what human food can cats eat

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What Human Foods Can Cats Eat? Your Question Answered

Katelyn Son

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec, DVM

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Can Cats Eat Human Food?

what human foods can cats eat

Yes, there are some human foods that cats can eat without any hesitation. And if you are wondering what human foods can cats eat, keep reading. 

When it comes to giving cats human foods, it completely depends on what you are giving them and the portion size. It is recommended that you feed the right amount of food, or else your cat might fall ill.

Most cat foods are made in such a way that they provide the essential nutrients your cat needs in every serving. These foods also contain beneficial products like omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, B vitamins, and antioxidants.

What Human Foods Can Cats Eat?

Some of the most common food items, such as fish and meat, are a welcome treat for your feline friend. However, it is best to keep in mind what ingredients could cause problems.

Cats are obligate carnivores, and therefore a cat’s diet should be rich in protein, taurine, and other essential nutrients. To avoid health complications in your cat, it is best to understand what human foods cats can consume.

What Fruits can Cats Eat?

Fruits are generally considered natural sweeteners and therefore have a significant amount of sugars. Giving too much to your cat can give them digestive issues. However, in moderation, it is okay for pet parents to give their cats a bite or two.

Some of the most common fruits that a cat can digest include:

  • Watermelon. If your cat is on a balanced diet, it does not hurt to give them watermelon once in a while. However, make sure you give them small portions.
  • Cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is another safe fruit for cats. It is very high in sugars and should only be served on occasions and in small amounts.
  • Apples. If you cut an apple into small pieces that are bite-sized, your cat can have a few. It is best to give this to adult cats and not kittens. Also, make sure the apple is peeled.
  • Blueberries. Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants and beneficial to the cat’s health. However, ensure you stick to small portions as some berries like raspberries and blackberries contain a small amount of naturally occurring xylitol.
  • Strawberries. Strawberries are a popular ‘people food.’ The good news is that you can give it to your cat in small portions. However, do not do this often as it could cause problems in their digestive system.
  • Bananas. This is a great source of energy and fiber. It is also a great source of potassium and a great occasional treat for your cat. Just keep the portion sizes small.

What Vegetables Can Cats Eat?

With a wide range of veggie options available, it is important to know what would suit your cat. Let us take a look at some that your cat can digest easily.

  • Carrots. Carrots are a great way to provide a balance of essential nutrition to your cat. It also contains fiber which speeds up digestion and helps prevent obesity in the long run.
  • Peas. Peas are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They are a great source of vitamin C and can be added on top of pet food.
  • Broccoli. These provide vitamin A to your cat and are helpful if given in small portions. Just make sure there are no seasonings added to it.
  • Green Beans. Many cats like beans. Some commercial cat food brands feature green beans. However, the quantity per serving should be kept under control.

What Meats Can Cats Eat?

Cats are carnivores and thrive on meat as their main food source. In fact, ASPCA has stated that cats cannot survive on plant matter alone. In addition to meat, animal-derived supplements such as fish oil are also considered beneficial for cats.

However, pet parents should avoid feeding raw meat, raw fish, and raw eggs as there are chances of Salmonella and E. coli contamination. Also, dog food is a big no-no.

Here are the meats cats can eat:

  • Beef. Beef is a great source of protein for feeding cats as a primary meal. Beef helps build your cat’s muscles that help them play and exercise. Just be sure to cook the beef before giving it to them.
  • Chicken. Chicken is an excellent protein source for cats. However, it must be prepared in a cat-friendly way. This basically means that the chicken should not have any oils or seasonings as it could cause a stomach upset. Boiled chicken is perfect.
  • Turkey. Similar to chicken, turkey is another great source of protein for your cat. Just make sure that it has been cooked thoroughly. It should be noted that you should avoid giving them any deli meats as they contain a large quantity of sodium which could prove harmful.
  • Fish. Cats and fish are among the most common members of the food chain. Fish are rich in fatty acids and also help boost cognition. Just make sure you give your cats cooked fish that has been properly deboned. Otherwise, the bone might get lodged in their throats. 
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What Grains Can Cats Eat?

Most vets will advise against giving your cats any form of grains. This is because cats have a difficult time digesting that.

However, if used responsibly – in small amounts and occasionally, certain grains can be good for cats. Here are some of the cat-friendly grains:

  • Polenta. Polenta is made out of dried, ground maize or corn flour. However, it is difficult to digest for cats. Additionally, most brands of polenta have some form of seasoning that might cause problems.
  • Brown Rice. Small amounts of brown rice can be a great treat for your cat. It contains several antioxidants and is enriched with vitamins and minerals. It also provides energy for your cat to play all day.
  • Barley. Barley is again safe for cats but in small quantities. You can bake barley, crush it, and top your cat’s food with it. However, it might not be appealing to some picky eaters. Just ensure you do not give your cat barley bread dough.
  • Millet. Just like barley, your cat can have small quantities of millets. These are a great source of fiber and can improve your cat’s digestion. In general, whole grains are considered safe for your cat. However, it is best to consult a vet before you decide to supplement your cat’s diet.
  • Couscous. While couscous is an exotic ingredient, it is basically a form of pasta. Many confuse it for grain and give it to their cats. It is not exactly the best ingredient for your cat, but if they fancy it, once in a while is okay. It should, however not replace the primary meal.

How Do I Know What Human Food is Safe for Cats?

how di I know what human food is safe for cats

In order to decide what human food is safe for cats, it is best to study its nutritional profile. Foods rich in animal protein are the first choice. Furthermore, the protein needs to be in the most basic form possible – minimal processing and no spices or seasonings.

It is also crucial to understand that dairy products might cause stomach problems in your cat. This is because cats are generally lactose intolerant. So, dairy products like gouda and other cheese are a hazard to the cat.

Chocolates are also dangerous as they contain theobromine which is toxic to cats. All members of the Allium family are also toxic. The Allium family includes onions, garlic, chives, and leeks.

Before you make changes to your cat’s diet or add new foods, consult with a vet familiar with your pet’s history.