Can Cats Eat Oatmeal? The Risks And Dangers

Can cats eat oatmeal? Find out the answer and learn about the potential benefits and risks of this food for your feline friend.
Can Cats Eat oatmeal?

The short answer to the question, "Can cats eat oatmeal?" is yes; cats can eat oatmeal. However, it's essential to understand that oatmeal is not part of a cat's natural diet and is not a recommended part of their meal plan. To get a clearer picture of a cat's dietary needs and how oatmeal may or may not fit into them, it is important to consider feline nutrition, potential benefits and risks of oatmeal, and alternatives.


Understanding Feline Dietary Needs

Cats have specific nutritional requirements that differ from those of other animals, such as dogs or humans. To maintain optimal health, it is important to ensure they receive a balanced diet that meets their individual needs.

Cats as Obligate Carnivores

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require certain nutrients found only in animal-based sources to thrive. While they can tolerate some plant-based foods, their primary source of nutrition should come from meat.

The Importance of a Balanced Diet for Cats

A balanced diet includes protein (from animal sources), essential fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. It is crucial to provide your cat with a high-quality cat food designed specifically for their species and age to ensure they receive the proper nutrients they need.

Nutritional Content of Oatmeal


Oatmeal is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can support digestive health in cats. However, cats do not have the same fiber requirements as humans, and too much can cause digestive issues.


Oats do contain some protein, but it is plant-based and not as easily utilized by cats as animal-based protein sources.

Vitamins and Minerals

Oatmeal contains various vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. However, these nutrients are available in appropriate concentrations in high-quality cat foods.

Potential Benefits of Oatmeal for Cats

Digestive Health

The fiber in oatmeal can help maintain healthy digestion in cats, alleviating minor constipation or diarrhea.

Energy Source

Oats are a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy. However, cats derive most of their energy from protein and fat in their diet.

Weight Management

Oatmeal can be used as a low-calorie treat for overweight cats in limited quantities. Still, it is essential to focus on a balanced, species-appropriate diet for long-term weight management.

Preparing Oatmeal for Cats

Cooking Methods

If you choose to give your cat oatmeal, ensure it is thoroughly cooked and cooled to a safe temperature.

Avoiding Additives and Sweeteners

Do not give your cat oatmeal with added sugar or other sweeteners, as these can be harmful.

Serving Suggestions

Limit portion size, giving only about a tablespoon of oatmeal to an average-sized cat.

Health Considerations and Risks

Allergies and Sensitivities

Some cats may have allergies or sensitivities to oatmeal, which could cause gastrointestinal distress or skin issues.

Overconsumption and Nutrient Imbalance

Feeding excessive amounts of oatmeal can lead to nutrient imbalances in your cat's diet, potentially resulting in health issues.

Diabetes and Obesity

Cats with diabetes or obesity should not be given oatmeal due to their carbohydrate content and potential impact on blood sugar levels.

Alternatives to Oatmeal for Cats

High-Quality Cat Food

Providing your cat with a high-quality, age-appropriate cat food is the best way to ensure they receive the proper nutrients they need.

Occasional Treats

Consider offering your cat occasional treats formulated specifically for felines for occasional variety.

Homemade Cat Food Recipes

If you're interested in making homemade cat food, consult with a veterinarian or a pet nutrition expert for guidance on creating balanced recipes.

Consulting with a Veterinarian

Assessing Individual Dietary Needs

Before introducing oatmeal or any other new food into your cat's diet, consult with a veterinarian to discuss their individual needs and identify any potential health concerns.

Monitoring Health Changes

Regular veterinary check-ups can help monitor your cat's health, detect any issues early, and ensure their diet remains appropriate for their needs.


Though cats can technically eat oatmeal, it is not an ideal or recommended part of their diet. The potential risks and health considerations outweigh the minimal benefits, and it is best to prioritize cat-specific food sources. If you do choose to offer your cat oatmeal, do so in moderation, and consult with a veterinarian to discuss any dietary changes.

Medically Reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM

Ivana is a DVM with a specialty in domestic carnivores – dogs & cats. She is passionate about educating pet owners and raising awareness about pet health.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Can Cats Eat corn?
Safe for Cats
Ibrar Ahmed, DVM

Can Cats Eat Corn?

Is corn a safe and healthy food for cats? Find out if it’s okay to offer your feline friend a treat of corn and how to do so safely.

Read More »
Can Cats Eat popcorn?
Dangerous to Cats
Nauman Zaheer, DVM

Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

Cats are curious creatures, and they may try to eat anything they come across – including popcorn. But is it safe for them to do so? Read on to find out.

Read More »