Wondering what human foods cats can eat safely? When you’re eating, have you ever noticed your cat looking at you with those big, curious eyes? Maybe your cat even meows, as if to say, “That looks tasty, can I try some?”
As a loving cat owner, it’s hard to say no. But it’s important to check if the food is safe for cats before sharing. Better yet, why not offer your cat some yummy treats that are also good for their health?
If you’re thinking about making cat treats at home or wondering which foods from your meal are okay to share with your cat, here’s a list of the top 8 healthiest human foods your cat can enjoy.
Remember: Some of these cat-safe human foods can also be used to encourage picky cats to eat more. Just be sure there are no dental or health issues causing their pickiness.
Understanding cats as true carnivores and recognizing their allergies
Before we explore the best human foods for cats, it’s essential to know about cats’ eating habits and the chance of them having food allergies.
The nature of cats as obligate carnivores
Cats are known as true or obligate carnivores. This means they need certain nutrients found only in meat. They can’t digest raw plants well because they can’t break down plant cellulose.
This implies that…
- Cats usually don’t eat fruits or vegetables. Most will even completely avoid them, particularly if they’re raw.
- Cats can benefit from vegetables or fruits only if they’re prepared correctly. Some cat foods include vegetables as ingredients.
Tip: The ideal way to make plant foods from this list suitable for cats is to cook and puree them. This method helps break down cellulose. This advice also applies to fruits like pumpkins and peas.
We suggest keeping homemade pureed veggie/fruit treats as simple as possible. Homemade treats are better because you can control what’s in them. Store-bought pureed foods, especially those not made for cats, might have garlic, onions, or other ingredients that are harmful to cats.
Food allergies in cats
Even though meat-based treats are usually safe for cats, some may be allergic to specific meats. Common cat food allergens include:
- Fish or seafood
- Chicken or turkey
- Dairy products (different from lactose intolerance in cats)
Note: For more information on testing your cat for allergies in a safe, controlled environment, talk to your local vet.
Knowing that cats are obligate carnivores and might have certain allergies, pet owners can make better decisions when choosing treats for their cats. Here’s our list of top cat treats for maximum health benefits.
1. Human foods for cats: cooked, plain chicken or turkey
At the top of our list of cat-friendly human foods are two excellent meat options: Chicken and turkey.
Cooked chicken or turkey without any seasoning is a fantastic source of protein for cats. Beyond protein, these meats provide essential nutrients like vitamin b6, selenium, phosphorus, and omega-6 fatty acids.
Chicken and turkey are ideal for cats because they are lean meats with fewer calories compared to beef. This is why chicken is a common ingredient in many cat foods.
Turkey is often used as an alternative to chicken. Although there’s little difference in their nutritional content, chicken does contain a bit more protein per ounce than turkey.
2. Human foods for cats: cooked, pureed spinach
Offering your cat cooked and blended spinach can be a nutritious treat.
It’s important to remember that your cat won’t become super strong like Popeye from eating spinach, but it’s still very beneficial. This leafy green is packed with essential nutrients.
It’s a rich source of dietary fiber, which is good for your cat’s digestion. Additionally, it provides a variety of vitamins including vitamin A, crucial for vision health; vitamin K, important for blood clotting; and vitamin C, which supports the immune system.
Spinach also contains potassium, an essential mineral that helps in maintaining healthy heart and muscle functions in cats.
3. Human foods for cats: cooked, plain beef
Cooked beef without any seasoning is another great protein source for cats. Beef is not only rich in protein but is also an excellent provider of vitamins A, B, and C. Due to its health benefits, beef is often used as an ingredient in commercial cat foods.
4. Human foods for cats: cooked, plain eggs
Cooked eggs, whether hard-boiled or scrambled, are a wonderful and healthy choice to share with your cat.
The reason eggs have made it onto our list of nutritious human foods suitable for cats is due to their rich nutrient profile. Eggs are an outstanding source of high-quality protein, which is essential for your cat’s muscle growth and repair.
They also provide vitamin D, vital for bone health and immune function. Selenium, found in eggs, is important for maintaining a healthy thyroid and immune system in cats.
Additionally, eggs contain riboflavin (Vitamin B2), which plays a crucial role in energy production and overall cellular function. Sharing a small portion of cooked, unseasoned eggs with your cat can be a healthy and enjoyable treat.
5. Human foods for cats: cooked, plain fish
Cooked fish, without any added seasonings, is a delightful treat for cats. Fish is not only a tasty choice but it also offers significant health benefits.
It’s a good source of protein and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for a cat’s skin and coat health. Many cats also favor fish, making it a popular treat option among feline friends.
6. Human foods for cats: cooked, pureed pumpkin
Next on our list of healthy human foods for cats is our first fruit: pumpkin. When given in moderation, cooked and pureed pumpkin can aid in digestion for cats. It’s especially beneficial for cats experiencing constipation or diarrhea.
7. Human foods for cats: Cooked, pureed green beans
While most cats aren’t naturally drawn to greens, green beans can be an exception. If your cat shows interest in green beans, they can be a healthy addition to their diet.
Cooked and pureed green beans are low in calories and high in fiber, making them beneficial for a cat’s digestive health. They also provide essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, and iron.
The high fiber content in green beans helps with various digestive problems, making them a nutritious treat for cats.
8. Human foods for cats: Cooked, Pureed Broccoli
Continuing with our list of healthful foods for cats, let’s consider broccoli.
When cooked and pureed, broccoli becomes a safe and healthy treat for felines. It’s packed with vitamin C, carotenoids, and dietary fiber, all of which are beneficial for cats.
Additionally, broccoli is an excellent source of antioxidants, making it a nutritious choice for your cat’s diet.
Additional tips for feeding your cat human foods
- Moderation is key: Offer human foods in small portions. Even healthy options can upset a cat’s stomach if given in large amounts.
- Avoid seasonings and spices: Serve the foods plain and unseasoned, as many seasonings can be harmful to cats.
- Cook foods thoroughly: All meats and vegetables should be properly cooked to prevent foodborne illnesses.
- Ensure adequate water intake: When introducing new foods, particularly those that are dry or contain salt, make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water available, from your cat’s water fountain. This helps prevent dehydration and supports digestion.
- Introduce new foods gradually: Start with a small amount when giving your cat a new food to see how they react.
- Consult your vet: Always consult with your veterinarian if you’re unsure about the safety of a food, or if your cat has special dietary requirements.
- Balance with cat food: Human food should only be a treat and not a replacement for balanced, high-quality cat food specifically formulated for cats.
Final thoughts about the healthiest for cats
We trust you found our compilation of the healthiest human foods for cats informative and helpful.
In closing, cat owners must remember that cats are obligate carnivores. While they might enjoy the nutritious vegetables mentioned in this list, the primary component of a cat’s diet should always be animal protein.