11 Human Foods That Are Safe to Feed to Your Cat
Do you ever want to treat your cat to a dinner or snack of something other than kibble or canned cat food? Some pet owners give their feline family members a little saucer of milk, but you might be surprised to know that isn’t a good idea. The truth is that many cats are lactose intolerant, so drinking milk leads to an upset stomach, diarrhea, and other unpleasant effects.
The good news is that there are plenty of safe options for humans who want to share their food with their cats. From watermelon to a cheesy treat, here are some of the foods your cat can safely enjoy!
Keep in mind that all foods on this list should be given in small amounts. Also, it never hurts to run any dietary changes by your vet just to be on the safe side.
Can Cats Eat Watermelon?
Who doesn’t love watermelon on a hot summer day? Your cat probably will, and it’s a treat that’s generally safe for him to enjoy—but moderation is key. Since fruit isn’t naturally part of a cat’s diet, the sugar can lead to health issues in your cat. Watermelon (or any fruit) should never be given in place of a meal. Instead, offer a very small piece or two as an occasional treat. Also, always make sure seeds are completely removed to eliminate the danger of choking.
Can Cats Eat Salmon?
Absolutely! In fact, salmon is the main ingredient in many quality commercial cat foods. While cats in the wild eat raw salmon, that is not recommended for your domesticated kitty. Make sure the fish is thoroughly cooked and then let your feline friend enjoy her salmon and get a dose of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Can Cats Eat Bananas?
Bananas are a safe and healthy treat for your cat, but they need to be given in small amounts like all the items on this list. Your cat shouldn’t eat a banana—or even half a banana. Instead, just give her a small slice from your banana. Don’t be surprised if your cat turns her nose up at your offering. Just like people have different tastes, so do cats.
Can Cats Eat Cheese?
Many cats are lactose intolerant, which is why you shouldn’t give them milk. Still, certain cheeses are OK to give to your cat as a treat now and then. Avoid soft cheeses and instead offer hard options, such as cheddar. You can offer small bits of cheese as a treat or even bake the cheddar into homemade cat treats that your pet is sure to love.
Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
You might be surprised to learn that some premium commercial cat foods include blueberries. This fruit is also a delicious treat for your cat, and it’s easy to just toss her one or two without making a mess. You can even keep a few in the freezer so your feline friend can have a frozen treat on a hot summer day.
Can Cats Eat Tuna?
Yes, cats can eat tuna, but you should opt for tuna packed in water rather than oil. Some pet owners use tuna to stimulate the appetite of a cat who isn’t feeling well, but it can also occasionally be given as a special meal in place of canned food. You should not, however, use tuna as a regular meal replacement. That’s because tuna doesn’t contain all of the nutrients your cat needs.
Can Cats Eat Oatmeal?
Cats can eat oatmeal. Like some other foods on this list, it is an ingredient in many commercial cat foods. While your cat can eat oatmeal, the question may be will he want to eat oatmeal. Unlike tuna, which most cats will happily devour, oatmeal is more of an acquired taste. Start small to see if your cat is interested before adding oatmeal as part of your pet’s regular diet.
Can Cats Eat Turkey?
Cats can eat turkey, and this lean protein is an excellent choice for a snack. Opt for cooked turkey breast that has not been seasoned. The fewer seasonings, the less chance for there to be something that upsets your cat’s digestive system. While it’s not necessarily unsafe to give your cat deli meat, that type of turkey does have a lot of sodium, so it’s best avoided.
Can Cats Eat Spinach?
For most cats, spinach is fine, but there is one notable and important exception: If your cat has ever had calcium oxalate bladder stones, you should not give him spinach. Aside from that, adding vitamin-rich spinach to your cat’s food or serving it as a treat is a healthy option.
Can Cats Eat Eggs?
Cats can eat eggs, but they should always be cooked as raw eggs carry the risk of food-borne illnesses. As with other food on this list, eggs are found in commercial cat foods, including some grain-free options. When given in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced feline diet, eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins and protein.
Cat Cats Eat Peas?
Cats can eat peas frozen or raw, but be sure to only feed peas and not the pods. You can introduce the food slowly by adding a couple of peas to your cat’s food and gradually increase to the amount recommended by your veterinarian. This gives your cat’s digestive system a chance to adjust to a new food.
That tip to slowly introduce new foods isn’t just for peas; it’s a good idea for any new food—whether human food or a new brand of cat food. Also, as mentioned above, run any dietary changes by your vet just to have peace of mind that the foods won’t interfere with any medications or irritate any medical conditions your cat might have.
The Vet on Fourth team is here to answer any questions our patients have about their cats’ diet. If you’re unsure about a certain food or about how much it’s safe to feed, talk to us first. If you think your cat has ingested something he shouldn’t, contact your vet immediately or reach out to the Animal Poison Control Center for advice.