Can Your Cat Eat That?
A simple way to answer the question, "Can your cat eat that?", is to ask first if it is cat food. For all pets, providing them with plenty of a good, nutritional food on a regular basis is essential. Most pet foods are designed with everything needed in their diet, and keeping consistent is important for their digestive health. But, as a treat or supplement, you can share some human foods with your cat. There is a lot of research out there, so let's take a look at sixteen common ingredients and see where they fair on danger to your feline friend.
Despite the fact that, for centuries, cats have been fed cream in a saucer, science has shown that many adult felines are lactose intolerant. Milk and milk products like cheese can cause diarrhea and indigestion. It is not necessarily dangerous, but can be uncomfortable.
Drier cheeses like Parmesan are usually safer if your cat really wants to try some. If they show later signs of distress, you may want to stop, as different cats can have different levels of intolerance. Kittens are likely to be more tolerant of lactose than older cats
2. Peanut Butter
While cats can eat peanut butter safely, the fact that they are strict carnivores means they get no nutritional value from it. It's pasty consistency can cause constipation and other problems if they eat very much of it. Also, the oils in most nuts can cause them to experience diarrhea.
3. Dog Food
Cats and dogs have very different nutritional needs. Eating each other's food from time to time is not necessarily harmful, but it does not provide everything their diet requires. It is always wise to feed your cats and dogs separately. Wet foods are usually safer for either one to taste than dry, but cats are cats. Feed them cat food.
Yogurt is a dairy product, so it is something that you can feed to kittens, but not as much to adult cats. It is probably the safest dairy product to share with your pet, as it does have some probiotic affect, but the amount required would probably cause issues with the lactose.
Baked bread is actually pretty safe for cats, though it doesn't provide the proteins they need for their carnivorous diet. It's ok, though, to share a piece with them if they want it.This also includes things like crackers and other bread-like items. If it is a processed food, check the ingredients for anything else on this list.
6. Raw Chicken
This is something that you can feed your cat with no problems, but you probably should not be eating yourself. Raw chicken can contain Salmonella, which causes problems with humans while being no problem for the acid in a cat's stomach.You can feed cats chicken bones, but you should watch them closely to make sure they do not choke.
Chocolate is on the definite no list for both cats and dogs. Even in small amounts, chocolate can cause abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and even death. It is something almost every human loves, and it is one of the most dangerous foods for your pet.
8. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are also on the do not feed list for cats and especially dogs. They have been proven to cause kidney failure and are definitely something to avoid letting your cat eat. Beware of them in any baked goods or even things like steak sauce.
Onions contain a dangerous substance called thiosulphate, which can cause hemolytic anemia, a problem with the red blood cells. It can damage them in both dogs and cats, and it remains present even in the cooked version, though in lower amounts. Raw green onions are probably the most dangerous.
Garlic is another type of allium plant like onion, with many of the same dangerous properties for cats as onions. Except, they are usually more concentrated in garlic than they are in onions. While stews and soups with only a little in them can be generally ok, or only cause a bit of indigestion, the raw vegetable should be avoided.
Xylitol is a type of artificial sweetener found in many human foods, including baked goods, gum, and processed items. You should check the ingredients list of any prepared foods for this item, as it can cause toxicosis, and it is on the ASPCA list of foods to avoid with pets.
Peanuts are mostly considered to be fine as an occasional treat for your cat, if they show an interest in them. They have fewer of the problems with indigestion that peanut butter's pasty consistency can cause, and they are not tree nuts so they have far fewer dangerous oils that can cause runny stools. If you notice much of this problem, you should probably not feed them often.
Boiled or grilled shrimp is probably one of the best foods you can share with your cat. It does not provide all their nutritional needs, so it should not substitute regularly for their normal diet. However, it is a great treat. You can even give them the tails once you are done.
In general, most tree nuts are not dangerous for cats. They do have some oils in them that can cause digestive problems and even diarrhea, and the large amount of salt on many of them is not good for anyone, especially pets. However, if your cats really enjoys them you can allow them a few.
15. Beef Jerky
For the most part, beef jerky is a great treat to share with your cat. As carnivores, almost any meat is not just safe, but a necessary part of their diet. However, the ingredients are something you should check. Pepper and other spices can cause indigestion, and any artificial sweeteners could be dangerous. It can also be much higher in salt than their regular food, so be sparing with it.
Sardines are actually an extremely healthy food for cats. They are not only high in their necessary proteins, but they have a great number of omega fatty acids, which are essential to a healthy diet. It is best to serve them sardines packed in water and without any flavorings or salt. This is a great treat for you to share with your cat at almost any time.
This list is far from comprehensive. If there is a specific food not listed, there is a great deal of information on the web. Always be sure to double check your sources. There are some simple rules to follow as guidelines.
Cats are carnivores. They love and need meat, though their diets must be balanced. It is best to make sure they get plenty of a healthy cat food. But it is hard to not to share with them, especially when they are being cutely insistent. If you find the desire to share something, check first, and if its safe, go ahead and enjoy a treat with your friend.