It’s time for dinner, and your cat is weaving between your feet, politely (or, not so politely) indicating that he wants some of your food. You are worried about feeding Fluffy something that may be dangerous for his health, so you decline. However, the list of human foods you can feed your cat is fairly large. In fact, many of the popular cat foods include these ingredients in today’s cat food. Here is a list of human foods you can feed Fluffy in moderation – either from the table or in cat food:
- Vegetables – Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require meat to survive. However, plants are enjoyable once in awhile for roughage or fiber. This doesn’t mean your house plants should be an option for your kitty, however, as they may be toxic. Instead, offer your cat small portions of veggies once in awhile. Recommended veggies include: baked carrots, steamed asparagus or broccoli, green beans, winter squash, or chopped greens.You can also find dry cat food that includes vegetables in their ingredients, such as Nature’s Table Salmon & Peas, Friskies Indoor Delights (contains a touch of garden greens), or Iams Healthy Naturals.
- Cheese – Cheese is a good source of protein for cats, though some cats become lactose intolerant as they age. If you want to see if your cat tolerates cheese, try a tiny bit at first to see how your cat’s digestive system handles it. Kittens and younger cats should tolerate cheese fairly well.There are also cat foods that include cheese. Fromm Kitten Gold Dry Cat Food is made with real cheddar cheese. Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar has a few different meat and cheese flavors available in canned cat food.
- Fish – Fish is one of those foods you probably think to give your cat with no restrictions. However, there are a few things to consider when feeding fish – more so if you feed your cat too much fish. Cats with diets full of tuna will get high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which depletes your cat’s supply of Vitamin E. In addition, it is better to feed your cat cooked fish rather than raw fish, as uncooked oily fish contains too much thiaminase, which will break down your cat’s thiamine. Raw fish can also carry a tapeworm, so cooking your cat’s fish is a better option.If you want to feed your cat the benefits of fish without worrying about depleting nutrition levels or giving your cat tapeworm, you can find cat food that has fish or focuses around fish ingredients. Acana Grasslands contains wild-caught freshwater fish. Weruva Mack and Jack contains mackerel and skipjack tuna. Friskies Seafood Sensations contains a delicious medley for seafood-loving cats.
- Eggs – Another rich source of protein, feeding your cat eggs is highly recommended – as long as the eggs are cooked! Scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs are two ways to give your cat cooked eggs. While raw eggs are more similar to what your cat would find in the wild, the risk of Salmonella and E. coli is too high. You do have to watch your cat to make sure he does not have an allergy to eggs. Again, start out slow with eggs and see how things go. Watch for manifestations of an allergic reaction whenever you feed your cat eggs.Fancy Feast Mornings Souffle is a canned cat food series that contains eggs. It is made with a protein, some garden vegetables, and eggs. Fromm Gold cat foods contain whole eggs in their foods, as well.
- Meat – Since cats are carnivores, cooked animal meat is one of the safest human foods that can be fed to a cat. While cooked poultry is usually the best choice, you can feed your cat other types of meat. Just watch for the fat content – a lot of fat in the meat can lead to an obese kitty in the long run and a cat with diarrhea in the short term. Digestive issues is one of the reasons your cat shouldn’t finish your rejected fat trimmings from your meal. It is also important that the meat you feed your cat is de-boned. Cats, like dogs, can cause themselves some serious harm from bones in meat, especially poultry.Most cat food on the market contains meat of some type. Depending on your cat’s health needs, you can find cat food containing the usual types of meats, like chicken or turkey, or cat food containing specialized meat that you don’t see often in order to prevent allergies, such as lamb. Lamb can be found in Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach, Acana Grasslands, and a few other cat foods. If your cat has a special need, there is probably cat food available to help with that need. If your cat is healthy and can eat anything, then the choice of food is up to you!
Now that you know the types of foods you can feed your cat from the table, will you give Fluffy some table scraps or will you continue to feed cat food only? If you are sticking with cat food only, are you going to try some new flavors to give your cat the taste of eating from the table?
View more articles written by Kristen Sydelko.