You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered how much food your cat should eat or if they can eat certain foods. Cats can be picky eaters. Like humans, they want to know what’s safe to put into their mouths. Thankfully most domestic cats have evolved to eat many of the same foods we do. Check out this list of the best foods for your kitty.
Be Mindful Of These Ingredients
Knowing the foods your cat can and cannot eat is essential.
- Cats need meat in their diet because of their carnivore genealogy. Meat provides them with protein and calcium, which are essential for health and growth.
- Taurine is the amino acid that helps regulate cats’ heart function and brain development. It’s found in fish products such as tuna, salmon, or sardines. If your cat eats a diet that doesn’t contain taurine, it could develop blindness or other issues. Taurine is also found in many pets treats available at online stores like PetCareRx for cats of all ages, in dry and gravy form.
The following ingredients are toxic to cats:
- Onions and garlic
- Chocolate (in large doses)
- Sugar (in large quantities)
- Alcoholic beverages
To your surprise, catnip is a member of the mint family. It does not necessarily poison your cat but can be harmful if ingested in large quantities. Some veterinarians consider turkeys toxic due to their high fat content, so it is better to avoid this meat altogether if possible. The same goes for pork products like bacon or ham.
Although they might seem like great treats for humans, these types of meats have been known to cause intestinal blockages in felines and pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas, making life miserable for your beloved feline friend.
An Ideal Snack To Share
A cat’s diet should be based on high-quality, grain-free cat food that meets your kitty’s nutritional needs. If you want to find something different to serve up on special occasions, there are some snacks that you can give a try.
Here’s a list of the best human foods for your kitty:
- Scrambled eggs or an omelet aren’t just safe for cats to eat but also provide a great source of nutrition. Eggs are an excellent protein source and riboflavin (vitamin B2), essential for your cat’s overall health. Eggs also contain selenium, which helps combat cancer. Like any other food that isn’t natural prey-based, it’s vital to ensure the eggs are cooked thoroughly before being fed to your feline friend. When egg yolks aren’t cooked all the way through, they can cause salmonella poisoning in humans and animals alike.
- Peanut butter is a great treat for cats, but make sure the peanut butter does not contain xylitol. This is a natural sweetener that is highly poisonous.
- Cheese is high in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, which makes it a fantastic treat for cats. Many owners would argue that their cat loves cheese more than anything else! Cheese can also cause digestive issues with some cats, though. So, it’s important to read the label before feeding the cheese and make sure there aren’t any ingredients that will upset your pet’s stomach.
- Fish (in small amounts)
You can also give your cat chicken and beef as treats but in moderation. However, these meats should not be given daily because they contain too much protein and phosphorus which cause tooth decay and kidney problems in cats.
Ensure The Best Quality Food
Many pet foods are made with fillers and low-quality ingredients that won’t give your cat the nutrition they need. Make sure there are no preservatives or artificial colors in the product. Also, ensure there are no meat by-products in the mix (or if there are, they should be at a tiny percentage). Grains that have been processed into pellets can lead to digestive problems for some cats.
Try not to overfeed them. It’s better to give them small portions every couple of hours instead of letting them gorge themselves all day long on just one meal.
Protein Is A Must
Cats have a much greater protein need than dogs. Eggs are certainly one of the best sources of protein around. In fact, it’s hard to find any food that beats out eggs in terms of protein content.
A hard-boiled egg has about 6 grams of protein; soft-boiled and scrambled eggs each have around 5 grams per egg (and yolks contain more than whites). Egg whites are mostly water with just 0.4 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons, but they still provide vitamin B and selenium.
Vitamin B is crucial in how well your cat’s body functions. Not only does it help to convert food into energy, but it also helps boost immunity and protect against heart disease. An antioxidant for averting damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals), selenium helps prevent cancer or other conditions.
If you’re concerned about your cat’s diet, consult a veterinarian. They’re better placed to advise you on what foods are safe for your feline friend and which ones can cause problems.