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What Can Cats Eat Besides Cat Food?

Cats, those mysterious and enchanting creatures, have a reputation for being picky eaters.

You may find your feline friend turning up their nose at the carefully selected premium cat food you have lovingly placed in their bowl.

Instead, they cast longing glances at your dinner, perhaps even attempting a daring swipe at your plate when you are not looking.

As cat owners, we are no strangers to the curiosity of our four-legged companions when it comes to our meals. But have you ever wondered, “What can cats eat besides cat food?”.

In this blog article, we will delve into the fascinating world of feline nutrition and examine what cats can safely eat outside of their typical cat food and how to do it to promote their well-being.

Cats Dietary Requirements

What Can Cats Eat Besides Cat Food

Before we delve into the enticing world of alternative foods for your feline friend, it is essential to understand what makes a cat diet unique.

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies are biologically adapted to thrive on a diet primarily composed of animal proteins.

Unlike omnivores or herbivores, cats have specific dietary requirements that must be met for them to stay healthy and happy.

Obligate Carnivores

Cats are obligate carnivores, which reflects their evolutionary history as hunters and meat-eaters. Their bodies have evolved to rely heavily on animal-based nutrients to meet their energy and metabolic needs. This evolutionary specialization has several key implications for their dietary requirements:

Macronutrients Essential for Cats

  • Protein: Cats require a substantial amount of high-quality protein to maintain muscle mass, support growth, and fulfill their energy needs. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are vital for various bodily functions, making protein the cornerstone of a cat diet.
  • Fat: While fat content in a cat diet is lower than protein, it is still essential. Fats provide a concentrated energy source and are necessary for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. Additionally, fats contribute to a cat coat’s health and skin condition.

Micronutrients Crucial for Cats

  • Vitamins: Cats require specific vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and B-complex vitamins to maintain various physiological functions, including vision, bone health, and a robust immune system.
  • Minerals: Essential minerals include calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These are pivotal for bone and teeth health, muscle function, and cellular processes.

Safe Human Foods for Cats

Now that we have established the unique dietary requirements of cats, let us explore some safe human foods that can be incorporated into your feline friend’s diet.

While it is essential to remember that cat food should remain the primary source of nutrition for your pet, these human foods can serve as occasional treats or supplements:

  • Fish
  • Fruits
  • Cheese
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Oatmeal
  • Melon
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy Products
  • Lean Proteins

While these safe human foods can be occasional additions to your cat’s diet, it is crucial to remember the importance of moderation. Keep portions small and avoid overindulgence. Always monitor your cat for any signs of allergies or digestive issues when introducing new foods. Additionally, remember that these foods should complement a balanced commercial cat food diet rather than replace it.

Preparing cat food in the absence of any

You might be amazed at how simple it is to prepare a dinner for your cat using the items you already have in the refrigerator or pantry.

The following list of cat-safe foods can be used to feed your cat in an emergency:

  • Asparagus
  • Boiled plain rice
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Cooked egg whites
  • Cooked barley
  • Cooked chicken
  • Green beans
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Salmon
  • Tinned tuna
  • Whitefish

Foods to Avoid

While exploring safe human foods for your feline friend, it is equally important to be aware of potentially harmful or toxic foods to cats. Some human foods can lead to severe health issues or even be life-threatening for your pet.

Here is a list of foods you should avoid giving to your cat:

  • Onions and Garlic:
  • Grapes and Raisins:
  • Chocolate:
  • Fatty Meats:
  • Processed Foods:
  • Candy and Desserts:
  • Onion Powder and Garlic Powder:
  • Salt and Excessive Spices:

Special Dietary Considerations

What Can Cats Eat Besides Cat Food

Here are some special dietary considerations for various categories of cats:

Senior Cats

As cats age, their dietary needs may change. Senior cats often benefit from the following dietary adjustments:

  • Lower-Calorie Diet: Senior cats tend to be less active and may require fewer calories. Transitioning to a lower-calorie diet can help prevent obesity and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Joint Health Supplements: Joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can support mobility and alleviate joint pain, which is common in older cats.
  • Easy-to-Digest Foods: As cats age, their digestion may become less efficient. Foods with easily digestible ingredients can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal issues.


Kittens have unique dietary requirements due to their growth and development. Special considerations include:

  • High-Quality Kitten Food: Kittens require a diet with higher protein and calorie content to support their rapid growth and energy needs.
  • Frequent Feeding: Kittens need to eat more often than adult cats, around 4 to 5 times daily. Free-feeding or scheduled measured meals are options to consider.
  • Calcium and Phosphorus: These minerals are crucial for healthy bone development in kittens, so look for foods formulated with the appropriate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

Cats with Medical Conditions

Cats with specific medical conditions require tailored diets to manage their health effectively. If your cat has a medical issue, work closely with your veterinarian to address their dietary needs. Common conditions include:

  • Diabetes: Cats with diabetes may require a diet that helps regulate blood sugar levels, such as high-fiber, low-carbohydrate foods.
  • Kidney Disease: Specialized kidney diets with reduced phosphorus and high-quality protein are often recommended to support cats with kidney issues.
  • Food Allergies: Cats with food allergies might need a limited-ingredient diet to avoid allergenic ingredients.
  • Urinary Tract Health: Urinary tract health can be managed with diets that control urinary pH and promote hydration.

It is crucial to remember that any dietary changes, especially for cats with health conditions, should be made in consultation with a veterinarian. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your cat’s needs, ensuring their health and well-being are appropriately addressed. Specialized cat food formulas are available for many of these conditions, making managing your cat’s diet easier while considering their requirements.


In conclusion, there are many creative and thoughtful ways to respond to what cats can eat besides cat food.

Your feline companion can enjoy various human meals, but it is important to approach this trip with your cat’s welfare in mind.

By doing this, you can balance learning about food and being a responsible pet owner, keeping your cat content and healthy for years.


Can cats eat canned tuna?

It probably won’t harm to eat some tuna occasionally. However, a regular tuna intake prepared for humans may result in malnutrition since it lacks the minerals that cats require. Mercury toxicity can also result from consuming too much tuna.

Can cats have peanut butter?

The short response is no. Cats are carnivores; thus, they must consume meat to stay healthy. Peanut butter gives cats an excessive amount of certain things and little nutritional value, much like cookies, which aren’t the healthiest for people. High Fat: To keep the shelf life of peanut butter, trans-fatty acids are used.

Can cats have cheese?

Although cheese is not poisonous to cats, many cats are lactose intolerant, which means they have digestive problems after consuming milk and cheese because they cannot properly digest the type of sugar contained in dairy products.

Can cats eat bananas?

A banana is the safest and healthiest treat for your cat, but just like the other foods on this list, it must be given in moderation. Not even half of a banana should be consumed by your cat. Please give her a little slice of your banana in place of that. If your cat rejects your offering, don’t be startled.

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