Making sure cats have all the nutrients they need to be healthy is important when designing their diet — as is keeping them away from potentially toxic foods and plants. If feline friends get an occasional treat of human food, make sure to follow these tips to ensure their treats are safe and healthy!
Food designed for human needs won't have all the nutrients cats need. It's not recommended that human food be used as a substitute for a well-balanced cat diet, which includes commercial cat foods or raw meat. Up to 15% of your cat's total diet is the maximum amount of human food they should ingest; this ensures your cat's nutritional needs are met.
While some human foods are fine in very small doses or tastes, for some cats, larger portions can be catastrophic. In particular, while most cats love dairy products, allowing them to have more than a very small portion can lead to upset stomachs — or worse. Just like with most adult mammals, a large number of cats can no longer digest lactose, making a saucer of milk a bad idea for most kitties (despite its good protein levels). A small taste of cream cheese or quality yogurt licked from your finger is unlikely to set off a serious reaction though, and some pet owners use the love their cats have for these creamy substances to give them medicines.
Cats should be discouraged from chewing on random greenery, as many common plants can poison them. However, providing they are cooked, vegetables are a less risky thing to offer a cat. While not all cats will enjoy every vegetable, many of them like certain ones. A lot of cats like cooked green vegetables such as string beans or broccoli, perhaps because they remind them of the grass and plants they naturally chew for digestive purposes.
Meat and Fish
Cooked meat and fish are unnecessary for cats, and they can contain too much fat or damage vitamin balances. Lean cuts are best to prevent diarrhea, and many cats do fine with a small amount of meaty fish such as tuna. Eggs are a good source of protein that many cats love to have scrambled or hard boiled, but be careful of additional dairy hiding in scrambled eggs prepared for people!Always chat with your vet before changing a cat's diet, and keep an eye out for adverse reactions when introducing new foods. Equally importantly, be aware of things that a cat should never eat, so feline friends can live long, happy, and healthy lives.