Cats and Human Food:
Guidelines and Tips for the Holidays and Every Day
When it comes to feeding your cat kid, you want the best for them, and you also want to make sure that the food they try to sneak off your plate won’t harm them. So, what can cats eat besides cat food? Are there healthy human foods cats can eat? Are there human foods cats cannot eat? When it comes to holiday meals, are there holiday foods toxic to cats? Read on for some guidelines and tips on interspecies mealtime (and always consult your vet with any major questions or concerns).
What human foods can cats eat?
Whether you feed your cat kid dry food, canned food, a combination of both, or homemade meals, you may want to throw in some treats from your own food stash occasionally — but only if your cat kid is healthy and not dealing with any conditions that call for a strict diet. Healthy cat kids still need to practice moderation when it comes to treats and snacks, so keep that in mind when choosing human foods they can eat.
Many veggies contain important vitamins and minerals that can boost your cat kid’s health. If you’re wondering, “Can cats eat vegetables?”
✓ Do feed them steamed broccoli and asparagus, fresh cucumber, plain carrots, and frozen or raw peas.
Asking yourself, “What fruits can cats eat?”
✓ Do treat them to the occasional washed blueberry, washed and stem-free strawberry, apple slice, and banana slice.
Pondering, “Can cats eat pasta?”
✓ Do let them have plain pasta occasionally — before you douse your plate in marinara and parmesan.
Want to incorporate some of these or other healthy human foods like fish in homemade cat food recipes?
✓ Do check out home-prepared food recipes for your cat from The Spruce Pets.
What can cats not eat?
If you’re making your cat kid their own charcuterie plate, make sure to leave off the foods toxic to cats. Though every cat is different, some human foods should never be fed to your cat kid.
Is chocolate bad for cats?
X Don’t feed them chocolate or cocoa powder, which contain substances that are toxic and could cause vomiting, seizures, and even death.
Can cats eat grapes?
X Don’t give your cat kid grapes or raisins — they can lead to kidney issues, including kidney failure.
Can cats eat onions? What about garlic?
X Don’t let them snack on onions or garlic, which could cause gastrointestinal issues.
Curious about feeding your cat kid undercooked meat or fish?
X Don’t include this in their diet since it may contain Salmonella and E. coli bacteria, which could cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.
Did your cat kid get into any of these foods?
X Don’t panic.
✓ Do call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center as soon as possible.
What can cats eat during the holidays?
The holidays come with a menu all their own, and when your cat kid isn’t hiding from house guests or taking a nap under the tree they haven’t knocked over yet, they probably want in on some of that food. Here are some common holiday food rules for your cat kid:
Can cats have turkey?
✓ Do feed them plain white meat turkey without butter or oil.
X Don’t feed them turkey skin, dark meat, or bones.
Can cats have ham?
X Don’t feed them ham due to the high sodium and fat content, or ham bones, since the splinters could damage their stomach.
Can cats eat potatoes?
✓ Do treat them to small portions of cooked, plain regular potatoes or sweet potatoes before you whip up the mashed, the casserole, and the pie for the people.
Can cats eat stuffing?
X Don’t treat them to stuffing, since it’s usually chockfull of onions, garlic, and butter.
Can cats eat pumpkin?
✓ Do let them have plain pumpkin, which can even help their digestive system.
Can cats eat cranberries?
✓ Do treat them to a few pieces of the fruit.
X Don’t give them any cranberry sauce (too much sugar).
Have more cat kid questions? Read our interview with a vet, then stock up on tips to keep your cat kid safe, smart, and healthy — during the holidays and every day.
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