Can cats eat human food? The simple answer is yes–but with conditions.
There are many factors to consider before you give your cat some of your food. Safe or not, remember your cat has different biological needs than you. What is nutritious and healthy for humans might not do the same for your cat.
I have spent a whole day researching what is in a cat’s proper diet from AAFCO Nutrition Requirements to many vet recommendations. I found many versions of the answer and that is because every cat and cat owner is different
I put together a simple guide to help you:
- Decide if it’s worth feeding your cat human food
- Important reminders when feeding your cat human food.
Should cats eat human food?
Now that we’ve answered “can cats eat human food”, the next question is “should cats eat human food”.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means their body is mainly built to digest meat protein. Although cats may have the ability to digest other foods, anything else can create a burden on their digestive system.
There are 3 important factors to consider:
- Is the food safe for my cat to consume?
- Does human food interfere with my cat’s health issues?
- Is it necessary for my cat? (hint: many are not)
Remember, every cat is different. Your best bet is to ask your cat’s vet what is the best diet for them.
Feeding Your Cat Human Food
After consideration, you may still find yourself wanting to give your cat some extra treats. Who can resist those cute round eyes?
There are human foods that are safe for your cat to try. You can see our article on what human foods cats can eat.
Before you do, here are some reminders for you:
- Your cat’s diet should mainly be meat protein
- Your cat’s daily calories should be 90% or more from high-quality cat food & no more than 10% from their treats
- If you are cooking human food for your cat, there shouldn’t be added oils, salt, seasoning, or dressing (unless prescribed by your vet)
- Feeding table scraps is a bad habit and your cat can get used to it!
You should not rely on your human menu as the primary food source for your cat. Your cat can become malnourished or develop health issues.
When in doubt, it’s always best to stick to high-quality cat food or foods recommended by your vet.
The Bottom Line
According to AAFCO Nutrition Requirements, there are other nutrients other than protein your cat needs. Feeding your cat some safe human food once in a while is fine. It can be a good way to supplement your cat’s diet. But, remember your cat is different from you; They are obligate carnivores. So, most of its diet should still be high-quality meat protein.
Also, be careful of what you see on the internet! Always consult your vet when introducing new menu items to your furry friend.
What to do next
Now you may ask, what human food can I give my cat? There are 18 human foods that are safe to feed your cat. But, be careful! There are also some toxic foods for cats that you should avoid at all costs.