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Can Cats Eat People Food?

We cats are curious creatures, exploring our surroundings and perhaps your food. Sometimes our people also give us treats or tastes from the table, which makes us happy. But we don’t have the same digestive system as humans or dogs. 

 Cats are carnivores, which means we must eat meat; our bodies simply require it. Dogs are considered scavenging carnivores, which means they are primarily meat eaters — but they can survive on plants alone if necessary. Humans are omnivores. You are neither carnivore nor herbivore but are adaptable and can survive by eating what is available. 

What’s that wonderful smell in the morning? I think you call it bacon. Technically yes, cats can eat bacon. Our typical sleeping schedule of 16 to 20 hours per day doesn’t leave much time for us to burn off the high calories. The bigger concern is that bacon contains a lot of sodium and fat (the same goes for other processed meats), which is no better for us than it is for you. Verdict- bacon is okay as an occasional treat.

Kit KatSome other meats that might be a better choice? Tuna is a great treat for your cat (we love it!). It should not be the primary food we eat, as we need other foods to get the nutrition we need. Chicken is usually just fine for us- either raw or cooked (if it doesn’t have many spices added). Pork and beef are okay, but only in small amounts (and lean pieces are best). 

You’ve seen cats enjoying a saucer of milk on TV, in cartoons, art, and books? Did you know that most cat breeds are lactose-intolerant? We have a hard time digesting anything that is milk-based. So, while small bits of cheese are probably okay as a treat, avoid giving us milk, yogurt, or ice cream.

There are human foods that are toxic or deadly to us. Cats cannot have any member of the onion family (i.e. onions, garlic, chives, etc.). Grapes and grape products are toxic to cats. Your cat cannot eat chocolate at all. Most cats recognize chocolate as being toxic and will rarely try to eat it on our own. Eggs should be avoided, although occasional small amounts probably won’t hurt your cat. Peanut butter ingredients won’t hurt your cat, but the consistency of it might as it is a choking hazard. Bread is okay if it is not heavy in yeast. Consuming too much yeast can mess with your cat’s stomach.

food gd4a0887dc 1280I would suggest you limit the people food, occasionally giving your cat only things you know are safe. We can be picky and finicky (sure, that stereotype is probably accurate), so you might need to vary our food.  The basis of our diet should be high-quality commercial cat food that is appropriate for our life stage and health status.  A balance of wet and dry food is preferable. Of course, always have fresh water available. If in doubt, ask for advice from your veterinarian. 

 

anna

 

 

My name is Anna, and I have been at Second Chance a long time, and no one here seems to know why. I’m really a perfect cat. I’m not bragging when I say I’m absolutely beautiful. I have a mahogany-colored coat and beautiful eyes. I’m petite, sweet, and would love to be in my forever home. 

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet or to learn about adopting a homeless pet and the SCHS spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services at adoptmountainpets.org.

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