All About Feeding Your Cats

12 Safe Human Food For Cats

Cats are obligate carnivores, so feeding them animal protein is crucial for their diet. There are certain amino acids essential to cats that are only found in meat. Taurine is important for immunity, digestion, vision and during a cat’s pregnancy. The most critical is arginine, that a clack of it may even be fatal. That is to say, the majority of their calories intake per day should be made up of animal products. In the wild, they hunt their prey animals and consume the meat, organ and bone of the carcasses. This also includes small amounts of masticated vegetables from the gut. 

Besides protein, a well balanced diet for cats includes vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients. When kitty eats too much or too little of them, health problems may arise. Although it seems natural to let cats eat leftovers, these felines actually process human food differently than us. What seems harmless to us can pose a fatal threat to their lives. Each food for cats below is not for kitties to eat as a separate, big-sized meal from the rest. For best results that will serve their long term health, mix small portions of each or feed them sparsely as a treat.

1. CHICKEN

food for cats

Chicken is an incredible source of protein for cats. But it requires proper preparation before serving it to our furry friends. Taking this into account, feeding them chicken in small amounts should be fine. However, it should not be their sole everyday diet. It should also be free of seasonings or oils, as these additions might upset their digestive system. The most crucial thing to note is to avoid feeding your cat the chicken completely if it has been in any way mixed with garlic or onions, as they are poisonous to cats.

Boiled Chicken

The best way is to boil plain chicken to full cook, and discard the extra fat trimmings as they may lead to pancreatitis. Bland food like boiled chicken can help soothe your kitty’s GI system. This is especially useful for cats with diarrhea. Simply offers them a bowl of boiled chicken and cooked rice instead of her typical food. Stayed with this plain diet until their stools turn to normal.

Raw Chicken

food for cats

The massive debate on this topic renders cat guardians wondering whether or not to feed their cats raw chicken. However, it is on ASPCA list of food-to-avoid for good reason. Raw chicken can have E.coli or salmonella that can affect both you and your kitties’ health dangerously. It may also cause toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease, as well as other infectious diseases. 

Although cats in the wild consume raw birds on a daily basis, these likely harmful outcomes are best to avoid entirely. For the sake of your cat’s life expectancy, make sure to cook your chicken thoroughly before feeding the meat to the hungry kitties. After all, there is no one to cook the freshly caught prey for their feral friends, but our cats have us to feed them nutritious food for their meals. 

Fried Chicken

food for cats

Good news for all cat lovers! Fried chicken is a green light for our furry friend to enjoy once in a while! However, you must remove the skin and bones for the to safely consume the meat. Do keep in mind that fried chickens contain oil and grease which contributes to stomach aches or weight gain in cats.

Excluding the delicious taste, fried chicken isn’t an optimum diet for hoomans, and it isn’t the greatest food for cats either. When giving some to them, take a few seconds to remove every skin and bone from the tantalizing piece.

Chicken Bone

food for cats

You may have the image of wild cats chomping on the bones of their prey, but cooked bones are also in ASPCA food-to-avoid list for a reason. This is due to the fact that there is a high tendency for your cat to choke while feasting on them. The bones can also damage your cat’s teeth when they chew on it too much. 

Particularly with fish or bird, sometimes the small bones can lodge in their throat, or worse, splinter and puncture their digestive tract. However, raw bones can be beneficial food for cats. Raw meaty bones on chicken namely neck, drumsticks, and wings can help in keeping kitties’ teeth and gum healthy. Despite the facts mentioned above, raw bones if taken too much, may lead to constipation. So, keep their raw bones consumption at 1 or 2 pieces a week, with a few days between each serving. 

Keep In Mind!

The bone should be large in size to avoid your cat fitting it in their whole mouth, thus swallowing it whole. But avoid big marrow bones (the ones with thick outer rims), bones sawn lengthwise, or big knuckle bones, as cats are prone to chip their teeth on these. Most importantly, supervise your cats at all times when they are chewing on bones. 

How To Prepare Cooked Chicken

  1. Rinse the chicken with cool water. Then, pat it dry.
  2. Tear the skin from the meat and put the chicken in a saucepan. 
  3. Pour liquid like water or chicken broth into until completely covers the chicken. 

Note: Do not include any garlic, onions or other ingredients that are toxic to cats

  1. Adjust the heat to medium-high and place the pot to simmer.
  2. Wait for at least 20 minutes for the chicken to cook thoroughly, i.e. until the meat is no longer pink when cut.
  3. Turn off the stove, drain the chicken, and let it cool so it is warm enough to your touch.
  4. Shred the meat into finer pieces using a fork or your clean fingers.

Note: If you cook the chicken together with the bones, discard them from the boiled meat.

Now go ahead and serve them to your hungry furrbabies!

2. SALMON

food for cats

Aside from its rich lean protein that every cat loves, Salmon has high Omega 3 that adds shine and thickness to your cat’s coat while keeping their skin healthy, as well as helping the better development of their brain and eyes. In addition, salmon has anti-inflammatory acids, Vitamin A and selenium that can improve immunity. If you have a rambunctious kitty who is constantly climbing and jumping from one bookshelf to another, salmon is the best food for a cat like that as it can strengthen the joints and bones. Finally, salmon is incredible for its healing properties. Studies have proven that the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon alleviate inflammation whilst promoting faster wound recovery. 

Possible Issue With Salmon

food for cats

Despite all the health benefits, Salmon is also susceptible to mercury content as with other fish. However, due to their diet that leans more toward eating plants, the risk of mercury poisoning is relatively lower. But you should always take a precaution when feeding it to your cats. Make sure the salmon you get comes from clean water. 

Avoid farmed salmon at all costs. To clarify, these fishes are infamous for their environmental damaging tendencies. Not only that, they also carry toxic chemicals like dioxins and methylmercury. Should you ever have to resort to farmed salmon, do verify that it sources from a responsible salmon farm. 

Raw Salmon

food for cats

Freshly caught fish is safe for cats. There is also much more protein, omega and moisture due to its freshness. However, as our source for raw fish these days is from supermarket, the fish there can be 2 weeks old for all we know (Yes, despite the ‘fresh’ label).

When we keep a fish for many days, harmful bacteria and pathogens begin forming. Because of this, you should not give cats any kind of raw fish. Even if you want to give them a piece of salmon skin, it should be thoroughly cooked. This is because the raw meat is now highly likely to harbour salmonella and E.coli. These are enzymes that kill thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin in your cats. As a result, the deficiency causes neurological complications, and even causes convulsions. Some fish also have parasites that are likely to pass to your kitties when they eat the fish raw. 

Some cat guardians who are conscious about taurine deficiency in their cats may still think raw salmon is a better choice, but your cats are better off eating cooked chicken (that is not only safe from bacteria, but very high in protein too!) as they have more taurine than raw salmon. 

Canned Salmon

Canned salmon generally contains excessive salt that is unsafe for your cats to eat. Average cat needs only around 21 mg of sodium per day. Too much salt in their system can cause hypernatremia, which is an imbalance of electrolytes. When this happens, the brain cells shrink, which leads to spasms or worse, seizure.

Moreover, it lacks the required vitamins for cats. To make it worse, these heavily processed products are added with tons of additives and preservatives. In conclusion, there is nothing but harm in plate if you are thinking of still feeding canned salmon to your cat for the sake of it’s ‘healthy’ content. 

Smoked Salmon

food for cats

This variety presents a very similar issue as canned salmon. Smoked salmon is preserved using salt. So, they naturally have incredible sodium nitrate content that will be too hazardous for your cat’s body. Not only that, the curing process goes on for at least 8 hours, a decent time to destroy every little moisture in the fish. 

Cooked Salmon

Without seasonings (e.g. onions, leeks, garlic, or chives) or dressings (e.g. pepper, vinegar, or salt) that can make kitties sick, a well cooked salmon is the best as food for cats. Cooking this food for cats at low heat can retain the moisture and nutrients in it, on top of eliminating unwanted bacteria. So choose to boil, grill, poach or roast the fish instead of frying at high heat. 

While they are a healthy food for cats, salmon should not be a meal replacement. In fact, it should only be no more than 14% of your cat’s total calorie intake. Giving them this hearty treat once a week should be okay. If you are to give more than that, limit it to 3 servings per week.

Above that can get your cat to become addicted, therefore refusing any other food. So, since it should not be the major part of their diet in the first place, mix it with other nutritional food for cats we suggest in this article 😉

Some Precautions For All Cat Guardians

  • Remove the bones so your cats don’t choke on them. 
  • Observe your cats after first consumption for any hint of fish allergy. Even at the slightest sign (itchy eyes, skin, paws or tail, sneezing, diarrhea, vomiting, or trouble breathing), stop feeding promptly.

3. TUNA

food for cats

If you are seeking high protein and low carb food for your cat, then tuna is the answer! Tuna provides the essential omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which can help kitties’ skin and coat health, as well as improving inflammatory conditions like allergies, skin disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Cats are undeniably attracted to tuna, thanks to the strong smell and rich flavour of this fish. In fact, the taste is so blinding that cat guardians utilize it to feed their kitties medicine. However, what helps the bitterness to go down for kitty does not promise a long term health if taken more than a bite. Tuna by itself does not make up a balanced diet for cats. It has too high unsaturated fat. Eventhough it’s a good fat, consuming it regularly without antioxidants like Vitamin E to aid the imbalance can have your cat vulnerable to steatitis or pancreatitis. Therefore, tuna should never be the main food for cats.

Moreover, tuna has a lot of calories in one serving. A cat that weighs 5kg should only consume 290 calories per day. But just a few grams of tuna in water already reach 100 calories. As tuna is very appetizing, cats are more likely to eat too much of it. As a result, they gain weight easily. When reaching obesity, they are prone to diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, urinary disease, and inflammation. 

Not All Kitties’ Tummy Like Tuna

Surprise, surprise! Cats can also have fish allergy. In fact, it is one of the top for allergen on Merck Veterinary Manual. As we mentioned above, signs of allergy are itching, swollen or red skin, hair loss, and red bumps. Cats who experience food allergies will also have gassy stomach, diarrhea, vomit, and a loss of appetite when encountering any ingredient they are intolerant to. The moment you notice one of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately to find out the causes, thus able to create an efficient treatment plan.

Tuna Has More Mercury Than Other Fish

There is a lot of mercury in tuna, which is a toxic metal. It is okay to feed them as an occasional treat, but too much can pose a great danger to their health There will be build up in mercury and thus cause serious poisoning.

Canned Tuna

Although having similar health benefits as regular tuna, canned tuna has a little downside from its preservation process. Aside from that, canned tuna made from 100% fish, in water and not in oil nor added with salt or other flavourings (soy or vegetable broth), is the best choice. But rinse the tuna thoroughly once more before feeding. 

Tuna offered in cans usually are Skipjack, Yellowfin and Albacore. Opt for chunk-light tuna (Skipjack or yellowfin) only, as there is much lesser amount of mercury in it than bigger species like white tuna (albacore) that contains three times more mercury. However, keep in mind, if the food you are feeding them also has tuna in its ingredients, adding more of it will be a bit much. 

Fresh Or Raw Tuna

food for cats

ASPCA doesn’t list tuna as toxic food, but they do include raw meat. As discussed above, raw fish can be harmful to cats due to parasites, bacteria and enzymes inside it. By cooking your tuna, you can kill and destroy these bad boys. That is to say, serving fresh tuna is best when cooked.

In moderation, tuna is a healthy food for cats. They serve well as supplement with other food for cats we mention here. Another relatively safe way to feed tuna is by getting commercial wet cat food. This let them have their fill of tuna while getting the necessary nutrients needed.

It’s always better to talk to your vet before including tuna as food for your cats. When given the green light, do oblige by the guidelines which should not be more than 10 percent of a cat’s calorie intake per day. 

Similar to salmon, regular feeding of tuna can also have your cats losing interest in their healthier meal, which is, generally, less tastier than the mighty tuna. They will begin to turn away from the bowl and look up to you with doe eyes in hope you will give them the tasty bits. This picky eating habit won’t serve both you and them in the long run. To avoid this, make this a luxury food for them that is available only 2 to 3 times a week. 

4. BEEF

food for cats

Cats need meat daily to stay healthy because their body are designed specifically to absorb protein from animals. The good news is, beef can be another low-cost meat option for cats, thanks to its amazing protein content. Moreover, beef offers a wide range of vitamins, namely B vitamins, and vitamins D, E and K, as well as minerals such as selenium, zinc and iron. 

However, the leanest cut of it only already has visible fat. Although cats needs about 20 percent of fat in their daily diet, too much can cause obesity, diarrhea, heartburn, and indigestion. So, try to find the leanest beef and keep only a small cut of fat, drain the rest. 

Ground beef is affordable, friendly to cat’s digestion, and easy to prepare. Beef from organ meat is also okay, although it should only cover a small portion of kitty’s diet. Just make sure to avoid salt and any spice as their liver can’t tolerate it (Leftover beef from casserole is a no!). 

Raw Beef

food for cats

There are a few problems with feeding cats raw meat. Firstly, there is no guarantee that the meat in your local supermarket is free from parasites and pathogens. There is risk for food poisoning. While people still take the risk, cats shouldn’t, because unlike humans that can tell others when we are feeling unwell, cat’s can’t. Although you may notice they are a little tired than usual, you won’t immediately know why. And due to their nature to not show their vulnerability, it’s easy to miss the warning signs unless you pay close attention to their eating pattern. Generally, this is a small risk so long you get the raw beef from trusted sources, clean thoroughly, and refrigerate or freeze the meat properly. Most importantly, make sure that the raw beef is safe for human consumption as most of the time human-grade meat is fresh thus free from bacteria. 

Beef Jerky

Nowadays, beef jerky has been a savory treat for people all over the world. While it’s wonderful for humans to consume, it’s not so much for cats. It is cured purely in salt solution like soy or Worcestershire sauce, thus high in sodium. Giving your cat too much of this can put them in risk of sodium poisoning. This is a dire problem. Sodium poisoning causes dehydration. This in turn makes a cat very thirsty. The buildup of salt can also cause their legs to become wobbly. An extreme case can lead to permanent kidney damage. 

Beef jerky is also almost never plain. There’s always extra flavour like peppered, teriyaki or jalapeno. They are more harmful than delicious to cats, the ultimate culprit being the garlic they use for extra seasoning. Garlic is irrefutably harmful to cats, even lethal with high dose. 

Finally, the silica gel in beef jerky that helps to retain its freshness and dryness is dangerous. Worst case scenario, your cat might discover the little bag of beads and play with the new ‘toy’. Any subsequent ingestion is a promise of hazard. Even if you have no intention on feeding them this yummy smelling jerky, keep the packet as far aways as possible from your cats. 

In conclusion, beef jerky is a bad idea as a food for cats. But you can also try their alternative, dried fish, that is much safer for kitty’s consumption. Dried fish has no additives nor seasonings, which means much lesser sodium. Not only that, they contain amazing omega 3 and omega 6 that are wonderful for cat’s mobility and joint health! 

How To Prepare Your Kitty’s Beef

The beef should be sauteed to at least 63°C or to be considered meal-safe, whereas ground beef should be cooked to 74°C. By naked eyes, the meat is cat-friendly once it turns brown. You can also add cat-friendly vegetables and grains we suggest in this article in small amounts. 

How To Introduce Beef To Your Cat

Start with introducing small amounts so they can adjust to the new food. Put a bit on your finger and offer it for them to sniff. They might refuse it at first. When this happens, leave the food in a bowl within their vicinity. Most of the time curiosity tops skepticism, so they are most likely to have a taste test. If there is no allergy reaction and they seem to want more, you can give a little bit more next time. 

5. COOKED EGGS

food for cats

Eggs offer high nutrition for glossy fur and healthy claws. The taurine in an egg can help fend off dilated cardiomyopathy in cats, a heart disease caused by taurine insufficiency, while the amino acids it contains aid in maintaining their lean muscle. Provided that you give the fresh, most natural egg that isn’t genetically modified, this superfood promises tons of essential vitamins like B6, B12 and D, and minerals like copper, iron and zinc. 

But fully cooked egg is the sole way to make egg food for your cat. Undercooked or raw eggs may carry pathogenic organisms such as salmonella or e.coli, which can lead to critical gastrointestinal problems for kitties. Even cats that are on a raw diet should never eat raw, runny or soft eggs. Seeing how salmonella puts more than 1 million people between life and death every year, it is not worth the fatal risk to expose your family and pets to. 

How To Prepare Eggs For Your Cats

food for cats

The best way to prepare eggs for your cat is by frying, scrambling, boiling or poaching, without butter, salt, nor seasoning. Scrambled eggs in particular, makes it easier for cats to digest, consequently providing easier access to protein. Cats can be finicky eaters, but they also love variety by nature. But a sudden diet change can give cats fatty liver. So after washing your hands thoroughly, mix small pieces of the cool cooked eggs into their normal food. By disguising it, your cat can slowly adjust to the taste. As they grow a liking to new food, start substituting the cooked egg with their other treats. 

Eventhough eggs are rich with essential nutrients, your cat needs a balanced, healthy diet, so eggs should only be 10 percent supplement of their 200 calorie intake. Feeding them one egg everyday is a bit too much considering the aprox 100 calories in an egg, but once to twice a week should be fine. However, you should not give them the whole egg at once. Giving them around 1 tablespoon at a time would be best. For safety measures, chop them tiny to avoid your overexcited cat choking when wolfing the egg down without swallowing. 

Should I Feed My Kitten Eggs?

While it’s okay for kittens to consume eggs, this human food is particularly high in calories. As a kitten needs much less calorie than adult cats, it’s easy to overfeed them eggs, which may lead to nutrient imbalance. That is to say, it’s better to opt for other food for that can provide them a balanced nutrition at lower calorie.

Egg Whites

The whites in raw eggs contain avidin. This is a protein that, when eaten raw, can interrupt absorption complex B vitamins and biotin (B7). Progressively, it could cause vitamin deficiency. By cooking the egg white, it can significantly denatures the avidin, thus making it not only safe to ingest, but a wonderful source of protein. 

Egg Yolk

Cooked egg yolk serves extra protein, but the yolk is high in fat and cholesterol. Excessive fat in a cat’s body may cause GI upset, pancreatitis, or contribute more to obesity. Therefore, a cat with kidney issues or an already overweight cat should not eat it. 

Eggshells

The shells of an egg is a good source of calcium, a mineral important for your cat’s bone and ligaments. But they are less tasty. The right way to give them the eggshells is to first boil them completely, then grind until powdery before mixing them into your cat’s food. You should only give this once every few days. 

Egg Allergy

Cats are less likely to have an allergy toward egg, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Watch for any negative reaction on your cat after feeding the tiny portion of egg. Any signs of upset stomach, itching or infection on the ears may signal intolerance. 

6. RICE

food for cats

Cats have sensitive digestion by default. They can suffer from various digestive issues despite being overall healthy. Diarrhea especially, can cause another problem that is dehydration. Grain-free commercial cat foods don’t do much for their stools. Rice, however, works wonders. A small portion of moist and soft cooked rice with their normal food can help upset digestion, thus hardening the stools. But rather than depending on rice when kitty shows signs of digestive disorder, it’s best to call your vet and seek their advice, as there might be a case of serious health issue. 

Moreover, rice is non-toxic food for cats, so there won’t be any side effect if taken moderately. In fact, numerous cat food producers use grains like wheat, rice or corn as ‘filler’ to bulk out their products. That is to say, giving your cat a handful of cooked rice isn’t something new. 

Is Rice Bad For Cats?

Rice has tons of carbs that keep your cat alert and energetic. Despite this, cats depend on proteins to survive. Although rice has some protein, it’s not enough to cover your kitty’s overall needs. In other words, feeding too much rice on a daily basis may lead to malnourishment. As a result, this will severely affect your cats in the long run. Moreover, the frequent and excessive consumption will leave your cat gassy and bloated.

That is not to say you cannot feed rice to your cat daily. But if you do, make sure it doesn’t surpass 25 percent of their daily calorie intake, and that the rest of it is from animal proteins like fish, chicken or beef. 

Should I Feed Rice To My Kitten

You should not give rice to kittens. It is not beneficial for kittens as it is to adult cats. Kittenhood is a crucial time for proper developments. They need a huge amount of protein and other nutrients in order to grow well. Rice can seize these necessary nutrients, so giving it to kittens can only affect underdevelopment. Even a kitten with diarrhea should avoid rice. You should instead, take them to a vet who will provide a prescription with formula specific to kittens. 

White Rice Or Brown Rice?

Although the media gives white rice a bad rep, experts acknowledge that both white and brown rice have incredible health benefits, depending on the nutrients you seek from each. After all, they are the same exact rice. The only difference is, white rice is a result of the brown rice when we remove the hull, bran and germ. Brown rice is a white rice in full form, that we largely know as ‘wholegrain’. Whole grains are full of fiber and antioxidants, thus making them a preferable choice for health-conscious consumers, as well as the better choice if you are feeding them to help constipation in your cat. The naked white rice is naturally considered ‘empty calories’ due to its smaller nutritional value. But contrast to general perception, white rice is actually full of vitamins and minerals like folic acid and iron, often more than brown rice. 

So which one should we give as food for cats? As the recommended serving of rice is no more than a spoonful, feeding them white or brown rice won’t have any huge difference. However, giving both might be too many carbs that may lead to obesity or diabetes due to its tendency to easily raise blood sugar level. 

Things to keep note is each cat has different tolerance for different types of rice. While the fiber in brown rice can be helpful for cats, the thicker rice bran that surrounds its grain than white rice may present issues for some felines. Moreover, the bran makes it harder to digest, so for cats with vomiting issues, white rice is a better option. The serving portion is also important to consider as too much fiber may worsen diarrhea in cats. 

Uncooked Rice

Giving rice to your cats without cooking it is, to put it simply, a recipe for disaster. Firstly, it is not palatable. Secondly, it is hard to digest, so this can result in stomach pain. Above all, most uncooked rice contain lectin, a natural pesticide that can cause food poisoning. 

Having said that, uncooked rice is off limits for both young and adult cats. You should only serve thoroughly cooked boiled and plain rice, especially for issues like diarrhea that is caused by poor intestinal absorption. Dry cat food can hurt their gut further, but the bland rice benefits cats by providing nutrients without further upsetting their digestion. 

In conclusion, as cats don’t necessarily have nutritional needs for carbs or fiber, other than for occasional remedy during bouts of diarrhea or constipation, it’s completely fine to exclude rice from their diet. Cats are also picky, favouring certain textures and sizes more than the other, so whole-grains such as oats, whole-wheat breadcrumbs, or barley might be better. According to PetMD, these smaller pieces are easier on kitties’ digestion, on top of having more nutritional content. 

7. PUMPKIN

food for cats

Pumpkin is a superfood loaded with nutrients that benefit numerous bodily systems in cats. It is a great source of Vitamin A that helps in maintaining good vision and a healthy immune system. Pumpkin also has vitamin C as a cofactor for collagen synthesis, and vitamin E as a fat-soluble antioxidant as well as regulator for enzymatic activity. Next, there is beta-carotene that acts as an antioxidant to prevent damage on cells, calcium to support cytoplasmic functions and mineralize teeth and bone, iron that enhances cellular respiration, and finally, lutein that promotes healthier eyes, skin and coat.

These vitamins and minerals collectively may even reduce the chances of your cat developing cancer. But even with no pumpkin, so long as they eat an overall balanced diet, your cats will not have any deficiency. 

Moreover, pumpkin is rich in fiber. There is up to 5 grams of fiber per half a cup. Other than that, this fruit also contains a lot of moisture. The reason why you should include pumpkin as one of the food for your cat is due to its ability to control weight, stop diarrhea, prevent constipation, as well as treating hairballs

Fiber adds bulk, thus increasing the feeling of fullness with low calories. This can help in weight loss in overweight cats as it decreases the physiological need for more food. Pumpkin also has soluble fiber that absorbs excess water in kitty’s digestive tract, thus reducing diarrhea. Further, the high fiber content in pumpkin acts as a natural laxative that keeps the GI tract moving regularly. During constipation, however, the high fiber and water content hydrate the intestines and the dry stools, giving your kitten an incredible relief as soon as a couple hours later.The same mechanism also helps in relieving hairballs as the dietary fiber absorbs not only excess water but also stomach acid. This in turn helps move ingested fur through kitty’s digestive tract.

How Not To Feed Your Cat Pumpkin

food for cats

First of all, we’ll start with the don’t. Never feed your cat raw pumpkin! And when you do cook them, skip the stem as it is prickly with sharp little hairs that will be irritating the digestive tract, and the skin as it won’t digest well. Secondly, do not feed the soft gooey pulp in the center of your pumpkin, nor any kind of pumpkin that is full of additives, spices, sugar or fillers. Thirdly, do not use any milk to smoothen the consistency as cats are lactose intolerant, which means the dairy can upset their tummy. Last but not least, it is not safe to feed Jack-O-Lantern that’s already cut and left out. Bacteria and molds may have grown on these pumpkins. This may lead to ailments in cats. 

Feed Pumpkin To Your Cat Correctly!

Now that we have put aside the danger, let’s focus on do’s. Using an organic canned pumpkin with no additives, spices, sugar or fillers (No pie filling!) is by far the easiest way to integrate pumpkin in your cat’s diet. You can also simply buy a whole pumpkin and bake the fresh pumpkin until soft. After removing the seeds, let the pumpkin cool before feeding.

Natural pumpkin juice is perfectly safe for cats to consume. You get this by using the liquids from the unsweetened canned pumpkin or straining your own homemade pumpkin juice. Mix it in a tiny amount into kitty’s food, as too much of it may lead to indigestion, diarrhea or vomiting. 

You can feed fresh pumpkin seeds to cats, but clean and roast it at 177°C for an hour without adding any salt or spices. Then, grind the seeds before adding them to your cat’s food. Provided that you keep them appropriately, the roasted pumpkin seeds can last until 3 weeks.

How Much Pumpkin Does My Cat Need?

Usually cats find pumpkin tasty and enjoyable. But if they don’t, you can try mixing the pumpkin into their wet high protein food. You should also pay attention to the frequency and firmness of your cat’s stools after eating the pumpkin, as this best represents their GI tract activity. Too much pumpkin will destabilize it, so you will be able to catch this quickly by observing overdose signs like larger, orangey stools with pudding-like firmness. 

The most important thing is to take the process slowly. Giving too much the first time may cause your cat an upset stomach due to the shock on their system, and for obese cats, rapid weight loss makes them susceptible to alarming liver condition. 

For adult cats, half to one teaspoon of pumpkin per day should be enough. As for the seeds, start small at 1/16 before going up to ⅛ teaspoon. You should only venture for a bigger portion after getting an approval from your vet. For kittens, divide the ratio above by two. 

This is only a recommendation. Do discuss further with a veterinarian before feeding your cat, especially for kitties with illness such as acute kidney disease and diabetes. For case of diarrhea, if your cat still defecates watery stools after 24 hours despite consuming Pumpkin, bring them to the vet immediately.

Preserve Your Pumpkin!

Fresh or canned, pumpkin will spoil if it sits in a room temperature for too long. If you make a big batch, portion them into ice cube trays and place in the fridge to freeze, only defrosting the cube that you need during kitty’s feeding time. 

Remember to not overdo the pumpkin! Cats are carnivores. You cannot make pumpkin the main ingredient in their diet nor should it be a substitute for meat.

8. SPINACH

food for cats

Spinach is popular in the recipes of various premium cat food. Although cats are carnivores, they also need small servings of vegetables. Spinach can provide the essential nutrients for them. But it is not substantial for you to replace with meat. 

Aside from being beneficial for cats’s furballs, there are many other advantages spinach serve. It is rich in vitamin A, C, E, K1, B2 and B6 even in the smallest portion. Moreover, this vegetable is also high in magnesium, calcium, potassium and folate, all of which are vital for cats wellbeing. Spinach provides a decent amount of insoluble fiber in comparison to other green leaves, while still developing good digestive health, especially for cats with constipation. A small portion of spinach moves through their stomach and helps with digestion. Next, spinach has a low calorie, that with fiber content in it, aids in weight management. Finally, spinach contains Omega-3 fatty acids, though it is relatively lower than any fish, but beneficial all the same.

Spinach helps prevent cancer. There are two compounds in spinach, namely MGDG and SQDG, that aid in slowing down growth of cancer cells. The high amount of antioxidants in spinach also helps in fending off oxidative stress that contributes to premature aging. 

Thirdly, the abundance of nitrates in spinach regulate blood pressure and prevent debilitating heart disease. This condition is hard to treat. Not only that, it opens a door to more severe complications. By offering your cat spinach, the assimilated nitrate can significantly keep their blood pressure in check, thus decreasing the risk of decreasing the likelihood of developing heart disease. 

The ultimate benefit of making spinach food for your cats is its ability to boost eyesight. Carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein in spinach improve vision by blocking the development of macular degeneration or cataract, two primary conditions that lead to feline blindness. That is to say, eating spinach can give reversing effect, thus improving vision of cats with an eye condition. 

Spinach Can Be Bad For Some Cats

While it’s not specifically toxic, in some cases, spinach may worsen pre-existing health issues in cats, like urinary tract infection and kidney problems. This green contains calcium oxalate. It can form harmful crystals in your cat’s urinary tract that will likely bring about further complications. Even if your cat has fully recovered, spinach might give more harm to them than good. Cats with sensitive stomach should also avoid eating spinach. On the other hand, a perfectly healthy kitty won’t have any side effects from consuming small amounts of spinach.

Can I Give My Kitten Spinach?

Although it is not definitively harmful, the advice for this is a distinct no. Unlike adult cats, kittens are still developing. This naturally means they are vulnerable. Kittens should only be drinking milk from their mother, or a specially formulated kitten milk or food which is a guarantee 100% safe for them. 

Baby Spinach Or Mature Spinach?

Studies indicate that mature spinach has lower oxalates that baby spinach, so the former is the best as food for cats.

Raw Spinach

The issue with raw spinach is the oxalate it contains as it may form crystals in the urinary tract, as well as posing a risk for kidney stone. Your cat may also be suffering with undiagnosed health concerns, so feeding them raw spinach is in short, unsafe. 

Cooked Spinach 

food for cats

Cooking fresh spinach is definitely the best way to prepare them for your cats. By steaming or boiling them, the nutrients can stay intact while the bacterias die away. While following these two alternatives, see to it that you never add salt, pepper, spices or any other seasonings as they are all dangerous for kitties. However, avoid giving them fried spinach as it has unsafe fats that are bad for cats. And make sure you wash the spinach in clean water thoroughly to rid of any aerosol residues or debris from the leaves. Remember to also remove tough stems, as kitties might choke on them. 

Watch Out For Allergy And Addiction!

As with other food for cats, there is always risk of allergic reactions. Like hoomans, our furry friends are susceptible to different forms of allergies, namely nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash. If your cat experiences any of these problems, stop feeding them spinach promptly. You will also want to be wary of any sign of addiction, as this is not fairly perilous, since spinach should only be an occasional treat at small portions. This means there will be adverse effects on every subsequent consumption.

food for cats

Increasing the amount of spinach given to your cat is no closer to being more nutritious. You should not substitute them with animal proteins as a primary food. Furthermore, excessive consumption of it may lead to indigestion, or worse, oxalate poisoning. A healthy amount to mix with their food should only be a leaf or two. Spinach is also no miracle food. You should still keep a balanced diet for your cat, instead of depending on it as a supplement. 

9. CANTALOUPE (Rockmelon, Sweet melon, or panspek)

food for cats

Cucumis melo is rich with vitamin A, B6, and C, potassium, folate, and niacin, while having a low calorie content, as well as being an amazing source of dietary fiber and water that aid digestion, thus preventing dehydration and constipation. More particularly, both vitamin A and C offer incredible health benefits for cats. The antioxidants in them destroy free radicals, which is effective at slowing down kitty’s aging process, promoting healthy cell function, even reducing the risk of threatening diseases. 

Cantaloupe has amino acid volatiles, proteins that when vaporized, give the melon an aroma similar to meat for a felines’ nose. This makes them attracted to this fruit despite not being able to detect sweetness, eventhough the quantities of amino acids in melon is much smaller than meat. But as much as cantaloupe is bizarrely tantalizing to these obligate carnivores, is it a food for cats?

Is Cantaloupe Dangerous For Cats?

It is generally safe for most cats to consume cantaloupe. However, it is high in sugar. Although it’s a natural sugar, too much will lead to various issues like weight gain or diabetes. It’s easy for cats to overdo this fruit due to its meat-like scent. Cat guardians should especially be wary if your pets are already suffering these health issues. Cats with sensitive stomach are also not suitable for this variety of melon fruits in their diet. 

Next, Cantaloupe contains a tough, fibrous outer skin, that if cats consume, may lead to huge problems such as gastrointestinal upset, or choking hazard when they are unable to chew and swallow it. The rind also may contain bacteria, pesticides and other harmful chemicals that will make your cat sick if they lick it. That is to say, keep the outside skin far away from their reach when preparing with your furry friends around. 

How Can I Feed Cantaloupe To My Cat?

Before you offer the cantaloupe, refer to a vet as they are able to provide professional guidance on feeding individual animals based on their specific needs. 

Cleaning the cantaloupe is the most crucial step. Wash and rub the outer skin thoroughly to rid of pesticides and bacteria. Then, cut the melon open in half. You need to remove the seeds as although they’re relatively harmless, there is a risk of your cat possibly choking on them. Then, for obvious reasons, take off the rind. Finally, slice the naked cantaloupe into 1 to 2 cm cubes.

When introducing even a food as healthy as cantaloupe, it’s a good idea to start with a few tiny pieces so you are able to observe for indication of unfavourable reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or diminished appetite.

10. BANANA

food for cats

This tropical fruit is full of vitamins and minerals. Bananas have a considerable amount of potassium that helps a cat’s health by aiding both heart and kidneys. They are also folate-rich. This folic acid helps metabolize proteins in their body and builds new cells. Most importantly, bananas provide ample amounts of fiber which makes a cat regular. 

A small amount of them every once in a while is safe as a food for cats, but too much potassium can be as dangerous as its deficiency, and excessive fiber may lead to diarrhea. Moverover, a sugar-filled diet can contribute to weight gain. The constant spike of blood sugar levels will also increase risk of diabetes. You should avoid feeding them bananas if your cat is already suffering from these ailments, or if they are old, as elder cats are easier to develop diabetes.  

Although felines are not able to taste sweet flavour due a lack of genetic need, they generally can eat a banana. However, it’s their system that struggles to process plant-based foods. Cats do not have enough of the enzymes used for digestion, so there should be less than 2 percent of sugars and carbs in their diet. On the whole, cats with a high quality and balanced diet do not need any additional supplementation from bananas aside from the occasional fiber that benefits their stools. 

Can I Feed My Kitten Banana?

While adult cats can consume bananas as a treat, kittens should only have specially-formulated food that has high levels of protein, magnesium, calcium and other important nutrients that are crucial for their development. However, you may introduce a tiny portion towards the end of their first 12 months. 

How Do I Offer My Cat A Banana?

First of all, ditch the inedible peel, as your cat can choke on it, on top of the peel upsetting their digestive tract when ingested. Next, cut the banana into 1 to 2 cm pieces, small enough for your cats to bite. Finally, let them taste a piece, and watch closely for any allergic reaction moments after eating. If symptoms such as itchiness, rash, swelling, or wheezing are present, bring them to the vet immediately, as it may be as bad as their throat closing. 

Introducing a very small amount of the banana is also very crucial, because cats have a sensitive digestive system. As they are not used to this new type of food, they may get an upset stomach afterwards. So, considering this sweet fruit is not a match to them, we want to make sure they suffer the least damage. 

Why Are Cats Afraid Of Bananas?

food for cats

There are copious online videos that depict cats bolting for their life at the sight of bananas. The culprit might be the peel itself. It produces ethyl acetate, a smile that felines find repulsive. On the positive note, cat guardians can use this as cat repellent by rubbing the peels against your furniture to discourage kitties from scratching on them. 

Another likely explanation is the size of long fruits and vegetables that resembles a snake at a glimpse, which startles a cat at the unexpected ‘predator attack’. Nevertheless, we do not recommend finding entertainment through scaring your furry babies in this way. While many may find it amusing, this is extremely stressful for a cat, which is not favourable for their welfare. 

11. CARROTS

food for cats

This popular vegetable appears in 26 percent of canned cat food and in 33 percent of dry cat foods. Aside from the fiber in carrots that help in giving volume to the food, why do you think manufacturers love this particular food for cats so much?

This is because carrots contain a lot of beta-carotene. When ingested, this antioxidant converts into vitamin A, one of the vitamins important in a cat’s diet for strong vision. For kitties who are suffering from cataracts, making carrots a staple of their sustenance will help in clearing it and improve their eyesight. Not only that, this orange taproot also has several vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, K1, potassium. They are especially rich in fiber that helps keep your cat regular in their litter box. 

Although vegetables are not part of their carnivorous diet requirement, carrot is safe as a food for cats. However, having too many carbs of natural sugar may lead to digestive or diabetes issues in the long run. Further, cats do not digest beta carotene in carrots as well as hoomans, so unless you include additional supplement, the vitamin A from carrots is not enough for their nutritional needs. That is to say, other than as an occasional treat, which is much healthier than packaged cat treats, you should never use carrots as a meal replacement as they lack vital nutrients for a feline’s balanced diet. 

Can I Give Carrots To My Kitten?

At a small amount, carrots are beneficial for kittens or a still growing cat, due to the vitamin A that their body stores and uses for cell reproduction and growth. 

How To Introduce Carrot To Your Cat Safely

Cats love consistency, so some can be very specific about what they eat, thus not liking changes in their diet. Moreover, as cats lack the taste receptors for anything sweet, they are less likely to have an addiction to the flavour itself, but they may enjoy the texture, as they do with other vegetables. That said, you should first seek approval from your vet before giving a test taste to your cat. Once you get the green light, we can start preparing to cook!

Why cook you ask? This is because, although raw carrots aren’t necessarily toxic to our furry friends, the rough texture of uncooked vegetables can become hazardous to cats when kitties choke on them. So when it comes to feeding cats carrots, you should always cook them first, as this will not only make chewing them easier, but it will also get rid of remaining chemicals or pesticides on the outside of the carrot. 

Steps To Prepare The Carrots

Firstly, peel the carrots thoroughly; you may choose to remove or not remove the top of the carrot. Then, chop them up into bite-size pieces. As vegetables lose a fraction of their nutrients when cooked, cutting them small can actually keep more nutrients in on top of allowing your cats to swallow easily. Next, boil the carrots without adding any seasonings, or if you roast them, never coat the carrots with oils or spices, as these common flavourings can be lethal to felines. 

After fully cooked, let the soft carrots cool to room temperature. Finally, you can feed them without worrying about any potential choking events, though still keep a close watch for any allergy reaction. If none, then your cat is most likely enjoying the incredible benefits of the orange vegetable! You may also experiment with different textures by mashing and pureeing, see which they prefer best 😉

12. PEAS

food for cats

While most cats do not find veggies appealing, some love them! Cat guardians are probably anxious to see your furry friends munching on some peas, knowing that their digestive system is not made to process anything other than meat. But fret not, these vegetables are undoubtedly safe for cats to eat and enjoy. More particularly, garden pea is an excellent source of vitamin B1, C and K. Aside from this, snow peas and sugar peas also have tons of minerals like potassium, iron, manganese, and copper. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory content in these nutrients help ward off many diseases, added with phytonutrients in peas that offer a lot of health benefits.

Most importantly, peas are rich with fiber at low calorie, making them a good choice of food to opt for smooth stools, on top of helping kitties manage their body weight. In fact, peas are included in a lot of commercial cat foods for this very reason. 

Can I Feed My Kitten Peas?

Although giving your kitten a pea or two is less likely to harm them, it’s not a good idea to incorporate these vegetables in their daily life. As they are still growing, kittens have very different dietary requirements than adult cats. It is very critical for them to get a proper diet, which is preferably from a high quality kitten food. 

However, feeding kittens a variety of healthy foods with various textures will make them more accepting of new kinds of food when they’re older. This is why some vets encourage you to feed kittens a mix of wet and dry food. This will get them used to different taste and textures, thus less likely to be picky as adults!

How Can I Feed My Cats Peas?

Cats should only eat fresh cooked or frozen peas, just make sure to warm the frozen peas until soft enough for kitties to chew. However you prepare it, the peas must not be remotely salted nor seasoned. To avoid any case of gastrointestinal complications, bland vegetables are always the best choice. 

Peas are made of sugar and starch, which contribute to their sweetness and starchy texture. Giving them more than a tablespoon may lead to negative side effects for their gut health, thus causing vomiting or diarrhea. Despite the small serving size, it is crucial to start slow. After boiling or steaming in water, mixing several cooked peas in their food is a great way to introduce the new food. However, do observe and wait for any possible allergy reaction. Provided you see some signs, stop feeding the peas promptly and consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Remember, you should not make peas a replacement food for your cat. Instead, they should only have peas as a treat, not more than 3 times a week, and that too every few days. After all, cats are not herbivores. Like their feline family in the wild, they nominally hunt for animals, not plants 😂

If you are still insisting on giving raw protein to your cat despite our clarification, do consult your vet first thing, before venturing for a raw diet, as they will provide you the best recommendation for a responsible raw-feeding. This is very critical for a cat’s balanced diet and long term health. It is also due to the fact that even tiny changes in a cat’s diet can lead them to an upset tummy. Your vet might also explain further on the safety caution for both owner and pet, so it will be beneficial for the whole family too!

While it’s perfectly okay to turn these hooman’s food for cats, avoid feeding them at the table. Doing so can encourage them to jump on the table while you’re cooking, eating and cleaning up the dining table, which we’re sure doesn’t sound appealing to most cat guardians. Instead, place their meal in a small dish, and give kitty the treat after your meal and when you’re done cleaning up. By doing so, they will not associate the kitchen time with food 🍽


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Hepicheek is a home-based cat boarding that focuses on giving the best care for furry friends in our safe haven 🏡 In the years to come, we aim to provide a foster home for stray cats in need on top of helping busy owners caring for their pets ❤️️

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