Tofu is their favorite for those who don’t like eating meat. But have you ever thought while preparing a meal containing a soy-based meat alternative that can cats eat tofu?
Well, here is your answer. Tofu is not harmful to cats but won’t provide the protein necessary in your cat’s diet. In addition, your cat might end up with diarrhea after consuming tofu.
Cats require animal-based food that provides enough proteins to stay healthy. But it’s recommended to ask your vet before sharing human foods with your kitty.
If you are interested in knowing more about this topic, you are in the right place. So, let’s begin.
Can Cats Eat Tofu?
Is tofu safe for felines? Tofu is not toxic to cats. That’s why if you find your cat eating tofu, there is no need to rush to the animal hospital.
If you come to know that your pet is craving tofu, prepare it without any spices or garlic. These ingredients are quite harmful to your cat, so avoid them altogether.
Remember that if you want to share any human food with your kitty, give it in moderation and as a snack. If your cat wants to eat tofu regularly, he won’t show interest in his regular cat food, and that’s not good.
What Do Cats Need In Their Diet?
Protein is essential for a cat’s bones, muscles, and energy production. Your feline friends must get all their nutritional needs from dry and wet food. However, the nutrients and minerals in tofu don’t benefit your cat.
Remember, cats require a meat-based diet for their growth and survival. Therefore, you can feed tofu to your cat in moderation. That’s because cats lack a few enzymes responsible for the digestion of this meat alternative tofu—feeding cats large quantities of tofu results in diarrhea and other complications.
How To Serve Tofu To Your Cat?
If your cat likes tofu, two weekly servings are usually enough for him. But make sure to serve it only as a treat. If you give it the first time, start with a small amount. Also, keep an eye on your cat to know how he reacts. Usually, 1-2 small blocks are good to start as some cats are intolerant to tofu.
If your cat doesn’t show gastrointestinal symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, or bloating, you can safely increase the amount to twice a week. It’s recommended to share homemade tofu with your cat.
Well, that’s because the commercially produced tofu contains seasonings and additives that might upset your cat’s stomach. In this regard, the source where you are obtaining it is quite essential. As it is a snack, you should serve it and dry food to your cat.
Should I Cook Tofu Before Giving It To My Cat?
This question comes from many cat owners, was this tofu originated from soybeans? Here’s the answer.
Tofu is produced by drying and soaking soybeans. The soybean is boiled before adding gypsum to solidify the resulting liquid. In the end, the mixture is sieved and the extract obtained through solidifying becomes tofu. So, tofu is not raw, and cats can eat commercially produced tofu without cooking it properly.
Ensure that the source from where you obtain it follows the food safety guidelines. If your cat gets diarrhea after consuming it, it means some bacteria are present. So, you can boil it before serving it to your cat.
Nutritional Highlights of Tofu
Tofu is a nutritious food that is loaded with essential nutrients. It contains nine essential amino acids, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamin B1, and zinc. Alongside, tofu is rich in fats and proteins. But unfortunately, tofu is not suitable for cats as they require more protein than fats.
When Is Tofu Bad For Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they require mostly meat in their diet. Tofu is considered an incomplete protein as it doesn’t fulfill your cat’s nutritional needs. However, it is used as a meat substitute in various human dishes.
Compared to cheese, tofu is a healthy option as it lacks any lactose. The worst thing is that your cat can’t digest it properly because it contains two sugars, raffinose, and stachyose.
Mainly, tofu contains harmful ingredients like onion, garlic, and salt that are dangerous to cats. As a result, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, stomach problems, bloating, and loss of appetite can be the symptoms that you might notice.
So you can give your cat tofu in small amounts and as an occasional snack. But avoid adding it regularly to your cat’s diet.
Cats and Soy
Allergies are most common in cats. And considering this, about 10% of cat allergies occur because of food. In this regard, soy-based tofu is no exception because it can cause allergic reactions in your feline friend.
You must add it slowly to the felines’ diet and watch for the symptoms. Other foods that can trigger an allergic reaction in your pet are corn, fish, chicken, and wheat.
Besides, in case of allergies, your cat might exhibit symptoms that are discussed below:
- Weight loss
- Swollen and red ears
- Itching on the back, head, and neck
- Hair loss
Research shows that soy is the primary cause of hypothyroidism that affects 1 in 300 cats.
Can Cats Eat Soy?
Other soy products are safe for felines besides soy milk and tofu. There are plenty of vitamins, minerals, and protein present in soy. Alongside, it has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties for felines. Although it is high in protein, it doesn’t provide nutritional benefits to pets.
So a cat owner can feed soy protein supplements that contain all the benefits of soybeans.
Can Cats Drink Soy-Based Drinks?
Now let us answer this question: Can cats drink soy-based drinks?
As tofu is a low soy product, you might want to give some soy milk to felines. But it’s not recommended to provide soy-based drinks to your cat. They contain sugars like raffinose and stachyose, which cats cannot digest. So they might end up with gastrointestinal problems.
Although cats love milk, you might want to introduce soy milk to your cat’s diet. But remember, it’s not cat food, and felines are lactose intolerant. Cow and soy milk are unsuitable for felines because of their dietary requirements. So, cats should not drink them.
Cats and Tofurky
Tofurky is composed of wheat protein and organic tofu. Therefore, you shouldn’t give your cat such foods as they contain herbs and spices harmful to felines. If your pet manages to get one piece, don’t worry. It won’t harm your cat, but keep the rest of them out of your pet’s reach.
Cats And Plant-Based Diets
Plant-based diets are common in humans because of different reasons. These include concerns regarding the environmental impact of the meat industry as well as health concerns.
But have you ever wondered if these plant-based foods are safe for cats to eat? In this regard, you need to get veterinary guidance.
Because it’s essential to make sure that your feline friends get all the nutrients important for a healthy life. Observe them for any symptoms and take measures to rescue cats immediately.
Tofu is not dangerous to cats but doesn’t fulfill their nutritional requirements. If you want to share it with your pet, feed him in moderation and without cooking.
Felines can’t digest this meat alternative because of its sugars. Also, seasonings and additives found in tofu can make your cat sick. Digestive problems are common in felines in case of its overconsumption.
You can share tofu with your pet twice a week but not more than that. However, asking your vet before sharing any food with felines is best.
FAQs Regarding Can Cats Eat Tofu
Which Human Foods Are Toxic To Cats?
Usually, cats are picky eaters, and therefore, cat treats are formulated for them. But you can share human food with your cat except for these mentioned below:
Garlic and onion
Raw meat, raw eggs, and bones
Chocolate and caffeinated drinks
Is Tofu Healthy For Cats?
Well, tofu is healthy food for humans but not for cats. Your feline friend has a sensitive digestive system and can’t deal with it.
He might end up with diarrhea and stomach issues. If this happens, it’s important to get veterinary advice to avoid further problems.
Can Cats Digest Soy Protein?
Most cats can’t digest soy protein properly. There is a compound called phytates present in soy which inhibits mineral absorption. Also, it blocks the enzyme required to digest protein.
As a result, gastrointestinal tract inflammation and serious illness can occur. However, this soy protein is present in various cat food.