Some cat owners prefer to make their own cat food. In rough economic times or when unable to go to the store, a cat owner who usually uses cat food may find the need to substitute table food for cat food if cat food isn’t readily available. In either case, cat owners should know what table food can cats eat safely.
Cats are natural carnivores. Lean meats are a safe table food for cats. Many experts recommend that cat owners avoid feeding their cats large amounts of tuna due to the fear of elevated levels of mercury in tuna. Occasional, moderate portions of tuna are considered safe for cats. Canned tuna should not be used as a main ingredient for a cat’s daily food since it lacks vitamins and minerals that cats need.
Some table food is toxic to cats. The cat owner needs to make sure that any table food for a cat does not contain any ingredients that are toxic to cats. Cat owners may assume a prepared or convenience food is safe, but the cat owner should check the list of ingredients to be sure.
Some toxic foods may be found in foods that a person may not associate with that food. For example, onion powder is toxic to cats. Onion powder is present in many foods including some baby foods. It’s better to check the ingredients than assume a food is safe.
In addition to onion powder, onion, chives, and garlic are foods that are dangerous for cats. Both foods can cause anemia in cats. Mushrooms are extremely dangerous for cats. Mushrooms can cause the cat to go into shock and die. Candy, gum, and baked goods can cause vomiting, loss of coordination, and eventually lead to liver damage.
Raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella and cause skin and hair problems. Raw fish can cause seizures or even death from a thiamine deficiency. Potato and rhubarb can cause problems of the nervous, digestive, and urinary systems.
Like many adult humans, adult cats are often lactose intolerant. Therefore, foods that contain a lot of milk can make an adult cat sick. Macadamia nuts can cause an impairment of muscles and the digestive and nervous systems. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage. Chocolate, coffee, and tea may be toxic to a cat’s nervous system or cause problems with the cat’s heart.
Bones and fat from table food is not good for cats. Cats may like to chew bones, but the bones can be a choking hazard. Any table food for cats should not be spoiled or moldy as rotten or moldy food can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and many other health problems.