Cat Nutrition

Human Food on Your Cat’s Menu: What Is Healthy for Your Cat?

What Can Cats Eat

Introduction 

Cats are curious little creatures that find their way into many things that they are not supposed to. The question is when can you share what you are eating with your cat.

Certain human foods are ok as treats from time to time, but certain foods can be downright toxic or poisonous to them.

The following article takes up some human foods and speaks about their effects on cats.

You will see that the best advice is that you should always stick to a commercial cat food as the regular staple. However, some of the foods can be used as a treat sometimes.

1. Peanut Butter 

Typically speaking, cats are not very interested in peanut butter. Despite the fact that it has a powerful odor, which usually attracts cats, people have noticed that peanut butter does not seem to stir their interest.

Peanut butter contains a combination of protein and fat. It also has some salt and carbohydrates. It is interesting that the aroma does seem to attract dogs.

Is Peanut Butter Harmful to Cats? 

Peanut butter is not on any lists of foods that are harmful to cats. That said, it does not have any positive nutritional value for them. Cats are strict carnivores.

This means that they do not process plant proteins well. Peanut butter does not include the amino acids that cats need for digestion.

Generally speaking, your cat should not be eating peanut butter. Sometimes, however, it can be a good way to administer medication to your cat.

Also, feeding your cat peanut butter regularly can cause diabetes if given in large quantities.

You should also be careful because sometimes peanut butter is used in rodent traps. So, you may not want to accustom your cat to eat it.

2. Can cats eat popcorn?

You should keep popcorn away from kittens and senior cats because it can pose choking or digestive problems for them.

For a regular adult cat, it really depends. It depends on the way that it is prepared, which additives are in it, and the amount that it is being fed.

While eating a few kernels of popcorn is not going to be harmful to your cat, it is not going to provide any nutritional value either.

However, the additives in certain kinds of the treat can be toxic to your cat. You especially need to keep the cat away from microwave varieties of popcorn.

3. Can cats eat shrimp?

It is natural to think that shrimp would be good for your cat. After all, they love seafood. The truth is, though, that it is ok to give your cat shrimp.

However, it should not be fed shrimp every day and not as a substitute for regular cat food.

What you don’t want to do is to have a situation where your cat starts to neglect its regular food. To give her a few slivers of shrimp a week is ok, but perhaps nothing more than that.

If you are going to feed her shrimp, then make sure that she does not have any adverse reactions to it.

The reason that you don’t want to make shrimp a substantial part of her diet is that shrimp contains a large amount of sodium and cholesterol.

Also, when you feed your cat shrimp, you don’t need to cook it for them. You will need to clean out the digestive tract of the shrimp before you feed it to your cat.

4. Can Cats Eat Honey? 

Honey is not considered a toxic food for cats. However, it is not recommended to be fed to them, except perhaps in very small amounts.

Cats have an extremely small digestive system. This can make eating honey an issue. Even some people have a problem digesting honey properly.

Cats can eat some honey if they are sick. If they have a sore throat, then it might give them some relief.

5. Can Cats Eat Bacon? 

Bacon is a cured meat. As a cured meat, it contains a lot of salt. It also contains a lot of saturated fat. Since this is the case, you may only feed your cat bacon in moderation.

You might want to give it occasionally as a treat. The preservatives used in making bacon are also somewhat bad for cats.

It is also the case that any cured meat is going to have the same problems associated with it as bacon.

The high fat and salt content is not good for cats in the same way that it is not good for humans. You also need to watch out for those preservatives that it contains.

6. Can Cats Eat Spinach? 

The fact is that even cats need vegetables in small quantities. However, that said, spinach is not good to feed to your cat.

The issue with spinach for cats is that it contains small amounts of calcium oxalate. This substance may cause crystal formations in your cat’s urinary tract.

In the short term, spinach might be ok for your cat in small portions. However, in the long term, it may increase the chance of getting kidney stones.

So, if your cat has consumed some spinach, you don’t need to worry about toxicity. You just shouldn’t make it a regular part of her diet.

If you are interested in adding some sort of green vegetable to your cat’s diet, then you might want to add lettuce, steamed broccoli, or peas.

7. Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?

Your cat is not going to get sick if it eats a little bit of ice cream. It is not toxic for cats. Even if it contains some artificial sweetener, there still is no problem if kitty eats a little ice cream.

You will probably find that your cat is attracted to the types of ice cream that have a high fat and carbohydrate content.

While ice cream can be bad for a cat in large quantities, a little bit of a treat is not an issue. If a cat consumes too much ice cream, then it may give her diarrhea.

Cats, like some humans, are lactose intolerant. This means that they lack enough of the lactase enzyme to digest the lactose in milk.

What this means is that giving a cat a saucer of milk is actually not such a great idea, contrary to popular belief.

8. Can Cats Drink Almond Milk? 

Almond milk does not have the same issues for digestion that cows’ milk has. As was mentioned before, cats are lactose intolerant.

As far as almond milk goes, the almond nut is not toxic for cats. In large quantities, your cat may get some gastrointestinal upset from it, however.

9. Can Cats Eat Raspberries? 

Although the prime ingredient of a cat’s diet needs to be meat, many cat owners like to give their cats a sweet thing from time to time.

With respect to dogs, there is something that is toxic to their liver in raspberries. The same thing is not true with respect to cats, however.

Cats may eat raspberries. However, they should only be given to them in moderation. Raspberries actually have some nutrients in them that are good for cats.

They contain vitamin C, A, and K. They also contain a lot of dietary fiber. It is actually said that eating the berries can help your cat’s digestive processes.

As with any human food that you feed your cat, you should only give her a small serving. With regard to raspberries, this would mean only feeding her one or two of them.

10. Can a Cat Eat Almonds? 

Almonds are a healthy snack for humans. However, they are not so good to share with your cat. According to the ASPCA, almonds are not toxic to cats. This means that, in small amounts, almonds will not harm your cat.

Almonds contain cyanogenic glycosides. If your cat would consume a lot of this substance, then it could suffer from cyanide poisoning.

The symptoms of this poisoning are dilated pupils, upset stomach, and hyperventilation. Your cat could die from this condition.

Almonds can upset your cat’s digestive system, even in smaller quantities. The ASPCA warns that the fats in almonds may upset their digestive system. This may result in vomiting or diarrhea.

Almonds that are processed may contain salt or chocolate toppings. If a cat consumes too much salt, it can cause sodium ion toxicosis. Chocolate is also toxic for cats.

11. Can Cats Eat Canned Salmon? 

Judging by the ingredients that go into cat food, one would think that canned salmon would be equally good for her regular diet. Cats really like tuna and salmon because of their strong aroma and taste.

However, the truth is that they don’t provide enough vitamins and nutritional elements for your cat.

Tuna and salmon are ok to feed your cat every now and then. It is just that you shouldn’t make it a regular part of their diet.

Canned salmon actually lacks a lot of vitamins. It also contains a lot of stabilizers and chemicals like sodium that is unhealthy for cats.

While your cat will really go for a diet based on canned fish, it will not give her the necessary nutrients that she needs.

The problem with giving your cat canned salmon as a treat is that the cat can actually get hooked on it and start to refuse its regular food. So, you should use canned salmon as a treat only very sparingly.

12. Can a Cat Eat Mushrooms? 

According to FurryTips.com, it is not recommended to give your cat mushrooms. If your cat eats a little bit of mushroom, then it will not be toxic to her, however. Store bought mushrooms are not generally toxic at all.

Mushrooms that grow wild on your property may be toxic, so you need to be careful about them. Poisoning from such mushrooms can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and liver damage.

If your cat does eat a poisonous mushroom, you need to get in contact with your vet immediately. Collect a sample of the mushroom so that you can show it to your vet.

If it will take too long to get her to the vet, then you should induce vomiting. To induce vomiting, you can administer a three percent solution of hydrogen peroxide. The dosage should be one milliliter per pound of body weight.

13. Can Cats Eat Olives? 

As with many foods on this list, cats are not naturally attracted to olives. Also, a cat’s body can produce the vitamin C that it requires. Vitamin A can be obtained from meat.

The potential benefits of olives are more medicinal in nature. Olives have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in them.

Raw olives aren’t the main problem for cats. It is the additives that can be an issue. Salt is one of these issues.

Sodium poisoning is an issue for cats. Sodium poisoning can make your cat’s kidneys fail.

Olives aren’t toxic for cats, but the salt can be a problem. They can also pose a choking hazard.

So, if your cat jumps at the sight of olives, then you may want to give her a sliver. Just don’t make it a regular thing.

14. Can Cats Eat Pistachios? 

If your cat gets a hold of a few pistachios, then you don’t need to worry. They are not highly toxic to cats. However, there are a few issues with the nuts for cats:

If your cat eats pistachios, then she may suffer from some gastrointestinal distress.

Pistachios are hard to digest and may cause bloating and excessive gas. Because of their size, cats may suffer this distress after eating only a few of the nuts.

Also, there can be a problem with foreign body obstruction. This is a condition where something gets caught in the intestinal tract.

This condition can be potentially fatal. Sometimes, surgery is needed to unblock the obstruction.

Some of the flavorings that go on pistachios can be a problem too. If they have a lot of salt on them, then that can be a problem. Garlic and onion are both toxic to cats.

Therefore, you need to be extremely careful about the presence of these on the nuts.

15. Can Cats Eat Celery? 

Celery is perfectly safe for cats to eat. There are also some benefits for your cat if you give it to her in moderation.

Celery is rich in vitamins and is a source of a lot of dietary fiber. Celery is also a great diuretic. It can aid in flushing out the system and can help with liver function.

A little bit of celery is also useful to stimulate appetite. If your cat has any digestive upset, then the celery may help settle her stomach.

The only real issue with your cat eating celery is that you should give it to her in moderation. Too much of it can lead to diarrhea if your cat isn’t used to it.

16. Can a Cat Eat Marshmallows? 

While marshmallows are not toxic to cats, it is not recommended that they are fed to them at all.

First, they are a choking hazard for cats. Just like marshmallows are not good for children under three, so too they are not good for cats because of their small throat size.

Also, marshmallows contain mostly sugar. One marshmallow has about four grams of sugar in it.

One marshmallow has about 25 calories in it. This is about one-tenth of the total calories that a cat eats per day.

Also, marshmallows contain a lot of sodium. One marshmallow contains about six mg of sodium.

Finally, there are no nutritional benefits in marshmallows for cats. As there are only risks, it is not a good idea to give them, even as a treat.

17. Can a Cat Eat Pancakes? 

According to All Pets Magazine, you can feed your cat small pieces of pancakes. Just don’t feed your cat pancakes on a regular basis.

The butter and milk that are contained in pancakes are a problem for your cat’s digestive system.

If you were to feed a large portion of pancakes to your cat, then it would likely get diarrhea from them.

Since it is the milk products that are a problem, you could feed small amounts of vegan pancakes to your cat.

It is just that there is not really much in the way of nutritional value that pancakes have to offer.

Since cats are carnivorous, pancakes do not offer a good option for your cat’s breakfast.

18. Can a Cat Eat Chicken Bones? 

The basic rule of thumb for bones is that cats should only eat raw bones. Raw bones are richer in nutrients and are easier to digest.

Any bones that you feed your cat should be very small. Small bones help minimize any choking hazard. Also, small bones are less likely to become stuck in her digestive tract.

There are some benefits that bones have to offer. Bones are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. Calcium is great for your cat’s bones and teeth.

Calcium also helps increase the bio-availability of other nutrients. Chewing on bones can also help strengthen teeth and tooth enamel.

19. Can Cats Eat Sardines? 

You can give your cat sardines, but it should only be in moderation. The truth is, while it may be counterintuitive, your cat is much better off with the manufactured cat food than with sardines. Cat food is specially formulated to give your cat all of the nutrients that she needs.

There is some benefit for your cat eating sardines from time to time. Cats who require an additional source of omega-3 fatty acids will benefit from consuming them.

While you can give your cats sardines, you shouldn’t do so to provide them with variety in their diet.

Cats need consistency in their diet. If you change their diet too much, then they can get stomach upset.

20. Can a Cat Eat Salmon? 

All Pets Magazine says that cats can eat salmon. However, it should only be in moderate amounts and not too often. Salmon should not replace regular cat food.

When you do feed your cat salmon, you need to serve it cooked and free of bones. It may be hard to believe, but fish is not a part of the natural feline diet. Cats do not consume fish in the wild.

Since this is true, it is possible that your cat may have an allergy to the fish that you serve her.

The symptoms of a food allergy in cats are vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, and itching.

If your cat turns out to be allergic to fish, then you can’t feed her commercial cat food that contains it.

21. Can a Cat Eat French Fries? 

It is not a good idea to let your cat eat french fries. While this food is not toxic to cats, feeding it to them will do them more harm than good.

First, french fries contain a lot of salt. One serving of french fries contains more than three times the safe daily sodium intake level for cats.

Second, deep fried foods contain lots of saturated fat. Cats need omega-3s and omega-6s, not saturated fat.

If your cat eats food with saturated fats, then the only result will be a lot of empty calories that will lead to weight gain.

If your cat does get into some french fries, make sure that there is not any ketchup on them. Ketchup is toxic for cats because it usually contains onion powder.

22. Can a Cat Eat Seaweed? 

Unlike a lot of other human foods, seaweed actually does offer benefits to cats. It is actually advisable to feed seaweed to cats.

There are a lot of nutrients in seaweed that can help to soothe your cat’s stomach.

Eating seaweed also aids in preventing worms in your cat’s system. Seaweed also helps out your cat’s coat. It will keep it healthy and be looking good.

23. Can a Cat Eat Cilantro? 

Sometimes the foods that are good for humans are actually bad for cats. With regard to cilantro, there seems to be a difference of opinion.

Some people think that it is ok, and some people think that it is actually dangerous for them. For this reason, it is better to just avoid giving any cilantro to your cat.

If a cat is fed cilantro, there is the possibility that it will suffer from cardiac problems and gastrointestinal irritation.

24. Can a Cat Eat Pizza? 

There are a number of potential problems that pizza can cause for your cat.

First, garlic is toxic to both dogs and cats. If you are going to give your cat pizza, be mindful of this. Next, the leaves and stems of a tomato plant are highly toxic to cats.

Green tomatoes are also very poisonous for cats. Despite the fact that cooking neutralizes a lot of the toxins, intestinal distress can still be a problem.

As mentioned before, cats are lactose intolerant. This means that the cheese on a pizza will be a problem as well if enough of it is eaten.

For all of these reasons, pizza is obviously not a good choice to feed your cat as a snack.

There is also the danger that some of the toppings on the pizza could be a problem for your cat.

25. Can a Cat Eat Pepperoni? 

According to Pawsome Kitty, a cat should not consume more than 21 milligrams of salt a day. Pepperoni is loaded with salt. That is what gives it its distinctive taste.

Therefore, even small amounts of the food can be a salt overdose for your cat.

Pepperoni is a cured meat. Nitrates, a preservative in the meat, can be toxic to your cat.

There are also many spices that are in the meat. One of these is garlic. Garlic is very toxic to cats.

One thing that you should always remember is that cats may like something that is simply very bad for them.

So, even if your cat likes the taste of pepperoni, it is simply something that is harmful to her.

26. Can a Cat Eat Beef Jerky? 

The simple answer to this question is a resounding no. This is for a number of reasons:

First, beef jerky is a tremendous choking hazard. Beef jerky is hardened to the point that a cat can easily choke on it.

Next, the meat might get trapped inside of your cat’s intestinal tract. This blockage can potentially kill your cat.

The other reasons that beef jerky is bad for your cat are similar to other cured meats.

There are usually a lot of preservatives and additives in beef jerky. Some of these are rather toxic to your cat.

The last reason has to do with the salt and spice content of beef jerky. Spices such as onion and garlic are highly toxic to your cat.

27. Can a Cat Eat Wheat Grass? 

Wheatgrass has some benefits for cats.

First, the fiber in wheatgrass can aid in the stimulation of digestion. It helps with constipation and is a known detoxifier. Wheatgrass can also help your cat vomit when she needs to.

Wheatgrass also contains chlorophyll and folic acid. these aid in the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein that moves oxygen through the blood.

Wheatgrass also has a lot of vitamins and minerals in it.

If you are going to give wheatgrass to your cat, it is a good idea to grow it yourself. You want to make sure that there are no harmful chemicals that are on your wheatgrass.

28. Can a Cat Eat Sunflower Seeds? 

According to Cuteness.com, sunflower seeds are on the list of snacks preferred by some cats.

Cats that want sunflower seeds might have a need for the nutrients that are found in the seeds.

The seeds are rich in vitamins E, B1, and B5. They are also rich in many minerals. They are a good source of protein as well.

Unlike some other kinds of nuts and seeds, sunflower seeds are actually beneficial to digestion. They are a rich source of fiber.

It is said that some cats may like the taste of the seeds and the scent as well because of the high content of protein.

29. Can Cats Eat Chocolate Ice Cream? 

Chocolate ice cream is a triple threat for cats. Cats have a problem with chocolate due to the theobromine that it contains. Also, there is an issue with caffeine and theophylline.

Theobromine is toxic for cats.

the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats are many. Cardiac arrhythmia and tachycardia are two of the possible symptoms.

The other problems with chocolate ice cream are the milk that is used in it and the high sugar content.

As mentioned many times before, cats are lactose intolerant. The milk in chocolate ice cream can give your cat diarrhea for this reason.

The sugar in ice cream is the last reason that it is not good for your cat. Sugar is just a lot of empty calories that your cat can do without.

30. Can a Cat Drink Coffee? 

Cats are often very curious about everything that their owners eat and drink.

While little sips of coffee probably won’t harm your cat, according to Family Pet.com, in large quantities, the caffeine in coffee can be fatal to your pet.

Some of the symptoms that your cat may experience if she has consumed a large amount of caffeine include rapid breathing, palpitations, tremors, seizures, and coma.

Caffeine is not only found in coffee. It is also found in chocolate and some sodas.

The milk or creamer that you put into your coffee can also cause your cat some stomach upset.

Conclusion

The simple fact is that cats are carnivores. For this reason, it makes the most sense to feed your cat the commercial cat food that is readily available at the supermarket and the pet store.

This food is a balanced diet that contains the nutrients that your cat needs on a regular basis.

With respect to a treat, you can pick some of the human foods on this list that are not toxic to your cat.

Give her some of them from time to time in moderation.

The following YouTube video is a useful presentation about some of the foods that you should never feed your cat.

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