Have you ever thought about the kind of human food can cats eat? Cats are full-fledged members of the family, and as such, it often seems only natural to share everything with them—including meals. But there is an unexpected thing that cats can be killed by your familiar food. Let’s follow PowerPAC plus to learn more.
Should you feed a cat human food?
Sharing your plate, depending on the food, can be harmful to your cat’s health. Before you share your snack, make sure you understand the difference between foods that are toxic to cats and those that are not. It’s important to remember that, despite your cat’s whining, treats and snacks designed for humans aren’t a necessary part of his diet. We collaborated with the University of Missouri Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Service in Columbia, Missouri, to determine what your cat requires to be healthy. Not much, as it turns out (outside of their regular cat food, that is).
According to the Clinical Nutrition Service, “cats have specific nutrient requirements that must be met by their diet.” “The simplest and most convenient way to meet a cat’s nutrient requirements is to feed them a complete and balanced commercial diet designed by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or a person with a PhD in animal nutrition.” This means that any vitamins and minerals provided by treats, including fruits and vegetables that we humans consider healthy snacks, would be in excess of what a cat eating a complete and balanced diet requires. Furthermore, when it comes to nutrients, more isn’t always better. It can even be harmful in some cases.
Human foods that are safe for cat
If you’ve ever seen your cat nibble on grass, you know how much they enjoy leafy greens. Although spinach is high in vitamins, it should not be given to cats who have kidney or urinary problems.
Of course, as part of a balanced diet, any and all of these foods should be given as occasional treats. Consult your veterinarian about the best food to feed your cat on a daily basis, or if you have any questions about what your cat should or should not eat.
Protein-rich eggs are another nutritious food you can give to your cat. Cooked eggs are preferable to raw eggs, which may contain salmonella or E. coli..
Oats are high in fiber, iron, and protein, all of which are good for your cat’s overall health. You can also apply them topically to treat skin issues.
Leave out the spices and just give your cat the pumpkin. Pumpkin puree contains fiber and nutrients that can aid in conditions ranging from constipation to hairballs.
Blueberries and strawberries, which are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, are good fruits to share with your cat… but probably not in a pie.
Sharing a slice or wedge with your cat is very Gouda for you because it’s high in calcium and protein.
Human food does not mean for cat
This means that any vitamins and minerals provided by treats, including fruits and vegetables that we humans consider healthy snacks, would be in excess of what a cat eating a complete and balanced diet requires. Furthermore, when it comes to nutrients, more isn’t always better. It can even be harmful in some cases.
Humans and cats both require water and protein in their diets, but that’s usually where the similarities end. Cats have very different nutritional requirements than humans, and many human foods can be toxic, causing digestive problems, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and even life-threatening conditions. So, while your curious cat may be drawn to the smell of your dinner simmering on the stove, it’s critical to understand how the ingredients may affect their health.
Foods that are toxic to cat
- Onions, Garlic & Chives
Onions can degrade a cat’s red blood cells, causing weakness, shortness of breath, and anemia. Garlic (which is 5 times more potent than onions) and chives can both cause health issues. Do not feed onions, garlic, or chives to your cat in any form, whether powered, cooked, raw, or dehydrated.
- Chocolate and Caffeinated Drinks
Chocolate contains methylxanthines (theobromine and caffeine in particular), which are toxic to pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death. The amount of methylxanthines in chocolate varies depending on the type. White chocolate is the least dangerous, while cocoa powder is the most dangerous.
- Milk and Dairy Products
Cats develop lactose intolerance as they age, making dairy products difficult to digest. Consuming large amounts of lactose-containing dairy products on a regular basis can cause gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea.
Macadamia nuts are toxic to pets, and the exact mechanism of toxicity, as with grapes, is unknown. Other nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts, are high in oils and fats, which can cause digestive upset and even pancreatitis in cats.
While avocado is beneficial to humans, it is toxic to cats. Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats, is found in the leaves, seed, tree bark, and fruit itself. Avocados are high in fat and high in calories, which can cause gastroenteritis or pancreatitis. Be especially cautious if you have a bowl of guacamole on the table at a party. You don’t want your cat eating any of this snack or licking the spoon or fork used to make it.
- Grapes and Raisins
While the exact reason why these are poisonous to pets is unknown, there is evidence that feeding grapes and raisins to cats (and dogs!) can result in kidney failure.
- Bread dough containing yeast
Yeast dough can rise, causing gas to accumulate in your cat’s digestive system. This can result in stomach bloating and even twisting, which can be fatal. Furthermore, yeast produces alcohol as a byproduct, which presents its own set of issues (see above). Baked bread, on the other hand, is considered safe for healthy cats.
Remember that most cats are inquisitive creatures who enjoy investigating food left out on countertops or in sinks. If your cat is easily able to jump on a table or counter, keep dangerous or toxic foods out of reach – either sealed behind a closed pantry door or kept in a high-up cabinet.