Tip 78 – Cat treats – table scraps – Can I give my cat treats
Cats are finicky creatures especially when it comes to what they will eat. We humans are often tempted to give them some of our human food as treats because we feel they are not eating enough of their own food. In general, a human diet and the way we humans prepare our food is not appropriate for cats. Humans are omnivores and cats are obligate carnivores. Furthermore, humans cook their food with all kinds of additives that are bad for a cat’s digestive system and have the potential to be very dangerous. If you follow the directions based on your cat’s weight on your bag or cans of cat food, then your cat’s diet should be considered complete. If your cat is losing weight and really is not eating well, then you should call your vet for a consultation.
Occasionally though, after we have been hypnotized by our cat’s charm and good looks we may treat our cats with human food so long as it remains an occasional treat and does not make up the major portion of their diet. Up to a tablespoon of human food is a good approximate quantity for the occasional treat. A touch of cooked boneless beef, cooked boneless chicken, cooked brown rice or cooked egg is normally not a problem.
The problem becomes identifying what human food is safe and unsafe for a cat to eat, and how it should be prepared for the cat. For instance, a little bit of DE-BONED COOKED fish without any spices shouldn’t harm your cat. However canned tuna contains quite a bit of mercury and heavy oil, both of which are quite bad for your cat. Cats also digest better when the food is at room temperature while humans like their cooked foods hot. Another key problem is knowing if the food was prepared with a substance that is bad for cats. A VERY short list of bad foods include; chocolate, corn products, alcoholic/caffeine products, bones (either cooked or raw because even cooked bones can splinter) raw eggs, onions, nuts and MANY other items.
Given all these risks, unless you have done the research or consulted with your veterinarian, the safest route would be to not give your cat table scraps at all. There are plenty of high quality cat treats that can be purchased in pet stores and given occasionally. These treats were specifically designed for cats, so why take a chance with human food.