Want to feed your cat human food? Understanding your pet's nutritional needs is the first step. Cats are classified as obligate carnivores, meaning they need meat to survive and thrive. If you want to cook for a cat, I urge you to talk to your vet or consult with a veterinary nutritionist about the individual needs of your feline companion animal and how those needs change with age. You'll also want to pay close attention to how much home-cooked food your cat should eat in order for him or her to maintain a healthy weight - a good rule of thumb is that human food should not make up more than 15 percent of a cat's diet. Follow these guidelines for foods that are safe to feed cats.
1. Meat: Cats are carnivores, and cooked animal meat is safe for them. Cooked poultry is a good choice.
2. Veggies: Cats don’t get much nutrition from vegetables, but they aren’t unhealthy for them, either. Choose washed, cooked vegetables to aid digestion, such as baked carrots, steamed broccoli, green beans and winter squash.
3. Cheese: It’s a good source of protein for cats, but be aware that some cats become lactose intolerant as they get older. Start with a small amount of cheese to see how your cat digests it – if he or she gets diarrhea, don’t feed it any dairy.
4. Fish: It can provide some much-needed nutrients for cats, and a bit of fish such as tuna here and there is fine. But don’t give your cat too much - the high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in a diet heavy on tuna can deplete a cat's supply of vitamin E.
5. Eggs: In nature, cats raid bird nests for the eggs, which is an indication that eggs are fine for your feline friends! Scrambled or hardboiled eggs are a good source of protein, but don’t feed your cat raw eggs.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s Daily Tip, when we cover foods your cat shouldn’t eat!