September 19, 2022 6 min read
Cats are picky eaters, and we will often find them smelling or checking our dinner for something delicious to eat. A house cat is constantly at risk of ingesting human food readily available on a table or a kitchen counter. Moreover, we sometimes might want to share our meal with our beloved companion.
However, not all human food is healthy for cats. Some human foods, if consumed raw, might make cats sick, while others may be poisonous to them.
Cats have a different digestive process as compared to humans. They may be similar, but they still have major differences. One significant difference is the absence of the enzyme lactase, which helps break down milk sugars.
Popular belief suggests that cats love milk. Interestingly, most adult cats are lactose intolerant, and consuming dairy products is painful and uncomfortable for them.
If we want to indulge the cat sometimes and let it eat out of our plate, it is better to be safe and aware of the cat's needs than to be sorry later.
Here is a list of human foods that are suitable for cats to eat:
An obvious first choice for cats, fish is not only their favourite food but also very healthy to consume. The oils in fish are great for the cat's eye and brain health. The oilier variety of fish is better, and cats will love them.
Cats are natural carnivores and get all their required nutrition from fish and meat. Rice is not a natural choice for cats, but boiled/cooked rice will not harm the cat if consumed in small quantities. Moreover, rice can help the cat with digestive issues and may be an ingredient in cat food.
If we haven't tried to feed the cat fruits since its kittenhood, it is unlikely they will crave bananas. Bananas are safe for cats if the cat has a taste for them. One thing to remember while feeding the cats human food is that too much sugar is poisonous for them. Bananas are naturally high in sugar, so be sure not to overindulge your kitty.
Meats are high in protein, and cats need protein to maintain healthy growth and functioning. Cats receive most of their protein from fish and meat. Even in their natural habitats, cats will choose to hunt fish and meat for their sustenance. Bird meat or poultry is an obvious choice of human foods for cats.We must have noticed cats chasing birds, squirrels, mice, and other small animals. They hunt to feed themselves.
We are free to feed the cat chicken, chicken bones, and cooked beef. Even though cats are not inclined towards pork, if we give it to them, we should ensure it is cooked well.
Raw or undercooked meat can be hazardous for cats, and spoiled meat is also a big no. Rotten meat has certain bacteria that can cause severe sickness, paralysis, and, in worst cases, death.
Cats love cheese and like to nibble on different kinds of cheese they can find on our plates or elsewhere. The issue with cheese is that most adult cats are lactose intolerant as they do not have the enzyme required for digesting dairy products.
A little bit of cheese as a treat is safe, but keep an eye on how much they consume. Cats can digest some kinds of cheese more easily than others. Cottage cheese, for instance, is safer than other kinds.
With low sugar and high antioxidant content, berries make a delicious treat for cats. Berries in their raw form are not harmful to cats, although we should avoid food made with berries like milkshakes, pies, cake, or juice.
When sugar is added to raw berries, they become poisonous to cats because of the high sugar levels. Berries are rich in antioxidants that help improve the feline immune system.
Also read: Best Plants That Are Safe For Cats To Eat
Melons are known to be water-rich, and cats are known to be prone to dehydration. Melons can be given as snacks or treat, cut into tiny pieces (the size of their kibble). This will help the kitty stay hydrated in the summer months.
Melons, like watermelon and cantaloupe, are great options to hydrate our cats. Just remember, this cannot be the only food the cat eats.
Not only are pumpkins great for Halloween, but they are also suitable for the cat. Research studies have found pumpkin puree helpful in managing cats' gastrointestinal illnesses and relieving constipation in cats and kittens. Newborn or a few week-old kittens are often prescribed pumpkin puree when they suffer from constipation as they are safe and do not have any side effects.
Ensure that the pumpkin puree is unspiced and unsalted. Human spices and salt are poisonous to cats. Instead of curing stomach problems, salt or sauce can worsen them, resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea.
It might sound odd to give your cat oatmeal, but they are a great human food for cats. Oats are safe for consumption by cats as oats have a considerable amount of protein, fibre, and iron, all of which have nutritional value for cats.
The fibre in oats helps digest the food in cats' intestines to regulate their bowel movement. And as we all know, good bowl movement is key to good health.
Eggs are a superfood for cats and fall under their natural diet category. Eggs are full of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.
Despite all the health benefits, raw eggs are harmful to cats. The benefits will only be applicable when the eggs are cooked. Raw eggs contain E. coli, which makes cats very sick. When food is cooked at high temperatures, this bacteria dies.
Vegetables are a great source of vitamins, proteins, and minerals like calcium, iron, etc., for humans and cats. We can mix some green leafy vegetables with fish, meat, or canned cat food to make it a more wholesome meal. Some vegetables that are good for cats are:
Cats are picky eaters; their staple diet consists of meat and fish and is entirely carnivorous. We will often encounter a cat who likes to indulge in the human pantry. To keep our cats healthy and happy, make sure we know what food is good and what food is poisonous for cats.
Add additional ingredients to the cat's meal to supplement their diet to improve their overall health. In their natural habitat, cats do this on their own by munching on grass, leaves, etc. A pet cat needs to be given these other foods by us. So do not hesitate before adding some spinach or green peas to the salmon; it is very beneficial for a kitty.
Keep a regular check on the cat's litter box to check their stool. Their stool is the first indicator of sickness. Going for an enclosed litter box is a good idea to avoid the spreading of germs and bacteria. We just want our cat to be healthy.
Next, check out: What Food Items Are Poisonous For Cats?
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