Hey there, fellow cat parents! It’s Ashley, your personal cat mum, here again, ready to take you on another feline-nutrition adventure.
I’ll never forget when my cat, Fluffy, turned his nose up at the expensive ‘gourmet’ wet food I bought, only to chomper down on a piece of roasted chicken I’d dropped on the floor.
That’s when I realized Fluffy might be onto something. While commercial cat food often provides necessary nutrients, adding some carefully chosen human foods could give your cat’s health an added boost.
So, what are the seven foods your cat can enjoy, that are also beneficial for their longevity? Let’s delve into the delectables together!
Shortcut to great tips!
Fish like salmon and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which support your cat’s immune system, reduce inflammation, and promote a shiny coat. Remember, kitty serving size should be small and the fish should always be cooked and boneless.
Lean meats such as chicken provide essential proteins for your cat and can strengthen their muscles. Always serve it cooked and unseasoned to your purring friend.
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber for cats, especially those with digestive issues. A little bit of plain canned pumpkin, not pie filling (it has added sugar and spices), can help with hairballs and keep their digestive system running smoothly.
Mashed peas are a fine source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. They provide a great little nutritional boost, and most cats seem to love them!
Cooked carrots are safe for cats and packed with vitamin A, which promotes good vision. Given their tough texture, always serve cooked and finely chopped carrots to prevent choking.
Blueberries are low in calories and full of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. They make a fine treat once in a while – just make sure your cat enjoys them before turning them into a regular treat.
Eggs are a great source of protein and B-vitamins. Scrambled or boiled should be the preferred choice – with no added salts or seasonings, of course.
While all these foods are safe for cats, it’s essential to remember that every cat is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Always introduce new foods slowly and in small amounts to see how your cat reacts.
What can cats not eat?
While it’s tempting to share our meals with our feline friends, especially when those big round eyes look up at you with pure longing, it’s crucial to understand that some foods poisonous to cats.
Can Cats Eat Turkey?
In moderate amounts, cooked, unseasoned turkey can be an excellent source of lean protein for cats. However, avoid feeding your cat raw or undercooked turkey as it can cause foodborne illnesses. Always remove the skin, which can be fatty, and make sure the turkey is free from bones to avoid any choking hazards.
Can Cats Eat Oranges?
Here’s where we draw the line. Citrus fruits, including oranges, are a huge NO for cats. They contain essential oils that your cat’s body can’t process, potentially leading to digestive upset. Plus, cats are notoriously known for hating the smell of citrus, which is often used as a natural deterrent.
10 toxic cat treats to avoid
While cats can enjoy a range of different foods, there are certain items that should never make it to their feeding bowl due to their toxic nature. Here’s a list of foods that are off-limits for our feline friends:
1. Chocolate: Theobromine in chocolate is toxic to cats. It can cause heart problems, muscle tremors, or seizures.
2. Onions and Garlic: These can damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. This includes powdered forms found in some baby foods.
3. Raw Eggs: Raw eggs can expose your cat to salmonella, and the protein avidin in them can lead to skin and coat problems.
4. Alcohol: Alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage in cats. Even a small amount can lead to alcohol poisoning.
5. Caffeine (Coffee, Tea, energy drinks): Caffeine can be fatal to cats and there’s no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits.
6. Dairy Products: Many cats are lactose intolerant and, if given dairy products, can develop digestive upset.
7. Grapes/Raisins: These fruits can cause kidney damage in cats.
8. Xylitol (found in candy, gum, some peanut butters): This sugar substitute can cause rapid insulin release, leading to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels).
9. Raw Fish: Regular consumption of raw fish can lead to a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency, resulting in loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
Can cats eat dog food?
10. Dog Food: Prolonged feeding of dog food to cats can result in malnutrition, as it doesn’t meet the dietary requirements of cats.
We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a meal, and you suddenly realize that you’ve run out of cat food. You glance over at the canine’s untouched bowl and can’t help but wonder, “Can cats eat dog food?”
In small amounts and for a very short term, feeding your cat dog food won’t cause any harm. However, dog food is not nutritionally adequate for cats. Here’s why:
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they rely on nutrients found only in animal products. Their dietary needs are much stricter than dogs, who are omnivores. The dietary components that cats especially need and cannot be replaced by dog food include:
1. Protein: Cats require a high level of protein, which is often lacking in dog food.
2. Taurine: An essential amino acid that cats cannot produce themselves, it is generally not included in dog food. Taurine deficiency can lead to heart problems and blindness in cats.
3. Vitamin A: Cats can’t convert the plant version of Vitamin A (beta-carotene), which is what’s usually found in dog food. They need the animal version.
4. Arachidonic Acid: An essential fatty acid for cats, it’s absent in dog food as dogs can produce it themselves.
So, while in a pinch, dog food won’t kill your cat, prolonged feeding of dog food to a cat can lead to malnutrition and other serious health problems.
Fellow cat parents, next time we run out of cat food, it’s better to cook up a small piece of chicken or fish, or take an emergency run to the pet store rather than serving our feline friends a bowl of dog food.
Always double-check what you’re feeding your cat and when in doubt, consult with your vet.
What to Do If Your Cat Is Not Eating?
Loss of appetite in cats is a common sign of illness, both physical and psychological. If your cat refuses to eat for more than 24 hours, it is essential to consult your vet as soon as possible.
However, simple tricks like warming up their food, switching up the flavors, or providing a peaceful and stress-free feeding environment can sometimes do the job.
Remember, while cats like ours might rule the internet, it’s our job to ensure that they stay healthy, putting their paws in our hands!
As we say goodbye for now, remember a healthy diet equals a happy and longer life for our fur babies. Execute your role as ‘kitty diet planner’ responsibly, and your feline friend will thank you with many years of cuddles and purrs.
Until our next feeding frenzy, stay pawsome!
Ashley, the cat mum