What Can Cats Eat Besides Cat Food?

Cats eat cat food. Right? Right, of course.

what can cats eat besides cat food

But imagine eating the same thing over and over again for the rest of your God-given life. No matter how much you like whatever it is, it can get old pretty quickly if you’re consuming it on a daily basis. If your human palate can get tired, you bet your pet cat’s can, too.

This may be why pet owners often give their cats “special treats”, sometimes straight from the dinner table. While the sentiment is all well and good, many cat owners don’t even realize that they could be endangering their precious felines whenever they do that. A cat may beg and wreak havoc just to get you to part with food from your plate, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be good for him or his digestive tract.

So what can cats eat besides cat food, then?

Well, you’d be happy to know. The DO NOT EAT list is actually a lot shorter than you may think. Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), say the following must never make it past your cat’s lips:

•onion
•garlic
•kelps
•grapes
•raisins
•sugary treats
•chocolate
•alcoholic beverages
•caffeinated drinks
•human-grade sushi
•uncooked eggs
•bones
•fat trimmings
•milk

While sushi is technically fish (and cats are often depicted as fish-lovers), sushi that has been prepared for human consumption can give your cat gastrointestinal problems. The onions and chives? Good for humans but can cause damage to feline red blood cells even in trace amounts.

Uncooked eggs could expose anyone to salmonella. Bones can cause choking. And fat trimmings? It’s like tempting gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis to make an appearance. Caffeine, of course, can increase heart rate and agitate your pet. And finally, cats become a bit lactose-intolerant as they get older which makes milk a bad idea.

So again, what is safe for your cat to eat? What can cats eat besides cat food and all those items in the do not eat list?

Here are a few things that are perfectly edible to felines in small portions:

•non-meat foods
•canned fish
•cheese
•steamed broccoli
•cooked eggs
•lean deli meats
•melons
•spinach
•peas
•beef
•bananas
•canned baby food

You might have already heard that cats are obligate carnivores. That means they need meat to survive. So what up with all the veggies on the list?

Well, while it’s certainly true that cats cannot derive nutrition from vegetables, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad for them. And there are cats that love chomping on greens for fiber. So instead of letting him chew on grass, why not give him a broccoli or two? Houseplants may be toxic, but asparagus isn’t, you know?

Cheese, meanwhile, is a good protein source for cats. But like previously mentioned many cats become lactose-intolerant as they grow older. If cheese is on the menu, therefore, just give it in small quantities and watch out for diarrhea.

Fish is always good for cats. Just don’t overdo it. The high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in a heavy tuna diet can deplete your cat’s vitamin E supply.

So go ahead and give your cat a treat or two. Human food shouldn’t be a problem as long as you stick to the safe list and you give the food in moderation.

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Jul 2014

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