It’s a crime many of us are guilty of: spoiling our cats (and other pets) rotten! Do you ever get the oh so irresistible, sad feline eyes while you’re eating and wonder if you can safely share a treat or two after your meal on occasion? If you are, here are 10 human foods cats can eat that will actually help their health. You can stop feeling guilty now. 🙂
I give you complete permission to spoil them silly. Just don’t over-do the treats. 🙂 Remember: more is not better. If anything, less really is more in this case.
This thorough and comprehensive guide of 10 human foods cats can eat will share with you the pros and cons of each food choice.
My hope is you will use this as a resource to refer back to any time it’s needed.Do you enjoy spoiling your cat rotten? This detailed guide of 10 human foods #cats can eat is a must read. What's your cat's favorite on this list? #catlovers #catparents #pets #catcare Click To Tweet
Certain feline conditions including the likes of diabetes, sensitive stomachs, senior kitties and others will probably require specially formulated foods to maintain optimal health.
Related: 8 Signs of Diabetes in Cats
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10 Human Foods Cats Can Eat
For You To Enjoy Together
I’m betting that out of all the foods on this list, meat is the least surprising. It’s no secret that cats are carnivores.
Meat contains most of the essential vitamins and protein a cat needs for optimal health. A diet lacking in adequate meat intake could create a deficiency of taurine, vitamin B12, vitamin A or essential amino acids.
For our cat-kin, this can cause debilitating or life threatening conditions such as heart, lung or liver disease to name a few.
We also begin to see signs such as these:
🐾 loss of fur or dull in color
🐾problems with hearing and/or eyesight
Human bodies and cat bodies aren’t much different in this way. Even mild deficiencies in certain nutrients can cause major complications.
is raw or cooked meat better for my cat?
The most important thing to remember? If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your cat. When in doubt, throw it out!
If you could get food poisoning from eating spoiled meat, your cat could get dangerously ill too.
Always serve cooked meat. I know, there are many advocates of a raw meat diet for their felines. I don’t intend to offend anyone with this post.
Advocates for the raw meat diet believe that it most closely resembles a cat’s diet in nature. I understand their reasoning.
I’d rather be safe than sorry, personally. Raw meat contains pathogens that can make you & your cat very sick.
Cooking the meat mostly eliminates this risk entirely.
Even the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends against the use of raw meat diets due to their risk of illness and cross-contamination.
so what kind of meat is best for my cat?
The best options for sharing your meaty meal with your feline are:
♥ Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked plain with no seasoning
♥ Turkey breast
♥ High quality deli meat in small amounts
Our Dizzy knows the sound of our meat drawer in the refrigerator opening. If it’s the time of day she knows I am making Bill’s lunch sandwich, she will come sit patiently at my feet for her favorite lunch meat!
That’s not to say she will always eat it though! It is most important to prove the point she can still get her way regardless…. 🤣 Such is the life of a cat, right?!?
Don’t even try to tell me we are the only ones experiencing this! I probably won’t believe you 😊
Raw or cooked bones and fat trimmings are a big no no and should be avoided!
Bones can pose a real choking hazard for cats. They can also splinter inside a cat’s belly and cause rupture or possibly fatal obstructions.
Fat trimmings (even when cooked) on the other hand are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea and other intestinal conditions. That makes for one sad kitty!
I’m sure you know the saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
While this may hold true for us silly humans, apples and some other fruits are also good for cats as the occasional treat.
Fun cat fact: Cats are unable to taste sweetness. A genetic defect in their taste buds is to blame for this anomaly.
Even though our cat-kin may not be able to taste the sweetness as we do, many still enjoy the texture or smell of certain fruits.
A few benefits of adding the occasional pea sized amount of fruit to your cat’s diet would include added vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
Thankfully, most quality commercial cat food brands have already added in the fruits offering the most benefit to your feline.
If you are thinking of feeding fruit as a treat, it’s important to slowly introduce any new foods.
Doing this helps you know if your feline can handle this new food and how much of it. Just because it’s considered “safe,” doesn’t mean it’s good for your cat.
Any sudden changes to your cat’s diet can cause digestive distress, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Ouch!
fruits that are generally considered safe for cats
♥ Apples in very small pieces
Note: Feeding fruit on a regular basis is not recommended due to the high amounts of naturally occurring sugars.
If you feed your cat any fruit, vegetable, meat, cheese or other food – please be sure it is cut into very tiny pieces.
Fruits you should never feed your cat:
🍇 Grapes (can cause kidney failure)
🐾 Raisins (can cause kidney failure)
🍒 Cherries are highly toxic to cats
🍋 Citrus fruits like lime, orange, lemon, grapefruit and persimmons
You don’t want feeding a treat to turn into a heartbreaking loss.
If you were one of the millions of kids told to eat your vegetables before your dessert; now you can tell your cat that too!
I’m sure you’ve seen at one time or another, a cat munching on grass.
Cats primarily need roughage for fiber and as an aid in digestion. Their actual need for the nutrients in vegetables is very minimal.
Even though cucumbers and other veggies are considered as a “safe food” for most cats, some hilariously adorable YouTube videos say otherwise!
Ahhhh! It’s a SNAKE!!
A good reason to add some leafy green goodness into their diet? If your favorite houseplants seem to be falling victim to your cats, consider adding a small amount of cooked and finely chopped veggies to your cat’s plate.
The added fiber intake may be just what the doctor ordered.
Onions, garlic and other seasonings are toxic to kitties, so be sure your vegetables are plainly steamed. You’ll avoid the risks and get the benefits.
Personally, I love to grow cat grass indoors. Every time I’ve grown this stuff, my cats have enjoyed every bite.
All natural, organic and non-GMO are our favorites.
Beware: Cats eat grass in order to dislodge hairballs and other tummy troubles.
You may notice an increase in your cat throwing up right where you would least like them to. Especially that lovely carpet or rug!
I know, I know, it always seems to be right in the walk path! Tell me we’re not the only ones! 😀
what vegetables are “safe” for my cat?
- Cooked spinach (only if no pre-existing bladder or kidney trouble)
- Steamed broccoli
- Green beans
- Cooked and finely chopped carrots
- Winter squash
- Bell peppers (red, green, orange and yellow)
Related: Toxic foods to never feed your cat
Most cats go dairy crazy. We’ve all seen the images of happy cats lapping up a delicious bowl of milk or stealing some ice cream.
But the truth is, cats can’t break down and digest the sugar in dairy, called lactose.
What this means for most adult cats is a very upset tummy. Even when we aren’t fully aware of the consequences, this can spell misery for your four-legged best friend.
The older your cat, the more likely they will suffer from worsening lactose intolerance.
The silver lining here is that some cheeses are just fine in very small amounts. All the better if the cheese of your choice is considered lactose free.
Some healthy choices for a cheesy cat treat would be a low lactose variety:
♥ Cottage cheese
♥ Plain, low fat yogurt is another option you might consider. The added probiotics can be very beneficial for your cat’s gut health.
One or two tablespoons is more than enough. Please be sure there are no added sugars, flavors or additional ingredients as this can be very dangerous for kitty.
Xylitol for example, an artificial sweetener found in many foods, is highly toxic/deadly for cats when consumed.
My husband Bill rescued a very malnourished feral kitten named Kat. She loved corn on the cob! He would bring it in the house and before you knew it, Kat had devoured a couple ears of corn.
The evidence was all over the floor! He couldn’t keep it in the house without her going wild about it.
Kat wasn’t alone. Many cats love corn and other whole grains. Even though they don’t enjoy the sweetness as we do, they still love the texture and smells.
It is worth noting that of all possible food allergens for cats, corn ranks as the least likely to cause an issue.
Most commercial pet food, unless specified grain free, will contain corn to complete the nutrient profile.
A study done by Veterinary Dermatology discovered out of 56 cats participating, only four were allergic to corn. Contrast that to the 45 cats who suffered from allergy to fish, beef and dairy! That’s quite a contrast, isn’t it?
It just goes to show that we can’t automatically assume we know what is right for our cat’s health.
Instead, we need to take notice of their individual condition, seek medical advice from our local Vets and make adjustments when our feline isn’t acting like him or herself.
We are unique in our physical needs. Our cats are too.
A mistake many well meaning cat parents make is to assume what’s bad for them is bad for their cat too. Not always.
If blood work has determined your cat has a food allergy, consider adding a nutritional supplement to make up for what they lack in their diet.
safe whole grains for your cat
♥ Cooked corn
♥ Couscous or millet seem to be a cat favorite
♥ Mashed sweet potatoes
♥ Plain oatmeal
The Incredible Edible Egg
Eggs are a super-food in so many ways. How else did they get their nickname, “the almighty egg?” 🙂
This nutrient dense food is not only safe for your cat but also recommended from time to time.
When cooked properly, eggs provide protein easily digestible for your kitty. High amounts of amino acids also help protect their muscular health for lean, strong bodies ready to take on the kitty kingdom!
We all know this is the cat’s world and we are just privileged to share it with them. They don’t even try to keep this one a secret!
Recently my family member’s cat, Trixie, was suffering from very poor health. A mysterious tummy trouble was creating a situation where Trixie had no desire to eat.
When she did, she would get very sick. This never ending cycle was creating increasingly poor health and it was feared she would soon need to be helped to the rainbow bridge.
Being a farmer for over 60 years, my family member decided to give Trixie some cooked eggs. This was the only food she was able to eat and it kept her alive, in reasonably good health, for just over another year.
Eggs really can do wonderful things for your cat’s health. They are naturally high in taurine making them a welcomed snack.
Eggs are also an excellent, high quality source of the building block amino acids and protein. An all around great addition to your feline’s diet!
Moderation is the key. 1 egg equals 90 to 100 calories, making this a very calorie dense food. On average, most healthy and active cats only need around 200 to 300 total calories per day.
Curious how many calories your cat needs to maintain optimal health? Have a look at this calorie calculator for cat health
Important note: Please do not feed raw eggs to your cat. They contain harmful bacteria and a protein called avidin. Avidin can block the absorption of vitamin B and cause major health problems. Please consult with your own Vet for best results!
Let me bust a big myth here…Not all kitties like fish!
My “Shug” would gag even at the smell of fish. She was having no part of it! I must admit, the hubs and I share her aversion. 😲
Quality fish, though, does have amazing health benefits.
Have a dog or cat suffering from joint pain or skin irritation? Omega 3’s from fish oil like this one from Omegease can make all the difference. I have personally witnessed amazing transformations.
In our home, we take a burpless Omega 3 supplement to ensure we are getting optimal amounts of this powerhouse fatty acid! Both Bill and I have had noticeable and medically proven improvements in our overall well-being.
If you are considering making a change in your health care routine or that of your pet – as always, please consult a medical professional for your individualized care.
When it comes to our furry feline friends, it turns out Omega 3’s are just as beneficial. Omega 3 fatty acids create shiny, healthy fur and protects those beautiful ‘peepers!’
Raw fish is the only exception to this fishy rule. A diet for cats with raw fish can create a B1 deficiency, also known as thiamine.
Thiamine is responsible for many of the critical functions in your cat’s body.
When thiamine levels become too low, there are severe consequences like stomach pain, weight loss, neurological issues and weakness. Extreme cases can even cause heart failure.
Another primary concern with feeding your cat fish are toxic levels of mercury and magnesium building up in their blood. It is possible to have too much of a good thing and that rule applies to vitamins and/or fatty acids too!
Fish for cats should be given in careful moderation and only when cooked properly.
Hooray for oatmeal! Not everyone enjoys the texture or taste of this food choice though – myself included.
If you are someone who does love the taste and texture of this nutrient dense food, I’ve got good news for you!
You and your cat can enjoy breakfast (or dinner) together!
Oatmeal is rich in vitamin B. Vitamin B12 for example is crucial to the health of your cat’s immune system, nervous system, and digestive tract.
Your cat may not go wild over oatmeal, but hey, it’s worth a try right? You might find a new way to make your cat-kin smile! I’d say that calls for a long cat nap in the sunshine! What do you think?
Just remember – formulated for health cat food is the most important ingredient your cat needs. These tasty treats are just that… treats.
A perfect example of how oatmeal can be added to your cat’s diet for optimal health is this food made by Simply Nourish: Natural Made Simple – Indoor Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe.
Simply Nourish has created a food that is delicious, nutritious and focused on top-notch quality. Many of the healthy ‘people foods’ from this list are already included in Simply Nourish’s formula.
By-product meal and ingredients you can’t pronounce? Not in this food. It’s packed full of everything your cat needs to be healthy for many years to come.
We buy our food from Chewy.com and have always been 100% satisfied with their service. They ship quickly, save you money for pet care and time. Highly recommended. If you have any questions about them, I’d be glad to help!
Amazon Prime also offers this very same food. At this time, Chewy’s price is significantly lower. (We often find this is the case with all of our cat care purchases)
Around this home, we like saving money anywhere we can! Hopefully I can help you do the same here at Cat Care Solutions. That was always my goal, helping others in any way I can.
Baby Food for Cats: Believe It Or Not!
That’s right, some baby foods are safe for your cat too!
In fact, there are some medical reasons this food choice would be beneficial. Though it is great for emergencies, a regular diet of baby food is not typically recommended.
Senior cats, sick cats and stubborn cats who need to take medication are all great reasons to feed baby food.
Added ingredients can seriously harm or kill your cat. Carefully check labels for ingredients on the do not feed list.
If your baby food has any of these ingredients, please do not feed it to your four-legged baby:
- Any added sugar or sweeteners of any kind
- Milk (dairy products)
- Fruits or vegetables (because not all are safe!)
- Cornstarch IF your cat is diabetic
The general safe rule of thumb is to consider options with only a few ingredients such as pureed meats and water. Cornstarch is generally considered safe if your cat is not diabetic.
A little goes a very long way. 1 teaspoon or tablespoon is a great start. 🐾
safe baby food for cats
- Beech-Nut Stage 1 Chicken and Broth, 2.5 Ounce (Pack of 10)
- Gerber 2nd Foods Meats, Chicken & Chicken Gravy, 2.5 Ounce
Other Yummy In My Tummy Safe Cat Snacks
I kind of chuckled when I read this as my imagination went to an Italian speaking kitty who couldn’t live without their pasta and works pure cat magic with it! 🙂
Next time you’re cooking up some plain spaghetti noodles and feel like sharing, you can! Just make sure it is a tiny amount.
Pasta is loaded with carbohydrates and can cause feline obesity and other digestion distress.
It is also possible for your cat to be gluten intolerant. This could make your cat’s stomach do back flips and nobody likes that, now do we?
Related: Symptoms of wheat allergy in cats
♥ Whole Grain Bread (in small amounts)
Here at our home, we feed a lot of feral kitties. Apparently the word is out that total softies for animals live here and will keep their tummies full. We sure would love for them to have their forever homes!
Here are two of the brothers sunning themselves on our deck. Aren’t they adorable? Those are some happy faces!
We call them “Big Man” and “Lil’ Man.” Big Man is the cutie with more white and Lil Man is our “ginger tux.” 😻
It turns out that one of the ferals really likes bread, a lot. She’s a glutton for it.
I have often wondered, “Is this safe?” Thankfully, it is. Much like pasta – unless your kiddo has a gluten allergy, small amounts of bread are perfectly okay to share.
Whole grain breads are preferred over white bread for their nutritional benefits.
I wouldn’t recommend feeding bread as a regular snack in your cat’s diet, though. In the same way large amounts of bread for us can cause weight gain and other health problems – the same is true for our cats.
has this guide helped you?
I realize this is not a traditional blog post. It has turned out instead to be more of a resource guide for all of us cat parents.
Has this helped you in any way? Did I miss anything important? I’d really love to hear your thoughts.
If you have found this guide to be thoughtful and useful, please be sure to share with your social media family. Your support is such an encouragement to me.
Everything I do or write here at Cat Care Solutions is done with the aim of helping others. I believe that’s what life is really all about.
Pet parenting is a fun challenge and there is always something new to learn! They sure do keep us on our toes, don’t they?
Does your cat have a favorite treat you love to share with them? Please tell me all about it in the comments below!
All My Love & Healing Purrs To You & Yours,
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I'm Holly. Devoted wife to my amazing husband, Bill. Faithful woman of God. Introverted and Introspective INFJ (MBTI). Lover of nature and animals (especially cats). I love writing and research, especially on topics of nature, plants, faith, and cats! My hope is that people feel encouraged, comforted and supported after interacting with me. Especially fond of who society deem the "underdogs," I love helping people see their God-given beauty and celebrating it!