Standing among the rows of different cat foods in the pet store can be intimidating. We all want to be good pet owners and choose the very best one for our feline friends, but what about the food options beyond the cat food bag?
Keep reading to find out which foods are safe, so you know what kitty can and cannot eat the next time she creeps up and tries to stick a paw in your food bowl. Here are common human foods that are perfectly safe (and healthy) for your cat to snack on. Spoiler: lasagna did not make the cut. Sorry, Garfield.
You can put this one on your yes list. Your cat can certainly benefit from the apple's dietary fiber and valuable phytonutrients, which help to regulate blood sugar. Just stay away from applesauce since it usually contains added sugar that your cat doesn't need.
The extra dose of potassium and fiber found in bananas can only benefit your kitty, so don't be afraid to share. Just don't let your cat go bananas over his new favorite treat since extra snacks should only account for about 10 percent (or less) of your cat's daily intake.
Packed with vitamins A and C, blueberries can already be found in the ingredients list of some commercial cat foods. They're also said to help your cats night vision. If your cat is super picky and doesn't take to fresh blueberries, try freezing a few and offering them as a cold treat on a warm day.
Give your kitty a small serving of steamed broccoli to help with any pesky digestive issues. It may also help curb her craving for greens and prevent her from snacking on your precious house plants.
If your cat looks interested in your juicy slice of cantaloupe, let him take a nibble. His skin and eyes will thank you for your generosity since the melon is loaded with beta-carotene and antioxidants.
Canned Baby Food
A spoonful of baby food helps the medicine go down .... no, really. It does. Baby food is a great way to trick your cat into taking his medicine. You'll likely have the best luck with a meat-based pureed baby food — the grosser, the better in this case.
Is your cat always scoping out the cheese situation at your house? Then let him at it! Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA, recommends sticking with a hard cheese, like cheddar, Swiss or Gouda, since they're all high in calcium and protein.
Does your cat seem to alway have a urinary tract infection? Do the same thing as humans do and incorporate cranberries into her diet. Besides keeping urinary health in check, blueberries pack a high dose of Vitamin C, fiber, and manganese.
Set out an extra plate for your friendly feline next time you whip up a batch of cheesy scrambled eggs. They're as healthy for your cat as they are for you, thanks to their high protein content. According to Animal Planet, many books that promote natural cat diets actually strongly encourage owners to give their cats eggs.
Your cat probably comes running anytime you crack open a can of tuna fish. It's okay to share a few bites, just don't let him have too much because the high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids can deplete a cat's supply of vitamin E. Oh, and keep your sushi to yourself. Your kitty should only ingest cooked fish.
Plain and simple — Dr. Eric Barchas, head veterinarian for the website Catster, said "I have yet to see a cat come to harm after eating small amounts of ice cream."
Since cats are carnivores, it only makes sense that yours will beg for a piece of your rotisserie chicken. And while it's fine to share tiny bits of cooked chicken, beef, turkey or any other lean meat, it's best to avoid fatty and fried meats, or those with salts, nitrates or preservatives. Only the best for your kitty!
If you thought this would be a yes food, too — you'd be wrong. Cats actually shouldn't drink cows milk because they can't digest it. Cats are born with the ability to digest it, but once they're weaned, the enzyme that enables them to digest it (lactase) starts to disappear.
If you happen to be drinking almond or soy milk, feel free to let your kitty enjoy the last few sips since both are safe. The main key is moderation. Extra calories add up fast for a lazy house cat.
For kittens younger than 4 weeks, you'll have to stick with specialized kitten formula that you can find at your local pet store. You'll also be getting up every 2 hours to bottle feed and stimulate it, so make sure you can handle the commitment (and lack of sleep!).
A nice juicy pear is such a refreshing treat, no wonder your cat is curious about this delicious fruit. If you find your cat taste testing your pear, don't fret. Pears are an excellent source of dietary fiber and provide your cat with vitamin K and cancer-fighting phytonutrients.
Just because your cat doesn't mainly dine on fruits and vegetables like some other animals, doesn't mean that they should totally avoid plant-based nutrition. Cats can actually benefit from the vitamins and minerals in peas even if they cannot utilize the other nutrients in them as well as another species (like a rabbit) might be able to. Peas for two, please!
Don't throw away that extra piece of pumpkin or squash from tonight's dinner, save it for your kitty instead. Just heat it up on a paper towel and microwave for a few seconds before offering your cat a pinch.
If your cat constantly has tummy troubles, a bowl of rice might be the answer to your problems. Start with either long grain white rice or quinoa to see which your cat likes best. Carbs for the win!
Spinach contains almost every vitamin and mineral and is low in calories, so it makes the perfect leafy green snack for your kitten. Just be sure to avoid it if your cat has kidney or urinary problems since it can cause crystals to form in their urinary tract.
Thankfully for your cat, watermelon is a hard yes. It's a great way to help keep them hydrated in the summertime since watermelon is made up of 92 percent water. It also contains vitamins A, C, and B-6, and potassium to help your feline maintain healthy muscle and nerve function.