Cats love meat! But, From apples and carrots to beef and tuna, several fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and especially cooked red and white meats can be safe for your cat. But only specific foods from these categories served in small amounts are safe for cats; others can be highly toxic.
As a Veterinary Medicine student, I have compiled a list of 26 human foods under various food categories that your cats can safely eat.
While you understand what can cats eat, You might wonder what quantities these foods should be served in or what human foods are toxic for cats. Some human foods are completely safe for cats but should not be overfed. Cats do not exactly need our food but can enjoy some of it as treats.
As a cat mother, I always wondered what food options benefit my cat. So let’s review some of these options and understand their advantages for your cat’s health as compared to commercial cat foods.
What Can Cats Eat? – Details, Benefits & More…
These are some human foods cats can eat and are not toxic to cats. These foods can ensure your cat’s daily calorie intake but it is always better to feed them as occasional treat for better nourishment of your feline friend.
Cats are obligate carnivores by nature so we’ll start with the meat options available:
Beef meat is highly nutritional and palatable for cats. Therefore, it could compose one of the main protein sources in a cat’s diet. If raw meat is cooked, it can be of high nourishment value and will provide the feeling of a full stomach. Moreover, beef is high in iron which is essential for blood formation and the prevention of anemia.
Adult cats tend to like this more!
Pork is the recommended protein source if your cat is allergic to chicken or beef. It is a great alternative that fulfills the cat’s needs for amino acids. It also has high digestibility and is favorable for many cats. However, it is not for large-quantity ingestion as it is high in fatty acids.
Just like other types of red meat, turkeys contain high amounts of essential amino acids. Such amino acids should pass through the food as they are not synthesized in the cat’s body. For example, taurine, critical for cats, is in great amounts in Turkey meat.
It is one of the most commonly used protein sources in cat foods. Favored by many cat owners because it is lean, tasty, and beneficial for their pets. Apart from essential amino acids, it contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals. These develop immune health and boost coat texture and color.
Tuna is particularly enjoyed by cats the most. It is high in protein, low in carbs, and provides most of the essential fatty acids your cat requires. These contribute tremendously to skin and coat health. Also, such fatty acids participate in several metabolic body functions and are thus indispensable.
Salmon constitutes some great amounts of omega-3. One of the most essential fatty acids required for cats. Omega-3 boosts the circulatory system’s health and prevents clotting, thus protecting your cat from heart diseases. However, like other fish foods, cats shouldn’t consume them regularly or in large amounts.
Shrimps are rich in antioxidants and B-complex vitamins. Apart from that, they are very palatable for cats. But shrimps can be allergenic for some cats; thus, always be careful when introducing them to your cat.
Generally, vegetables do not need to be in every meal of your cat’s food. But they are a good inclusion if you want to add fiber to your cat’s meal. But while noting down what can cats eat, You should be aware that veggies are only “extras” and would not always excite them.
Veggies are a great source of fiber that boost digestive health. Additionally, they are mostly rich in vitamins and minerals.
Such vitamins are critical for metabolic and immune reactions in your cat’s body. They act as antioxidants that cleanse your cat’s body and prevent the formation of cancerous cells. Moreover, they tend to boost vision, strengthen immunity and promote healing.
Veggies are best served when cooked to facilitate chewing and prevent choking hazards.
The following vegetables are safe for you to share with your cat.
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, commonly known to boost vision. It also contributes to immunity, growth, and reproduction.
Cucumbers have a very high water concentration. Thus, making them an ideal component to combat dehydration among cats. They are not exactly your cat’s favorite food, but certain types of cats can tolerate them.
Celery doesn’t have the best nutritional value but is completely safe for cat consumption. It can be given as a treat if your cat tends to enjoy it.
11) Green Beans
A great source of fiber that can enhance your cat’s general gut health.
Rich in vitamin C and fibers, thus making a great addition to your cat’s diet. Vitamin C is the number one vitamin that boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant. However, It is recommended that you serve broccoli to your cats with caution.
Like veggies, fruits contain great amounts of vitamins and minerals. They are mostly rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. Each have a specific specialty in your pet’s body. Vitamin A, for example, boosts night vision and enhances body defenses.
Although small amounts of fruits can be beneficial, overdoing it can backfire. Some fruits contain high amounts of sugar, which are not favorable for your pet. Your cat might even refuse to ingest any fruit.
The following listed fruits are safe; always be moderate when you serve them to your cat.
Bananas are one of the most beneficial fruits you can serve your cat. They are rich in potassium which enhances heart function. It also contains vitamin C and B6. Thus promoting various metabolic functions in your cat’s body.
Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all safe for cat consumption. They contain flavonoids known to combat oxidative stress in the body.
Like other fruits, they are rich in vitamins C, and K. Cut them into small cubes and serve in moderate amounts to avoid choking hazards.
It’s a fresh and healthy treat that contains high concentrations of vitamins A and C. Both of which promote immunity strength and development.
17, 18, 19) Pumpkin, Pears & Pineapple
Pumpkins, Pears, and Pineapples are all packed with potassium and can be fed especially to cats with Hypokalemia (Low Pottasium Levels).
While these fruits might help, It is always essential to keep in mind that cats with Hypokalemia need proper medication or required supplements.
Whole grains are not the number one protein source for your cat, but they are rich in digestible proteins. They are harmless for your pet. They improve digestibility and add a good amount of fiber to your cat’s meal.
It can be used as an aid for digestive problems due to its high fiber content. In addition, it promotes the feeling of a filled stomach and can be used as a daily source of fiber.
Corn is often used in commercial cat foods, so you might as well serve fresh corn to your cat. Similar to rice, it is high in fiber content. Corn is one of those foods that should be served with caution.
A great source of protein, fiber, and vitamin B. It is a highly nourishing food and can be added moderately to your cat’s plate.
One of the most commonly favored grains among cats due to its small size. A small amount of cooked couscous can make a huge difference in your cat’s diet. Like other grains, it is high in protein and fiber and tends to improve digestive health.
Dairy & Other foods
Eggs are highly nourishing foods that contain high protein, as well as minerals. They also contain healthy fats that aid with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. As a result, they are very balanced when it comes to their components.
One thing you should always do is to avoid feeding raw eggs to your cat. This is because raw eggs can trigger some infections, such as Salmonellosis.
25) Bone Broth
Bone broth can be a great addition to your cat’s meal. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Not only does it boost your cat’s immune system, but it also ensures that your cat stays hydrated. However, do not serve your cat bone broth excessively. Instead, try to give it as a treat every once in a while.
Bread is safe for cat ingestion but does not add any nutritional value to its meal. It is also not palatable for cats, so you might as well exclude it from your cat’s diet.
FAQs – What Can Cats Eat…and More:
How to Feed Cats Human Food?
Always cook the food you want to share with your cat. Avoid giving fried or seasoned foods. Feed in small amounts.
Are human food safe for cats?
Many human foods are safe for cat consumption, especially those rich in protein.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Feeding Cats Human Foods?
Risks include allergic reactions, choking, indigestion, and infections.
Are There Nutritional Benefits to Feeding Cats Human Foods?
Some human foods contain the essential vitamins and minerals that cats require. Additionally, many human foods provide a great amount of essential amino and fatty acids.
What Human canned foods can cats eat?
Cats can ingest canned tuna.
What human food do cats like the most?
Cats mostly enjoy fish, beef, and chicken, as they are very palatable and rich in proteins.
The Bottom Line
Generally, regarding what can cats eat, Many human foods are safe for cat ingestion but might not provide significant nutritional benefits. Of course, you can always treat your cat with the human foods mentioned above. But always make sure to serve cooked food in only moderate amounts.
Mainly, if human food is safe for cats, it doesn’t mean you have to feed it to them. Some cats might even have trouble ingesting non-protein types of food.
Keep in mind the allergenic and harmful foods your cat is not supposed to eat. Then, discuss with your veterinarian any changes you want to make in your cat’s meals.
Finally, To be on the safe side. While understanding what can cats eat. You should also ensure that you know exactly what can cats not eat!
Read More Cat Nutrition and Other Guides Here!