What Do CATS EAT? (A Look At 40 HUMAN Foods)
Cats, as we know, can sometimes be finicky little creatures. A few sniffs can make them uninterested in a new food. However, sometimes your cat will experiment with unfamiliar food.
The real question is, what do cats eat according to the experts. As a cat owner, I am interested in both keeping my friend healthy and satisfied at the same time. This demands a variety of interesting foods.
When your cat begs for table scraps, is that a healthy option for him or her? Can you reward your cat with something sweet? These are the kind of questions that every concerned cat owner ponders.
Sometimes, we want to experiment with them to just have some fun or satisfy our curiosity. The following is a list of foods, some of which are good for cats and some of which are bad for cats. This will help you in regulating your cat's diet.
1. Can Cats Eat Eggs? In Moderation
There has been a scare over the years about cholesterol in eggs for humans. The fear of eggs has abated somewhat in recent times as the result of new research. As it turns out, though, cats rarely get atherosclerosis.
So, egg consumption among cats is not a problem. According to an article in catster, eggs are not an overall source of good nutrition for cats. Therefore, they should be eaten only in moderation.
Even the shells of eggs are recommended as an excellent source of calcium and protein on one website petmd. Another website (pets.webmd.com) reminds us of the dangers of bacteria in eggs. It recommends that you cook them first.
2. Can Cats Cheese? Sure. In Moderation
In the cartoon world, it's the mice that seem to go for the cheese. Is cheese a food good for cats? It seems like it's pretty well established that most cats are lactose intolerant. However, cats can eat cheese in moderate amounts.
If your cat is lactose intolerant, then cheese in large amounts may produce vomiting and diarrhea. All this being said, a little-grated cheese on top of your cat's food bowl probably won't do any harm.
3. Can Cats Eat Liver? Contrary to Popular Belief, It's not Recommended
In small amounts, a liver is good for cats. However, if you feed them too much, it can cause vitamin A toxicity. The amount of liver that is contained in commercial cat foods is alright for them.
In addition to being harmful in large doses, a liver is also not a complete source for all of your cats nutritional needs. So, it's better to feed them a multi-nutrient cat food. The issue of food not containing everything a cat needs is surprising, given that cats eat a somewhat consistent and limited diet in the wild.
However, the consensus is that a good commercial cat food provides a good mixture of everything that your cat needs to be healthy.
4. Can Cats Eat Strawberries? Would They?
What do cats like to eat? Surely not Strawberries! However, you should not be surprised if your cat tries to experiment with them in the garden. The fact is, however, that the majority of a cat's diet comes from protein.
A little pinch of strawberries is not harmful to your cat, but he or she won't eat enough of them to get the antioxidant benefit of the fruit. Some websites warn against cats eating strawberries.
However, they are not usually in danger of overeating them because they don't relish things with a sweet taste. To see a kitten eating a strawberry, look at petorb.com .Although it's a rare event, some people have reported that their cats went crazy trying to get some strawberries. Maybe it was just out of curiosity.
5.Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? Is it Too Sticky?
Peanut butter is composed mostly of protein and fat. Your cat's system can metabolize it. However, it's not much of a health benefit because cats need protein from animal sources. Also, you should only give your cat peanut butter in moderation. Too much at one time can also pose a choking hazard.
Your cat would probably like a little lick of peanut butter, but too much can cause diarrhea and vomiting. One website warns not to use it on your mouse traps. Your cat may be attracted to it and get hurt.
Another website says that the amount of fat in peanut butter could pose a problem for your cat's system. This website holds that peanuts are not poisonous to cats, but they should be consumed sparingly.
6. What Do Cats Eat? Forget About Candy!
An interesting fact about cats is that research shows that they cannot taste sweet things. This means, of course, that candy won't appeal to a cat. Cats are primarily carnivores, so candy is not going to entice them.
Some vets warn that, should your cat consume large quantities of sugar, it will cause a spike in blood sugar that is not good for them. In the rare event that it would become a habit, the cat would be in risk of obesity and diabetes.
7. Can Cats Eat Rice? Yes, but in Moderation
Rice can be a good source of carbohydrates and fiber for your cat. It's easy to digest, so you can give it to a cat who is having stomach problems. You should not give them too much rice because it would take the place of needed protein.
Some authors claim that rice has no nutritional value for cats, and that it should be avoided in commercial cat foods. It is just a filler that robs your cat of the nutrients that it needs. One author has said that if a cat has grown up never eating rice, it may be hard on its digestive system.
8. Can Cats Eat Fish? As a part of Their Diet
The closest ancestors of cats live in areas where there are no fish. They hunt rodents and other small land animals. So, fish is not the protein of choice for domestic cats. They seem to like it a lot, though. Fish is one of the most common flavors of cat food. As a part of their diet, it's good. However, fish is responsible for many cat food allergies, so you should be careful.
Some websites caution that tuna should not make up a large part of your cat's diet. They say that too much tuna can lead to malnutrition and issues with mercury. They advise that tuna should be given as a treat and not as a staple of the diet.
One website has a good recommendation of how to use canned fish to get your cat to eat its food if it is having appetite problems. It says that you should drizzle the water or oil from the top of the can onto their food.
9. Can Cats Eat Chicken? They Eat Fowl in Nature!
As we have seen, cats have complex dietary needs. So, even though fowl is a part of their natural diet, it should not be used as the sole food. Many commercial foods use chicken in combination with other ingredients. When you give your cat cooked chicken, it's good to cut it up into small pieces.
With respect to feeding your cat raw chicken, there are some risks. If not handled properly, raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria. On the other hand, when you cook chicken, it can take away many of the beneficial nutrients that the meat has. So, the best advice is to give it in small quantities and be extra careful when handling it.
10. Can Cats Eat Melon? If They Don't Turn Their Noses Up From It!
One vet on his website gave some good advice. With the exception of a handful of foods that are toxic to cats but okay for humans, if the food is okay for humans, then it's probably fine for cats. This doesn't mean that you should feed them massive quantities of the food, but in moderation it's fine.
The truth is that it is common for cats, for some reason, to be attracted to melon. It has been theorized that it's the strong smell that they give off that attracts the cats.
One website offers the advice that if you have a cat that craves melon, you should give it little pieces without the seeds. Moderation is also important because they are high in sugar and calories.
11. Can Cats Eat Banana? Any Benefits?
Like other people food cats eat, bananas are not on the toxic list. However, the health benefits that humans get from the fruit don't apply to cats. Also, if you give them too much, the sugar in the fruit can lead to obesity and diabetes. While cats can eat a small amount of banana, a whole one could constipate your cat.
One website stated that some cats like frozen fruit. You could freeze a little banana for a treat sometimes. The same site warned against bananas that have darkened. They may contain molds that will upset their stomachs. Also, cats may have an allergy to bananas. Don't forget that just like we can't eat banana peels, cats won't like them too much either.
12. Can I Give My Cat Milk? They Do It on TV!
What can cats drink that will agree with them? Most people believe intuitively that cats can drink milk in at least moderate quantities. The fact is, though, that just like people can be lactose intolerant, cats can be too. According to an article on About Cats Online drinking cows milk can produce stomach problems like diarrhea and vomiting.
Since most adult cats are lactose intolerant, it is not recommended to give them milk. One suggestion is that, if you really want to give your cat a little milk, you can buy lactose free milk from the supermarket. However, cats can get the beneficial nutrients that milk has from other sources in their diet.
A vet quoted on a website stated that cats should be fed no more than 20 to 30 calories a day from unbalanced sources. These sources include human food items and commercial treats. This strict limitation will cut out everything except very small pieces of treats.
13. Can Cats Eat Bacon? Not Recommended
Bacon has a very high salt content. This is not good for your cat. This would also apply to other cured meats, such as sausage. If you are going to give a little piece of bacon to your cat, you should make sure that it is not raw. Raw bacon can contain parasites.
What is also the case is that bacon is very high in fat. Proper foods for cats are more balanced between fats and protein.
14. Can Cats Eat Pork? A Mix of Views
Since cats are carnivores, it would make sense that they could eat pork. However, not all meats are created equal. Pork is fattier and contains more sodium than other kinds of meat. This being the case, it's best to give them pork in moderation.
15. Can Cats Eat Chocolate? Do They Have a Sweet Tooth?
Chocolate is a food bad for cats. While eating a small amount of it is probably not lethal, a large amount can create a medical emergency. Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that cats cannot break down and eliminate.
A general rule is that the darker the chocolate is, the more harmful it is for your cat. There is a whole set of symptoms that cats get when they eat too much chocolate. They include lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Chocolate poisoning is painful for cats. There are some treatments that your vet may administer. These include inducing the cat to vomit and giving them activated charcoal to prevent further amounts of theobromine from being absorbed.
The bottom line is that you should never purposefully feed your cat chocolate.
16. Can My Cat Drink Beer? No!
Cats should never drink wine or beer. Cats' bodies are very small, so even a little alcohol can produce toxicity. Also grapes and the hops that are in beer can be toxic to cats. Symptoms of alcohol toxicity include disorientation and dizziness and difficulty controlling their bowels and bladders.
It has been reported that cats seem to be attracted to beer. This could be because of the strong smell of the spirit.
17. Can Cats Eat Onion? Nope
Although onions seem like they would be harmless, they are very toxic to cats. The chemical that is harmful for them in onions is N-propyl disulfide. Other root vegetables are also very harmful, including leeks and garlic. Symptoms of onion poisoning can include weakness, diarrhea, and vomiting.
You should be careful of hidden sources of onions like onion powder in your dishes. Even small amounts of the seasoning can be harmful to your cat.
18. Can Cats Eat Cantaloupe? Is It Toxic?
There is nothing toxic about cantaloupes for cats. However, you should not feed the cat so much cantaloupe that it takes the place of part of its regular diet. It has been noticed that some cats are attracted to cantaloupe.
As mentioned above, it could be the fragrance that these melons emit. As also mentioned above, cats have no sense of sweetness in their taste buds. So, if your cat likes cantaloupe, maybe it's because of the texture.
Another theory about why cats like cantaloupe is that cats in recent times have been trained to eat carbohydrates from the content of commercial cat food. A lot of the kibble that cats eat is just grain product coated with meat flavor.
19. What Do Cats Eat? Surely Not Gum!
From every angle, gum is not something appropriate for cats. All there is in gum is sugar and a gum base. The sugar isn't good for them, and the base can get caught in their throats.
If your cat swallows a piece of gum, then there is probably no need to worry. They will simply pass it in their feces. The truth is that it is pretty rare to have a cat that would be attracted to gum at all.
One website reported that there is an issue of toxicity with gum that has xylitol in it. Apparently, xylitol poisoning has become somewhat common in pets. Xylitol can cause severe poisoning in as little as 15 to 30 minutes.
20. Can Cats Eat Raisins? A Big No-no
Grapes and raisins are toxic to felines. They can cause kidney failure. According to sources on the internet, there has not been a lot of research into this issue. So, the source of the toxicity is somewhat of a mystery.
If your cat's kidneys have been effected, then he or she will likely be drinking a lot and urinating a lot. Your vet may ask you to induce vomiting through the administration of hydrogen peroxide. Don't use ipecac syrup on your cat. It itself is toxic.
Signs that a cat may have ingested grapes include extensive vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. It also makes no difference if the cat eats grapes or raisins. The form is not significant.
21. Can Cats Eat Watermelon? Maybe at a Picnic!
Cats, as mentioned before, do not have the ability to taste sweet things. This means that the appeal of fruit, in general, must come from their fragrance or their texture. It's important that if your cat does eat watermelon, then you should remove the seeds.
They contain compounds that can be very harmful to your cat. From a nutritional perspective, watermelon contains vitamins A and C. It also contains minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
Watermelon is also a good source of hydration. Moderation is key on feeding your cat watermelon. Be careful that he or she does not eat any of the rinds either. It is hard to digest.You should start off with a small amount of watermelon to make sure that your cat isn't allergic to it.
22. Can Cats Eat Bones? Choking Hazard
There is some dispute on the internet as to whether cats should be given bones. Some authors hold that most tooth and gum disease can be avoided if it learns to eat bones. These authors believe that the risk of choking is outweighed by the benefits.
Other authors think that it is just too dangerous to give them bones. Raw bones can contain harmful bacteria that can make your cat sick. Cooked bones can splinter in the cat's mouth. I would say that there are other ways of taking care of a cat's dental hygiene.
Some people on the internet claim that, since they give their cats bones, their cats never have any dental problems.
23. Can Cats Eat Broccoli? It's Good for Us!
Sometimes the question should not be whether a substance is harmful to your cat, but rather what do cats like to eat. Broccoli is one of those things that cats will typically pass on. However, there is nothing toxic about broccoli for cats.
Broccoli is also a good source of antioxidants and roughage.Some cats eat grass when their stomach is upset. They might be attracted to broccoli for the same purposes.
You can see cats eating broccoli on this video:
With respect to broccoli sprouts, you can give your cat small quantities. The antioxidant benefit of the sprouts can be up to 100 times that of the heads ().
24. Can Cats Eat Bread? In Moderation
As a small treat, cats can eat baked bread. However, when it's in dough form, it can be dangerous. There are no real health benefits from bread for cats. Even the fiber in bread has a minimal effect on cats' bowel movements.
If the bread has high sugar and salt content, then it is definitely not advised for your cat. When cats swallow raw dough, it can rise in their stomach and create enormous pain. Also, your cat can get alcohol poisoning from the yeast.
The bottom line is that bread affords cats no benefits. An interesting aside is that, while cats in the wild only eat prey, they get their grains and vegetables by eating the contents of their prey's stomach.
For a cute video of a cat eating bread, look here:
25. Can Cats Eat Apple? Yes, but not The Seeds
If your cat is attracted to apple, then go ahead and give him or her some. As with all fruit, since it's not the protein that makes up the majority of your cat's diet, you should give it in moderation.
The only thing is that you should not feed them the core. The seeds and pips contain small amounts of cyanide. Too much of this and you could poison your cat. Apples contain antioxidants and fiber in the flesh of the fruit and the peel.
You should always wash the pesticides off of the apples that you give to your cat and cut them small wedges. You should also first try out a little bit of the fruit to make sure that your cat isn't allergic to them. Too much fruit, in general, can upset your cat's stomach.
26. Can Cats Eat Avocado? No Way!
Avocado is toxic for cats. It contains a substance called persin that is poisonous to them. While your cat probably won't die from avocado, it may get very sick. Some cat care products contain parts of the avocado plant that do not have persin in them.
If your cat has swallowed some avocado, watch for symptoms that may indicate poisoning, such as difficulty breathing, high fever, or rapid heartbeat. Note that, for some animals, avocado may kill them.
This is the case for birds. On the other hand, parts of the avocado are used in some medicines for cats. A feline joint supplement that vets use contains the fruit. It should be noted that, on one website I saw, a vet said that avocado is not toxic for cats.
This vet said that the real danger is that the pit might be swallowed. That's a big pit, and I doubt that this is true.
27. Can Cats Eat Grapes? We've Been Here Before
Grapes are toxic for cats, and they are discussed in the entry on raisins above. As said before, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats. Cats with preexisting kidney problems are even more susceptible.
28. Can Cats Eat Beef? How About a Steak?
Beef is perfectly safe for cats to eat and is a good source of protein. Ground beef is low in price and easy to prepare. It's also easy for cats to digest. Any meat that you give, your cat should always be cut up in little pieces.
Organ meat can be fed to your cat but should be used sparingly. It should be noted that some ways of preparing beef make the flesh unsuitable for cats. Corned beef contains loads of salt and can even produce a toxic reaction in some cats.
The cabbage that is made with corned beef, on the other hand, is not a problem in small amounts. As with all meat, you should never feed beef to your cat raw. It can contain bacteria that could make your cat sick.
29. Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Are They Dogs!?
A cat is not just a small dog! Cats require a higher proportion of protein in their diet than dogs do. Cats also need certain nutrients in higher quantity than dogs. An example of this is the amino acid taurine. If your cat does not get enough of it, it could result in heart disease.
While regularly giving a cat dog food is not good for them, a little nibble from your dog's bowl here and there won't hurt them. It's just that many of the nutrients your cat needs aren't found in dog food.
30. Can Cats Eat Popcorn? Not Really!
Despite the fact that in some cat foods corn is the first ingredient, you should not be feeding your cat popcorn. One article I read said that popcorn is primarily a problem for kittens and senior cats. They can choke on it, and it may present a problem for digestion.
For most cats, though, the problem is the additives that can be present in the popcorn. This is especially the case with microwave popcorn. One article that I read said that popcorn is a starch-based grain and heavy in carbohydrates.
Cats don't have the necessary enzymes to properly digest carbohydrates in this form ().The bottom line is that popcorn even makes humans choke sometimes. Therefore, since cats have smaller throats, it makes sense that you should not take the chance and feed them popcorn.
31. Can Cats Eat Tuna? Is it Their Favorite?
On a list of what can cats not eat, most people would never suspect that tuna would make that list. For the most part, this is true. However, you should not make canned tuna a regular part of your cat's diet.
One reason is that tuna contains some mercury in it. Tuna is also high in unsaturated fats. While this is good for humans, it is not for cats. Consuming too much tuna can also cause a vitamin E deficiency in your cat.
Most people think that, since commercial cat food is tuna flavored, a steady diet of tuna would be just fine. This is not the case, however. Those cat foods are usually only flavored with tuna, not primarily tuna. A steady diet of pure tuna can actually give your cat malnourishment.
32. Can Cats Drink Coffee? Starbucks Only (LOL)
Some of us like to experiment on our pets. We might wonder what human foods can cats eat. However, you should be careful when trying anything unusual out on your cat. While cats can eat human food, coffee is not one of those things that is appropriate.
The active ingredient in coffee, caffeine, is toxic to your feline friend. While lapping up a little taste of coffee probably won't poison your cat, a moderate amount can. When a cat ingests too much coffee, hyperactivity, restlessness, and vomiting can occur.
Oddly enough, some people have reported that their cat is attracted to coffee. Maybe it's the cream in it. However, curiosity can kill the cat. Caffeine not only is present in coffee but also in chocolate.
Incidentally, something that is really cute is the phenomenon of the 'cat cafe' in Japan. People come in to drink coffee and tea and spend some time with a bunch of cats.
33. Can Cats Eat Nuts? NO!
According to one source on the internet, nuts are not toxic intrinsically for cats. However, if your cat is fed nuts regularly, the high fat content could harm them. Also, if your cat is fed a lot of nuts at once, it can produce stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If the nuts that you feed to your cat have a high sodium content, this could be a problem also. Macadamia nuts are a problem for dogs, so if your cat gets into some, you should observe your cat for symptoms.
The high fat content in nuts can also cause pancreatitis in your cat, an inflammatory condition of the pancreas. Cats aren't designed to digest nuts either. The bottom line is that you don't have to take your cat to the vet if he or she swallows a nut, but a bunch of nuts can be bad for them.
34. Can Cats Eat Pumpkin? Would They Want To?
Pumpkin has some benefits for cats. Pumpkin is rich in fiber and fills up your cat so it won't eat too much. This fiber can also help with diarrhea and constipation. Try pumpkin as a remedy for hairballs.
Pumpkin is also loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to cats, such as vitamin A and C. Be careful not to serve your cat any of the stem and skin. You can serve pureed pumpkin to your cat, but you should not give him or her the canned version that is mixed with sugar. It also has additives that may harm your cat's digestive tract.
35. Can Cats Eat Spinach? A mixture of Views
I found divergent views on the internet as to whether cats can eat spinach. Some say that spinach is good for cats in the same way that it is for humans. Other sites say that the calcium oxalate levels in spinach are high, and you should avoid it.
36. Can Cats Eat Spam? It's Sort of like Meat
Despite the fact that spam is primarily meat, it's not good for cats to eat. It has a high fat content and contains a lot of sodium and preservatives. Cats can eat high-quality ham, however. Ham should never become the staple in a cat's diet ().
37. Can Cats Eat Blueberries? Would They Want To?
While it would be unusual for a cat to chase after blueberries, they are not harmful and contain some beneficial nutrients. They contain vitamin C, which can help your cat if he or she has cancer, dementia, heart disease, or asthma.
Too many blueberries may cause your cat digestive upset and diarrhea. Blueberries have been hailed as a superfood for humans because of their antioxidant levels. Cats don't seem to have the same need for these nutrients as humans do.
38. Can Cats Eat Yogurt? In Moderation
I have said before that many cats are lactose intolerant. This would make you think that yogurt shouldn't be given to them. However, the cultures in yogurt can help your cat digest it.
The best thing to do if you want to feed your cats any yogurt is to test it out by giving your cat a little bit. You should then observe them to see if there are any stomach problems. Cats should only eat plain yogurt without any flavors.
The sugar and additives are not good for them. Some vets have recommended plain yogurt for constipation in cats. It has been noted that some cats really like yogurt.
39. Can Cats Eat Garlic? Their Breath Is Bad as It Is!
Garlic is not safe for your cat to eat. Just like onions and leeks, garlic contains a substance called allium that is toxic for cats. They cannot digest it. Since garlic is more concentrated than onion, a small amount of it can be toxic.
Toxicity can be slow to appear, and symptoms may not occur for a number of days. Some of these symptoms include breathlessness, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some pet foods contain a small amount of garlic that is not harmful to cat. One site on the net that I saw recommended small amounts of garlic for dogs and cats.
40. Can Cats Eat Peas? Sure!
Peas offer a whole set of nutrients that are good for cats. As with any vegetable, it is wise to limit your cat's consumption of peas. It has been noted that some commercial cat foods have started to use peas in their mixtures.
Some people have said that the casing on the pea may be too hard for your cat to digest. Therefore, it might be a good idea to limit a number of peas that your cat eats.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my list of what cats can eat and can't eat. The health and well-being of my cat is very important to me. I guess you have to strike a balance between what is healthy for your cat to eat and what they enjoy eating.
Most of the foods that are toxic to cats will be avoided naturally. However, sometimes pets get curious about what their owners are eating. Please share with us any comments that you have that might be useful to any cat owner. I invite you to share this article with your friends as well.