Can Cats Eat Grits?

by Jayley
Can Cats Eat Grits

Our cats have a tendency to indulge in people’s food, be it our choice to treat them or their own curious exploration. While it is generally acceptable for them to consume small quantities of human food occasionally, it is important to be aware of potential harm. Therefore, it is beneficial to understand which non-cat foods can be safely offered to our feline companions.

Grits, a popular breakfast dish in the Southern region, may raise concerns regarding its impact on cats if they happen to sample it. Can cats consume grits without adverse effects? Are grits a healthy option for them?

Fortunately, there is no need to be overly concerned if your cat manages to have a taste of grits. A small bite should not pose significant risks. However, it is important to note that grits are not a healthy choice for cats, and they should not consume them frequently.

Are Grits Healthy For Your Cats?

What Exactly are Grits?

What Exactly are Grits?

If you’re not acquainted with grits, it is a well-liked Southern dish in the United States. It is prepared using ground corn, typically of the less sweet variety, available in white or yellow variations.

Grits come in various types, such as quick cooking, old-fashioned, heirloom, instant, and hominy, offering a wide range of options. Once cooked, grits acquire a creamy texture and can be enhanced with a variety of spices and ingredients, allowing for numerous flavorful variations.

Can Your Cat Eat Grits?

Grits, a widely enjoyed porridge made by boiling cornmeal, can be a delicious breakfast option for humans, whether prepared as a savory or sweet dish. However, it’s always important to note that your cat shouldn’t eat grits frequently and become a significant part of our cats’ diet, regardless of how much they may desire it.

Moreover, if grits are consumed occasionally, and in small quantities, they are unlikely to have adverse effects on your cat. However, it is not recommended, especially if you include sweeteners, milk, or other toppings in your breakfast preparation. Nevertheless, when offered in moderation and in their plain form, grits should not pose any harm to your feline companion.

Are Grits Healthy For Your Cats?

When it comes to grits, the primary ingredient is corn, which raises the question of whether corn is safe for cats to consume. Fortunately, corn is indeed safe for cats, and you’ll often find it and corn byproducts listed as common ingredients in cat food. Corn is an organic ingredient that provides essential protein, fatty acids, carbs, and natural antioxidants.

Cats and Carbs

Now, let’s consider the topic of cats and carbohydrates. Cats are classified as obligate carnivores, meaning they primarily fulfill their nutritional requirements through the consumption of meat and protein.

Their need for carbohydrates is comparatively low. Although carbohydrates can still serve as a source of energy for cats without causing harm, they have a reduced need for carbs compared to humans.

Do Cats Digest Carbs Easily?

Moreover, cats may encounter difficulties digesting simple carbohydrates, including sugars, which can result in stomach discomfort. Essentially, carbohydrates are not a nutrient that cats should consume in large quantities.

Apart from corn and carbohydrates, whether grits are healthy or potentially harmful to your cat depends on the additional ingredients used.

While cheese grits are popular, you must remember that cats are lactose intolerant. So, you should not give them excessive amounts of this dish if you don’t want them to end up vomiting and diarrhea.

Is Corn the Only Ingredient in Grits?

Is Corn the Only Ingredient in Grits?

Aside from corn and plain grits, shrimp is an ingredient that can potentially be harmful to your cat. While cats can consume shrimp without risking their safety, there is a slight risk that the shrimp may contain excessive amounts of iodine, which can potentially lead to hyperthyroidism, or high levels of mercury, which can result in mercury poisoning (though this is rare).

In essence, if you are considers to give your cat grits, there is a concern that they may consume cooked grits independently. It is crucial to thoroughly research any additional ingredients you plan to add so you won’t have to worry about their health. This precaution ensures that no harm is caused to your beloved pet.

Why Is It Important to Feed Your Cat with Grits Moderately?

Having clarified that grit dishes are indeed good and safe for cats to eat, you may be curious as to why they aren’t advisable to eat many grits on a frequent basis.

Low in Nutrients Content

Although grits are considered good for cats to consume, they do not offer significant nutritional value. Primarily composed of ground corn, which consists mostly of carbohydrates, grits lack essential nutrients such as protein, fat, and vitamins that are vital for your cat’s overall health.

While carbohydrates are indeed a necessary component of your cat’s diet, she also requires a balanced intake of another nutrient to thrive. Besides, due to their limited nutritional profile, it is not okay to feed grits to your cat regularly.

Grits Can Cause Upset Stomach

Another important factor to consider when it comes to giving your cat grits is the potential for digestive issues. While some cats may tolerate grits without any adverse effects, others may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal discomfort after consuming them.

If your cat has not previously consumed grits, it is advisable to exercise caution and refrain from giving them this particular food. It is always better to opt for caution and prioritize your cat’s well-being.

It Can Also Cause Cats to Gain Weight

Lastly, an additional reason to refrain from giving your cat grits is their potential to contribute to weight gain. Grits are rich in carbohydrates, and excessive consumption can lead to an increase in body weight.

If your cat is already overweight, providing her with grits will only get her to exacerbate the issue. This is why it is advisable to keep a healthy diet for your cat, avoiding foods high in carbohydrates [1], such as grits, to maintain her overall well-being.

What Kinds of Food Can Your Cat Eat Safely?

If you have any uncertainties about specific food choices when it comes to your cats, seeking recommendations from your veterinarian or a cat nutritionist is highly advisable. Alternatively, sticking to commercially available cat treats ensures a reliable and appropriate option for your cat’s long indulgence.


While feeding your cat raw eggs is not recommended due to the risk of salmonella, you can offer them small portions of cooked eggs. Cooked eggs provide a substantial amount of protein that can be beneficial for your cat’s diet.   

Fruits and Vegetables

Although cats may not have the same tolerance for fruits and vegetables as dogs do, they can still enjoy fruits and veggies, let’s say one or two of certain fruits, berries, and vegetables. However, it is important to exercise moderation to prevent any potential digestive problems.

Read also: Can Cats Eat Leeks?

Fish and Meat

Including meat and fish in your cat’s diet is beneficial. It’s important to cut the meat into manageable chunks without bones. Fish, in particular, is a valuable source of omega fatty acids, promoting joint health and maintaining smooth fur in felines. But always remove any bones from the fish before offering it to your cat.

For cats on a non-raw diet, it’s crucial to ensure that store-bought meat and fish are fully cooked without any seasonings or added oil during preparation.

Note: consulting a professional would not cost a lot. Especially if it’s to maintain the safety of your companion and to avoid costly problems in the future.

Key Takeaways

Giving your cats grits in lesser quantities and, on rare occasions, poses minimal harm. But, it is essential to exercise caution and avoid offering them this dish too frequently, as the high corn and carbohydrate content may not be suitable for their long-term safety. Additionally, adding extra ingredients like cheese or shrimp to grits can introduce potential health risks to your pet.

Moreover, if you choose to give your cat a nibble of grits occasionally, plain grits without any additional ingredients would be the safest option, as some people do not know what happens when a cat consumes a portion of a grits dish on their own. So, as long as you do not get that far, Your cats should generally be fine.

Furthermore, it is recommended to closely monitor your cat from time to time following their consumption of grits, watching for any signs of stomach discomfort or lethargy.


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