Sharing a meal is a bonding experience between people and even animals too. When your kitty is looking lovingly at you come dinner time, it can be tempting to give them a little bite. Just make sure you know what human foods cats can eat and which ones are off limits.
Before we get to the cat-friendly treats, just a few caveats:
Always be aware of the potential for allergies. Cats can be allergic to fish, beef, chicken, and dairy
Unless you don’t mind your cat prancing around on your dinner plate, share food by putting it in their own dinner bowl in its regular location. This routine can prevent begging or stealing food from the table
When introducing a new food to your cat, start small and slow. Keep an eye out for digestive upset before giving them more
Now for the yummy part!
Human Food Your Cat Can Eat
Cooked, deboned fish is fine for cats in small amounts. While most fish are okay in bite-sized amounts, go easy on fish that are commonly high in mercury as it can interfere with their vitamin E levels. For this reason, cod and halibut are ideal, but salmon and tuna should be reserved for special treats in small amounts. Fish oil supplements are also helpful for who cats need some support to maintain a healthy coat.
Cats can eat eggs providing they’re cooked to remove foodborne illnesses. They’re a great source of protein and vitamin B so there’s no harm in putting your leftover scrambled eggs on kitty’s breakfast.
Your cat will love you even more if you happen to drop some chicken for them. While you might find yourself tempted to give them fried chicken or skin, it’s better to give them lean bits that are thoroughly cooked. And always, always, make sure they don’t get ahold of any bones or your well-intentioned sharing could mean a trip to the emergency vet.
Um, yeah, cats like cheese. Go easy though, as cheese and milk can be hard on some cat’s digestive systems. In general, cats can eat cheese in small amounts, and it makes a fun treat for a good kitty.
Cats can eat turkey. But be warned: If you give your cat a shred of deli turkey even once, be prepared to fight them off anytime you make a turkey sandwich for all of eternity.
There’s no harm if your cat gets a little bread when you give them a bit of turkey from your sandwich. Cats can eat bread, but only a very small amount so you don’t interfere with them getting the nutrients they actually need. Be sure to avoid sharing bread that contains any seasonings such as onion, garlic, or extra salt as these can be harmful to cats.
7. (Some) Fruits and Veggies
Some fruits and vegetables have health advantages for your cat too. Fruits like apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, and bananas are okay and provide your cat with vitamins, fiber, and potassium. Baked carrots, spinach, pumpkin, and peas are also fine for them to snack on, though they don’t derive as much benefit from veggies as we do.
Caution: Never let cats eat cherries, grapes, raisins, lemons, limes, persimmons, or grapefruit as they can cause an upset stomach or can even be toxic.
What can’t cats eat?
These foods can be harmful to cats, especially in concentrated amounts. If your cat appears lethargic, has pale gums, has an upset stomach, fever or is having a seizure, call your vet immediately. If you suspect they’ve ingested a toxic food, call animal poison control at (888) 426-4435) immediately or head to the closest emergency vet.
Onions, garlic, shallots, & scallions
Caffeinated drinks or foods
Grapes & raisins
Xylitol (a sweetener commonly found in gum, candy, & vitamins)
When in doubt, it’s better to give your cat treats made specifically for them or share some playtime instead of your meal.