Can Cats Eat Gingerbread?

Can Cats Eat Gingerbread?

It can be tempting to give our cats a taste of human food from time to time.  However, certain foods that we consume aren’t safe for cats and they shouldn’t be fed.  You may have wondered, can cats eat gingerbread?

This article will answer that question and provide you with what to do if you cat does consume this food.

Can Cats Eat Gingerbread?

Gingerbread is not safe for cats to eat. It contains a lot of sugars and spices that may be harmful to your pet. While cats can eat raw ginger to settle an upset stomach, gingerbread should always be avoided.

What Is Gingerbread?

Gingerbread is a type of baked good that is popular all around the world. There are many different types of gingerbread and these can range from hard ginger snaps through to soft loaves of ginger cake, or bread.

However, the most common type of gingerbread comes in the form of a gingerbread cookie. This is often shaped like a little person called a gingerbread man. You will often find these cookies decorated with candy and icing; they are particularly popular during the holidays.

Gingerbread is a sweet food, and various types of sugar and molasses are used in its creation. You might also see recipes that use brown sugar, honey, or corn syrup.

Aside from these sugary ingredients, you will also find a range of spices in gingerbread. These spices typically vary by recipe, but generally, you can expect to find anise, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves, and of course, ginger, which gives it that tangy kick.

Reasons Why Cats Should Not Eat Gingerbread

If your cat shows an interest in your latest load of baked gingerbread treats, it can be extremely tempting to offer a little titbit. The truth is that your cat likely won’t be overstruck by the taste of gingerbread anyway- did you know that cats are not able to taste sweet things?

However, there are still several reasons why you should not feed gingerbread to your cat.

Gingerbread contains empty calories, fat and oils

First and foremost, gingerbread contains no nutritional value for cats and serves only as empty calories. But that is not the worst of it.

The oil and fats that are found in gingerbread may not induce an immediate reaction that would dictate that the food is unsafe. However, over time, these can cause your pet to become sluggish and lethargic.

Gingerbread contains spices that aren’t good for cats

Furthermore, there are a lot of spices that are used in gingerbread, and some of these can actually be incredibly dangerous to cats and other animals.

Nutmeg is potentially the worst culprit. This spice contains a toxic substance known as myristicin, which can act as a psychoactive ingredient when ingested by a cat. This can alter your cat’s state of consciousness… not good!

Gingerbread contains a lot of sugar

In addition to the harmful spices, the sugar content in gingerbread can cause problems for the immune system and digestive system. This is because a cat’s body cannot break down the sugars in the same way that a human’s can. 

That being said, pure ginger has been long used to settle stomach issues in pets, but it is crucial to keep in mind that this is vastly different from a gingerbread cookie which is loaded with sugar.

Gingerbread is high in carbs

Gingerbread is surprisingly high in carbohydrates, and as many people know, this can contribute to excessive weight gain. Again, one mouthful of gingerbread isn’t going to make your kitty pile on the pounds, but over time, this could be a serious problem. An obese cat is more likely to suffer from health problems such as diabetes, joint problems, and pain.

With all of this in mind, it is essential to point out that there are cat gingerbread treats available that have a completely different recipe so those treats are a suitable alternative for your cat.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Gingerbread

Luckily, unless you cat has consumed a large amount of gingerbread they will likely be ok. The key is to monitor your cat for the next 24-48 hours to look for any symptoms that are out of the ordinary.

If your cat ate a significant portion of gingerbread you should contact your vet immediately to get your pet examined. It never hurts to be on the safe side, especially if your cat consumed more than a small amount of gingerbread.


Cats should never eat gingerbread since it contains ingredients that could cause a whole host of health problems for your pet. In addition, gingerbread contains no nutritional value for your cat, so there is really no need for your cat to consume this food.

If your cat eats a large amount of gingerbread, you should contact your vet as soon as possible to get your kitty checked out just to be on the safe side.