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What human foods can cats eat?

Here’s the rundown on the best foods for cats.

Cats, being the natural climbers they are, sometimes find themselves in unconventional hangout spots — like kitchen countertops. And if you’re someone who likes to keep your farmer’s market produce on the counter, or if cooking is your hobby, it’s important to know which human foods are fair game for your sneaky cat to eat (especially while you’re not home). 

Always reach out to your veterinarian before serving your cat a new food, but Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch by The Dodo’s on-staff veterinarian, is sharing what foods are generally safe and unsafe for felines to enjoy. Just remember a to limit their treat servings (yes, we mean the safe options) to less than 10% of your pet's daily diet. 

Can cats eat fruit?

Bananas, apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, peaches and strawberries are safe fruits that cats can enjoy, Dr. McCullough says.

“Fruit contains many different vitamins and nutrients; however, when given in small portions, they’re unlikely to have a significant impact on your cat’s health,” she adds. “Instead, consider them healthier alternatives to commercial cat treats.”

Can cats eat vegetables? 

If your cat is interested in your produce, they’re in luck. Zucchini, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, peas and carrots are typically safe for most cats and are best served steamed, Dr. McCullough explains. However, always ask your veterinarian before giving your pet a serving of vegetables. 

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Can cats eat meat?

You’re probably used to feeding your cat meat in their vet-approved diet, but can they have a bite of your chicken breast? The answer is likely yes.

According to Dr. McCullough, cooked lean meats, like chicken and turkey breast, beef, salmon and tuna contain protein and the fish, specifically, have beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, too.

What foods should cats avoid eating?

While there are many safe human food options for cats, some foods aren’t OK for them to indulge in. For example, onions, garlic, chocolate, products containing caffeine, alcohol, grapes, raisins and raw eggs, meat and dough are a few off-limit foods cats should avoid, Dr. McCullough explains.

Surprisingly enough, anything with milk is possibly unsafe for cats, too. Although milk isn’t toxic to cats, many felines are actually lactose intolerant, she adds. 

Checking in with your veterinarian before giving your pet a new food can help protect them from food-related health issues, like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite and toxicity. If you think your cat is having an adverse reaction to human food, look out for vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, abdominal pain, seizures, tremors or difficulty breathing, Dr. McCullough explains.

The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.

Photo by Piotr Musioł on Unsplash

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