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Well, you can help add a bit of culinary pizazz to your cat’s day by supplementing their diet with some foods from your pantry. Selecting from this list of eight cat-safe foods will broaden their palate and tap into their innate curiosity. Cats are hunters by nature, so play into their love of the exotic by letting them try some of these delicious human foods.
8 Human Foods That Are Safe for Cats
Canned Sardines, Salmon, And Anchovies
Fish is an excellent source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, but avoid fishes high in mercury (like tuna).
Just like kids, not all cats like to eat their vegetables. Despite their lack of popularity, they’re vitamin-rich and easy to digest. So, try to trick your kitty into eating them by feeding pieces of veggie burger. Just be sure to check that the patty doesn’t contain onions or garlic, which are highly toxic for pets.
Peas pack quite a nutritional punch for their tiny package – they are high in fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. This is one reason why many commercial cat foods include peas as an ingredient. Add an extra element of sensory stimulation for your curious cat by trying frozen peas. The cold sensation might just make them want to scarf those peas down!
Eggs pack protein and essential amino acids, which can help keep your cat fit and strong. Just make sure to thoroughly cook them before serving. Raw eggs can lead to food poisoning. In addition, avidin, a protein present in raw eggs, blocks the absorption of Vitamin B biotin, which is needed for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
High in antioxidants and beta carotene, cantaloupe can help maintain healthy skin and sharp eyesight. Also, some feline nutritionists hypothesize that the smell of cantaloupe, derived from the same amino acids found in meat, entices cats.
High in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins A, C, and B6, bananas are a veritable treasure trove of nutritious ingredients. However, they can be a bit of a challenge to digest, so don’t go bananas with the bananas. Try introducing a small amount on occasion or maybe even freeze some in a Kitty Kong toy.
Oatmeal is a frequent ingredient in commercial cat foods due to its wealth of B vitamins. Just like humans, cats appreciate the easily-digestible porridge version of oats, so be sure not to serve raw oats on their own.
Pumpkin is low in calories, high in fiber, and sold in a canned, easy-to-use version in most grocery stores. The occasional pumpkin treat can help cats who suffer from abnormal bowel movements and other digestive issues (like constipation).
Things to Avoid When Feeding Your Cat Human Foods
- Don’t over-treat. Snacking too much can lead to obesity and diabetes in cats.
- Maintain their high-quality cat food diet. Read the labels and look for a statement from AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, to choose the healthiest nutritional option for your cat.
- If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your pet.
- Do not feed raw eggs, meat, or fish to your cat.
- Do not feed the following foods to your cat: onions, chives, garlic, grapes, raisins, chocolate, fat trimmings, or bones.
- Avoid dairy, since cats are lactose intolerant and it can lead to diarrhea and upset stomach.
- Do not experiment with human foods if your cat has a sensitive stomach.
- If your cat has a health condition or requires prescription food, make sure to check with your vet before adding new food to their diet.
- Introduce new foods slowly and in small quantities, one at a time.
You’ll become your cat’s favorite human if you introduce them to new tastes and textures beyond their standard cat food options. Remember to check with your vet before adding new items to your cat’s diet, avoid overfeeding and overtreating, and go slow to keep your kitty happy and healthy.
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