You ran out of store bought cat food, and your furry friend has nothing to eat? Sure, not everything you have in your kitchen is safe for your cat, but this applies to much less food than you might expect.
The truth is that your cat is allowed to eat some food that the vet might tell you may be inappropriate for her organism and nutritional balance, but remember – only in small amounts! It may indeed be tempting to feed it something you see your cat really likes and always begs for, but try to dose the food appropriately. This is because in the store bought food, substances that we eat, in the form that we eat them, and which are “banned” for your cat, usually comprise a little less than 1/6 of the cat’s meal. So, keep in mind – small bites are allowed!
What not to feed your cat
Be sure to avoid at all times foods that include the following:
- Onions or garlic
- candy or anything with sugar
What can you feed your cat instead when you’re out of cat food?
The first substitute if you run out of cat food that should come to mind is – meat. Cats are natural carnivores, which means that their meal should imitate the nutritional value of what they would eat if they were in their natural surroundings – meat of small animals.
That’s why the best thing to give your cat to eat is any sort of cooked poultry – for instance, chicken or turkey. Be sure to moderate this as well. Although rich in protein, meat may contain high amounts of fat. Even though calories in the form of protein are desirable, be aware that too much fat can cause digestive problems or diarrhea. So, abstain from giving your cat the fatty parts of your chicken and make sure that everything stays lean and clean.
You may also give your furry little feline friend meat in the processed form – sliced supermarket meat, ham, liver pâté, canned meat, you name it – she’ll eat it.
Vegetables and grass
As cats are carnivores, therefore their diet should be almost entirely made up of meat. There are some exceptions to this, because sometimes cats may opt for some green produce, in order to alleviate stomach aches, get fibers from the plants, or to help them with fur balls stuck in their throat.
The truth is, vegetables and plants aren’t inherently unsafe for the cat – it’s just that cats get more efficient energy and protein when eating meat-based food.
However, be sure to keep your precious potted plants away from your feline friend if you notice she has a tendency to munch on them – this is because these plants may have some poisonous or inadequate substances in their structure. Instead, give your cat some of the following vegetables, but make sure to bake or steam them previously, in order to help with digestion:
- Green beans
- Peas (both frozen and raw)
- Winter squash
- Apples (without the skin or seeds)
- Blueberries (just a few of them- no more than 20 individual berries)
When you think of a stereotypical food that cats love and eat, what comes to mind instantaneously is a bowl of milk. However, when it comes to dairy products, you need to be careful. Although your cat may seem to appreciate when you treat her with milk, butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, or any other dairy product, it may cause her to have diarrhea or trouble with digestion.
As cats get older, they have the tendency to become intolerant to lactose. Therefore, be cautious with dairy products, test out whether they cause trouble to your cat’s digestive system. If they seem to tolerate dairy, feel free to give her milk products in small amounts.
There is an alternative: If you do not want to put your cat through the trouble of having digestive system problems, you can feed her low-lactose dairy products.
When it comes to fish, yes, cats usually love to eat fish and its nutritional value suits their diet needs. Cat food often incorporates fish meat, as it is rich in protein. Supplements to your cat’s diet are more often than not also based on components that are extracted from fish – most frequently, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
It is considered that cat should be fed fish as much as possible, both meat and fish oil, as it provides the necessary components that improve the health of your cat – fish improves skin, coat, and bones … to name a few. Feed your cat with tuna fish or better yet, salmon, if you have any.
However, be moderate even with fish. There is an opinion that a diet that is heavily based on fish may lead to vitamin E deficiency. This is due to these already mentioned polyunsaturated fatty acids – even though they may be beneficial, if you cross the line, they may cause havoc. So, once again, it’s all about the balance.
Other varieties that are recommended- swordfish, cod, halibut and flounder – if you do happen to have any in your kitchen, feel free to give it to your cat. Make sure that the fish is cooked beforehand.
It may seem that it’s perfectly fine to feed your cat raw fish, but there is evidence that it’s not the case – besides the common sense of cooking fish to eliminate any possible parasites (tapeworm, for example) that it may carry, there are other dangers. Oily fish, in particular, may cause thiamine deficiency, thiamine being an essential vitamin for the cat’s health.
You can feel free to feed your cat these foods if she is willing to eat them:
- Eggs – Cooked or hard-boiled. Eggs are a good source of protein. However, keep in mind that your cat may have an allergic reaction to them, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled.
- Bread – also a good source of protein and fiber. But, some cats are reluctant to eat cereal.