Many pet owners feel like our cats are a part of the family and want to treat them just like any other family member. However, when it comes to their diet, they are not a part of the crew.
While some human foods like cooked eggs, chicken and oatmeal are okay to give cats occasionally, they should be a very minor part of a cat’s diet. Cats have specific dietary needs that are hard to meet through human food, so make sure to give your cat a feline-friendly diet made of healthy cat food.
Human Foods: What cats can eat and what they can’t?
Human foods should never be a staple food for our feline friends. We can give them our food as occasional treats, but it should not be of permanent consumption option for them. Cats’ immune systems are different from humans’, so foods that we enjoy might have negative effects on their overall health.
Food that is okay to eat
There are some human foods that are considered healthy treats for our cats such as cooked eggs, chicken, peas, bananas, bread, oatmeal, and fish.
Don’t give your cat these foods
There are human foods that you should never share with your cat because they may cause harmful effects on our feline friends. These foods include dough, chives, any dairy product with high lactose, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, mushrooms and raisins. Of course, they should also never consume human medication or drugs.
Proper knowledge and disciplined feeding of our cats with human foods is the best way to keep them in top health.
Common mistakes cat owners make when feeding their cats
In addition to not giving your cat too much human food, especially not the types that are bad for it, there are also other things to be aware of when feeding your cat. Here are the most common mistakes that cat owners usually make that you should avoid.
Feeding too much
Even though a chubby cat might look cute, behind this “cuteness” is a health risk that is common in cats and humans alike. Obesity continues terrorizing cats, and its cause is usually overfeeding. Just like we try to control ourselves from overeating, the same should go for our cats.
Feeding only dry food
One of the most common mistakes cat owners make is feeding their cats with dry food only. As a result, cats don’t get enough liquid which may lead to dehydration and urinary tract problems.
Not keeping them hydrated
Cats are not fond of drinking. They do not voluntarily drink water, even if we expect them to. Water is a vital ingredient for the survival of cats, as much as it is for humans. Water deficiency may cause severe illnesses among cats, which may also lead to death. If your cat doesn’t drink much water, incorporate wet food into its diet.
Not giving them fresh water
Cats won’t drink water that’s been sitting in their water bowl for a long time, they find it unappealing to drink water from a stagnant source. Many cat owners don’t realize this and leave their cats with stagnant water bowl without changing it for too long. A cat water fountain can help if you’re dealing with this kind of issue.
Feeding cats a vegetarian diet
Cats are naturally carnivores, which mean that they rely on a meat diet. Some people believe that if vegetables are healthy for humans, then they must be beneficial for our cats, too. Although we can occasionally feed our cats with some vegetables, we should not aim for them to become vegetarian. This would only deprive them of the proper nutrients that their bodies need and can cause several health problems.
Common Questions regarding sharing foods with a cat
Can cat rabies be transmitted to humans through food?
Yes. A cat’s rabies is usually transmitted through a bite from an infected animal. When bitten, the saliva will travel through the wound from the infected cat to the human. In unique cases, rabies may be transmitted through the sharing of food if it’s contaminated with the infected cat’s saliva.
Will a person die from eating a portion of cat food?
Eating cat food will not kill you, but it can make you sick. A single bite of a cat’s kibble to test whether it is appetizing or not definitely won’t harm a person’s health. However, continuous consumption of cat food isn’t good for humans since these foods are specifically made to cater to the nutrients that a cat’s body needs, not humans.
Can cats eat human foods?
Yes, cats can eat human foods. However, you should not solely base your cat’s diet on human foods since it will deprive them of the proper nutrients they need. While we may enjoy feeding our felines with our own food, we must always bear in mind that they are not humans; they need to eat what they are supposed to eat – cat food.
Top 10 cat health problems
A good starting place to keep your cat healthy is by giving them a good diet, but you should also keep an eye on their health and take them to the vet regularly. Here are some of the most common diseases cats suffer from to keep an eye on.
- Cancer – A disease in which cells grow uncontrollably and invade other tissues and affect other organs.
- Diabetes – Can be caused by low hormones, insulin, or an inadequate insulin response.
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) – A virus that attacks the cat’s immune system and shows symptoms years after becoming infected.
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FLV) – A transmittable virus commonly found in domestic cats.
- Heartworm – Heartworms generally affect the lungs and are spread by cats.
- High-Rise Syndrome – A formal name for falling, which can cause broken limbs, shattered jaws, or worse, death.
- Rabies –An almost-100% fatal viral disease that can affect nearly all mammals’ brains and spinal cords.
- Ringworm – A highly contagious disease that may affect humans as well. It is caused by a fungus that commonly affects nails, skin, and hair.
- Upper Respiratory Infections – An infection that attacks the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, throat, and sinus area.
- Worms – May weaken their immune systems and pose serious health problems.
It must be disheartening to realize that we can’t spoil our felines with the foods we thought they might enjoy. However, feeding our cats well and not sharing our food is not depriving them of anything. Rather, it is taking care of their health and ours.