Foods Your Cat CAN and CAN'T Eat - Don't Get it Wrong!
Although foods that are common for you, such as certain fruits and vegetables, may seem harmless they can be not adequate or even dangerous for your kitty.
Some examples of such foods are chocolate, coffee, onions, and even milk, which can cause many discomforts to your cat. As a responsible cat parent, you should know the foods that your cat should, can, and cannot eat and we are covering the most important ones in this article.
What CAN Cats Eat?
Felines are one of the few mammals in the world which are obligate carnivores. They need meat and only meat to survive. Not only that, their digestive tracts are designed to digest raw meat and other food can cause discomfort. This is why I feed my cat Mia raw meat.
While they don't need anything else but meat, cats can eat some other foods in moderation:
Cats can eat raw chicken?
Yes. Chicken has a high nutritional value and a low-fat content.
Cats are obligate carnivores and have digestive tracts that are designed to digest raw meat, with some nuances like kittens and immunosuppressed individuals. It is recommended to offer the chicken breast as it contains less fat and more protein. Offer your cat cooked chicken, before offering a raw food diet first consult a veterinarian.
Cooked chicken bones can be dangerous because they break into splinters form, so avoiding them is best. However, they are not as dangerous for cats as they are for dogs.
Feeding raw bones is a diet that the veterinary profession has been taught to avoid in cat nutrition because the cat and dog are thought of as being related anatomically, economically, and therefore nutritionally. This is not true.
It is rare for a cat to swallow a bone large enough to cause an intestinal upset and bones lodged in the dental arch are not as common in the cat as in the dog. Regardless, you are going to be on the safe side if you avoid cooked bones.
Can cats eat bananas?
Yes, bananas are not toxic for cats according to aspca.org1. In fact, they are rich in potassium and vitamins, but you should give them in moderation as they have a high sugar content.
Can cats eat rice?
Yes, cats can eat rice in moderation. Rice helps them to regulate intestinal activity, especially when they have diarrhea2, however it is not advisable to give rice to young kittens.
Cats are obligate carnivores and their diet should be based mostly if not exclusively of off meat.
Can cats eat eggs?
Yes, cats can eat eggs but it´s recommended to cook them. Eggs are a source of lean and pure protein. However, it is not a substitute for meat protein and you should not offer raw eggs.
Eggs infected with salmonella can infect cats if uncooked. While cats are good at killing salmonella during digestion. Infections in these animals are usually asymptomatic, with intermittent excretion of Salmonella in faeces.
Clinical syndromes, which are comparatively uncommon, are often most severe in kittens or debilitated animals, like immunosuppressed or geriatric cats.
Can cats eat ham?
Yes, but not in excess. Ham is high on salt and can cause problems to your kitten if abused. They love their taste, but you should only offer them as a snack.
Can cats eat mint?
Both catnip and mint are safe types of catnip for cats, but it can still cause gastrointestinal distress if you offer it too often.
Can cats eat green beans?
Yes, it is a good vegetable for our cats' homemade diets, always cooked.
Can cats eat pumpkins?
Yes, it is a very beneficial food for cats, due to its high fiber content that helps regulate intestinal function6.
Can cats eat Greek yogurt?
Yes, it is not recommended but Greek yogurt will not hurt your cat, although you must be careful as many cats are lactose intolerant.
Can cats eat coconut?
Yes, coconut is particularly appreciated by felines. But it should be in small quantities9 and not too often as it can cause stomach upset or diarrhea.
Can cats eat shrimp?
Yes, shrimp contains protein, nutrients and antioxidants that are good for cats, but it should be offered in moderation and without spices.
Can cats eat raw salmon?
Yes they can, but that doesn't mean they should. While cats can and will probably love eating raw salmon even if it is fresh, raw salmon can contain parasites, bacteria, toxins and other living organisms that can damage their digestive systems and other organs in their body.
According to Renee Schmid a veterinary toxicologist with Pet Poison Helpline. "Cooked salmon is probably better than raw salmon for preventing gastrointestinal distress”
Can cats eat apples?
Yes. A piece of seedless apple can be a good occasional snack for them but you must be careful with its stem, leaves and seeds as they contain cyanide, which is very toxic for them.
Can cats eat peanuts?
Yes. cats can eat peanuts, although they do not provide any nutritional value, so you can offer peanuts as an occasional snack.
Can cats eat steak?
Yes. Cats are carnivores so any type of meat is fine: beef, pork, chicken, turkey as they provide a lot of nutrients.
Can cats eat ginger?
Yes, ginger in moderation is beneficial for cats and can give your cat quick relief from an upset stomach.
Can cats eat honey?
Yes, just wait until the feline is five weeks old.
Can cats eat blackberries?
Yes. They contain many beneficial nutrients for your cats, but should be in moderate amounts.
What CAN'T Cats Eat?
Can cats eat bread?
No. Although bread is not dangerous for your cat, it is of no benefit to them and does not meet any of their nutritional needs.
Moreover, because it contains carbohydrates, bread can trigger problems for cats, leading to obesity as well as diseases such as diabetes and other health problems.
Can cats eat dog food?
No, although it will not harm them, it is not recommended. Cats do not have the same nutritional needs as dogs According to Leasa Moltke, nutrition expert at Solid Gold Pet3, "Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs and foods for other species should not make up a large part of their diet."
Can cats eat marshmallows?
No. Unfortunately, cats should not eat marshmallows4 because they can present a choking risk as well as being high in sugar and causing them to become overweight.
Can Cats Eat Cheez-Its?
No, cheez-its5 are not harmful to cats, but are not recommended because of their zero nutritional value.
Can cats eat raw pumpkin?
No. Cats will have a hard time digesting it. But you can give them cooked pumpkin because it has a lot of nutrients for them. In fact, if your cat is constipated the fiber and the water in boiled pumpkin can help to alleviate constipation.
Can cats eat pumpkin seeds?
No. although they are not toxic for cats, they can be dangerous because they can choke on them, causing intestinal obstruction.
Can cats eat hot dogs?
No, hot dogs can cause your cat to vomit and diarrhea due to high sodium and fat7.
Can cats eat mushrooms?
No, cats can´t eat mushrooms. Although it depends on the type of mushrooms8, many of them can have toxins that affect the nervous system causing diarrhea, vomiting, and in severe cases, shock.
Can cats eat French fries?
No. Most cats won´t even want them. Occasionally they will not harm your cat but they are not healthy for them and have no nutritional value.
Can cats eat nuts?
No. Cats are discouraged from eating them because of the possibility of developing kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Can cats eat spam?
No. Spam is not toxic for cats since they are made from pork, but they are high in salt and sodium which are not recommended for cats.
Can cats eat bugs?
No. Eating insects is a natural behavior for cats as it satisfies their hunting instincts10, however you should keep an eye on them because some may contain parasites that are harmful to them.
Can cats eat pistachios?
No. Like nuts, they may contain Aflatoxin, which is highly toxic to cats.
If you made it this far, you clearly care about your cat´s health. I appreciate you for that.
You probably already train with your cat, but if you don´t consider starting clicker training to elevate your bond to the next level!
Stay Wild, Stay Safe... See You Outdoors!
Albert & Mia
Salmonella Infections in Dogs and Cats Margery E. Carter and P. Joseph Quinn Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
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