Comic strip legend, Garfield's favorite food may well be lasagna, but it's not necessarily good for your cat's digestive system. Just because you've seen that lovable cartoon cat eating it, you'll still be asking yourself, 'Can cats eat lasagna?'.
This carb-loaded dish is heavenly to eat for us humans. But the feeling is not mutual for cats. They don’t experience its taste or ingredients the same way we do and it may very well result in an upset stomach.
So, is Lasagna safe for cats? Well, your cat’s taste buds will not feel the same joy while eating lasagna or a large amount of tomato sauce as us humans would. Poor things, it's actually likely to be bad for them.
Feels like busting a myth. Doesn't it? How I wish we all could have our own cat lasagna-loving Garfield! But it is what it is!
Your feline friends should not even be eating manmy types of fruit or even plant-based foods. A piece here and there of some types can sometimes be alright, but too much will very likely not be good for them.
Even meat-based foods need to be carefully considered (beef, or other types of meat sauce, should not be freely included in a cat's diet). The ingredients used to make these foods may not be good for your cat’s health. But is that the same case with lasagna?
Can Cats Eat Lasagna?
Cats might be able to eat lasagna if it's made in a specific way, but they shouldn't and there is a lot of risk if they do. Although lasagna itself is not necessarily toxic to cats, many of the ingredients used in lasagna, including onions, garlic and cheese can make your cat seriously ill. So, no, cats cannot eat lasgana made in the usual way for us to eat.
We broke down the dish ingredient by ingredient. Let’s decipher what is safe for your kitty and what isn't.
Can Cats Eat Lasagna: The Ingredients
Pasta, (in this case the sheet types used for lasagna) is one of the main ingredients of lasagna. It is packed with carbohydrates. Although carbohydrates are not toxic for cats, it is best not to give them a diet filled with them. Remember cats are obligate carnivores and would much rather eat animal protein than stuff themselves with carbohydrates.
More importantly, if your cat eats too many carbohydrates, it can be problematic. Lasagna is also high in fat content. The combination means too much lasagna can end up making them fat.
Trust me I am not trying to fat shame your kitty. Just looking out for their health! Obesity could lead to serious health problems like heart ailments, diabetes, joint pain, etc.
Even Garfield, the lasagna-loving cat, looks like he could drop a few pounds. The carbohydrates and fat combination will make your cat fat and lazy. It won’t be good for your cat’s overall health.
Cheesy lasagna has, well, a lot of cheese (mozzarella) in it. You might enjoy eating mozzarella-filled lasagna. But the cheese is not good for your cat. In fact, cats should not be having any dairy products at all.
Nearly all dairy products contain lactose. Adult cats do not have the enzyme required to break down lactose in their body.
If your cat has too many dairy products as part of its diet, it can end up with gastrointestinal issues. These can range from tummy aches to vomiting and diarrhea.
Considering lasagna is packed with cheese, it wouldn’t be a great idea to give it to your cats.
Even giving a piece of lasagna as a treat means you risk subjecting your cat to lactose intolerance issues. Apart from cheese, you're likely have other dairy products included in preparing your lasagna. That's because most of the time the cheese will be incorporated by having a milk based white sauce to which the cheese is added.
So that's actually double dairy!
This amount of dairy ingredients can be especially toxic to your cat’s health.
Seasonings and Herbs
Most dishes that we prepare at home will have seasonings on them. These seasonings are minimally used, but they increase the taste of the food by a long margin. But these ingredients you use may not be good for your cat.
Garlic, for instance, is very toxic for a cat. Your feline friend should be nowhere close to garlic. Even a small amount can be harmful.
The same is the case with onions. Make sure your cat does not eat any onion whatsoever.
If your cat happens to eat either of these, you will know from symptoms such as gastrointestinal issues like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Your kitty might find it difficult to breathe.
There is a possibility of having an elevated heart rate as well. Discolored urine and lethargy are other symptoms of garlic poisoning.
It is unlikely you’re preparing the lasagna you eat without adding salt. This is another ingredient that is toxic for your cat. When your cat has too much salt, it can cause sodium ion poisoning.
Symptoms of this condition include frequently drinking water and urination. If not treated, the condition could get severe and end up with liver and kidney damage.
Other seasonings in lasagna include tomatoes, parsley, and basil. These seasonings are relatively safe for your cat.
Some people use oregano in their lasagna. Oregano is also safe, as long as your cat is eating it only in very minimal quantities.
As an aside, your cat should not have any oregano essential oil at all.
Make sure your ingredients do not contain additional spices that may be toxic to your kitty.
The only real ingredient in a lasagna that might actually be good for your cat is the meat in it. Cats love meat and the protein they get from animal meat is good for them.
But at the same time, not all meat is good for consumption. So you have to be careful about what meat you’re putting in your lasagna before you give it to your cat.
There are other ingredients as well that are present in lasagna. It also may have sugar in it, which cats do not appreciate.
Your feline friend does not have a sweet tooth. In case your cat eats a lot of sugar, it could end up with cat diabetes.
Some lasagna recipes even have wine in them. I don’t need to tell you how disastrous and fatal that would be for your kitty. Alcohol is a BIG NO for your fur baby.
If your cat is suffering from diabetes or kidney disease, it should not be having any lasagna whatsoever.
What Happens if My Cat Eats Lasagna?
If your cat does eat lasgna, then there is a chance that they could suffer some pretty nasty stomach issues. The most likely effect is that the ingrediants that cats find toxic will cause vomiting and diarhhea.
If you know your cat has eaten some lasagna you want to work out how much they have eaten and what ingredients that means they've managed to sneak off the kitchen counter.
Luckily, your cat isn't like a dog, so they probably haven't wolfed down a whole bowl and they are more likely to have snuck a few mouthfuls or even just a few licks.
If this is the case, then you shouldn't have too much to worry about. If you think they've eaten a sizeable amount then you'll have a bit more to causse concern. Simple as it sounds, the more your cat has eaten the more you need to be aware.
Knowing which of the harmful ingredients was in your lasgana will also help you work out the level of risk. So, if the lasagna is homemade and you know how much onion, garlic, cheese, milk and other ingredients you used, then you have a good idea of what is likely to be dangerous to your kitty.
If your lasgana is store bought, then look for the packaging and check the ingredients.
Then keep a very close eye on your cat for the next few hours (at least the next six hours) and look for any signs of distress and obvious reactions to the ingredients.
As with any possible medical concern with your cat, if you become unduly worried then you should immediately contact your vet
Can Cats Eat Lasanga: The Verdict
If you're still worrying 'can cats eat lasgana?', the verdict is that the regular human recipe for lasagna is not a good fit for your cat. You could remove all the toxic ingredients from the lasagna and then give it to your cat. But it doesn’t look anything like lasagna in that case.
If you absolutely want to share lasagna with your cat, there are a few recipes you can try. These recipes were created keeping the health of your feline companion in mind so what you're making there is really a cat lasagna which is a good step away from what you'd normally eat yourself!
There are also commercially prepared lasagna products that you can buy for your cat if you want to be absolutely sure about its safety.
In case your cat does eat lasagna behind your back, you might want to give your vet a call. If it’s just a small piece, it might not be a problem. But you’ll need to be sure it’s safe because even small amounts can end up being toxic to a few cats. You need to keep an eye out for any symptoms for the next few hours.
Lasagna is tasty food for humans. Many eat it regularly. But keep your cat away from lasagna, irrespective of how much Garfield might seem to be enjoying it! Stick to the best cats food on the market!