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List of Human Foods Your Cat Can and Cannot Eat

Be sure to check out which human foods your cat can and cannot eat before feeding your furry friend anything from the dinner table!

By Katie MarchbankPublished 6 years ago 7 min read

There's something so appealing about feeding your animal human food. We enjoy what we eat so much, so why should our furry family members miss out? While dogs like to beg and whine while you're eating dinner, sometimes cats will jump right up on the table and start eating if you're not looking! If your cat has scarfed up something right off your plate, you should know if it's good for her or not.

But sometimes we might even want to use human food as a treat for our sweet kitty. Not everything that humans eat, though, is safe for cats. In fact, most human food isn't good for them. That's why, before handing a snack to your cat, you should consult a list of human foods your cat can and cannot eat. We've complied a pretty good list here, and we're going to start off with things that are unsafe for them.

Fat Trimmings - Cannot Eat

Do not, under any circumstances, feed your cat fat trimmings! Though I can see the logic behind it, but this is one of the worst human foods for your cat. First of all, it's super high in calories which could make your cat obese. This could lead to a plethora of other health issues. Not only that, but cats that have eaten fat trimmings are much more likely to be at risk for pancreatitis. Don't feed your cats any bones, either. Cooked bones become very brittle and may splinter, which could puncture your cat's throat.

Garlic or Onions - Poisonous

I love garlic and onions; I put them in almost everything I cook. That being said, I could never feed either of these to my precious kitty! On this list of human foods your cat can and cannot eat, this one definitely falls into the cannot category. Onions and garlic are completely toxic to cats, and in large doses, these foods can cause your cats to develop anemia. Not only do they mess with their digestive system, but if your cat eats some, she could find herself on a trip to the emergency vet. Avoid onions and garlic at all costs!

Raw Eggs/Meat - No

"My cat used to be a feral cat and obviously didn't cook her food, so she should be able to eat raw meat, right?" No! A sparrow your cat may have hunted down in the wild is way different than a raw farmed chicken. Raw eggs and meats like chicken may be carriers of food-borne pathogens like salmonella, which could make your cat (or you!) very, very sick. Unless you know everything about where your meat came from, how it was packaged, and what it was fed while alive, do not feed your cat a raw diet.

Grapes, Nuts, or Seeds - Bad Idea

All three of these are definitely in the "cannot" section of human foods your cat can and cannot eat. For some reason, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats and dogs. There's a reason why they're among the human foods dogs should avoid, too. Nuts and seeds don't cause kidney failure, but are super high in fat which can cause digestive problems for cats. Macadamia nuts in particular can be very toxic for your feline pal. Overall, it's safer to just avoid all forms of nuts.

Milk and Other Dairy Products - Not Safe

Image by Nevodka on Shutterstock

Everyone knows the cliché image of a kitten drinking milk out of a bowl; it's classic. However, only kittens should be drinking milk, and that milk should be right from their mother! Once cats are weaned onto solid food, they should not ever be drinking milk again, especially not cow's milk! Cats become lactose intolerant as they grow, and any dairy products (including cheese) can cause some serious digestive issues. If you absolutely must give your cat cheese, go with small quantities of a harder cheese like cheddar, or a low-lactose cheese like cottage cheese. However, it's best to just avoid dairy products all together. Trust me, she won't know what she's missing!

Chocolate - Toxic

Yep, just like dogs, chocolate is a food don't for cats. Fortunately, most cats are not attracted to chocolate, as they don't typically like sweet things. (Fun fact, cats can't taste sweet things at all!) Even so, don't let your kitty eat any if he is interested. Besides the high sugar content, chocolate also contains a dangerous compound called theobromine, which can be toxic in even very small quantities. Too much of this scary chemical can cause seizures, heart palpitations, and even death. The same goes for anything with caffeine in it—so don't go feeding your cat coffee either!

This list doesn't include everything that can upset your cat's tummy, so be sure to search for a food specifically if you're interested in giving your cat a taste. With that out of the way, it's time to get to the best part of the list of human foods your cat can and cannot eat—the safe stuff.

Blueberries - Safe

Not only are blueberries super tasty, they are great for you and your cat! They are high in antioxidants and are completely safe for cats to eat. During the hot summer months, frozen blueberries are a great treat to feed your kitty to cool him down as well. I suggest cutting the blueberries in half though, if you're afraid of your cat choking on the berries.

Cooked Meat - Good

Cats are carnivores, that's a fact. The food you feed them is most likely always going to be made out of meat, so logic should follow that you could feed them meat that you've cooked for yourself! Among the foods your cat can and cannot eat, most types of cooked meat are perfectly fine. If you're feeding them chicken, just make sure to take off the skin, as that's too high in fat for them. My cat, Maya, personally loves a good slice of deli turkey meat for a special treat. So if you're a meat-eater too, part of your dinner might be in the "can" section of human foods your cat can and cannot eat.

Most Vegetables - Yes

As I mentioned earlier, don't feed your cats anything in the onion family. Most other vegetables though, are perfectly safe for cats. Though cats don't naturally eat veggies in the wild, an occasional veggie here and there may help with digestive issues and make for a healthy treat for your kitty. These vegetables, however, need to be cooked before feeding them to your cat:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Green Beans
  • Corn

Brown Rice, Oatmeal, and Whole-Grain Bread - Can Eat

Even though we like to pretend it's not true, white rice and white bread are very unhealthy for us, so it would be unhealthy for our cats. If your kitty is interested in grains, go for brown rice and a whole-grain bread. Oatmeal is also a great treat as long as it is plain and not sweetened with sugars. When thinking about human foods your cat can and cannot eat, keep the grains healthier and unsweetened.

Bananas - Healthy and OK

Bananas, as we all know, are high in potassium and fiber. So not only are they good for us, they are safe for cats too! Bananas can make an excellent treat for your furry friend if she likes it (again, many cats don't like fruit). Though I'm not sure which ripeness your cat might like best, I always prefer mine with just a few little freckles of brown and no green. This makes them sweet and soft but not stringy, which I think cats would enjoy too (at least texture-wise).

Peeled Apples - Go Ahead

While not as nutritionally amazing as bananas, apples are super tasty as well and you might be interested in letting your cat have one. If you do, make sure it is peeled! The peel may contain remnants of pesticides on it, which could poison your cat. Also don't let him have any of the seeds, they have cyanide in them! A peeled slice of apple can make for a decent treat though. My cat Maya doesn't like apples, so I can't guarantee your kitty will like them either, but hey, if you want to give it a shot, there's no harm in it.

If you're unsure, always assume NSFC—Not Safe For Cats.

Hopefully now you have a good idea of which human foods your cat can and cannot eat. As I mentioned earlier, this list is not entirely comprehensive, so it's best to search for a specific food if you didn't find it here. She might look hungry, but don't be fooled; we'd all rather be safe than sorry when it comes to our precious furry companions.


About the Creator

Katie Marchbank

Just trying to take down the patriarchy while playing video games and eating too much pasta.

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