Are you wondering if your cat can eat human food? While it’s true that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet high in meat and protein, there are certain human foods that are safe for them to consume. However, it’s important to note that not all human foods are safe for cats, and some can even be toxic.
If you’re considering feeding your cat human food, it’s essential to understand which foods are safe and which ones to avoid. Some human foods that are safe for cats include cooked meats, certain fruits and vegetables, and even some grains. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that these foods should only be given in moderation and as a supplement to their regular cat food diet.
Table of Contents
- Human Foods Cats Can Eat
- Human Foods Cats Should Not Eat
- The Risks of Feeding Cats Human Food
Human Foods Cats Can Eat
As a cat owner, you may be wondering what human foods are safe for your feline friend to eat. While it’s important to note that cats are obligate carnivores and require a high protein diet, there are some human foods that can be incorporated into their diet as a treat or supplement.
Protein is essential for your cat’s health as it provides amino acids that are necessary for growth and maintenance. Some human foods that are safe and high in protein for cats include cooked beef, turkey, and poultry. These meats should be boneless and cooked thoroughly to avoid any risk of choking or bacterial infection.
Vegetables are a great source of fiber and vitamins for cats. Some safe options include cooked peas and asparagus, which are rich in potassium, and carrots, which provide carbohydrates and beta-carotene. It’s important to note that cats are not able to digest plant-based proteins as efficiently as animal-based proteins, so vegetables should not replace meat in their diet.
Fruits can also be a healthy addition to your cat’s diet, but should be given in moderation due to their high sugar content. Safe options include small amounts of ripe bananas, blueberries, and watermelon, which provide essential vitamins and antioxidants.
Fish is a great source of essential fatty acids and protein for cats. Small amounts of cooked salmon or tuna can be given as a treat, but it’s important to avoid raw fish as it can contain harmful bacteria and parasites.
Eggs are a great source of protein and amino acids for cats. Cooked eggs, such as scrambled or boiled, can be given as a treat, but should be fed in moderation due to their high cholesterol content.
Whole grains, such as brown rice, can provide cats with essential carbohydrates and fiber. However, it’s important to note that cats do not require carbohydrates in their diet and should not be fed grains as a primary source of nutrition.
Small amounts of cheese can be given as a treat, but should be fed in moderation as it is high in fat and lactose. Some safe options include cheddar and mozzarella.
Cooked meat, such as chicken or beef, can be given as a treat in small amounts. It’s important to avoid any seasoning or spices, as they can be harmful to cats.
Peas and Asparagus
Peas and asparagus are safe for cats to eat and are a good source of fiber and potassium.
In conclusion, while cats require a high protein diet, there are some human foods that can be incorporated into their diet as a treat or supplement. It’s important to feed these foods in moderation and consult with your veterinarian before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet.
Human Foods Cats Should Not Eat
As a cat owner, you may be tempted to share your food with your pet. However, not all human foods are safe for cats to eat. In fact, some of them can be toxic and even fatal for your feline companion.
Some human foods are toxic to cats and can cause serious health problems or even death. These include:
- Onions, garlic, and chives: They contain compounds that can damage a cat’s red blood cells and cause anemia.
- Grapes and raisins: They can cause kidney failure in cats.
- Chocolate: It contains theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death in cats.
- Alcohol: It can cause severe liver and brain damage in cats.
- Avocadoes: They contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats.
Raw Meat and Obligate Carnivores
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. While meat is an important part of a cat’s diet, raw meat can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause health problems. Additionally, feeding your cat a diet that is too high in carbohydrates can lead to obesity and other health problems.
Bread and Grains
While bread and grains are not toxic to cats, they are not necessary for a cat’s diet. Cats are not able to digest carbohydrates as well as humans, and a diet that is too high in carbohydrates can lead to obesity and other health problems.
While cats may love the taste of milk and other dairy products, they are not necessary for a cat’s diet. In fact, many cats are lactose intolerant and can experience diarrhea and other digestive problems if they consume dairy products.
Fruits and Vegetables
While some fruits and vegetables are safe for cats to eat in small amounts, others can be toxic. For example, tomatoes, peaches, and other fruits and vegetables in the nightshade family contain solanine, which can be toxic to cats.
In addition to fruits and vegetables in the nightshade family, other foods that contain solanine can be toxic to cats. These include:
- Potatoes: While cooked potatoes are safe for cats to eat, raw or fried potatoes can be toxic.
- Tomatoes: The leaves and stems of the tomato plant contain solanine, which can be toxic to cats.
- Eggplants: Like tomatoes, eggplants are part of the nightshade family and contain solanine.
In conclusion, while it may be tempting to share your food with your cat, it is important to be aware of which human foods are safe for cats to eat. By feeding your cat a nutritious diet that is tailored to their specific nutritional needs, you can help ensure that they stay healthy and happy for years to come.
The Risks of Feeding Cats Human Food
Feeding your cat human food can be tempting, but it can also be dangerous. While some human foods are safe for cats, others can cause serious health problems. Here are some of the risks of feeding your cat human food.
One of the most common risks of feeding your cat human food is stomach upset. Cats have sensitive stomachs, and many human foods can cause digestive problems. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
Feeding your cat human food can also cause diarrhea. This is because many human foods are high in fat and can be difficult for cats to digest. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other health problems, so it’s important to be careful when feeding your cat human food.
Feeding your cat too much human food can also lead to obesity. Many human foods are high in calories and can cause your cat to gain weight. Obesity can lead to other health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Cats are lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest milk and other dairy products. Feeding your cat human food that contains milk or other dairy products can cause digestive problems and other health issues.
Bacteria and Parasites
Feeding your cat raw or undercooked meat can also be dangerous. Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can make your cat sick. It’s important to cook meat thoroughly before feeding it to your cat.
In conclusion, feeding your cat human food can be risky. While some human foods are safe for cats, others can cause serious health problems. It’s important to be careful when feeding your cat human food and to avoid foods that can be harmful. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian before feeding your cat any human food.
How do I know if what my cat ate is Toxic?
If you aren’t sure, you can always Google something that your cat has gotten into, but if they are showing signs that they’ve eaten something toxic and you cannot reach the vet, then consider calling the ASPCA poison control line.
Write this number down on a post-it note and keep it on the fridge for emergencies. The ASPCA Poison control number is toll free at (888)426-4435 and having it readily available is not only a good idea, but it could save your kitty’s life!
My name is Danny Jackson and I’m the CEO and Chief Editor behind Petloverguy.com. After spending a decade working with vets and private clients as an animal behavioral and nutritional specialist I co-founded Pet Lover Guy to help other pet parents learn how to interact with, and make the most of the time that they spend with their adopted and rescued best pet friends.
Working with Ella, our chihuahua rescue, we seek to help all dog and cat lovers have the happiest life possible.