It’s hard to resist the intelligent, pleading eyes of your cat when she’s eyeing off your food. Surely a few scraps from your plate won’t hurt her? After all, dogs can live off table scraps, right? Well, dogs and cats are different, and while some of the foods us humans consume are perfectly fine for your moggy, others are downright dangerous.
Because cats are meat eaters, many of the protein-rich foods we enjoy are fine for them. Cooked beef, chicken and lean meats are perfectly acceptable. But avoid giving her raw food. Canned or cooked fish is also okay, though sushi isn’t. And don’t feed her solely on fish – she won’t get the nutrients she need, which can cause malnutrition, loss of appetite and even death. Cooked eggs are also a good nutritious snack for your cat. Raw eggs are a definite no-no. Milk isn’t great for cats as many can’t digest dairy, though a cheese treat every now and then is okay.
When it comes to grains, cats are fine with well-cooked oats, corn, polenta, brown rise or barley. To get extra vitamins in her diet you can also try feeding her fresh cucumber, steamed broccoli or mashed potato.
Regular cat meals should be made up of high-quality cat food. While the occasional treat is fine, remember you don’t want to load your cat with calories. If you have a dog, try to avoid letting your cat eat dog food – it’s not dangerous every now and then but dog food doesn’t have the nutritional range your cat needs to stay healthy.
Some foods and beverages we consume should never be given to cats. Dangerous ones include:
- Alcohol – it can kill pets
- Coffee and tea – caffeine and other elements in tea and coffee are toxic to cats
- Chocolate – like tea and coffee, it can be very toxic
- Mouldy or spoiled food – these can cause vomiting and diarrhoea
- Bones – these can obstruct or tear her digestive system
- Grapes and raisins – these are toxic to cats and can cause kidney damage
- Onion and garlic – these can cause anaemia
- Mushrooms and macadamia nuts – these are also toxic to cats
- Sugar, artificial sweeteners and salt
- Bread dough
- Fat trimmings
- Vitamin supplements meant for humans
- Baby food