What can my cat eat?
I have a cat named Bandit, and I love him, but I would be lying if I said that he didn’t get into everything in the house. It’s not just food either – he also likes to play with pens and twist ties. One of the things that my cat loves most is running around, catching bugs, and chasing mice (I don’t think he has actually caught one yet).
Cats are known for being picky eaters. And I’m sure other cat owners will say the same – sometimes, it can be challenging to get your cat to eat its cat food. Often our feline friends are more interested in our human food, but does it have the essential nutrients your cat needs?
In this post, you’ll learn the answer to what can my cat eat, how to entice your cat with their favorite snacks, and why they might not want the food in the first place!
What are Cats Supposed to Eat?
What can my cat eat? Well, here is one thing to know about cats. They are carnivores which means the best food for cats is meat. They need to eat animal proteins to stay healthy. But you must be careful even feeding your cat the typical cat food.
Some things are better to feed cats than others, and the type of food you give them depends on their age. Healthy adult cats should not eat kitten food because it has extra calories and nutrients that kittens need. After all, they burn off more energy.
A typical adult cat will gain weight if all they eat is kitten food. But pregnant, nursing, or senior cats that need to gain weight can eat kitten food.
Find a high-quality, nutritional cat food appropriate for your cat’s health and age. You can feed your kitty dry or canned food or both. Wet food ensures your cat gets adequate water, and dry food is good for your cat’s oral health.
If you’re still not sure what to feed your cat, ask your veterinarian what they recommend.
Why Won’t My Cat Eat?
There could be many reasons your cat won’t eat, and loss of appetite can be a sign that something isn’t right. It could be any number of things such as illness, a recent vaccination, being in unfamiliar surroundings, psychological issues, or just plain finickiness.
If your cat just isn’t eating or vomiting, it’s time to get him checked by a vet. My cat started throwing up multiple times one day and hid UNDER the sofa. Now, that was odd, and it’s a good thing I took him to the vet as he had Pancreatitis. Now he must eat prescription food the rest of his life, and it’s not as tasty as the Friskies wet food he loved.
Other illnesses your cat could have include kidney disease, an infection, cancer, digestive issues, or something else. But don’t worry, just because kitty isn’t eating doesn’t mean he is ill. Your vet will be able to run the appropriate tests to diagnose the problem.
What Human Foods Can Cats Eat?
Here is a list of human foods your cat can eat.
What Vegetables Can Cats Safely Eat?
Veggies are a great source of vitamins and full of water and fiber to aid in digestion. Some of the following vegetables are okay for cats to eat, although not all cats will eat them.
See if your cat will eat steamed broccoli, asparagus, or cucumber. You can even feed your cat veggie burgers as long as they don’t contain garlic or onions.
Spinach contains Vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium and iron. However, avoid giving your cat spinach if they have had calcium oxalate bladder stones.
Some cat foods even contain spinach, such as Purina Beyond Grain-Free Ocean Whitefish and Spinach canned cat food. Spinach is one of the top five ingredients in this wet cat food.
Carrots contain beta carotene, which can help your cat’s coat and eyes. As long as you peel and cook the carrots, your cat can eat them; otherwise, they could choke on them.
Green beans are great for overweight cats as they are low in calories but high in protein and iron. It’s okay to add a tablespoon of canned, frozen, or fresh green beans to their meals. Just make sure the green beans are sodium-free if you plan on feeding them canned ones.
Celery is great for cats that have digestion problems as they are full of fiber and vitamins. They can also help your cat’s kidneys as they are a diuretic. Plus, they make a great treat or snack for overweight cats as they are high in water.
Lettuce isn’t just good for humans with its fiber, folate, and Vitamins A and K; it’s safe for cats to eat too. It is also high in water and low in calories, and safe for cats to eat. It’s okay to feed lettuce to cats as long as you wash it thoroughly and give it to them in small pieces.
What Fruit Can Cats Eat?
Fewer cats will eat fruits as they can’t taste sweet flavors, and cats should only eat fruits in small amounts, so it shouldn’t be a part of their daily food intake. But there are some fruits safe for cats to eat.
Cantaloupe is high in beta-carotene and antioxidants that help maintain eye and skin health. It’s one safe for cats to eat. Cats can also eat other melons like watermelon and honeydews.
Apples are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins so that cats can eat them in moderate amounts. Just make sure you remove the seeds and peel as they may contain a little bit of cyanide, which is toxic to cats.
It’s okay to feed your small amounts of pears to your cat because even though they contain a lot of sugar, they also have fiber and vitamins. Like apples, remove the seeds and peels since they can contain cyanide.
Bananas are a great source of potassium and fiber, so cats can eat them. But only feed your cat small amounts of bananas as they are high in sugar.
Cats can eat pureed, frozen, or fresh strawberries because they contain Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Small amounts of strawberries can boost their immune system.
Blueberries have powerful antioxidants and Vitamin C that reduce the risk of Urinary Tract Infections and protect your cells from oxidative damage. You can feed them to your cat as an occasional reward or snack.
It’s okay to feed your cat a couple of cranberries in cooked or raw form but don’t feed him cranberry juice or sauce because they could upset your cat’s stomach as they contain a lot of sugar.
As long as you remove the seeds and outer skin, cats can safely eat pumpkin. If your cat has constipation or diarrhea issues, add a couple of spoons of cooked pumpkin puree to his food.
Can cats eat dates? Yes, technically cats can eat dates because they aren’t on the list of toxic foods to stay away from but feeding your cats dates is not a good idea.
They have too much sugar and can be a choking hazard to cats because they are soft and can get stuck in their throat.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Grains?
You may have noticed that some pet foods contain whole grains. Oats are easy to make, and they contain high amounts of protein per calorie.
Many cats like polenta, corn, and smaller grains like couscous and millets. You can even try rice barley, wheat berries, and brown rice if your cat will eat them. Whole wheat breadcrumbs are fine for your kitty to try too. Just make sure you cook any grain you feed him, so it’s easier to digest.
Cats don’t need a lot of carbohydrates, so whole grains are the best for cats, but grains should not be something your cat eats every day.
What Dairy Products Can Cats Eat?
Now this part of my answer to “what can my cat eat” may surprise you. Dairy products are something you may want to avoid feeding your cat as most cats become lactose intolerant over time and can’t digest milk.
Is Milk Good for Cats?
Over the years, milk has been considered a delicacy for cats but believe it or not, once cats transition from their mother’s milk, most become lactose intolerant. That’s because cats only produce high amounts of the enzyme they need to digest lactose as a kitten.
There are no benefits to giving your cat cow’s milk, and feeding it to them could lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and even liver damage.
Cheese contains less lactose than milk, so cats can tolerate it better, but you should only feed them a little piece every once in a while.
Can Cats Eat Yogurt?
Yogurt has less lactose than milk, so, in theory, you could give your cat a tiny lick of yogurt, but most experts don’t recommend it.
A recent study did show that it could help treat diarrhea in cats if it contained probiotics, but there really isn’t enough data to prove this.
Can Cats Eat Eggs?
Cats can eat eggs as long as they are scrambled or boiled because they are a great source of protein and Vitamin B. But never give your cat raw eggs as they can carry bacteria and viruses such as Salmonella or E. Coli.
You’ll also find eggs in certain cat foods like Tiki Cat Koolina Luau Chicken with Egg.
What Meats Can Cats Eat?
Meat is where it’s at for your carnivore cat. As long as it’s cooked and served to kitty plain with no seasonings are sauces, your cat can eat it. It’s best to feed your cat baked, grilled, or boiled meat and avoid serving him fried meat because of the fat content.
Turkey is a lean protein safe for your cat, including deli meat or cooked turkey breast.
Other great meat options for cats include lamb, beef, and liver. As long as you cook the meat well, most kinds of meats are good protein sources for cats.
What Raw Meats Can Cats Eat?
Your cat should never eat raw meat because, like eggs, it can contain bacteria and viruses. Cooking the meat first kills any nasty viruses or bacteria that can make your pet sick, just like humans.
What Fish Can My Cat Eat?
Many cats love fish as a source of protein, and it contains some of the fatty acids cats need for optimal health, like Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help your cat’s eyes as well as heart disorders, kidney disease, and arthritis.
Cooked or canned fish can be a healthy treat for your cat because it also contains vitamins and minerals. Fresh-caught fish is better for cats versus farm-raised. Make sure to pick out the bones and skeleton as they can snap or break and get caught in their throat. Avoid feeding any cooked bones to your cat.
Salmon and tuna are great fish options for cats.
Also, don’t feed your kitty raw fish like sushi.
Is tuna okay for cats?
As long as it is canned or cooked, feeding your cat tuna fish is fine. Many cats love tuna.
What Foods Should My Cat Not Eat?
Answering what can my cat eat is one thing, but you also need to know what human foods your cat can’t eat. Certain foods are toxic to cats or can cause health problems, so you should never feed them to cats. Here is a list of foods your cat should not eat.
Besides the lactose problem, ice cream also contains sugar, so it can cause digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting.
You shouldn’t feed your cat any chocolate, especially dark chocolate, as it is one of those toxic foods for cats.
You shouldn’t feed your cat anything with caffeine, including tea or coffee.
Raisins and Grapes
Raw Bread Dough
Xylitol isn’t good for cats, and it is usually found in sweets, certain gums, and peanut butter.
Raw Meat and Fish
Anything with Bones
Foods in the Allium Family
Don’t feed your cat anything in this family such as:
What Nuts Can Cats Have?
Cats should never eat nuts, especially walnuts and macadamia nuts.
Can cats eat rice?
Rice is okay to feed to your cat occasionally as long as it’s fully cooked. Since it is high in fiber, rice can help with digestional issues in cats. But since cats are obligate carnivores, they shouldn’t eat grains too often.
Can cats eat bread?
Cats can eat bread occasionally as it is high in protein and fiber.
Can cats have peanut butter?
Peanut butter isn’t the worst food you can feed your cat, but certain ones contain xylitol which isn’t good for him. Plus, it can also be a choking hazard due to its stickiness.
But as long as you watch the xylitol content and your cat is getting all of his required nutrients, an occasional peanut butter treat is okay. But since every cat is unique, just watch for digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting.
How often should my cat eat?
If you’re wondering what can my cat eat, you may also want to know how often he should eat? Cats should eat at least two meals every day, no more than 12 hours apart. If there are more than 12 hours in between feeding your kitty, his stomach can become hyper acidic and cause nausea.
The frequency at which you feed your cat depends on their age and health. A kitten needs to eat more food per pound because of its fast growth.
Most importantly, cats are considered creatures of habit, so once you pick a schedule, make sure you stick to it. Your cat’s meals become the main activities of the day around which he adds other activities.
How many cups of food should a cat eat a day?
When I asked my veterinarian what can my cat eat and how much food should I feed him? My vet advised me not to feed my cat more than a cup of food total each day and that either wet or dry cat food was fine.
At the same time, other vets say that a cat that eats high-quality dry food only needs 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of food.
If your cat starts to gain or lose weight, consult your veterinarian and ask them what can my cat eat that can help him maintain a healthy body weight.
Final Thoughts on What Can My Cat Eat
As you can see, there are many human foods your cat can eat as an occasional treat or more regularly. At the same time, when figuring out “what can my cat eat,” certain foods are toxic to cats that they should never eat.
When in doubt, consult your cat’s veterinarian, who can tell you more specifically what is bad for your cat since they know them best. They can also answer any food-related questions you have, such as what can I feed my cat or what do cats eat and drink?
Figuring out the answer to what should I feed my kitten will be different than what adult cats can eat.