Cats are picky but can get impawsive when snacks are spilled onto the flour, they could quickly nibble on them. Most of the food we eat as humans can be safe for cats, but can cats have empanadas?
I have baked over 50 different types of cat-safe foods and treats and here is everything I know about empanadas and cats, benefits, possible risks, and amount to feed your cat, and easy alternatives you could put together at home.
What are Empanadas?
An empanada is a baked or fried pastry with the shape of a crescent moon. The bread for the dough is usually made with corn flour or wheat flour dough, stuffed with fillings of choice depending on the use case, and then fried until a golden brown color is achieved.
The empanadas originated from Galicia, Spain, and were carried over to the Philipines and Latin America where it didn’t take long for everyone to catch up on the sumptuous savory snack. Empanadas are currently an essential dish in Argentina and can be found easily as restaurant staples and fast-food fares.
The fillings of empanadas consist of bell peppers, olives, onions, and proteins like hard-boiled eggs, tuna, chicken, ham, or ground beef. Depending on the region or country, different approaches are employed in fillings options and cooking methods.
Can Cats Eat Empanadas?
Cats can have one empanada, but in cases where onions and garlic are used as ingredients, it is not recommended to give your cat some. While the onion and garlic content of one empanada may not be sufficient to cause toxicity in a big cat, it could cause mild symptoms in a smaller cat. Hence, it is best to only give your cat homemade versions of empanadas, where the possibly toxic ingredients are removed.
The wheat flour or corn flour used to make the dough for the empanadas is safe for cats to consume provided it has been baked or fried. Raw dough as you know, could cause bloating and upset stomach in cats. so no matter how much they give you those kitten eyes, never give them some raw dough.
While most peppers like black peppers are not safe for cats, bell peppers are safe for cats and they even offer loads of health benefits. Yellow and Red bell peppers are more nutritious, and aid healthy coat and skin, while also supporting the immune system and vision.
Proteins used in empanadas are all safe for cats. Cats can have chickens, beef, a little ham, and most proteins used for empanadas. Animal-based proteins are usually better off than plant-based when it comes to cats.
The major reason why empanadas may not be suitable for your cat is that it is fried. Fried foods like empanadas usually contain lots of fat which could cause pancreatitis in cats in the long haul. If at all you want to give them some, it is best baked.
Is empanadas good for cats?
Homemade empanadas are great options for cats as you could customize the entire ingredients to be of benefit to your cat. I usually make a cat-safe version each time I bake empanadas, in this version, I used darker parts of chicken which contains essential taurine, bell peppers, corn flour (commonly used in lots of cat foods), no salt, then I bake instead of frying.
Proteins found in empanadas are the basic source of energy for cats and support muscle growth. Bell peppers supports immune health and are rich in Vitamins A and C which is beneficial to your cats entire health.
My Cat ate empanadas, what will happen?
If your cat eats little empanadas, nothing will happen, as the onion content in 1 of the empanadas may not be sufficient to cause toxicity. However, it is best to observe your cat to see if there are any symptoms shown, which I doubt.
While it may not be toxic, like lumpia and other human foods, it should only be given to cats occasionally, and not as a staple in their diet.
Can kittens eat empanadas?
While they could have little, it is not the right thing to offer. Kittens are meant to keep eating their quality food until their organs and digestive systems are properly developed.
Alternatives to empanadas to cats
Here are homemade treats you could offer your cats instead:
Carrot and catnip cat treats
These treats are nutritious and your cat will love them no matter how picky they are. To get it started you need some shredded carrots, catnip, eggs, flour, and oil. Mix all the ingredients until a dough is formed, then cut into pieces with a cookie cutter or just flatten the dough with a knife and cut into bits, then bake for 10 minutes or until it is golden brown.
Hairball Control Homemade Cat Treats
This treat will get your cat excited and equally aid with hairballs. These hairball treats are made from brown rice flour, canned pumpkin, oil, eggs, and ground flax. Mix the ingredients, cut them into pieces, and bake for 14 minutes.
If cats were on TikTok or Instagram, I know they would repost and heart these treats. To get them ready we need canned tuna in water, olive oil, flour, eggs, and mashed bananas. Mix it all, pour, and flatten on a parchment cookie sheet then bake for 13 munites and cut into any fun shape you can come up with.
Cats can have human treats like empanadas, but it should be in moderation and occasionally. Empanadas usually contain ingredients that are harmful to cats like onions and garlic and it is fried, making it not so good for cats. So, it is best to prepare a homemade baked version where you can exclude those harmful ingredients, besides that, the veggies, proteins, and dough are all safe for cats.