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Health and Fitness News

Here, Kitty, Kitty

Safe and unsafe human foods to feed your cat.

Leave the butter on the counter or a bowl of leftover cereal milk on the table and what happens? If you’ve got a cat in the house, that food will likely be gone. But what if your cat gets into food that’s unsafe? To protect the health of your pet cats, it’s important to know which foods are safe and which aren’t.

The best food for all cats is the cat food you buy at the store specifically formulated for cats’ digestive systems and health needs. While some cat lovers like to offer table scraps or prepare special meals for their pets, it’s recommended that human food make up no more than 15 percent of a cat’s overall diet. Here’s a list of foods considered safe and unsafe for your cat.

Meat/Poultry/Fish

Cats are naturally carnivores and require some amount of meat to survive. When deciding what to feed your cat, animal meat is always a safe option. Prepare beef, pork, poultry, or fish and the cats come running. When feeding any type of meat or fish to your cat, make sure it’s cooked properly to avoid unhealthy bacteria and is boneless to avoid the risk of choking.

Cats seem to smell a can of tuna from a mile away, but even a small bite of canned tuna can be dangerous to the health of your cat. If you know your cat likes fish, buy fish-flavored cat food.

You may be tempted to feed your cat the fat trimmings from your meat knowing they’ll enjoy the meaty flavor. But beware. Too much fat in your cat’s diet can lead to pancreatitis, diarrhea, and an overweight cat.

Vegetables

While vegetables are vital for your health and wellness, cats can do just fine without them. This doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy a little every once in a while. Vegetables safe to feed your cat include cooked carrots, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, or squash.

Eggs

Rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, eggs are generally safe for cats. While fixing yourself an egg for breakfast, why not make one for your cat? It’s best to serve cats scrambled or hard-boiled eggs rather than raw to avoid the risk of a salmonella or E. coli bacteria infection.

Milk

Many adult cats are lactose intolerant, making dairy products an unwise choice for cat food. While they may love the taste of milk, cheese, yogurt, or sour cream, these foods may cause a bad case of vomiting or diarrhea. Because of this, offer very small amounts to see how your cat’s digestive system reacts or feed lactose-free varieties of milk and cheese. Since cats love to lap up milk but hate to take medicine, you may find it helpful to add the medicine to a small bowl of milk to ensure your cat takes it.

Off Limits

A few foods are completely off limits for your pet cat. Like dogs, cats should never eat chocolate. An ingredient in chocolate can cause seizures, muscle tremors, and heart arrhythmias in cats.

Be careful never to leave your alcohol, tea, coffee, or energy drinks sitting out where your cat can access them. Just one tablespoon of alcohol can cause brain and liver damage, and coma and death are likely. Any beverage that contains caffeine is also dangerous. Caffeine in cats can cause heart palpitations, rapid breathing, and muscle tremors.

Onions and garlic are also on the list of foods to keep from your cat. Too much can cause digestive problems or even anemia. So check ingredient labels before feeding your cat any processed foods that may contain onion or garlic.

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