Sometimes, we just want to give our furry family members a treat! It gives them a split-second of happiness and it makes us feel good about ourselves. If our cats are peering at our dinner plates longingly, or patiently waiting for us to empty our cereal bowl so they can lap up the leftover milk, it can be really difficult for us to deprive them, right? We’ve all been there. I share your dilemma. Maggie has a wonderful “I’m a poor starving kitty” expression that guilts me out every time.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some human foods which are safe to feed your cat in small quantities, as an occasional treat. They should not dominate the diet; a cat’s dietary needs are best met by a high-quality complete and balanced cat food which is formulated to their life-stage and individual needs. Additionally, any treats given should not make up more than 10% of the total daily calorie allowance, to prevent dietary imbalances or your cat becoming overweight or obese:
- Lean cooked meat (not raw) such as skinless chicken, fish, beef or turkey (avoid deli meats which are high in fat or salt and avoid bones)
- Low-fat cheese
- Plain, low-fat yoghurt
- Cooked plain rice
- Cooked eggs (not raw)
- Cooked vegetables such as carrots, peas, broccoli or pumpkin (cooking softens them and prevents choking)
- Cooked spinach (except if your cat has a diagnosed urinary or renal condition)
If your cat needs a prescription diet, this often needs to be fed as the sole diet. If you are unsure about whether a particular food is appropriate for your cat, check first with your veterinarian. Quite often, the best way we can show our cats that we love them is by remembering that they are cats.
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