You’re sitting down for dinner, getting ready to tuck in. Suddenly, a flash of fur passes, and the big, irresistible eyes stare. Your cat wants a bite of your dinner, too. But are human foods safe for cats?
Often, people don’t know if they can share their food with their pets. It’s understandable since they have different nutritional needs. What’s safe for humans isn’t necessarily safe for your furry friend.
Which foods can your cat safely eat?
Some human foods, as long as you prepare them properly, are safe for cats to eat. Here are some common foods you can share with your pet:
When it comes to proteins, cats can definitely eat them safely. Some meats and proteins are already included in cat food. The most important thing to remember is always to cook meat thoroughly. Don’t serve your cat raw meat — otherwise, you might risk giving your cat illness and parasites.
Cats love fish. If you plan on letting your cat have some fish, go for meatier ones like salmon or tuna, which are more nutritious for your cat than white fish. But if your dinner is a nice slice of cod — no worries. You can still give your cat a bite as long as it doesn’t have any bones.
Don’t give your cats any smoked fish since those are really high in sodium and can harm your furry friend.
Poultry and Meat
Poultry and meat are perfectly safe for cats to eat. However, it’s best to serve them unseasoned or lightly seasoned. Some spices, like garlic, are harmful to cats.
Avoid feeding your pets pre-seasoned meats like barbeque or rotisserie chicken since you don’t know what spices were used to flavor them.
It might come as a surprise for some, but cats can eat eggs. Eggs are packed with protein, amino acids and other vitamins and minerals that are great for your cat. Just make sure to cook them thoroughly and to hold back on spices.
Some vegetables are safe for cats to eat. For harder vegetables, steam them first before serving. Just remember that cats are obligate carnivores. They can’t get their nutritional requirements from fruits and vegetables. If you want to feed your cats greens, you should give them as once-in-a-while treats or mix them with proteins.
You can feed your cat broccoli if it expresses interest in the vegetable. You can steam broccoli with no spices and give some to your pet. Although broccoli can’t provide your cat with all its nutritional needs, it can still provide your cat with some benefits. Broccoli has antioxidants and can help with digestion.
You can feed your cat carrots, but raw ones can be a choking hazard. Make sure to slice them into small pieces and cook them until soft. Like all vegetables, carrots shouldn’t be served to cats in large quantities.
Cats can spinach in moderation. It’s generally safe — although it’s not enough to sustain your cat’s needs. You can use spinach to supplement your cat’s diet. Some cat food brands include it in their food mixes due to its health benefits.
Fresh fruits are safe for cats to eat as treats. Cats can’t taste sweetness in foods, but they can still enjoy the unique textures of fruits. Avoid giving them too much, as fruits contain too much sugar. If your cat suffers from an illness like diabetes, do not give them any fruit.
Peeled bananas are safe for cats, but don’t give them too much. A slice or two of a banana can suffice as a small treat. Bananas are calorie-rich, and you might go over your cat’s recommended daily intake if you feed them too much of it.
Melons, cantaloupes and watermelons are generally safe for cats to eat. You can go for seedless varieties or remove the seeds yourself. Slice the fruits into small pieces to make it easier for your cat to eat them.
Before you feed your cat apples, make sure to peel and slice the fruits first. Some parts of the apple, like the stem and pit, can harm your cat. Just a few slices of the apple’s flesh is enough for a nice treat. You can also feed your cat cooked or boiled apples. However, don’t give them apple pie filling or jam since those can contain a lot of sugar and cinnamon, which can irritate pets.
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are safe for pets to eat. Berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can boost your cat’s health. Just remember to do it in moderation.
Grains are not essential to a cat’s diet, but you can still feed them some in moderation. Some grains are added to commercial pet food, so they’re safe for cats to eat. Grains can aid in a cat’s digestion and can be a good source of vitamins.
Cats can eat oatmeal, both raw and cooked. Mix a few tablespoons of oatmeal with water and feed it to your cat. You can also mix oatmeal with your cat’s food. Ensure not to mix oatmeal with cow’s milk, as most cats are lactose intolerant.
Cooked rice is non-toxic to cats. You can safely feed your cat rice as a treat, but don’t go overboard with the amount. Rice is carbohydrate-rich and can lead to weight gain if fed to your cat too frequently. Brown rice has more fiber, so it’s better for your cat’s digestion. However, white rice is also fine to give to your pet.
Sharing a Bite With Your Cat
Cats have their own dietary needs. As much as you want to share your food with them, not knowing which ones are safe can be scary. The great thing is that cats can eat many of the same foods we do. Apart from poisonous items, they can munch on human foods like chicken and fruits.
The next time your cat meows and asks for your food, you can share a bite as long as you prepare it correctly.