Human Food that Cats Can Eat

Fighting the temptation to give your cat leftovers straight from your plate? We understand what it’s like, you want to reward your cat but you are never sure if it is safe to give human food cats can eat.

When it comes down to people food that cats can eat, you need to be cautious! Cats are obligate carnivores. Eating something out of the ordinary could be toxic for them.

Here is a list of common safe and toxic foods that will give you the basic knowledge of which types of human food that cats can eat. Just know that the foods below should never be fed as a regular diet (except for meat) for your cat!

Let’s start with our amazing infographic about human food that cats can eat.

Human food that cats can eat infographic

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In order to reduce food-borne illnesses, always cook eggs, veggies, meat, and fish.

Can cats eat fruits? YES but…

can cats eat fruits

Certain fruits are totally fine for cats to eat, but be careful. Fruits with seeds (apples, apricots, pears, grapes, cherry) can be extremely dangerous for your cat.

The seeds of these fruits contain a harmful substance: cyanogenic glycoside.

If you are not sure, just don’t feed your cat with it or ask your vet beforehand.

To help you out, here are 2 healthy fruit alternatives cats can eat. Cantaloupe (antioxidants and beta-carotene which promotes healthy skin and eye health), and blueberries (an excellent source of vitamins A and C).

Can cats eat bananas? YES

cant cats eat banana

Yes! Bananas make up for a great human snack for your cat. They are a great source of potassium and soluble fiber. It’s a good and healthy little snack for fluffy as long as you do not overfeed him with it!

Can cats eat apples? YES but…

can cats eat apples

Yes, cats can eat apples as they are a rich source of fiber and vitamin C. But it is important to take off the skin and the seeds. As mentioned earlier, seeds are toxic for cats!

Can cats eat grapes? NO

can cats eat grapes

Cats should avoid eating grapes because they are sometimes hidden with seeds. Remember, no seeds! 🙂 They contain a harmful substance for your cat. It’s better not to take the risk and avoid poisoning your cat, don’t you think?

Can cats eat vegetables? YES, but…

can cats eat vegetables

Yes, cats can eat vegetables but only little amounts.  Also, it’s important to cook them! We recommend avoiding uncooked veggies that your cat could potentially have a hard time to digest.

Recommended cooked vegetables for your cat’s consumption are asparagus, zucchini, and sweet potato as they aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Other good vegetables for your cats are baked carrots, steamed broccoli, green beans, winter squash, or chopped greens.

Can cats eat onions or garlic? NO

can cats have garlic

Onions and garlic are two human foods for cats to be avoided at all costs.

Those two contain sulfur compounds that are harmful to cats. Your cat could throw up, have anemia and tachycardia. It’s best to avoid it!

A good rule of thumb is to never feed your cat with people food that contains onions or garlic. Even if a little amount won’t kill him, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Can cats eat avocados? NO

can cats eat avocado

Avocados are not great human foods for cats to eat because they contain a toxin called Persin, which is dangerous for your furry friend. According to the ASPCA, avocado is mostly dangerous for cattle, horses, goats, and birds.

However, even if it is not clearly established if it is highly dangerous for cats, we recommend not to take the risk and choose another type of human food that cats can eat.

Can cats eat corn? YES, but…

can cats eat corn

Yes, cats can eat corn just fine, but it’s not the best for them. Most cheap cat food brands have corn or corn meal as the first ingredient. It’s not gonna harm your cat but we find nothing that indicates it is beneficial for your cat.

In fact, such ingredients in cheap cat food can actually end up harming your cat’s health over the long run.

A little bit of it, why not, but we don’t think it’s the best!

Can cats eat meat? YES!!!!

can cats eat meatNot only they can, but they should!

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they cannot survive without meat.

It’s one of the safest human foods a cat can have!

The best is poultry (we recommend cooking plain chicken for its lean protein), but you can feed your cat turkey or any other kind of meat, too.

Just make sure the meat has not been salted as cats should not consume salt or any other spices.

Can cats eat fish? YES, but…

can cats eat fish

Cats love fish so you won’t have to force them to eat it. However, it’s important to carefully choose what type of fish you feed him: it’s better to choose a “fat” type of fish like tuna, salmon, or mackerel because it contains a fatty acid that your cat cannot produce by himself (fish oil/omega 3).

Too much fish is a bad thing for your cat and would cause some trouble if you don’t be careful! They can eat raw fish but it’s always better to cook it!

We recommend salmon for its omega 3.

Be careful with canned tuna: they often contain too much salt and it will damage your cat’s kidneys in the long run.

Can cats eat eggs? YES

can cats eat eggs

Eggs are safe for cats to eat and is a recommended treat! Eggs provide a nutritious amount of proteins.

Many books recommend eggs for your cat and some say it’s ok to give it raw but we believe it is too risky and that it needs to be cooked to prevent diseases such as salmonella or E. Colli.

Next time you run out of kitty treats, turn to the fridge and scramble up an egg! Bon appétit!

Can cats drink milk? YES, but…

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Great question. Everybody usually thinks that it’s okay to give milk to a cat since they drink their mom’s milk as kittens.

As they become adults, however, most cats become lactose intolerant!

Giving them a bowl of milk might not be the best snack for the beast.

Yoda always can smell when there is a glass of milk out. We cannot resist giving him a lick or two from our fingers but don’t put out a bowl for your cat to lap up. This isn’t Hollywood!

And no, it is not okay to give milk instead of their regular food or water.

Can cats eat cheese? YES, but…

can cats eat cheese

Cats don’t really digest dairy very well, so if they are lactose intolerant it’s not wise to give them cheese. Especially when there are so many other human foods you can give your cat!

If your cat is crazy for cheese though, it is technically safe but in small amounts only.  The best choices of cheese are Cheddar, Swiss or Gouda (hard cheese type), as they are rich in calcium and protein.

And lastly…

Can cats eat chocolate? NO

can cats eat chocolate

Chocolate is dangerous for your cat (the same goes for dogs). As good as it tastes in our human mouths, chocolate contains theobromine which disturbs a cat’s nervous system.

Plus, they cannot eliminate this substance without suffering so avoid giving chocolate to your cat at all costs.

Make sure to wrap up your candy bar and store it away. In a nutshell, too much chocolate could be fatal.

My cat ate something he should not have, what do I do?

If your cat ate human food he or she shouldn’t have, then contact your vet immediately. The faster you are, the best chances you have!

Remember, cats are obligate carnivores so if you ever want to give human food to your cat, the best is to just whip up some plain cooked chicken!

There are plenty of human foods cats can eat safely, but it’s wise to limit giving your cat any table scraps.

If you want to treat your cat with human food, do so sparingly and caringly!

Final Thoughts: Human Food that Cats Can & Cannot Eat

Feeding human food to your cat is not bad at all! Just make sure the people food your providing isn’t toxic or dangerous to your cat’s health.

The good thing is that the list of dangerous food for cats is actually pretty small.

An easy rule of thumb to keep in mind is to feed your cat only up to 15% of human foods.

Here are some reminders when giving your cat human food:

  • Do everything in moderation
  • Be careful with potential allergies
  • Think twice before giving your cat food
  • Avoid producing bad behavior (i.e., jumping up on the table during dinner..)
  • Spoil your kitty, but not too much! 🙂
  • Check here for further information regarding toxic foods for your cat
  • Read how to make your own homemade cat food
  • Keep in touch, and thanks for following Fluffy Kitty!

11 Comments

  1. Giorgia said:

    Great information and captivating presentation! Thank you very much!

    April 2, 2018
    Reply
  2. Wynoochie said:

    Cats do not have to be fed cooked meat, it should be raw. That is their natural diet, and they have very acidic stomachs that are able to digest raw meats/eggs without causing harm to the animal. Raw meats should be included in their diet regularly as much as possible. The processed kibble most animal owners feed is terrible for cats. Cats would not be obese or have a ton of food allergies if they were simply fed what nature intended.

    January 29, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi there! Yes we agree, cats are carnivores and yep, that means meat – raw or cooked – but let’s face it, most house cats aren’t used to eating raw meat. Our Yoda wouldn’t dig his teeth into raw meat like a feral cat would simply because he’s a spoiled house cat who likes to play with mice rather than eat them. And this article is meant to inform cat owners what human foods are safe for their cats to eat, not as daily substitutes, but on the rare case there’s no more kibble. We definitely agree with the processed kibble statement, and that’s why we recommend not to buy into the cheap stuff (because it’s truly unnatural for cats). However, there are some quality brand cat foods, like Orijen, but they come at a price not many cat owners can afford. Thanks for stopping by!

      January 31, 2018
      Reply
  3. Gerri said:

    I was feeding the stray cats in my neighborhood, poor things were so hungry and it made me feel good knowing they had a full belly. I got a letter from the home owners association, that if I didn’t stop feeding them I would be fined and legal action would take place. I feel so bad it breaks my heart knowing they are hungry. Don’t know what to do now. Why do people have to be so hateful? I try to sneak a little dry food when it gets dark and everyone should be inside. Nosey ass neighbors.

    January 23, 2018
    Reply
    • Oh my goodness! That’s very upsetting. Thanks so much for feeding the kitties! How many are there? Maybe you could just tell them that technically they are yours since you are the main caretaker? It’s likely they will still come around to your house, because that’s where they know they can go for food and cuddles. I bet you already have, but I can’t help to ask anyway: adoption?? =^^= Otherwise if you can’t have cats in your house, you could make a little outdoor “home” for them using a storage box with a little hole cut out. You could put in an old blanket and bowls for food and water. They wouldn’t necessarily be strays then 🙂 We wish you best of luck, please keep us updated if you decide to home them or take some to a shelter. Thanks again for your message!

      January 25, 2018
      Reply
    • Jan Van Dusen said:

      Report them to the cruelty of animals. One man just got 90 yeArs in prison. Also, there are cat organizations that can capture them and relocate them or maybe find them a home. I would relocate them because someone might harm them,

      January 28, 2019
      Reply
  4. EPS said:

    Honestly, I didn’t know that cats could eat eggs! I think it’s amazing cats are able to eat what humans can eat, thank you for this informative article, Fluffy Kitty!

    January 13, 2018
    Reply
    • Aww, super glad the article was of some use for you! Many thanks for dropping by and stay tuned with more pawticles!

      January 14, 2018
      Reply
  5. Briana said:

    Every day I go into my backyard and there is always a little cat. It seems to be scared of humans. It looked very skinny so i put some baloney and water out. My parents said to leave the cat alone and not to feed it. About 10 minutes after i put the water and baloney out i looked up what is good for cats. It said that Boloney is not very good for cats. I went outside and replaced the baloney with a banana. The internet said that bananas r good for cats. I wanted to name the cat kitty.

    September 17, 2017
    Reply
    • Brittany said:

      Hi Briana, indeed – not all human foods are safe for cats. Bananas are a good choice, though. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

      September 26, 2017
      Reply

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