You've just nestled into your bed clutching a bowl of sweet caramel popcorn, all set for film night. At this moment, your fluffy kitten cuddles up close, meowing in such an adorable way it's impossible to overlook, clearly wanting a piece of your delicious snack.
Well, you go ahead to give your kitty a bit, but then you pause and wonder, is it safe?
Can cats eat human food without having health issues?
Yes, human food is safe for cats. In fact, some of your staple foods are rather healthy for your little furball. Except, every food category has a few items that you must avoid feeding your feline friend.
Finding the right cat-friendly human food is not all that difficult. However, even though you can share your grocery items with your cat, some of them can make the kitty's tummy whirl.
But how do you ensure they get a protein-rich diet without consuming too much human food?
Plus, exactly how much food is too much for cats?
Read on to get all these doubts cleared. Also, get your hands on an extensive list of cat-friendly (and not-so-friendly) foods for a healthy DIY treat!
What Human Food Cats Can Eat?
Did you know your cat's diet must not have more than 15% of human food? The best diet for your little furry friend includes nutritious food such as high-protein dry cat food. That is if they do not have any underlying sensitivities.
If the kitty does have health issues, you can opt for some limited ingredient cat food. Nonetheless, do not forget to cross-check its ingredients to confirm if your furball is tolerant to its constituents.
That said, you may often want to share your meal with your tiny pet. Well, the good news is there are some excellent cat-friendly foods that you can feed your kitty without any second thoughts!
Your little feline is a downright carnivore, which is why meat is an excellently protein-rich option.
You can feed your kitty cooked, boneless chicken, beef, turkey, and other meats unless it doesn't exceed the 15% limit.
In fact, the best cat food brands include chicken to suffice for the cat's nutrient requirements.
Pro tip: Thoroughly boiled chicken (or other meat) is the best option as it is well-cooked and free of salt.
The egg is another protein and vitamin B-rich food option, which is also present in some cat foods.
It is safe to serve your cat with small quantities of cooked eggs.
Pro tip: Raw eggs might cause food-borne diseases in cats, which is why you must always cook the egg well.
The fruit is a hit-and-miss case for cats. That is, your furball might like some of them and dislike others as they cannot taste the sweet flavor.
Nonetheless, here is a list of cat-friendly fruits that are healthy for the feline. In fact, fruits like pumpkin and blueberries are also present in some cat foods.
- Apples (peeled and seedless)
- Watermelon (seedless)
Pro tip: Ensure only to feed small amounts of fruits as they usually have high sugar content. Also, never serve citrus fruits like grapes, raisins, etc.
While your kitty may not necessarily enjoy veggies, it is a healthy food for them. Vegetables are rich in vitamins, fiber, and nutrients, aiding in digestion and other issues.
Pro tip: Always boil the veggies before feeding, and avoid serving spinach to cats with kidney or urinary issues.
Your cat may have often strategized on gobbling your aquarium fish, don't you think so?
Well, you cannot sacrifice your fish, but you sure can give some cooked salmon, tuna, or other fish to your naughty feline.
Pro tip: Similar to other meat types, only feed cooked and boneless fish to your kitty.
Other cat-friendly people food
What Human Food Cats Can't Eat?
Humans have significantly varying nutritional needs, which is why everything you eat is not necessarily suitable for your kitty. In fact, some human foods can cause turmoil in your furball's tummy.
Additionally, if your cat prefers staying indoors, you must opt for indoor cat food. It is low in calories and has a different nutrient ratio suitable for kitties with low activity levels.
Was that a lot of information?
Well, these tiny felines have a very sensitive digestive system. That is why we have listed a few food items you must keep away from your cat's reach.
Did you think milk is your cat's best friend? Well, the images and videos that you may have seen did not show you the aftereffects like diarrhea and vomiting.
Similarly, while your feline friend may love cheese, it can lead to obesity, digestive issues, and other problems. All of this because cats are intolerant to lactose.
Pro tip: You can opt for a commercially-prepared milk alternative for your kitten.
While your tom is a hard-core carnivore, raw meat spells danger for the kitty. It may consist of E. coli, salmonella, and other types of bacteria leading to severe vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Strictly avoid raw fish, chicken, beef, fat trimmings, or other meats. The same goes for raw eggs.
Onion (Foods belonging to the Allium family)
Any food that belongs to the Allium family, such as onion, garlic, chive, shallot, etc., is a big no for your kitty.
Did you know chocolate is one of the most toxic foods for cats?
Not only chocolates but anything with cocoa, especially dark chocolates, is terrible for your furball.
It can cause low blood pressure, diarrhea, breathing issues, seizures, vomiting, and, worst-case scenario—heart failure.
You must never leave your cup of coffee or tea around the kitten. Though a sip or two may not harm the furball, the higher caffeine content is harmful to your pet.
More so, even moderate amounts of caffeine can lead to restlessness, agitation, and even death.
Pro tip: Always keep coffee grounds, tea bags, pills, and other caffeine-rich items away from your cat.
Other human foods harmful for cats
- Raw Dough
- Peanut Butter
- Seeds and Nuts
How Often Should I Feed My Cat?
You are aware of the human foods that your cat can and cannot eat. Still, you must ensure to keep a check on the frequency of feeding your cat.
If you do not control your tiny cat's diet, the kitty can fall prey to obesity and other severe health issues.
So, how often should you feed a cat?
- Kittens (under 1 year): high-protein dry cat food four times a day, in little quantities.
- Adult cats (1-8 years): once or twice a day, in moderate quantities.
- Senior cats (over 8 years): limited ingredient cat food once or twice a day.
As much as irresistibly adorable cats are, they are also clever.
Perhaps, your little munchkin does not eat enough due to disinclination towards the regular cat food but loves what you eat.
Nevertheless, you need to ensure the kitty gets a balanced diet without overeating human food.
Well, there are a host of staple grocery items you can choose to prepare a scrumptious meal for your furball.
Alternatively, the best cat food brands in the market include all the nutrition your cat needs in a day.
You can confirm with your vet and try multiple suitable options that meet your cat's specific taste needs.
So, feed your furball the best high protein dry cat food for a healthy diet.
At the same time, do not forget to prepare DIY occasional treats or share some cat-friendly scrumptious titbits from your bowl!
Frequently Asked Questions About Human Food for Cats
While your cats can enjoy a morsel or two from your dinner bowl, some food items are downright prohibited for cats.
Here are a few human foods poisonous to cats that may even prove to be fatal:
- Cheese and other dairy products
- Raw meat, fish, eggs, and poultry
- Onion, garlic, and other veggies of the allium group
- Grapes, raisins, currants, and other citric fruits
Your cat may often be picky and refuse to eat healthy cat food. Well, here is how you can ensure the feline gets enough nutrients:
- Add seafood (tuna, anchovies, etc.) water to their regular food.
- Mix a small amount of chicken broth (without salt, onion, etc.) in the cat food.
- Offer wet (and stinky) cat food.
- Make a DIY treat with cat-friendly human food and cat food.
While preparing cat food, make sure to include protein, taurine, water, vitamins, fats, and minerals.
Here are some nutrient-rich homemade cat food options:
- Mashed chicken (boneless) and cat-friendly vegetable meal
- Baked fish balls (fish, bread, and eggs mixture)
- Tuna and chicken puree (cooked and mashed chicken, tuna, and carrot)
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