It can be tempting to give your cat a little taste of your lunch when they’re asking so politely, (meowing constantly until you give them food and attention).
However, it’s important to remember that cats have a pretty particular diet before sharing just any food with them. Cats are carnivores, and much like your local fitness instructor, they do best with a low-carb, and high protein diet. If you live in a household with both cats and dogs, be aware that they have very different diets. What you sneak under the dinner table to a dog is likely not suitable for your cat. A golden rule to keep in mind when feeding your cat human food, is to make sure it’s not seasoned. That means no salt, pepper, or oils-- these will upset your cat’s stomach!
But don’t sweat it, there is a surprisingly long list of approved humans food you and your cat can snack on together. Here is a list of 10 human foods that are safe for your cat’s diet. Keep this list in mind, and everything will be gravy (which unfortunately is not safe for cats).
Let’s get into the meat of it!
Think of your cat as a personal trainer, only much sweeter and less interested in your sugar intake. Your cat is an obligate carnivore and thrives off of a high protein and low carb diet. And chicken is exactly that. In fact, most meats are good for your cat as long as they are cooked thoroughly. If you look at the ingredients in PrettyPlease, chicken is the first on the list!
Unlike humans, cats have the ability to process certain types of raw meat. Beef is one of those foods. However, not just any beef will do. Make sure that if you are feeding your cat raw beef, it’s as fresh as possible. Unfortunately, most packaged beef have risky additives. So as long as it’s fresh and unseasoned, you should be all good. If you’re just giving them a taste of some package beef you’re cooking, it’s fine as long as it’s cooked all the way through.
Cats absolutely love tuna. But is it really good for them? Yes and no. First, you should only ever feed them canned tuna in water. Tuna in oil or brine doesn’t work for your cat’s diet. Keep in mind that too much raw tuna can lead to a thiamine deficiency. So don’t rely on only tuna to satisfy all of your cat's needs. A small spoon is a good serving size to start off with.
You’ve probably seen salmon as a main ingredient in your cat’s food before. If you’re giving your cat some fresh salmon that you purchased from the store, make sure there are no bones and it is cooked all the way. Make sure to feed salmon occasionally and as a treat. Bites of salmon can be a great way to reward your kitty for good behavior during a comprehensive grooming. As tasty as it is, much like tuna, salmon doesn’t completely provide your cat with all of its nutritional needs.
This one is a real treat. If you happen to be making a smoothie and a blueberry just happens to not make it into the blender, and your cat happens to come across this treat, the joy that it will bring them is immense. Especially on a hot summer day, blueberries can cool you and your feline friend off, while providing you with some vitamin C and K. Try a frozen blueberry on an extra hot day.
Another cat-safe snack that is also packed with nutrients for you and your cat is the banana. It contains potassium, fiber, and supports kidney function. What more could you ask for in a fruit?
Uh oh! Did another fruit happen to slide off the kitchen counter, and slide into your cat's mouth again? And this apple was already sliced and peeled? Perfect, then your cat is all good to enjoy another fruit. No harm no foul with apples as long as cut, peeled, and occasional.
This is another one you might recognize from the side of your cat food packaging. That's because peas are high in nutrients like fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C, making them perfect for your cat's stomach. The fiber content in peas can help your cat pass hairballs more easily (but if your cat is vomiting frequently it might be a cause for concern). Much like the blueberries, you can serve these to your kitten raw or even frozen. But unlike the blueberries, these probably won’t taste as good in your smoothie.
It’s right in the name with this fruit. Watermelon is mostly water, therefore it keeps your cat nice and hydrated. Before giving your cat a small piece of this delicious and healthy treat, make sure it doesn’t contain any seeds!
Those who have brunched know that breakfast foods are a beautiful way to bond. And who’s to say you can’t bond with your cat over eggs and bottomless mimosas on a Sunday? Kidding about the mimosas for them, of course. However, the next time you’re making yourself some scrambled eggs, before seasoning, hand over a little piece to your cat. Just remember to avoid raw eggs-- only cooked egg is safe for your cat's digestive tract. Enjoy some breakfast while your cat judges you (they don’t know it’s Sunday, don’t take it personally).
As always, before introducing any new foods into your cat’s diet, be sure to consult your vet. Your cat might not want everything you give them, so don’t worry if they don’t love something right away, and don’t be afraid to try new things. If your cat has been eating only dry or canned food for a long time, they might have to warm up to the new tastes. Trying out new human foods for cats should be done in moderation and with close monitoring. And most importantly, it should be fun for you and your cat!