Is It Okay To Share "People Food" With Your Cat?

Posted on: 30 March 2015

You're sitting down at the table enjoying your meal, when your kitty comes and looks up at you with longing eyes. You want to share some of your meal with your pet, but you've heard human food is bad for cats. Is it safe to give kitty a bite of chicken, or should you ignore those longing eyes and keep your meal to yourself? The answer is: it depends. Some human foods are okay for cats to enjoy once in a while, while others can be downright dangerous.

Foods That Are Safe for Your Kitty

Fish is commonly touted as cats' favorite food, and in fact, a small amount of fish is safe for your cat to enjoy. Just make sure you don't share too much with your kitty. A diet too high in fish can deplete your cat's supply of vitamin E.

Cooked meats are also a safe choice for your cat. Just make sure they are minimally seasoned, since flavorful sauces might disrupt your cat's digestive system. A little roasted chicken or beef won't harm your cat, and in fact, it might help provide minerals that your cat needs to thrive. Avoid giving cats meat that is overly fatty as this might cause diarrhea.

Though cats are primarily meat eaters, they can enjoy some vegetables safely. A little bit of cooked carrot, broccoli, or asparagus once in a while is good for your kitty.

Foods That Your Kitty Should Not Have

There are a number of foods that should be completely off-limits to your cat, since they can cause severe illness. Never give your cat even the smallest amount of alcohol, since this can lead to sudden death. Chocolate is also not safe since it contains a toxin called theobromine, which can cause muscle tremors and seizures.

Contrary to popular belief, many cats should not have dairy products since they are not able to digest lactose. Give your cat milk, and you can count on him or her having diarrhea within an hour or two.

Raw meat is also unsafe for cats to eat since it may contain pathogens that can make cats severely ill. Also stay away from feeding your cat onions and garlic, since these ingredients can cause an upset stomach.

Tips for Sharing Human Food With Cats

If you want to give your cat a little human food as a treat or reward, start with a very small amount. See how your cat reacts to that particular food. If you don't notice any negative symptoms, you can give slightly more the next time. Though the foods mentioned above are safe for most cats, you never know if your cat is going to be more sensitive than average to a certain food, so starting with a small amount is wise. If your cat accidentally eats any of the foods on the unsafe list, don't panic. In the case of alcohol or chocolate, call a vet, like Metropolitan Cat Hospital Limited, immediately. Otherwise, observe your cat for symptoms. If he or she develops diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours, or if you cat appears lethargic and withdrawn, seek veterinary assistance.