Sharing is caring, but when it comes to sharing food with your cat, there are things cat owners should know to make sure their cat stays healthy and lives a long, happy life.
Here is a list of foods your cat can eat in moderation without fear for negative effects on their health, and a list of foods you should never feed your cat.
Cats can eat:
Cats are carnivores. Their diet has to contain animal source foods. Skinless chicken, beef, lamb, your cat will appreciate meat in all its forms. (Avoid additional seasoning.)
Cooked fish once in a while can be a real treat for your cat. As long as you don’t make your cat’s diet exclusively based on fish, it should be okay. However, make sure it is cooked because raw fish contains an enzyme that breaks down Thiamine, an element essential to the neurological health of your cat. Thiamine deficiency can lead to convulsions, coma and even fatal health issues. So make sure you cook that fish before treating your cat to it.
Cooked eggs are a great source of protein for your cat. Just stick to small quantities and make sure the whites are fully cooked since when they’re raw, they have a substance that’s harmful to your cat’s health.
We all love our oatmeal. And guess what, cats can enjoy oats, too as a treat. As long as there are no added sweeteners, and as long as you give them only a small amount since cats are carnivores and their digestive systems wouldn’t work well with too much carbs.
Plain pumpkin is a great source of fiber, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A and numerous other nutritious elements that will help improve your cat’s digestive system's health. If your cat loves pumpkin, gradually introduce it in your their diet, just don’t add any extra seasonings or sweeteners as they may be harmful to your beloved pet.
Watermelon has a high water content, which makes it perfect for keeping your cat hydrated in the summer. Share a small amount of that delicious watermelon with your cat as it is rich in vitamins and healthy nutrients. Just make sure to remove the seeds!
carrots, peas, corn, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, asparagus; all these veggies, either baked or steamed, are good for your cat when taken in moderation along with your pet’s usual diet.
Blueberries are famous for being a superfood for humans. Rich in antioxidants, this amazing fruit has many benefits and is perfectly safe for cats (as long as it is taken in moderation).
What you should remember is to keep your cat’s diet varied, incorporate the safe foods mentioned above in very moderate quantities, and pay attention to how your cat reacts to new ingredients.
Cats should not eat:
Onions, garlic, chives:
In all forms, powdered, fresh or cooked, ingesting one of these ingredients, either in small quantities over time or in one large portion can lead to issues in your cat’s health like anemia.
For many domestic animals, including cats, alcohol can be toxic. The ethanol in alcoholic beverages can lead to severe issues if ingested by a cat, from loss of consciousness to even death. So beware, and keep alcohol out of reach of your pet.
Grapes and raisins:
Healthy snacks for humans, grapes and raisins can pose lethal harm to your cat as they are toxic for them. Vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, these are all signs of poisoning that may lead to death. So make sure your cat doesn’t go anywhere near these two treats.
Theobromine, an element present in chocolate, is a proven toxic to cats. Don’t ever give your cat chocolate, no matter how small a quantity, and no matter what type it is as all chocolates, from cocoa powder to white chocolate, can be lethally toxic to cats.
Whether you’re a coffee or a tea person, you should not share your favourite hot beverage with your beloved cat. Caffeine, present strongly in coffee and some teas, may cause poisoning to cats, or even death depending on the amount of caffeine ingested. So no energy boosting shots for your cat.
Raw eggs may contain bacteria like Salmonella, and the raw whites especially are bad as they have Avidin, a protein that hinders Vitamin B absorption for cats.
Cooked bones are easily splintered and can cause internal damage to your cat. Raw bones, on the other hand, are okay only if given once in a while since they can lead to constipation if the cat eats too much.
Cheese, milk & dairy products:
Most cats love milk and cheese. However, cats lack the enzyme that helps break down the lactose in dairy products. Feeding your cat milk or cheese might cause digestive problems (diarrhoea, vomiting, etc.)
If you think your cat has ingested one of the foods above or is showing signs of food poisoning, contact your vet immediately. please do not delay as time is of great essence when it comes to serious health issues.