Cats and Snacks: Can Your Cat Share Your Human Food?
We’re all guilty of slipping our kitties a tasty morsel from our plates every now and then. It’s not uncommon for cats to get bored of their food and at times feeding your cat human food might seem like a good way to spice up their diet. But is eating human food good for your cat? Check out Cat in a Flat’s pawesome guide to which snacks you can share with your feline, and which ones you should avoid!
What human foods can my cat eat?
If you feed your cat a mix of good quality feline wet and dry food, they should get all the nutrients they need from their diet. However, some of our furry friends love to beg for a taste off our plates! Here are a few human foods your cat can eat on occasion.
Lean meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, liver, and lamb are all perfectly okay for your kitty to eat. Take note that you should NEVER feed your cat raw meat. This may seem illogical, after all in the wild Mr Whiskers would hunt and consume raw meat. However, in this case the meat would be very fresh and there would be little time for dangerous bacteria to form. With store-bought meat, this is not the case. Bacteria has had time to form on the raw meat and could result in a sick cat if they eat it. Always cook the meat thoroughly and remove the skin and bones before giving it to your fur friend.
It’s widely known that our beloved felines love fish. Most fish are good for your kitty to eat and contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are great for feline health. As with meats, make sure you cook and debone fish thoroughly before feeding it to your cat. Raw fish contains an enzyme that destroys thiamine—an essential vitamin for Mr Whiskers. Hence, you should never give your cat raw fish.
Another rather surprising protein that can be included in Mr Whiskers’ menu is eggs! It’s okay to share this human food with your cat in small quantities (either scrambled or boiled). Your kitty can benefit from the amino acids and protein found in eggs, and they also make a filling snack. Just like you, your cat cannot eat raw eggs as there’s a risk of salmonella.
Another healthy feline snack are wholegrains such as oats, corn, brown rice, and couscous. All of these contain protein and can be a great human-turned-cat food (in moderation, of course).
Fruits and veggies
Fruits and veggies can be a hit and a miss with cats, so don’t go mixing up a salad for your fur friend just yet. Most kitties don’t like the texture and taste of these food groups, and therefore will usually avoid them. However, if your cat does like to eat these human foods, stick to vegetables like cucumbers, steamed broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and peas. Safe fruits for your cat to eat include: bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, and deseeded watermelon and apples.
Human foods that are bad for your cat
Just like there are plenty of human foods your cat can safely eat, there are others your furry friend should avoid altogether. Not every human food is safe for your cat. Here are some foods that can be harmful or poisonous to your kitty.
It’s a common misconception that it’s okay to feed kittens and cats milk. However, felines are lactose intolerant, which means their bodies don’t have the enzyme necessary to digest the lactose found in dairy. If your cat does eat dairy, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Most paw parents know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs, but did you know it’s also toxic for your cat? Dark and unsweetened chocolate can be particularly toxic for both cats and dogs.
Grapes and raisins
Although it’s okay for your kitty to snack on some fruits, grapes and raisins are one type of food they should avoid. Eating even a small amount of these human foods can be dangerous for your cat, so take care to keep this household hazard away from your kitty.
Root vegetables such as onions, shallots, and garlic can all be highly dangerous for your fur friend. These foods can cause red blood cell damage and anemia. Also take care about exposing your feline to these foods in powder form, such as what can be found on chips, soups, and in seasonings.
While avocado is one of the healthiest foods for humans, it’s toxic for cats. Persin found in the fruit can cause vomiting and diarrhea in felines. So, the next time you whip up a bowl of guacamole for a party, make sure Mr Whiskers can’t reach this particular snack.
If you drink alcohol, always avoid leaving open containers or uncovered punch bowls sitting out overnight where your kitty can reach them. While a small lick of alcohol isn’t dangerous, consuming a lot of it can be lethal for your cat. Either way, you should make sure your fur friend never has the chance to drink any quantity of alcohol.
What to do if my cat ate something bad
Not only are there certain human foods your cat should avoid eating, but there are also quite a few houseplants that can be toxic for kitties too. Whether you’re a cat sitter or a fur parent, you should call the vet immediately if you suspect your furry friend has eaten something they shouldn’t. Signs that your cat has eaten something poisonous, or toxic can include:
- Sudden sluggishness
- Unsteady gait
- Excessive drooling
- Heavy breathing
- Sudden and frequent bouts of vomiting
Looking for some extra tips on feline care? Check out these blog posts on how to recognize and treat flu in cats and safety tips for first-time cat parents.
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