Some cats are just too classy for cat food. Should you indulge their high-flying ways, or is it too much of a risk? According to vets, the best food for cats is a stable diet of vet-recommended cat food with the necessary nutrients. However, there’s nothing wrong with a little human food every now and then, provided it’s in moderation and it’s safe for cats. There are some food to avoid because they contain toxic ingredients.
Here are a few examples of human food safe for cats that make a nice treat.
- Meat. Cats love to go hunting for meat, methodically and waiting for the right moment to pounce. Even chubby cats like a spot of ‘hunting’ now and again. Cats are obligate carnivores (meat eaters), so in lieu of hunting you can feed them lean meats such as chicken, boneless fish, liver or beef. It’s best to cook the meat, as recommended by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
- Vegetables. Yes, cats are obligate carnivores, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate (and need) some vegetables. Most cats eat vegetables if they’re available, which you can mix with some meat. Green beans, cucumbers, carrots and some steamed broccoli are safe for cats. Just don’t feed your cat vegetables front of her pals; she doesn’t want them to know she eats plants.
- Cheese. It’s not good to feed too much dairy, but a little bit of cheese now and again won’t hurt.
- Eggs. Scrambled or hard-boiled eggs are a good human food for cats. Don’t feed them raw eggs though as those can cause the same issues as they do for humans.
- Baby food. So long as it contains no onion powder, which is extremely harmful to cats, baby food can be an occasional substitute for cat food. The key word there is ‘occasional’, as too much baby food will cause long-term health issues. Cats will especially love the meat flavors, and it may be the best option for ill cats who aren’t in the mood for much else.
What human foods are definitely not safe for cats?
Here are some examples of human foods that should be kept away from cats. Cats don’t know which human foods are toxic. If it smells good it needs to go in the mouth. Manage situations so your sneaky cat burglar can’t pilfer dangerous food.
- Alcohol: If you’re looking for a new drinking buddy, look elsewhere. Alcohol is extremely toxic to cats, potentially causing coma or death.
- Bones: Make sure any meat you’re giving your pet has no bones in it, as they can cause choking or damage to your cat’s internal organs.
- Dog food: Vet recommended dog food contains the correct balance of nutrients for dogs, but not for cats. You don’t have to panic if your cat manages to eat a little bit of dog food, but if they’re fed large quantities consistently it can cause severe long-term damage.
- Grapes and raisins: They may be healthy for humans but a toxin contained within is extremely harmful to cats. Avoid at all costs.
- Marijuana: Think getting your feline friend stoned is a funny idea? It’s not, as marijuana can cause vomiting and heart abnormalities. So keep that bong to yourself.
- Mushrooms: Extremely toxic to cats.
- Moldy and spoiled food: Cartoon cat Felix was famous for going through trash cans. However, don’t let your real feline friend emulate his behavior as the kind of spoiled food found in garbage may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- Fish (raw, canned or cooked): Pictures of cats stalking gold fish bowls may have led you to believe fish were a favored food of cats, but feeding them large amounts of the above can cause severe malnutrition.
- Chocolate, coffee and tea: Stimulants present in the above can cause vomiting, diarrhea and heart problems.
Always be sure to consult your vet when determining which human foods are safe for cats. Foods that are healthy for humans can contain ingredients that are toxic to cats and dogs. So don’t use your own eating habits as a model for those of your pet. If you notice unusual behavior following any changes to his diet, be sure to report it to your vet.