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What Foods Can Cats Eat? Here’s What Experts Say!
As an experienced pet owner, you know that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require animal-based proteins in their daily diet for good health.
However, these animals can also safely consume other foods besides meat if you feed them as a treat in moderation.
What foods can cats eat? While your fur babies are fussy eaters, they may always be interested in what you consume and beg for a piece.
Thus, you must learn about a safe and nutritious diet for your four-legged companions to avoid potential health issues.
What do cats eat? It's time to scroll down this article to discover cat-friendly foods. Let's get started!
What Foods Can Cats Eat?
Besides commercial cat foods, felines can eat human foods like meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, dog foods, and nuts in moderation.
Healthy cats mostly get nutritional benefits from specially formulated commercial cat foods.
Felines are obligate carnivores. Also, they have special requirements for their regular diet.
Their diet should include at least 70% animal-based proteins to remain healthy. Otherwise, they may suffer from protein deficiency.
What human food can cats eat? You can occasionally introduce these foods to your pets, but they should never be regular treats.
Moreover, providing your cats with various foods can help them avoid nutrient deficiency.
What can cats eat? Let's take a closer look at the list of expert-recommended options below.
Can cats eat meat? The short answer is Yes! As mentioned above, felines require meat in their daily diet.
Pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, and beef are delicious foods cats can eat. Keep reading to know their health benefits and considerations!
You can add pork to your pet's diet. If your fur babies haven't tried this meat, introduce it slowly and observe their reaction.
The main problem with serving pork to your kitties is its high-fat content. It will result in weight gain if consumed too much.
Therefore, you should only serve pork for cats as an occasional treat with the leanest pieces.
Moreover, the sodium content in pork is relatively high, which may cause health problems with large amounts.
Most commercial cat foods include chicken as one of their primary ingredients.
Besides, most felines love chicken. Your cat's health may benefit from eating chicken.
However, avoid feeding your four-legged friends too much cartilage or skin because these parts can cause weight gain.
Moreover, never provide seasoned chicken for your cats. Otherwise, the extra ingredients will lead to serious health problems.
This protein option is safe for your felines if you feed them a small amount.
Generally, lamb is relatively fatty, so it is better to offer it in moderation and less regularly.
Besides, cook this meat properly and remove the fat before feeding your cats.
Like chicken, your cats won't encounter any health issues when you feed them the turkey, but you must still consider some points.
Avoid turkey skin and dark meat since they are fatty and may cause weight gain and digestive problems.
It's best to select fresh and skinless turkey and cook it appropriately without seasoning.
Most importantly, never offer processed turkey for your pets as it contains salt, saturated fat, and preservatives, which affect your cat's health.
This meat is among the most decent proteins to feed your four-legged companions.
Beef contains many vital amino acids and nutrients your felines require to stay healthy.
Furthermore, it's advisable to provide your pets with lean meat. It means it should contain no seasonings or oil.
Generally, feeding your pets meat is safe if you cook and serve them without seasonings and sauces.
Additionally, you must cook meat well to kill potential bacteria and viruses to ensure your pet's health.
Can cats eat seafood? The short answer is yes! Felines love seafood. You can occasionally feed your fur babies with a fishy snack.
It would be best if you never offered raw seafood for your cats because it contains thiaminase, which will destroy a vital B vitamin for felines.
If you are unsure which seafood to give your pets, consider the following cat-friendly options:
According to experts, tuna is an excellent option for felines with omega-3 fatty acids, which benefits joints, brain health, and eyesight.
You can allow your fur babies to eat fresh or canned tuna. However, avoid providing the fish with salt or seasonings, as it's dangerous for your pets.
You can watch this video for a homemade recipe with tuna for your kitties:
Another decent protein source with several vitamins for your four-legged friends is salmon.
If you decide to provide salmon for your cats, ensure you cook it properly.
Avoid smoking or mixing it with spices and herbs because it will cause digestive problems.
Besides, it's not a good idea to feed your felines canned salmon because this product contains excessive preservatives and salt, which leads to health issues.
Sardines can bring various nutrients for your kitties. However, always cook sardines before serving them to your cats.
Also, it would be best never to feed them smoked sardines due to their high sodium content.
Furthermore, let your felines eat this seafood in moderation since the fat content is relatively high, which can cause weight gain.
Sardines may contain toxins and heavy metals. These substances are dangerous to your pet's health. Thus, serve them as a regular treat in a small amount.
It's entirely safe to provide shrimp for your pets occasionally as a treat since this seafood is low in calories but high in protein.
Besides, shrimp is high in Omega 3, zinc, vitamin B12, and copper. However, they may contain cholesterol and sodium.
Before feeding shrimp to your fur babies, cook them without salt, seasonings, and oil.
Moreover, remember to remove the shrimp's digestive tract because of its unpleasant taste.
It's advisable to avoid processed and canned shrimp as these products contain extra ingredients that are dangerous for your kitties.
Octopuses are high in copper, zinc, and iron, making them an excellent treat to serve your four-legged friends.
Ensure you provide your felines with fresh and well-cooked octopuses. It's safe to treat your cats to this seafood in moderation occasionally.
What fruit can cats eat? The answer is yes! While these animals are obligate carnivores, you can feed them cat-friendly fruits to add vitamins to their diet.
Here are some types of fruits that are safe for your fur babies to consume:
This type of fruit is rich in vitamin A and C. It's best to serve apples without seeds because they can contain cyanide, which causes problems if consumed in large amounts.
Moreover, avoid fermenting apples. These things can be high in ethanol levels, which leads to toxicity in your felines.
See more: Catimages
Your four-legged companions may want to try these fruits. Bananas also offer fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium.
However, bananas are relatively high in sugar content. So, serve them occasionally and in moderation.
This type of fruit is a good fiber and vitamin C source with low sugar content.
Moreover, raspberries' slight anti-inflammatory effect can benefit older felines with rigid joints.
That said, raspberries contain xylitol. If consumed in large amounts, it's fatal to your pets. Thus, only feed this fruit in small quantities.
Pears can offer vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Your cats may love them due to their bland flavors.
However, pear seeds may contain cyanide. Thus, remove them before serving this fruit to your fur babies.
This type of fruit is abundant in minerals and vitamins. However, strawberries may contain high sugar content.
Therefore, it's best to provide strawberries to your pets in moderation as an occasional treat.
If you let your cats follow calorie-controlled diets, you should avoid feeding them these fruits excessively.
Can cats eat vegetables? Yes! Adding some vegetables to your cat's nutrition is entirely appropriate.
However, avoid feeding kittens certain veggies like onions and garlic because they are poisonous and can significantly affect their health.
Here are some of the best vegetables for your felines:
This type of veggie is tasty and safe for your fur babies to consume. It's simple to cook and abundant in antioxidants.
Roughage, which is present in broccoli, aids in healthy digestion and improves bowel motions for your cat.
These vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins. They contain vitamin A, vital to maintain good health for your pets.
While carrots can be a good snack, you should only serve them in moderate quantities.
Furthermore, it's not a good idea to provide carrots for your kitty suffering from calcium oxalate bladder crystals in its urine due to oxalates.
Zucchinis are among the best veggies to aid in weight loss in felines. They are rich in vitamins C, B6, fiber, and calcium, while they have low calories.
It would help if you finely chopped and steamed zucchini to include them in your pet's daily meals. Otherwise, you can mash them for the puree to feed your cats.
These veggies can be anti-inflammatory and provide minerals and vitamins for your four-legged companions.
That said, feeding your feline spinach in small amounts is advisable because of its high calcium oxalate volume, which causes severe urinary tract problems.
Peas are among the healthiest veggie options for kitties to eat. Also, they are popular ingredients in premium commercial cat foods.
Peas additionally bring nutrients like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. You can mash them or mix them into their regular food.
Can cats eat dog food? The answer is yes! Allowing your cats to eat dog food in tiny quantities is acceptable.
However, cats and dogs belong to different species. Thus, they don't have similar nutritional requirements.
Don't feed your felines dog food long-term, as it can lead to complications and other health issues.
#1. Ingredient Differences
Dog food and cat food are formulated differently. Dog food typically contains more carbohydrates, which cats do not require.
On the other hand, cat food includes higher protein and fat levels, which are crucial for your pet’s health.
Also, feeding your kitties with dog food may cause digestive problems or obesity.
#2. Taste Differences
Cats and dogs have different tastes and preferences. Dog food may not appeal to cats, and they may refuse to eat it.
Providing your felines with these foods can cause a loss of appetite. As a result, it can lead to health issues.
#3. Nutritional Requirements
Cats have different nutritional requirements compared to dogs. Cats are obligate carnivores. It means they require a high-protein diet with nutrients such as taurine and arginine.
These nutrients are not present in dog food in the amounts cats need. Feeding your cat with dog food can lead to malnutrition and other health problems.
Can cats eat nuts? Yes! But not all nuts are safe for your felines to consume.
Cats require a diet with proteins. Nuts also contain dietary proteins, minerals, and vitamins with crunchy textures.
Gradually introducing them to their diet is essential to avoid your cat having trouble digesting too many nuts.
Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts are a few seed varieties that cats can consume without getting sick.
Moreover, offering fresh nuts for your pets would be best. Avoid salted options because salt will make your cats suffer from health issues.
Besides, only let your fur babies eat these nuts as an occasional treat in tiny amounts.
Nuts shouldn't make up over ten percent of the daily dietary consumption for your pet.
Now, you've got the answer to the question, "What food can cats eat?"!
What Fruits Can Cats Not Eat?
Some fruits are safe for your pets. However, others may be dangerous and cause health issues.
Here are some fruits that cats should avoid:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Citrus Fruits
Can Cats Eat All Vegetables?
No! While cats can eat some vegetables, not all are safe for them. Therefore, before feeding any new food to your kitties, it is essential to consult your vet.
What Fresh Food Can Cats Eat?
What can cats eat besides cat food? Several fresh foods are not only safe for cats to eat but can also provide essential nutrients, such as:
- Cooked Meat
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Dairy Products
Can Cats Eat Only Plants?
The short answer is no! Felines require vital nutrients that animal meat can give them because they have poor digestion and can't get them from plants.
Can Cats Have Chocolate?
Never feed your kitties chocolate because it contains theobromine and caffeine. These substances may cause death if consumed in large amounts.
What Foods Can Cats Not Eat?
Here are some foods that you should avoid feeding your cats:
- Onions and Garlic
- Grapes and Raisins
- Dairy Products
- Raw Meat and Fish
In A Nutshell
In conclusion, cats can eat various foods, including cooked meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, dog foods, and nuts.
However, you must ensure you feed them cat-friendly food in moderation to avoid potential allergens or toxic foods.
Moreover, consult your veterinarian before you add anything to your cat's daily diet. A balanced diet can improve your cat's extended life and good health!