Healthy treats for cats: 10 Human foods that are safe for cats
- by DR Roxanne Jones
As a cat owner, there are times when you’d like to spoil your kitty with some special treats. After all, 90% of a cat’s diet should consist of high quality, nutritionally balanced pellets, with the other 10% being soft food (soft food is only recommended as an occasional treat, because its stickiness can promote tooth decay).
It makes sense that from time to time, you’d want to indulge your kitty with something different and delicious, but you might not know what’s safe for her to eat.
Here, a vet shares the top 10 human foods that are safe for cats – and healthy too. Remember, moderation is key, especially if your kitty is on diet – treats also count as calories.
Top 10 human foods that are safe for cats to eat
Fish is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and most cats love it! Best served cooked (without any spices) as raw fish may contain harmful bacteria that could cause food poisoning. Fish oils can be added to your kitty’s diet to boost her immune system, prevent dry skin, and to make her coat soft, shiny and irresistible to stroke!
Cats are carnivores. They love meat and it’s vital for them to get the correct amount of protein and essential amino acids if they’re going to stay strong and healthy. The ideal is cooked meat such as chicken, turkey, beef, lamb or venison (without salt or spices). Like with fish, raw is best avoided as it could contain harmful bacteria.
Eggs are another superfood, high in protein, energy, omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals. Again, serve it cooked to protect your kitties from harmful bacteria such as e.coli or salmonella.
In small quantities, whole grains can be so beneficial to your cat. Packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, they’re superb health boosters – and your kitty may grow to love them. Choose grains like oats, brown rice, barley, couscous and millet, and cook them to make them easy for kitty to digest.
It might be a bit difficult to get your kitty to eat spinach, but if you have a pet that just can’t resist or are willing to coax your furry friend to try something new, this is a great addition. It’s full of fibre, vitamins and minerals that are safe for most cats to eat, though its high calcium content means it should be avoided in cats that have been diagnosed with calcium oxalate bladder stones.
If your cat likes to chomp on greens and you tend to find her in the house or garden chewing on potentially harmful plants or grass, try substituting these for broccoli instead. Broccoli is safe and healthy, and provides lots of fibre and nutrients for your kitty.
Give peas a chance! These are safe, delicious, high in fibre and full of vitamins A and C.
Bananas and apples
High in fibre, potassium (bananas) and vitamin C, these popular fruits are safe for kitties to snack on – but remember, only in moderation. And of course, that’s if your cat isn’t terrified of bananas! Approach with caution.
Sweet melons are chock-full of beta-Carotene and antioxidants, which help to keep your kitty’s skin, coat and eyesight healthy and strong.
This is a healthy, high-protein treat for kitties who aren’t lactose intolerant, and it should be fed to your cats only in tiny amounts. Test it out first – if your kitty reacts badly (i.e. shows any discomfort or gastric upset), don’t give it to her again. However, if she tolerates and enjoys it, it will be super healthy in small quantities, given occasionally. Hard cheese and cottage cheese are best.
A note about kitty pellets
You should only feed your cat premium-quality pellets. These are nutritionally balanced to meet all her dietary needs and will also help keep her teeth clean
To avoid over-feeding, measure out the daily allowance of pellets according to the label on the bag (and based on your cat’s weight), and divide it between two to three daily meals, or spread it throughout the day (without overfeeding)
Now that you know which human foods are safe for cats to eat, check out the 10 human foods that are dangerous for your cat – some of them may surprise you. And of course, enjoy spoiling your kitty!