Jen Van de Kieft
Is It Safe to Give Your Cat Human Food?
Josh tries a broccoli leaf, but decides it's not for him.
Certain human foods are safe for you cat, in moderation. For example, a small amount of cut up chicken breast can make an excellent healthy treat. Canned pumpkin can be added to food for extra fiber to address constipation, with veterinarian approval. Powerful fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and tomatoes can provide a boost of antioxidants and vitamins, if you can get your cat to eat them. Try cutting them up into small pieces and adding it to wet food.
However, there are many foods that are not safe for cats including garlic, chocolate, and avocado. For a full list of dangerous foods, check out the ASPCA's website:
Commercial cat food is formulated to meet the needs of your cat, and is what I feed my 5 cats. Commercial food should follow the nutritional guidelines set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Homemade diets can be dangerous because it's difficult to get the amount of the necessary vitamins your cat needs just right. I recommend a food rotation diet of commercial food that includes both canned wet food and dry food (though I recommend using food puzzles for dry food). Food rotation means mixing up brands and flavors to provide a variety. I think this is the best way to ensure adequate nutrition. If you're interested in a food rotation diet, but have only been feeding one brand, try mixing new food into your cat's diet slowly. Start by mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of the regular food, and gradually increase the percentage of the new food. This will help to avoid an upset stomach. You should always consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about what to feed your cat.
Luke steals a blueberry, but decides it's better as a toy.