Human Foods Cats Can (and Can’t) Eat

In this article, we are going to feature certain human foods that are safe and otherwise harmful for your pet cat. Cat owners, in particular, may want to share everything they have with their beloved felines, including the food they eat. But just as the same as with dogs, cats cannot eat all foods that are considered safe for us humans to eat. There are even forbidden foods that you’ve even fed to your cat because you think they’re safe… but in reality, they can be even quite dangerous to your pet’s health.

You may also want to read a related article,”Human Foods Dogs Can (and Can’t) Eat” on this website.

Providing too much taurine for cats is crucial for maintaining their overall health and well-being, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients for a happy and active lifestyle.

The following are the human foods that are considered safe for cats:

1. Meat


Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat in order to survive and become healthy. Meat is rich in protein that helps their vital organs to function well and keep their coats healthy and even glossy. Remember to give them cooked (especially boiled) meat like pork, chicken, beef, lamb, and turkey. Organs such as the liver are also excellent for your cats. Avoid giving meats that are too fatty, raw, old, spoiled or containing lots of salt, seasonings or additives as they can make your cat sick.

2. Fish


It is a widely known fact that cats love fish. Aside from being a rich source of protein, fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which help your cat’s eyesight remain sharp and avoid certain diseases like arthritis as well as heart and kidney disorders.

Cooked and canned fish is okay. But feeding your cats with too much of certain fish, like tuna, might be bad because of its polyunsaturated fatty acids which can be harmful to them. Raw fish is not okay either, as it can also pose health hazards to your cat as it might contain salmonella or tapeworm.

3. Eggs


Eggs are also loaded with protein which your cat needs. It is safe to feed your cat with them but make sure they’re cooked all the way through. Avoid feeding your cat with raw eggs as they might contain salmonella and E. coli bacteria, which can be dangerous to your pet feline.

4. Certain vegetables


Unlike humans, cats cannot benefit from an entirely vegetarian diet. But there are certain vegetables that can provide vitamins, water, and fiber that will aid their digestion. It’s okay to feed your pet felines with steamed broccoli, carrots, green beans, and asparagus. Cucumber, peas, pumpkin, and squash are also fine.

Spinach is okay too. But if your cat suffers kidney problems, don’t feed it with spinach as this vegetable may form crystals which can block your pet’s urinary tract.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan who forces your cat to go on an all-plant and no-meat diet, you’d better be really, really careful. Unlike humans who can thrive on an entirely plant-based diet, cats are carnivores by nature and thus may become sick or may not even survive with such a diet. There are major health risks associated with feeding your pet cats with a vegan diet. This will lead to a deficiency of nutrients, such as protein and taurine, which can trigger diseases and even irreversible medical conditions.

5. Cheese


Cheese is also rich in protein, but you should give it to your cats only in moderate amounts. As cats age, they become lactose intolerant so consider cheese as an occasional treat to your pet felines.

6. Certain grains


The following grains are considered A-OK for your pet cats:

  • Corn (removed from the cob and cooked) and corn-based dishes like polenta and cornmeal
  • Oats
  • Regular white rice and brown rice
  • Barley
  • Millet and couscous
  • Whole wheat breadcrumbs

Make sure to cook and prepare these grains in a certain way so that your cat will be able to digest them easily.

7. Certain fruits


Cats cannot taste sweet things, but nevertheless, they will benefit (and even enjoy) from eating the following fruits:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries (raw or frozen; avoid giving them canned blueberries as they are loaded with sugars and preservatives)
  • Apples (peeled and cored)
  • Fruits of the melon family like watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe. Make sure that their seeds are removed.

The following are the human foods that are considered NOT safe for cats:

1. Milk and dairy products


You’d be surprised to find milk on this list of foods that are not safe for cats to consume because you have actually fed them with milk for some time. It is okay to give them a saucer of milk while they’re still kittens. But as they grow older and bigger, they become lactose intolerant so their tummies can’t handle much more milk and other dairy products like butter and cheese.

2. Chocolate


You’d better be thankful to have all the chocolate to yourself. Chocolate has high levels of theobromine and some traces of caffeine — both stimulants which can be poisonous to cats. Ingestion can lead to heart disorders, tremors in the muscles and seizures. A large consumption of it can even be fatal to your cat.

3. Caffeine


While occasional sips of coffee might be okay, too much of it will lead your pet cat to become restless and suffer certain conditions such as heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and rapid and abnormal breathing.

4. Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic

Onion and garlic both belong to the Allium family that also includes chives and leeks. When eaten in large amounts, onions and garlic can cause anemia and digestive problems in cats.

5. Processed Meats

Processed Meats

Cats love meats and will surely love the smell of bacon, sausages, and ham as you’re cooking them. But they’re notoriously high in sodium, preservatives and saturated fat, which can cause your cat to suffer digestive stress and salt poisoning. So resist the temptation of giving even just morsels of ham to your cat.

6. Alcohol


Who in the right mind would ever feed a pet cat with alcoholic drinks? Even just a little amount of it will lead to massive brain and liver damage.