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Feline-Friendly Human Foods
CatsHealth

Feline-Friendly Human Foods

Rachel, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Oct 22, 2020

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While a high-quality cat food will provide your beloved pet with all their specific dietary requirements, sometimes you might feel like giving them a tasty treat. However, many foods that are great for us can be unsafe for our feline friends due to our vastly different nutritional needs.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution when feeding your cat from your plate. However, there are some people foods that are not just enjoyable for your cat but good for them, too.

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1

Chicken

Cats enjoy eating chicken but it should be cooked without any seasoning. insonnia / Getty Images

As obligate carnivores, cats gain most of their nutrients from animal flesh. Their bodies don’t easily digest other types of food. When it comes to giving your pet a treat, a lean and healthy source of protein like chicken is an excellent option. Take care to cook the meat thoroughly without the addition of oils and seasonings, some of which are toxic to kitties. You should also remove bones and excessively fatty bits such as the skin, which could cause stomach issues.

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Salmon

Domestic cat trying to steal fish from sandwich

Salmon is another great high-protein snack that your cat is sure to appreciate. This nutritious fish contains omega 3 fatty acids that help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy and looking great.

Like chicken, salmon needs to be carefully cooked to minimize the risk of problems such as salmonella poisoning. The salmon should always be fresh, as canned and smoked kinds often contain far too much salt.

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Eggs

Eggs with their excellent range of vitamins and minerals make good snacks. Fotokot197 / Getty Images

A rather surprising snack option, eggs are also safe for felines. In fact, they often enjoy this high protein, easy-to-digest food that contains incredibly beneficial amino acids that support your cat in retaining lean muscle mass.

Eggs should also be thoroughly cooked before you give them to your cat. Scrambling them allows you to mix the eggs in with your cat's own food. However, as with all treats, you should only give your pet small amounts every now and again.

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Cheese

Limit the amount of dairy that you give your cat. Alexlukin / Getty Images

Hard cheese such as cheddar, Swiss, and Gouda and low lactose cheeses like cottage cheese make for delicious, protein-filled treats that your kitty is sure to adore. However, as with all kinds of dairy foods, you need to be careful with how much you give to your cat. The high-fat content could cause them to put on weight, and lactose issues could lead to an upset stomach.

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Spinach

Black cat looking at a plate of food

Unlike both dogs and humans, cats don’t really need to eat vegetables to remain healthy. However, you may find your cat chowing down on one of your house plants from time to time as a way of getting a little more roughage.

Introducing fiber-packed fruits and vegetables such as spinach into their diet can help with this, allowing kitty to maintain good digestive health while sparing your poor plants. Spinach also contains a useful range of other vitamins and minerals for your cat to benefit from.

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Pumpkin

It's not just for black cats, pumpkin offers some surprising health benefits. Wayne Eastep / Getty Images

Pumpkin, which is low in calories and high in fiber, also promotes a healthy gut. Pumpkin also contains vitamins, calcium, and iron that help to support a healthy immune system, among other things. While you are going to want to avoid giving your cat the skin, pulp, or stem, fresh pumpkin that has been baked until soft, as well as canned pumpkin without any additives, is perfect for them.

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Cantaloupe

Yellow cat licking cantaloupe melon on white background

While many cats don’t actually enjoy fruit all that much, some do. In moderation, these make for a fun and healthy snack. Cantaloupe is one of several cat-safe fruits and a good source of antioxidants and beta-carotene for healthy skin and eyes.

One of the key reasons cats seem to love cantaloupe is because of its unique aroma, which is caused by amino acid volatiles. To felines, it smells just like meat. Make sure you remove the tough outer skin and the seeds before giving this to your pet, as both of these can be harmful to them.

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8

Banana

kitten holding a banana in paws, sleeping

Bananas are naturally high in potassium and soluble fiber, making them another tasty, healthy treat for your kitty to enjoy. They can be frozen and blended to give them a creamy texture your cat will love. However, you need to be extra cautious with these yummy fruits because they contain relatively high levels of sugar and carbohydrates, both of which can be problematic for your cat’s body to handle. For this reason, tiny portions are best.

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9

Apple

Apples are a simple yet satisfying treat for your cat. Oleksandr Sprynchak / Getty Images

Another great fiber-filled snack, apple slices have health advantages for your cat if you can get them to eat it. As cats can’t actually taste sweet things, apples aren’t going to be every feline’s cup of tea.

If your cat is a fan, make sure that you remove the skin and cut the apple into small, easily digestible pieces. Be very careful to get rid of all the seeds as these contain chemical compounds that can be harmful for them.

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Oatmeal

Breakfast bowl, open book and a tabby cat in a bed with floral sheets

Generally, you want to avoid giving your kitty too many high-carb foods. But oats are actually high in protein too, and a great source of vitamin B. As such, they are often found in commercial cat foods. Prepare them with water, never milk, or mix them in with their food. It’s always best to give you cat a little taste before serving them up a full portion as not all cats will be keen.

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