Human Food for Cats: What Can Cats Eat?

We always find ourselves tempted to feed our cats human food even when we’re told not to! But still, sometimes when our financial side takes a hit, we tend to compromise the health of our pets by making them eat meals that might put their safety at risk. 

But I’m sure you don’t want to be that pet owner who kills his pet accidentally! Now, do you? 

There are also times that we leave our food where cats can reach and that in itself is also a health risk for them. If you would like to know what our little furballs can and can’t eat, then you should read on.

foods for cat

To Eat or Not to Eat?

Meat

cat eating raw meat

Turkey or Chicken

Plain and simple, cats are an obligate carnivore. Meat is one of the main source of protein for your kitty. This lean meat is safe for cats to eat as long as it is fresh and cooked. If you can eat the meat, the cat will have no issues to have it either. There are times where you can feed them raw turkey, however, it should only supplement kibble and should be done only occasionally. 

Beef or Steak

This type of meat whether fed raw or steak-style is very nutritious for your pet. It also gives the benefits of shinier and softer fur.

Ham

Though this is also a source of protein, you can only let your cat eat a small portion, just like any other meat. It is also advised that you avoid the cheap kind of ham which you can find vacuum-sealed in a grocery freezer. This will have plenty of preservatives that are bad for both you and your cat.

Fish

As we all see in cartoons, cats eat fish bones, meat, and even those which are alive and jumping out of the pond. It is certain that your pet can eat fish but you should not make it the main dish in her diet. Though it has nutrients to keep your cat fit and beautiful, it is not a balanced meal on its own.

Fruits

cat relaxing on apples

Apples

A lot of cat owners ask the question “Are apples safe for cats?” and the answer is YES. These fruits are rich in fiber and vitamin C which can help with digestion and avoid urinary tract infections and kidney diseases.

Cantaloupes

The great texture and possibly attractive smell could be one reason why cats love it so much. They are rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants which can help your pet gain a healthy weight and shiny coat.

Blueberries

Like all other fruits, you can feed these to pets but only in moderation. These are enriched with vitamin C and are present ingredients in a lot of cat kibbles. Feeding these to your cats can also prepare them for the actual meal that they will intake because they will somewhat taste the same.

Oranges

Cats are not allowed to eat oranges and other citrus fruits because of the essential oils and psoralens. These could cause diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach acidity. Depression and photosensitivity can also be possible effects of overfeeding.

Cons – 

  • Vitamins found in citrus fruits can cause harmful effects to your cat
  • Can also start small sore patches on your pet’s skin
  • Can start other diseases if consumed in great amounts
  • Weight loss is inevitable

Pineapples

Yes! Cats can eat these, however, only in small amounts. Pineapples contain fructose where excessive intake could lead to a bad case of diarrhea and worse, diabetes. Not all cats are fond of the taste and texture but can be a healthy treat if fed from time to time.

Bananas

Although cats are not so fond of the taste of bananas, they are totally safe to eat. They pack a great amount of fiber and potassium which can help with heart and kidney functions. These can be given as treats or toppings for a meal. 

Watermelons

These are fruits that your cat can eat but seeds need to be removed as they pose a poisonous threat to our furry one. These can be added as a snack to increase your kitty’s consumption of vitamin A and Magnesium.

Vegetables

Broccoli

You can aid digestion and expel toxins with one small serving at a time because too much could lead to loose bowels. This is a good diet ingredient for indoor cats.

Carrots

Even though carrots are fine, you should only feed them cooked carrots because raw sticks would be too hard to chew and digest. They are also a good source of vitamin A to help your cats improve their eyesight.

Cucumbers

Though there have been several videos that show cats jumping for their lives at the sight of these, they serve as great treats for your pet. They can keep your kitty hydrated because of the water content.

Pros –

  • Contains Vitamin K which can help in blood clotting functions for the liver
  • Molybdenum is present in cucumbers which help the cat’s metabolism

Asparagus

Cats can intake only small portions of Asparagus. Going against this advice will lead to a serious case of urinary tract infection and tract blockages. Though it store a little protein and carbohydrates which your cat can still benefit from.

Onions

Although Onions are staple vegetables in a person’s kitchen, our cats cannot eat onions! Even a small amount of this could alter your pet’s blood chemistry completely. If you find that your kitty has ingested this, seek veterinary help immediately.

Cons:

  • Onion toxicosis can damage red blood cells which leads to the lack of oxygen in the brain
  • Cause vomiting and skin lesions
  • Can lead to diarrhea
  • Anemia and organ failure will also occur

Dairy and Carbohydrates

cat licking on milk

Milk

Milk can be given to kittens in small portions but never to adults. It’s time to junk the cartoon special that shows big cats drinking milk because that is a definite NO-NO! Some types of milk can substitute a feline’s breastmilk but for only a short time.

Cheese

Yes, you can feed cheese. It has proteins that can help build strong muscles and calcium that can strengthen the bone structure of your pet. However, adults can become lactose intolerant and might spark stomach issues if fed cheese. We encourage pet owners to feed small portions only and do an allergy test.

Peanut Butter

Although we can give cats Peanut Butter, it does not really boast any beneficial nutrients. For those who are looking for a quick weight gain regimen, you can add this to kibble because of the boost in fat content but that’s pretty much it.

Eggs

If cooked, eggs are alright for cats. Egg whites present many bacterial issues that could lead to stomach upset and in rare cases, fur and skin issues.

Corn

These are grains and carbohydrates that you should not allow your cat to eat. Aside from the fact that it does not give off any nutritional benefit at all, feeding this to your furry pet could lead to diabetes, and digestive disorders.

 Cons:
  • Most of the U.S. grown corn crops are genetically modified
  • Cats can suffer skin and fur issues
  • Diabetes and stomach disorders
  • Cases of organ diseases

Snacks And Sweets

Pizza

As tempting as it may sound, cats shouldn’t eat Pizza because of the tomato, garlic, and onion seasoning. Kitties also have a hard time digesting yeast-based products and that would be found in the crust itself.

Cons – 

  • Yeast can create digestive disorders
  • Most tomato sauces are made of onions and garlic which can lead to death in cats
  • Other toppings or ingredients can cause serious health issues such as diarrhea, diabetes, etc

Popcorn

Make sure you aren’t beside your cat when it’s Netflix and chill night. The additives and ingredients can cause several digestive disorders to kitties. Onions, garlic, butter, and salt are found in the ingredients and are all health risks to your pet. So keep it away.

Cons –

  • Choking hazards for kittens and senior cats
  • Can cause kidney stones and UTI
  • Onion and Garlic powder is highly deadly for cats

Marshmallows

Marshmellows are something that most pet parents give their cats, however, they pose a threat when it comes to choking and diabetes. The smallest marshmallow can contain 23 calories with 4.10 grams of sugar and when overfed, can lead to obesity. So we don’t recommend you feed your cats marshmallows – not even as a treat.

Cons –

  • No Beneficial Nutrients
  • High sugar content leading to diabetes
  • High calories leading to obesity
  • Present choking hazards

Walnuts

Walnuts are great for humans but not the same for cats. Letting your pet eat walnuts could lead to choking or give them an upset stomach. They have too much fat content which could also lead to obesity if you feed these to your cat continuously.

Cons –

  • High fat content which causes obesity
  • Too much salt which could create kidney stones
  • Can lead to Urinary Tract Infection

Chocolates

NO. They are the most deadly treat that you can give any pet. Even your vet strongly advises you never to let your cats eat this. What’s worse is dark and unsweetened chocolates because they have gone through fewer processes than milk and white chocolate.

Did Your Cat Eat Something It Shouldn’t Have?

All cats being really curious is not something new to pet parents. If you think that your kitty has ingested something that it shouldn’t have then pack your stuff, get in the car, and drive that furball to the vet.

Veterinarians will have to assess what your cat ate and how much it ate. Once this has been established, your kitty may be given milk to initiate a vomit to expel those toxins. After this procedure, the doctor will issue medicines to help ease any pain and release the rest of the toxic waste in your cat’s system.

Always remember: NEVER take matters into your own hands! If you know that it would be a critical time then head on to the pet clinic. Any further delays could lead your pet into a life-and-death situation.

Make sure that all of your food items are stored in the proper location. Never leave food or drinks unattended and keep it away from your cat’s reach. Tightly pack all kinds of cooked food if it will no longer be touched and store it in the fridge if necessary.

Ensure that all of your cookie, chocolate, and candy jars are in high places –where your cat cannot reach. Be certain that your fruits are well covered as seeds could be the end of your fur baby’s days.

Before you try and feed your pet some table scraps, or even give into those big marble-like eyes, make sure that the treats and foods you give it are appropriate, safe, and vet-approved!

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