It’s tempting to give your cat whatever’s on your plate, especially if your cat is rubbing on your legs and looking at you with its dewy eyes. But no matter how much you want to give in, it’s essential to hold yourself back when feeding human food to your cat. After all, certain foods that are safe for humans to eat are toxic to cats, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
But, if you really can’t resist the urge to feed your cat what’s on the table, the good news is that there are many foods for humans that are safe for cats to eat. The most important thing is to know what cats can eat and what foods they should avoid.
In this article, we’ll list some of the most common human foods that are safe to feed to your cat.
What Human Food Can Cats Eat?
Before we begin making our list of foods that are safe for cats to eat, let’s first discuss the nutritional needs of felines.
Cats are obligate carnivores and get their nutritional needs from animal produce. Therefore, anything outside of this is considered a treat or empty calories for them. When feeding cats human food or treats, always regard it as a special snack and never replace their diet.
According to the University of Missouri Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Service in Columbia, Missouri, the best diet for cats is a complete and balanced commercial diet created by a board-certified veterinarian nutritionist. In other words, the best diet for cats is commercial cat food.
Consider: Best Dry Cat Food
List of Human Foods That Are Safe for Cats to Eat
Here are human foods that are safe for cats to eat:
Apples are an excellent snack for cats since the fruit is a good source of Vitamin C and is high in fiber. Make sure to remove the rind, stem, seeds, and leaves, though, as these contain cyanide that is toxic to cats.
Related: How to safely feed apples to cats
Bananas are another great fruit snack for cats due to their potassium content. Make sure to remove the peel as this can be a choking hazard.
Related: How to safely feed bananas to cats
Blueberries and strawberries are also great snack options for cats since they contain many antioxidants. Wash them thoroughly and remove stems before serving.
Plain bread with no toppings or other ingredients is safe for cats to eat. Make sure it’s baked bread since bread dough can lead to health issues causing bloating since the dough can expand inside the cat’s stomach. Raw yeast can also form ethanol alcohol, which can be life-threatening in cats.
Related: How to safely feed bread to cats
Many cats are lactose intolerant, so make sure your cat can tolerate cheese well before serving. Cheese is high in calcium and protein and makes for an easy cat snack. Ideal types of cheese are hard cheeses, like Gouda, cheddar, and Swiss.
Related: How to safely feed cheese to cats
6. Cooked Eggs
Cooked eggs are a great source of protein and Vitamin B. Make sure it’s adequately cooked since raw eggs can contain bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella, which can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Related: How to safely feed eggs to cats
Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are great foods for cats, and they can even replace commercial cat food.
Salmon, for example, is a good source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna and mackerel are great for cats’ joints as well.
Related: Can cats have raw salmon
8. Fish Oil
While cats don’t necessarily need supplements, but fish oil can be an exception. Fish oil is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and it helps prevent dry skin and keeps a cat’s coat healthy all year.
Oatmeal is often included in many commercial cat foods, and it’s a great source of iron, fiber, and protein.
Poultry like cooked chicken and turkey can be great meal replacements for cats, just like fish. Poultry is an excellent source of lean protein, as long as the skin is removed and cooked thoroughly.
Other safe human foods for cats to eat include peas, cantaloupe, melon, spinach, and pumpkin.
Human Foods Cats Must Avoid at All Times
Cat owners must also know the most toxic human foods for cats so you can avoid feeding them to your feline friend. Here are 5 of the most harmful human foods for cats:
1. Onions and Garlic
These can cause damage to red blood cells and lead to anemia in cats. Symptoms can include lethargy, reduced appetite, and weakness.
Chocolates contain methylxanthines, which are toxic to cats. It can cause fever, stomach upset, and seizures.
Related: Can cats have chocolate
3. Raw Meat and Eggs
Raw meat and eggs can contain E.coli and Salmonella that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration, which can be fatal in cats.
4. Raw Dough
Raw dough can expand in a cat’s stomach and lead to stomach issues such as bloating, diarrhea, and excess gas. Yeast can also lead to the production of ethanol alcohol, which can cause seizures, coma, and death in cats.
5. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney issues in cats, and symptoms can begin after 12 hours of ingestion. Kidney failure has also been reported in some cases.
Things to Keep in Mind
While the food listed here are generally safe for cats to eat, there may be some exceptions. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The foods listed are generally safe for healthy cats. If your kitty has a health condition, it may be safe to ask a vet before introducing human foods to its diet.
- Not all cats will respond the same to certain human foods. Some cats may have an allergy to peanut butter, while others will react adversely to berries.
- When introducing new food to your cat, make sure you give new treats one at a time. This way, if your cat has an adverse reaction, you can quickly pinpoint what caused the symptoms. Signs to watch out for include vomiting, diarrhea, change in behavior, and difficulty breathing in your cat.
- Aside from fish and poultry, the foods safe to eat for cats must only be given as a treat or snack. They should never be given daily, and they shouldn’t be given as a meal replacement. Treats and snacks should not consist of more than 10% of a cat’s daily diet.
We want our cats to be happy and healthy, and one of the simplest ways we can do this is by giving them healthy and delicious food.
It’s always tempting to share our food with our cats, but it’s essential to know which human foods are safe and not safe for cats to eat.
When introducing new food to our kitties, it’s best to introduce one new food at a time. This way, you can quickly pinpoint the cause of adverse reactions in your cat.
Always feed your cat human food in small portions. Except for fish and poultry, only feed human foods as a treat and never replace their commercial cat food diet.