What Human Food Can Cats Eat? (2023)
Cs a cat owner, you want to provide your feline companion with the best possible diet to keep them healthy and happy. While many cat foods are available on the market, it’s natural to wonder if your cat can eat human food. This question is particularly important since some human foods can be harmful or toxic to cats. Cats may not be the most demanding pets, but they still need a balanced diet to stay healthy and happy. Knowing what food is safe for cats can be tricky, as some human foods like chocolate, coffee, and onions are toxic to cats.
So what human food can cats eat? It’s always best to consult your veterinarian before introducing any new food into your cat’s diet. Some foods like cooked eggs and fish are generally considered safe for cats in medium amounts, as long as you don’t add any spices or seasonings. This blog post will explore safe human foods for cats and how much of each type is okay for them. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions about what you should and should not feed your cat. By the end of this article, you will better understand the human foods that are safe for your cat and should be avoided. So, let’s get started!
Can Cats Eat Human Food?
Cat owners are often curious about what human foods their cats can eat because they want to provide their pets with variety and share their meals. Moreover, cats are known to be picky eaters, and some may prefer human food over their regular cat food. However, not all human foods are safe or appropriate for cats; some can be harmful or toxic.
Feeding cats human food not specifically formulated for their dietary needs can lead to health problems, including obesity, nutritional imbalances, and digestive issues. Some human foods, such as chocolate, caffeine, grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, and alcohol, can be toxic to cats and cause serious health issues or even death. Therefore, it’s essential to be careful about what human foods your cat can and cannot eat to ensure their health and safety.
What Are the Things That Cats Need to Survive?
Cats need protein, fat, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals to survive.
- Protein: Cats are carnivores, which means that they require animal-based proteins to survive. Animal-based proteins have all of the necessary amino acids that cats need. Common sources of protein for cats include chicken, turkey, beef, and fish.
- Fat: Fat is an important energy source for cats. It also helps keep their fur healthy and shiny. Cats typically get most of their fat from animal-based sources such as chicken fat or fish oil.
- Carbohydrates: It is not necessary to a cat’s diet, but they can provide some additional energy. Common sources of carbohydrates for cats include rice and pasta.
- Water is essential for all life, and cats are no exception. Cats need access to clean, fresh water at all times. A good rule of thumb is to provide one cup of daily water for every four pounds of body weight.
- Vitamins: Vitamins are important for a variety of bodily functions in cats. The most important vitamins for cats are vitamin A and vitamin D3. Vitamin A helps with vision and cell growth, while vitamin D3 helps with calcium absorption and bone health. Cats typically get these vitamins from animal-based sources such as liver or fish liver oil.
- Minerals: Minerals are also important for various physical functions in cats.
What Nutrition Do Cats Need?
Normally cats’ diet must consist primarily of meat. In the wild, cats typically eat small prey such as rodents, birds, and reptiles which are rich in protein and fat. Domestic cats should have a diet that fulfills their natural diet as possible. While all cats need mostly protein and fat in their diets, kittens need more of these nutrients than adult cats because they are growing.
Kittens also need more calories than adult cats since they have higher energy needs. However, it is important for both kittens and adult cats to ensure they get enough water daily. There are a variety of commercial cat foods on the market. That can provide your cat with the nutrients they need. Talk to your veterinarian about what food is best for your cat’s nutritional needs.
What Human Food Can Cats eat Safely?
As long as the food is cooked and doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients, cats can safely eat most human foods. However, some foods are particularly good for cats and should be included in their diet. These include:
- Meat: Cats are carnivores and need meat to stay healthy. Cooked chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb are all good choices for your cat. Meat is also a good source of essential amino acids necessary for muscle development and repair.
- Fish: Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit your cat’s health. Just ensure the fish you give them is cooked and contains no bones.
- Eggs are a great source of protein for cats. They also contain essential fatty acids and amino acids that support a cat’s coat, skin, and joint health. Cooked eggs are the safest option for cats, as raw eggs may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
- Dairy products: Cats are not lactose intolerant. But they can still have difficulty digesting dairy products, which can cause digestive upset. However, small amounts of plain, unsweetened yogurt or cheese can be a healthy snack for cats. These dairy products are a good source of calcium and protein, supporting a cat’s bone and muscle health.
- Vegetables: While not as essential as meat or fish, vegetables can still be a healthy addition to your cat’s diet. Some good options include cooked carrots, green beans, peas, and sweet potatoes.
- Fruits: Most cats do not have a sweet tooth but can still benefit from certain fruits. For example, small amounts of sliced or mashed bananas, apples, and watermelon can be healthy snacks for cats. These fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium, which can support a cat’s immune system and overall health.
Overall, adding these human foods into a cat’s diet in a limited way can provide additional nutritional benefits and support their overall health and well-being.
What Human Vegetables Can Cats eat Safely?
There are a variety of human vegetables that cats can eat safely, including carrots, green beans, and broccoli. While some vegetables may not be as attractive to cats as others, they can still be a healthy part of their diet.
What Human Fruits can Cats eat Safely?
As long as the fruit is grown and free of pesticides, most fruits are safe for cats to eat in moderation. The exception is grapes and raisins, which can be toxic to cats and should be avoided. Some of the best fruits for cats include:
- Apples (sliced, with the seeds removed)
- Bananas (in small pieces)
- Cantaloupe (in small pieces)
- Mango (in small pieces)
- Watermelon (in small pieces)
What Human Food Can Cats eat to Gain Weight?
Several human foods can help cats gain weight, including:
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Cooked eggs
- Ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey)
- Fish (trout, salmon, tuna)
What Human Food Can Cats eat And not Eat?
There are a variety of human foods that cats can eat without any problems. These include fruits like apples and bananas, vegetables like carrots and green beans, meat like chicken and fish, and grains like rice and oats. However, there are also some human foods that cats should avoid. These include chocolate, coffee, alcohol, onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, nuts, and anything high in sugar or fat. If you’re ever unsure whether a particular food is safe for your cat, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian first.
- Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which is toxic to cats. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, muscle tremors, seizures, and even death.
- Onions and Garlic: They contain compounds that can damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Even small amounts of onions or garlic can cause weakness, lethargy, and light paste.
- Grapes and Raisins can cause kidney failure in cats. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and decreased urination.
- Avocado contains a substance called persin, which is toxic to cats.
- Alcohol: Even small amounts of alcohol can be toxic to cats and cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and even death.
It’s important to remember that the above list is not all, and other human foods may be unsafe for cats to eat. If you’re unsure whether a specific food is safe for your cat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding it to them. If you suspect your cat has ingested toxic food, seek veterinary care immediately.
Feeding Human Food To Cats:
If you’re interested in feeding your cat human food, there are several procedures you should follow.
- Introduce new foods slowly: It’s important to do so gradually. It will help to prevent any digestive upset or allergic reactions. Start by offering a small amount of the new food and observe your cat’s response.
- Stick to appropriate portion sizes: Treats and human food should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake.
- Cook foods thoroughly: If you’re offering your cat meat or fish, it should always be cooked to destroy harmful bacteria.
- Avoid seasoning or spices when preparing human food for your cat. These can upset your cat’s stomach or be harmful to its health.
- Avoid feeding from the table: It’s important to set boundaries with your cat and avoid feeding them directly from the table. It can encourage begging and unwanted behaviors.
- Consider your cat’s needs: Not all cats have the same dietary requirements, and some may have food allergies or sensitivities. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine what human foods are safe for your cat and how much it can eat.
By following these guidelines, you can safely introduce human foods into your cat’s diet. So you can provide them with a varied and nutritious diet. Remember that a balanced and complete commercial cat food should still make up most of their diet to ensure they receive all the essential nutrients they need.
Feeding your cat a varied and balanced diet is essential for their health and well-being. Cats can eat a few human foods safely. These include cooked eggs, plain yoghurt, canned tuna, and chicken. Also, they can have small amounts of fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, and watermelon. It’s important to avoid giving your sugary cat foods or fatty meats, as these can cause digestive problems. Many people need clarification about what human food their cats can eat. They might avoid giving their cats people food altogether or only offer in minimum amount.
However, various safe foods for cats can provide them with extra nutrition. If you’re ever unsure whether a particular food is safe for your cat to eat, consult your veterinarian first. By following the guidelines in this article, you can safely introduce human foods into your cat’s diet and provide them with a healthy and nutritious diet. However, it’s important to remember that commercial cat food should still make up most of their diet to ensure they receive all the essential nutrients they need.
As a final piece of advice, we encourage all cat owners to consult with their veterinarian before introducing new foods to their cat’s diet. Your veterinarian can provide specific recommendations and help you design a diet that meets your cat’s needs. With a little effort, you can ensure that your cat is eating a healthy and balanced diet that will keep them happy and healthy for years to come.
Dr. Jenifer Miona is a highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian based in Ireland. With a passion for animal health and wellbeing, she has dedicated her career to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to pets and their families.
After completing her veterinary degree at the University of Dublin, Dr. Miona went on to specialize in small animal medicine. She has since gained extensive experience in all areas of veterinary care, including routine check-ups, surgical procedures, and emergency treatments.
In her clinic, Dr. Miona is known for her gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. She takes the time to listen to the concerns of pet owners and develops personalized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each animal.
Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Miona is active in the veterinary community and stays up-to-date with the latest advances in veterinary medicine through ongoing education and professional development. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Irish Veterinary Association and the European College of Small Animal Medicine.
Outside of her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Miona is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her own pets. She also volunteers at local animal shelters and is committed to promoting animal welfare through community outreach and education.