Cats can eat some human foods, like cooked meats and certain fruits or vegetables. In general, however, cats get all the nutrients they need from a complete and balanced cat food.
There’s no need to add extra ingredients to your cat’s diet, but there are certain human foods for cats you can give as an occasional treat. Remember that any kind of treats, including safe human foods, should make up no more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily caloric intake. The other 90 percent should come from their cat food.
What Can Cats Eat?
Cats can eat a wide range of foods, including cooked meats, various vegetables and fruits, but with some notable exceptions. Cats are obligate carnivores—meaning their diet requires nutrients found only in animal tissues.
That doesn’t mean that what cats can eat is limited only to meat; it just means meat is a must have in their diet. When it comes down to what foods cats can eat, the question becomes, “what food is good for cats?”
What Meats Can Cats Eat?
Cooked, lean meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, liver and lamb are all okay for your cat to eat. Never give cats raw meat, which can have harmful pathogens in it. Also, remove all skin and bones before feeding your cat.
Can Cats Eat Fish?
In most cases, yes. Cats are widely known for their love of fish and most types are acceptable for them to eat. Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which support your cat’s overall health and promote joint and kidney health. As with meats, cook the fish properly and remove all bones.
Can Cats Eat Whole Grains?
Whole grains such as oats and brown rice all contain protein and are human foods your cat can eat in moderation. Keep in mind, some of these ingredients may already be in their cat food.
Can Cats Eat Eggs?
Yes. It may surprise you to learn that eggs are on the menu, as long as they’re cooked (scrambled or boiled.) Eggs contain amino acids and protein, making them a healthy treat. Never feed your cat raw eggs, though. Just like with humans, raw eggs can potentially give your cat salmonella.
Can Cats Eat Vegetables?
When it comes to human food for cats, there are several vegetables cats can safely eat, but a few they should stay away from. Here is a list of vegetables cats can and can’t eat.
Vegetables Cats Can Eat
As an occasional treat, carrots can be good for cats. Carrots are high in sugar, though, which can cause digestive upset. So, keep this treat to a minimum.
Feeding your cat a little bit of broccoli is a great way to introduce roughage to support healthy digestion. In some cases, feeding your cat broccoli may reduce their interest in snacking on various houseplants If you provide your cat with broccoli, try serving it steamed so it will be softer on their palate.
Yes, but while green beans are healthy for your cat and can support healthy digestion, make sure you’re only serving them fresh or frozen. Canned green beans can be high in salt content, which can cause health problems for your cat.
They can, but be advised that the high alkaline level in potassium can potentially cause urinary tract blockages, so feed your cat asparagus in minimal quantities on special occasions. Also, be sure to steam it first to soften it, as it could otherwise pose a potential choking hazard.
Corn’s high fiber content makes it an excellent addition to your cats’ diet, but chances are it may already be in the food you’re feeding your cat every day.
Vegetables That Are Bad for Cats
Onions & Chives
No. These three are all from the Allium family and contain thiosulphate, which can cause your cat to have kidney damage and can also damage red blood cells.
Cats should not eat avocado. Even small amounts of avocado can cause your cat to experience diarrhea, vomiting and even pancreatitis. This is due to a toxin inside avocadoes known as persin.
Tomatoes should be avoided. Though the fleshy part of ripe tomatoes is not toxic to cats, their leaves and stems can be harmful to cats if eaten, and tomatoes that have not fully ripened can cause gastrointestinal distress.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat ingests any of these vegetables.
Can Cats Eat Fruits?
Yes, you can feed cats several different fruits in moderation. As obligate carnivores, however, cats lack the ability to detect the sweetness of fruits, so they may not be drawn to them as they would to other types of food. Regardless, cats can enjoy many fruits, but there are some you’ll want to avoid.
What Fruits Can Cats Eat?
If your cat decides to try blueberries, it’s okay, but keep in mind that blueberries are high in sugar, so two to three of them should be the maximum you feed your cat.
As a treat, cats can eat bananas. Serve in small slices as not to overfeed your cat and give them too much sugar.
Cats can eat apples but serve in bite-sized pieces to prevent choking.
Cats can eat watermelon, but like all other fruits, feed in small quantities because of the high sugar content. Also, since seeds can be a choking hazard, only give them seedless watermelon.
It’s okay to let your cat try cantaloupe. Some cats love having a bit of cantaloupe, and many are drawn to it by its aroma.
Yes. If your cat is curious about strawberries, go ahead and cut them a small piece. Keep portions small and always remove the stem and leaves.
What Fruits Are Bad for Cats?
Do not feed your cat grapes or raisins. Although the cause for grapes' adverse effects is still unknown, they are potentially harmful to both dogs and cats. Grapes and raisins can cause your cat to vomit, have diarrhea and even lead to kidney failure.
Human Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cat
Many human foods are safe for cats to eat, but there are also plenty there that are not. Some of the foods/ingredients that are poisonous or harmful for cats are:
- Chocolate: Dark chocolate is particularly toxic
- Nuts, particularly macadamia nuts and walnuts
- Coffee, tea or anything with caffeine
- Foods in the allium family: leeks, shallots and scallions
- Xylitol: Usually found in sweets, certain peanut butters and gum
- Alcohol or foods containing alcohol
- Raw meat and fish
- Cooked bones
- Raw, uncooked bread dough