The cat looks at a donut and an apple

Can Cats Eat Donuts?

Donuts, those fluffy, glazed rings of deliciousness, are a tempting treat for humans.

But what about our feline companions? Can cats eat donuts?

Quick Answer:

The answer, unfortunately, is a resounding no. While a single bite of a donut may not cause immediate harm, feeding your cat donuts regularly can have numerous health consequences.

Why Donuts Are a Bad Choice for Cats

Several factors contribute to why donuts are a poor dietary option for cats:

1. High Sugar Content:

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their digestive systems are designed for processing meat, not carbohydrates. Excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems.

2. Fat and Calories:

Donuts are typically high in unhealthy fats and calories. This can contribute to obesity, which can put a strain on your cat’s joints and organs.

3. Toxic Ingredients:

Some donuts may contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, such as chocolate, raisins, and xylitol (an artificial sweetener). Even small amounts of these substances can be fatal.

4. Yeast:

The dough used in donuts contains yeast, which can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating.

5. Lack of Essential Nutrients:

Donuts lack essential nutrients that cats need to thrive, such as taurine and vitamin A. Regularly feeding your cat donuts can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

6. Choking Hazard:

The size and texture of donuts can be a choking hazard for cats. Their mouths are not designed to handle large pieces of food, and they may struggle to chew and swallow them.

What If My Cat Eats a Donut?

If your cat manages to snatch a bite of your donut, don’t panic.

While not ideal, a small amount of donut is unlikely to cause immediate harm.

However, it’s important to monitor your cat for any signs of digestive upset or discomfort.

Safe Alternatives to Donuts

Donuts are not part of a healthy diet for cats and should be avoided. There are many safer and healthier alternatives available that will provide your cat with the nutrients they need.

Dr. Sarah Miller. The veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in New York City

Instead of donuts, here are some safe and healthy treats you can give your cat:

  • Commercial cat treats: Look for treats specially formulated for cats, ensuring they are low in sugar and contain essential nutrients.
  • Cooked meat: Boiled or grilled chicken, turkey, or beef are excellent protein sources.
  • Fish: Cooked salmon or tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for feline skin and coat health.
  • Vegetables: Small amounts of cooked or raw vegetables like green beans, carrots, and peas provide dietary fiber.
  • Cat grass: Provides essential vitamins and helps with digestion.


While the occasional bite of a donut might not cause immediate harm, it is best to avoid giving your cat donuts altogether. The potential risks to their health outweigh any benefits.


Can a small bite of a donut hurt my cat?

While a single bite might not cause immediate harm, it’s still not recommended.

Can I give my cat donut holes?

No, donut holes are just as unhealthy for cats as regular donuts. They still contain the same potentially harmful ingredients and offer little nutritional value.

My cat loves the smell of donuts. What can I do?

Instead of offering donuts, try distracting your cat with catnip, interactive toys, or healthy snacks designed for them.

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