Are there any human foods cats can eat?
Yes! There are human foods cats can eat safely.
However (and this may come as a shock) your cat is not “people.” Seriously, when it comes to care and feeding, the difference between you and your cat is profound.
You (and all humans) are omnivores. We can eat both animal and plant foods. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores. This means that they must eat animal protein to get the nutrients they need to stay in peak condition.
Why do we need this list of human foods cats can eat?
If your cat should be eating animal products for optimal health, why are we discussing other human foods? For a few reasons:
1. We are human, and when we enjoy a food, it MUST be a good treat for our furry friends. Right?
2. There are times when your cat’s benefits from eating non-animal foods.
3. Some human foods are not harmful to your cat, and some human foods can seriously harm him.
4. If you feed your cat non-animal foods, it should be small amounts – no more than 10%-15% of her total daily food. Be sure to deduct the amount of treat-type foods you feed your cat should from her daily feedings.
Safe, Beneficial, or Superfoods for cats
So, in this article, we’ll show you what are the SAFE human foods cats can eat, what are the BENEFICIAL human foods cats can eat, and are the SUPERFOOD human foods cats can eat.
Watch for the foods that display the red fish. Those are SUPERFOODS
IMPORTANT NOTE: Always consult your vet before introducing new foods into her diet.
Your cat doesn’t need fruit in his diet, but cats may sometimes need a bit of fiber to correct a digestive problem. Apples are high in fiber and vitamin C but relatively low in sugar. So it’s okay to give kitty a small snack of this healthy fresh fruit on occasion.
Pro Tip: Peel the apple before offering it to fluffy, and don’t feed your cat any sweetened fruit. Sugar isn’t toxic to cats, but it’s not good for them either and will add unnecessary calories. But especially avoid xylitol since it will often cause liver failure.
Bananas are not toxic for your cat. But they are high in sugar, so don’t make this a daily treat. Your little puffball is tiny compared to you. So a little bit of extra sugar can lead to overweight and diabetes.
Blueberries: If you make it a practice to read the ingredients lists on the side of your cat’s food packages, you may notice it includes blueberries. That’s because the antioxidants in blueberries are great for your cat as well as for you! They also contain vitamins A and C and are a better choice than bananas because they are lower in sugar.
Raspberries, Blackberries, and Cranberries are also safe snack foods high in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, K, and E.
Strawberries are the final safe-for-cats berry on our list. In addition to high amounts of vitamin C, strawberries also contain folate and trace minerals Potassium and manganese.
ProTip: Wash all berries thoroughly and chop them into small pieces before offering them to your cat. Again, make sure your berries aren’t sweetened, but especially avoid xylitol as it is often associated with liver disease.
According to Chewy, dandelion leaves and roots may relieve some of your cat’s allergies and aid digestion. While dandelion root isn’t exactly a common human food, I include it here because it may be particularly beneficial for liver detoxification.
ProTip: You can just dig up the dandelions from your yard! Make sure you are using dandelions that are pesticide- and herbicide-free. Rinse the roots well, mince them up fine and sprinkle them on your cat’s food. You can preserve them by drying the roots in a low oven to dehydrate them.
IMPORTANT: Use no more than 1/8 teaspoon per day.
These next 3 are all pretty obviously SUPERFOODS for your cat since they are all pure animal protein sources.
Eggs are pure animal protein, so they are not only safe but beneficial for your cat. Eggs are high in biotin, a B vitamin. You can serve your cat a small amount of egg once a week to help keep his skin healthy and his coat shiny.
ProTip: The eggs should be unseasoned and cooked first. Avidin, a protein in raw egg whites, interferes with biotin absorption, which kind of defeats the purpose of giving the eggs to your cat in the first place.
Fish is another pure animal protein and, therefore, perfect for serving your cat. It’s generally lean protein so, as long as you keep the portions small, you won’t risk adding weight to your pet.
The oily fishes – salmon, sardines, and anchovies – will also add omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart and brain health. The fish oils also reduce joint inflammation, keep skin, eyes, and fur sleek, and help keep your little friend mobile as she ages.
ProTip: You don’t want to feed your tiny feline an entire can of sardines or anchovies – well, maybe you do, but for cat’s sake, don’t do it! You can divide the tin into snack-sized portions and freeze them on a piece of parchment paper. When they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and thaw them before serving to your cat.
Cooked, unseasoned, lean meat such as chicken and turkey is best for your cat. But cooked, unseasoned beef, pork, or lamb in small portions are also very healthy to offer as a treat.
Pure animal protein is part of the essential dietary need of your cat. Animal protein, including meat, provides necessary amino acids, such as taurine and arginine, and vitamins B and D that your cat cannot get in any other form.
I once had a cat that was absolutely wild about cantaloupe. A small piece of this fruit (which was, incidentally, the same color as my little PopoKitty) would send him into the most intense ecstasy.
Other than the somewhat aphrodisiacal effect it had on my cat, cantaloupe is also high in antioxidants and beta carotene for healthy skin and eyes. It’s also lower in sugar than bananas making it a healthier choice.
Although grains, as a rule, aren’t the best choice for your cat, oatmeal is okay! One of the most nutritious grain choices for your cat, oatmeal is higher in protein and fat, contains linoleic acid and vitamin E for healthy coats, and is more easily digestible than other grains.
Unsalted, unsweetened canned pumpkin is high in fiber and can help relieve constipation and diarrheal problems. Since it is low in calories, it can provide a healthy filler to help with weight loss.
Another grain that won’t generally harm your cat is rice. You can feed rice to cats in small amounts. Your cat shouldn’t consume large amounts of carbohydrates, though, so keep this to a minimum.
As you no doubt know, your cat will sometimes chew on grass or other greens in the wild. The jury is out on why they do this, but it’s a natural behavior.
To that end, there are several low-calorie, high-fiber green (and one orange) veggies that are perfectly safe to offer as snack food.
Broccoli is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Offer raw or cooked.
Peas and green beans are higher in protein than most other green vegetables and are an excellent snack for your little protein lover. They also provide additional water for your cat.
Cucumbers have moderate health benefits for cats and can add water to their diet without adding any significant calories.
Zucchini is harmless to your cat and contains trace elements such as magnesium, manganese, and potassium for a healthy snack.
Avocados are rich in healthy fats and amino acids as well as vitamins E, B6, and A. Keep this fatty snack to a minimum to avoid weight gain.
Asparagus is high in fiber as well as vitamins and may help with weight loss.
Spinach is a green leafy veggie that packs plenty of vitamins and is low in calories. If your cat has ever had urinary or kidney problems, do not feed him spinach. Spinach contains calcium olaxate that can make your pet develop harmful crystals in its urinary tract. These crystals could lead to further complications.
Carrots are high in beta carotene and antioxidants. Be sure to cook them first since your cat’s teeth are designed for consuming meats. Raw carrots could be harder to chew up presenting a choking hazard.
You may know that cats are lactose intolerant. In yogurt, though, the lactose is broken down through the culturing process. Live culture yogurt provides calcium and probiotics to aid your cat’s digestion and won’t constipate your cat or cause stomach upsets like uncultured milk products and cheese.
ProTip: Check the label on the yogurt carton. It should be plain, unsweetened yogurt and should mention live cultures.
Check with your vet if you have any doubts about your kitty’s ability to tolerate new foods.
Keep track of the treats you feed your cat and subtract that from the amount you normally feed him each day.