Can Cats Eat Donuts?

So you were out for just a few minutes? Your donut isn’t where it was supposed to be on your return and your cat looks guilty? We understand your panic right now.

However, we suggest you relax and take a deep breath, as eating a tiny bit of donut once will not be detrimental to your cat’s health. But if the donut was big and many and your cat looks irritated and panicky, please get in touch with a vet before you read this post further.

Read on to find out can cats eat donuts and what types of donuts you should keep your cat away from in this post!

Can Cats Eat Donuts?

Donuts are labeled as unhealthy cat food, given how high it is in carbohydrate and fat content. Both of these nutrients don’t play a big role in a cat’s daily diet requirements.

Yes, your cats can eat plain donuts once in a while. But this food item most likely acts as empty calories, which isn’t healthy for your cats when consumed in larger quantities.

Having said that, some types of donuts are toxic to your cats, even in smaller amounts. Therefore, instead of generalizing all donuts as ‘toxic’ for cats, let’s look at different types of donuts and how a cat’s body reacts to them.

1.   Can Cats Eat Chocolate Donuts?

Ingredients in chocolate, namely, theobromine and caffeine, when consumed in large quantities, can be toxic to cats. Both theobromine and caffeine are absorbed more slowly in cats than in humans. Consequently, the effects of these chemicals are intensified in these small felines.

Caffeine stimulates cats significantly more than it does to humans. Likewise, theobromine is more toxic to cats.

In fact, cats aren’t big fans of chocolate either. It is their unaware owners who tease them with these treats or leave some pieces around unknowingly, thus, arousing curiosity in them.

Chocolate donut toxicity can vary among cats depending upon your pet’s tolerance level and the amount of chocolate they ingested. However, if they have ingested a large number of chocolate donuts and have started showing irritation or discomfort, you must immediately contact a vet.

2.   Can Cats Eat Cinnamon Donuts?

While cinnamon isn’t explicitly labeled as a toxin to cats, a higher amount of cinnamon ingestion can definitely lead to cinnamon allergy and toxicity in cats.

This is because cats cannot break down cinnamon in the liver efficiently. Therefore, when exposed to a higher level of cinnamon, its ingredients can build up over time.

For instance, coumarin, an ingredient available in cinnamon, can act as a toxin in rodents and cause liver failures. So, a higher concentration of these chemicals might cause similar issues in cats.

Some of the symptoms of cinnamon toxicity are diarrhea, vomiting, blood thinning, low blood sugar, and liver issues.

In a nutshell, ingesting a small piece of cinnamon donuts isn’t much big health risk to your pet. However, please discuss the situation with a vet if your cat has ingested around a spoonful of cinnamon or even a small quantity of cinnamon essential oil.

3.   Can Cats Eat Glazed Donuts?

Glazed donuts most probably have a higher level of sugar and fats, given how the primary components of popular glaze recipes are sugar or syrup and butter. Consequently, glazed donuts are not any better, if not worse, than regular donuts.

There are several speculations that xylitol, a popular artificial sweetener used in the candy and baking industry, causes hypoglycemia and even liver failure in dogs and cats.

While dogs are severely sensitive to the toxicity of xylitol, a 2018 study has proved that this sweetener had no significant toxic effect on cats.

Overall, while feeding your cats glazed donuts is definitely not a good idea, you don’t need to worry yourself just because they had one tinnie tiny bite.

4.   Can Cats Eat Donut Dough?

Despite various speculations that cats cannot digest carbohydrates, a review published on Pubmed states that cats can the carbohydrate digestion process are equally efficient as the rest of the species.

However, cats relying majorly on a carnivorous diet are believed to do well on a low-carb diet. Adult cats, unless they are pregnant or new moms, do not need a high percentage of carbs in their daily diet.

Donuts are full of carbs and fats and, thus, aren’t quite recommended for cats. Donut doughs aren’t much different in terms of the nutritional composition either. The only difference is that the oils and fats in donut dough are not as high as in fried donuts.

Moreover, in donut dough, the presence of raw flour, eggs, and milk might impose several health risks to your cats, including and not limited to bacterial infections and food poisoning. Therefore, in no way should your cats be fed donut dough.

5.   Can Cats Eat Raisin Donuts?

While there is evidence that eating grapes and raisins resulted in kidney failure in dogs, its harmful effect in cats is, as of now, only anecdotal.

Some of the symptoms of raisin poisoning are vomiting, hyperactivity, lethargy, diarrhea, and decreased urination, leading up to acute kidney injuries.

According to the University of Missouri Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Service, there are risks that raisin consumption has the potential of imposing major health risks on animals consuming raisins and grapes.

Therefore, as a preventative measure, cats shouldn’t be allowed to eat raisin donuts. You can get away with feeding a tiny bit of regular donuts. But when it comes to raisin donuts, we’d recommend you absolutely keep your pets away from them.

Will My Cat Die From Eating a Donut?

While eating donuts in high quantities, be it regular or fancy, can impose life-alarming health risks and conditions, one needn’t worry if their cats ate a few tiny pieces here and there. So, in short, the possibility of your cats dying from eating a donut is quite low.

Nevertheless, one definitely needs to ensure that your cats aren’t fed such high carb and fatty food too often as they impose chronic and dangerous health conditions such as obesity, increased heart rate, and diabetes mellitus.

If the ingested quantity was significant, you might notice some irritation and allergic reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, discomfort, and digestion issues. If the symptoms seem severe, please take your cat to a vet as soon as possible.

Why Do Cats Like Donuts?

Fun fact – cats lack the flavor receptor for sweetness. So, what is that that they are attracted to in donuts? While why exactly do these tiny felines enjoy donuts is the question only they can answer, there are several speculations as to why this happens.

Firstly, it is evident that even humans have succumbed to junk cravings. Donuts are full of carbs and fats, and these types of food are found to be associated with cravings and rewards regions of human brains. Mammals generally enjoy such feasts, and cats are no exception!

Secondly, some cats might like the texture of donuts. It comes down to personal preference. While some cats might not display much interest in donuts, some might grab the opportunity to indulge in one whenever they get the chance.

Finally, these adorable felines are curious, and they cannot help it. If you leave donuts unattended around, your cats will probably eat them. What’s more, they might also desire to partake in the eating activity just because their owner relished some donuts in front of them.

What to Do If My Cat Ate a Donut?

First of all – Relax! As we’ve stated multiple times above, small pieces of donuts once in a while don’t hurt your cat.

Once you realize that your cat has eaten a donut, make sure you be extra attentive to their behavior, mood, and health. You shouldn’t see any signs of irritation or allergy if the ingested amount is low.

Even if you see some signs of irritation, a panic trip to the vet isn’t yet necessary. However, if you witness vomiting, digestion issues, or any other concerning symptom, stay in touch with a vet in any way possible and follow their directions.

Furthermore, in the case your cats eat raisin donuts, many recommend that you quickly take them to a vet, as even a small amount of raisins can be harmful to cats.

What to Treat Your Cats With Instead?

If your cats absolutely love donuts, you can maybe treat them with a small piece of plain donuts once a week. Remember not to feed them donuts every day. Even we humans don’t consider such high-carb and high-fat delicacy a part of a healthy daily diet, now, do we?

Below are a few healthy treat ideas for cats you can opt for instead:

  1. Lean meat
  2. Dried liver
  3. Healthy commercial cat treats
  4. Small pieces of cheese
  5. Homemade salmon cat treats


We love our tiny felines, don’t we? But they can be a bit mischievous at times. Our recommendation is that you refrain from encouraging your cats to eat donuts or leave any donuts unattended in their presence.

And if your cat unknowingly ate the donuts, we’re pretty sure they will be fine. Send our love to your cats!

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