What Not to Feed Cats

Orange cat on kitchen counter licking mouth

Feeding human food to your cat may be tempting and you may even see it as a way to boost your cat's nutrition or to give them a special treat. However, human food should never be used as a substitute for well-balanced, nutritional cat food. In fact, some human foods can do more harm than good to your cat. Read on to learn what not to feed cats.

What Not to Feed Cats

The good news is that if you're feeding a nutritionally balanced cat food along with providing a source of clean, fresh water, your cat is getting all the nutrients that they need. However, you can always check with your veterinarian to make sure if giving your cat something extra is okay.

If you still want to throw in some extras into your cat's food bowl, make sure you avoid feeding the following foods:

Milk

Many of us are familiar with the image of a cat happily and eagerly lapping up a bowl of milk. However, too much milk can cause diarrhea in cats. It's also not a source of complete nutrition that your cat needs. You should never substitute milk for water.

Raw Eggs

You should never feed raw eggs to your cat because of the risk of salmonella. For cats, repeated consumption of raw eggs can also lead to skin inflammation, hair loss and poor growth due to biotin deficiency.

Raw Fish

Some types of raw fish can cause cats to suffer from thiamine deficiency. This deficiency can cause anorexia, abnormal posture, weakness and even death.

Raw Meats

While raw diets are becoming ever more popular, it's best not to experiment with raw meat when feeding your cat. Raw meat can contain parasites, and raw meat alone can't provide the proper balance of nutrients that a cat needs.

Bones

Cats, like dogs, should not gnaw on bones. Small and soft bones, like the ones found in pork chops or chicken, can splinter and lodge into your cat's mouth or throat.

Excess Supplements

If your cat is eating a nutritionally balanced diet, giving them extra supplements can mean wasted vitamins, or worse, vitamin toxicity. However, supplements are beneficial to cats that have certain health issues. Always make sure to check with your veterinarian to make sure if supplements are right for your cat.

Table Scraps

While your cat may enjoy munching on a table scrap or two, most of the time she will be uninterested. This is because most human food does not provide the balanced diet that cats need. As a general rule, treats or table scraps should be limited to no more than 10 percent of your cat's total daily calories. Though we personally recommend avoiding table scraps, you can check with your veterinarian to make sure they are okay for your cat.

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