and onions); those could all make your kitty sick.
Also, don’t give specialty ramen chips where the noodles have been baked or fried with additional spices and ingredients. The extra fat on top of the fat already in the noodles won’t be a friend to your cat.
How Many Times Can Cats Eat Ramen a Week?
You can feed your cat ramen twice a week, but make sure to watch their weight and avoid adding any seasoning. Ramen is a high-calorie food, so overfeeding your cat could lead to obesity. Additionally, cats have a low tolerance for salt, so it’s best to avoid adding any seasonings that contain sodium.
Can a Cat Die from Eating Ramen Noodles?
Yes, a cat can die from eating ramen noodles. Ramen noodles are high in sodium, and too much sodium can be deadly for a cat though that’s unlikely.
For example, a 10 lb cat would have to eat nearly 16,000 mg of sodium to be toxic which would require them to eat nearly 10 ramen seasoning packets.
Additionally, ramen noodles are high in fat, and over time a high-fat diet can lead to health problems for a cat-like diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.
Can I Feed My Cat Homemade Noodles?
Yes, you can feed your cat homemade noodles if they are made low-sodium, low fat, and without allium spices like garlic and onion. Cats are generally very healthy creatures and can digest a variety of different foods. However, noodles should always be given in moderation as occasional treats.
Noodle dishes can be a fun part of your cat’s diet as long as they do not contain anything that could potentially harm your feline friend.
When in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian to get the green light before feeding your cat anything new.
In conclusion, cats can eat ramen, but it is best to give them plain noodles without any seasoning. Ramen noodles are high in sodium and fat, so they should be given in moderation. If you have any concerns about your cat’s health, always consult with a veterinarian.