Can Cats Eat Miso? The Potential Advantages and Risks

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Can Cats Eat Miso

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Usually, as carnivores, a cat’s diet should be primarily composed of meat. However, sometimes they enjoy eating plant-based food without risk to their health.

But can cats eat miso? Yes. Cats can eat miso, but only if there are no additional ingredients during preparation. Miso is high in proteins, which are advantageous to cats. Though miso is not toxic to cats, the high salt content can be a health risk, especially if ingested in excess.

In the article, I explain the concept of cats eating miso, including the possible health benefits and risks. Read on to learn more.

Miso Nutritional Facts

The following table contains various nutritional facts for 17 grams or one tablespoon of miso.

NutrientValue
Calories34 kcal
Fat1g
Sodium648 mg
Carbohydrate4.3g
Fiber0.9g
Protein2.2g

Can Cats Eat Miso? What Ingredients Used in Miso?

Yes. Cats can eat miso; most Japanese people believe it can help humans and pets combat intestinal inflammation. It has various nutrients that can boost the cats’ diet, including their favorite proteins.

  • Miso is a paste made by fermenting soybeans, koji, and salt for months.
  • Miso can also be made using barley and rice instead of soybean, making barley miso and rice miso, respectively.
  • Miso’s flavor profile can vary depending on the amount of grains and salt used during the fermentation.
  • If more ingredients are used in the preparation, the result is what is known as karakuchi miso, or strong miso.

This traditional Japanese paste is a key ingredient in Japanese dishes and is used in making glazes, dipping sauces, stews, and marinades. However, it’s popularly used in making miso soup.

Factors to Consider Before Serving Miso to Your Cats

My 2 years and 8-month-old cat, Muezza, enjoys eating miso as a treat. However, like every owner, there are various factors to consider before providing miso for it. They include;

  1. Ingredients in The Miso

As mentioned earlier, there are varieties of ingredients used when making miso, and too many ingredients result in a strong flavor profile. Strongly flavored miso is not ideal for your feline pet and can expose it to various health risks.

  1. Cat’s allergies and Sensitivities

Another factor to consider before serving your cat this delicious treat is its allergies and sensitivities. Some cats are allergic or sensitive to soy products and soy-based miso can be allergic to them. In this case, give them miso made from barley or rice.

  1.  Cat’s Health Status

The cat’s health status is another factor to consider before serving it miso. When the cat is under a strict diet due to nutritional deficiencies or a health condition, it is ill-advised to provide miso. Clear with your cat’s veterinarian first before serving it.

There are two more factors to consider before giving your pet cat miso to eat. These factors are discussed in the sections below.

What Are the Benefits of Cats Eating Miso?

One of the crucial factors I consider when serving my cat, Muezza, any new food is its health benefits. Most plant-based foods usually don’t have many benefits to them compared to a meat-based diet. However, the following are some of the advantages of miso.

  • Protein Source

Like most carnivores, cats require much protein in their diet, which supports their muscles, skin, and fur coat health. Miso contains a fair amount of proteins from the soybeans used to ferment it. This fact makes miso a source of additional proteins in their diet.

  • Beneficial Bacteria

Miso, among other fermented foods, contains beneficial bacteria that help improve gut health. These bacteria include lactobacillus bacteria, which can help your pet’s gut health improve by supporting digestive functions.

  • Appealing Flavor

Miso usually has an appealing flavor and aroma that can improve your cat’s appetite when served with their favorite food. It can be a great addition to your cat’s diet when it shows signs of low appetite or refuses to eat its usual food.

Risks of Giving Miso to Your Cats

There are usually many potential health risks when serving your pet cat any new foods, especially plant-based ones. And some risks of giving cats miso include;

  • Effects of The High Sodium Content

As stated earlier, miso has a high salt content, which is part of the ingredients used during fermentation. Salt contains sodium, which, if ingested in high amounts, poses a risk to your pet’s health.

For one, the excess salt can cause dehydration as the kidney tries to regulate the high intake. Too much salt can also cause electrolyte imbalance, mostly due to dehydration.

  • Allergic Reactions

Also, as earlier mentioned, some cats are allergic to some ingredients used in miso, mainly soybeans. The pet can end up with an allergic reaction if offered miso without the owner first confirming the possibility of allergies.

  • Digestive Problems

While miso can improve the cat’s gut health through the healthy bacteria it contains, it can also pose a risk. Soy contains phytate compounds, which hinder mineral absorption, making it hard to digest proteins.

Continuous ingestion of this diet can cause inflammation in the GI tract and cause serious health problems in your pet cat.

  • Nutritional Deficiencies

Miso doesn’t have many other nutritional benefits besides being a source of protein boost for your cats. Since the cat also needs other nutrients and vitamins, feeding them this diet only can result in nutritional deficiencies.

  • Disease Risk

Soy proteins can also hamper the thyroid’s ability to regulate chemical reactions in cats. This interference usually leads to hyperthyroidism condition, due to its thyroid glands producing more thyroid hormones than normal.

This condition is common for cats older than eight years and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity.

How to Give Miso to Your Cats Without Risking Their Health

Offering Muezza a new diet, such as miso soup
Offering Muezza a new diet, such as miso soup

Preparations and serving are crucial steps when offering your cat a new diet, such as miso. Also, the portion and size matters since plant-based foods are treats only offered limitedly.

1. Preparation

While you can offer the pet miso without preparing it, you can also prepare it in soup. Miso soup is prepared by dissolving this paste in a broth that contains various ingredients.

In this case, you can ignore ingredients such as mushrooms and garlic so your feline companion can enjoy the meal. Also, use miso paste limitedly with the broth to keep the salt content low.

2. Serving

Once ready, you can serve the pet only a pea-sized portion in its feeding bowl. Mix it with other regular cat food for a more nutritionally advantageous diet. Provide some water for your cat after it eats miso.

3.  Precautions

There are various precautions to observe when giving your cat miso

  • Keep a close eye on the cat after serving this new dish just in case it develops a reaction.
  • Avoid serving miso when your cat is under medication.
  • Keep the rest of the prepared miso soup far from cat access, just in case it likes it and wants more.
  • Avoid providing pet miso regularly to minimize the chances of health problems.

FAQs

The following section answers various frequently asked questions on whether cats can eat miso.

Q1. Can cats eat awase miso?

Yes. Awase miso is made by blending rice, barley, and soybean miso. If your cat is not allergic to these ingredients, it can eat the paste. However, serve it sparingly after confirming with a veterinarian.

Q2. Can Kittens Eat Miso?

No, because kitten’s digestive systems are underdeveloped and unsuitable for diverse diets. Therefore, feeding them miso is not the best to avoid risking affecting their health. However, consult the veterinarian first if you still want to try it on them.

Q3. Can Too Much Miso Kill a Cat?

No, but too much miso exposes a cat to various health problems, including sodium toxicity, which can be fatal. Also, other ingredients used to prepare the paste or soup can be lethal. However, if you take the pet to a veterinarian immediately after it eats it, it may survive.

Bottom Line

Cats can eat miso and they love it most for its flavor and aroma. This dish can be a source of additional proteins for your pet cat. However, before providing the cat with this miso paste for soup, consult a veterinarian to check its health status and the possibility of allergic reactions.

However, cats should eat miso sparingly due to the high salt content used in preparation. Also, miso lacks all the nutrients the pets need to remain healthy and should be given along with other dishes. So, consult the article to learn how you can serve the pet miso paste or soup without risking their health.

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