A shake of the biscuits or the rustle of a pouch is often all you need for your cat to come running! It seems like they’re interested in almost anything they can get their paws on, but is human food OK for cats? And what might my cat like as a tasty snack?
Most of your cat’s diet should come from a high-quality, complete and balanced cat food. Human food should be given sparingly, and only as a treat. Too much of our food might make your cat fat, or even unwell if what’s been fed isn’t safe for our feline friends!
So, let’s take a look at what human food cats can safely eat - believe it or not, you’ve probably got most of them in your kitchen cupboard right now!
What human foods can cats eat?
When it comes to human foods for cats, meat is definitely the top choice! Cats are obligate carnivores, which means all cats should have a diet made up almost entirely of meat and meat based products.
Yep, our little feline friends are carnivores, plain and simple! Meat is essential in helping to keep their heart, vision, coat, immune, reproductive and digestive systems in tip-top condition.
Giving your cat an occasional treat of cooked meat is safe, but remember this meat shouldn’t be coated in spices or cooked in lots of butter or oil. Many cats enjoy a piece of chicken, and won’t turn down the chance to raid the fridge for these tasty treats. Raw meat can be given, but it’s important to make sure this is handled safely. Raw meat can contain bacteria that isn’t good for our, or our cat’s stomachs.
Processed foods like salami, bacon and sausages shouldn’t be given as treats, no matter how much they beg. These meats are often high in unhealthy fats and salt, that might upset your cat’s digestive system.
Fish is an obvious choice. With a cat in the house, it’s hard to prepare it without a lot of excitement on their behalf! But should you share your tuna sandwich with your pet?
In moderation, a small amount of fish can be a healthy and rewarding treat for your friend. Like with all snacks, this should be given in moderation. Fish is filled with omega-3 and fatty acids, as well as oils which can be beneficial if not overfed. Fish shouldn’t be fed exclusively, as cats need taurine found in meat too. As long as your cat is fed a balanced diet, a little tuna or cod won’t do any harm! Safe fish includes:
- Cooked salmon, tuna or trout (remember to remove the bones!)
- Canned tuna in plain water
- Sardines or herring in plain water
- Prawns or shrimp
Remember - a fish finger sandwich is great for us, but far too much for your cat!
Eggs are a great source of protein for cats and humans. Small amounts of scrambled or boiled egg can be a tasty snack for your cat. Eggs are full of vitamins, and lots of cats enjoy the taste. Let eggs cool before serving, and don’t add salt, pepper or butter! All treats in moderation, 2 eggs for a human - but a tiny portion for a little cat!
Fruits and vegetables
Most cat’s won’t choose a courgette as their first choice, and won’t come running for a bite of broccoli. As carnivores they’re probably not going to be interested in your salad. A nibble of these vegetables won’t do your pet any harm, but probably won’t turn them into an olympic athlete either:
Although these fruits and vegetables are safe for cats, they should still be fed to them in moderation. A handful of peas or a couple of berries, for instance, can work as a great treat. Most cats would prefer a chunk of chicken, but a blueberry might work for your pet too!
But don’t overdo the human food for cats!
There are lots of options that are safe to give your pet as an occasional treat. And plenty of human foods that are safe if your cat steals them off your plate! But remember, human foods are high in calories, so whatever you’re sharing with your pal should be taken out of their calorie allowance. And this might use a bigger chunk than you think! A mouthful of tuna, or a slice of chicken might make your cat love you more, but don’t feel pressured into splitting all your meals!