Just for Kids: Special Treats from Your Table

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It's important to give your cat a proper diet. But it's fun to share your food with your pet, too. Is there anything you can give your kitty that is safe?

Sure, there is. But you have to know about the eating habits of cats.

Cats are carnivores – this means they like to eat meat. Unlike dogs, which can eat both vegetables and meat, cats can only stay healthy on a meat diet. They need protein and fat, both of which are found in meat. In a nutshell, the best diet for a cat contains everything found in the average mouse: protein, bones for calcium, fats, starches, sugars, fiber and vitamins.

So, if you'd like to share your food occasionally, follow these guidelines:

  • Treats from the table should be occasional and in small amounts. Cats can learn to enjoy your food and then they won't eat their own. And table scraps do not provide a balanced diet.
  • Some cats enjoy dairy foods, like small amounts of yogurt, cheese and butter. Raw egg yolks are okay, but not the whites. The whites can be harmful to your pet.
  • Of course, cats love fish. But make sure that it's cooked and that you remove any bones.
  • Do you like oatmeal? Your cat probably does, too. He might also like other cooked cereals.
  • You can try giving your cat a little bit of milk, but if he can't digest it, he will get diarrhea within a day or two. If this happens, don't give it to him anymore.
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! And your kitty does, too. If you can bring yourself to share, your kitty can have an occasional special treat of ice cream in small amounts.

    Remember, treats from your table should be given only occasionally, and it should never be more than 10 percent of your cat's daily intake. Your pet needs a balanced diet provided in cat food.

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