cat

10 Healthiest ‘People Foods’ You Should Be Feeding Your Cat

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Anyone who has a cat knows that they are clever and sneaky little creatures. They’re curious animals and always interested in whatever their humans are doing — or eating.

Pets always seem interested in the human food their people are eating, but they don’t realize that some of those foods could be bad for them.

We all know that cats love to eat dairy, like milk and cheese, but aside from those foods, you may shy away from giving your cat other human food just in case it might harm them.

Although cats should primarily eat cat food — which is specifically designed for their health and digestive needs — there are some human foods that can actually be great additions to your cat’s normal diet. And if you have a dog, there are some people foods that are good for them, too!

That’s right, there are some human foods that you can feed your cat! Read on below to learn which foods are safe, and how your cat’s health can benefit!

Note: The following food suggestions are meant as supplements to your cat’s diet; they should not replace your cat’s primary food source. They should only be given in moderation, and under the guidance of your veterinarian. 

Human Food #1: Cooked Meat

Cat looking at turkey - human food
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

House cats, like their big-cat counterparts (lions, tigers, cheetahs) are primarily meat eaters, according to CatInfo.org. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they are designed to get their nutrition from meat, not vegetables and carbs like their human counterparts.

The protein from meat helps cats have healthy hearts and reproductive systems, as well as good eyes.

When feeding your cat cooked meat, make sure there aren’t too many spices, and always ensure the meat is fully cooked!

Also, never serve the meat bone-in. Small bones can be choked on, so be sure to carefully examine and cut up all meat before serving it to your pet.

Human Food #2: Oatmeal

cat oatmeal - human food
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Oatmeal, Paw Culture explains, is also healthy for cats to eat.

Oatmeal is often found in commercial cat foods, but just because it’s healthy for cats doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily like it.

Again, cats should primarily eat meat, but if they like oatmeal, it can be a safe supplement to their regular diet.

Human Food #3: Fish

cat canned tuna human food
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you feed your cat wet food, you probably know that many of the options are fish-based.

Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, explains that salmon is found in a lot of commercial cat foods.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in them are good for your cat’s eyes, and fish can have other health benefits as well.

You shouldn’t feed your cat any raw fish, though, as it can potentially make them sick.

Also, never feed your cat straight from the can; you’d hate for them to lick too vigorously and cut their tongues!

Human Food #4: Cooked Eggs

cats eating hardboiled eggs - human food
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Cooked eggs are a great source of protein for your cat. According to Paw Culture, eggs also have a lot of vitamin B, which is healthy for felines.

Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), explains to Animal Planet that some cats can actually be allergic to eggs, so make sure to give them just a tiny bit first to check for any allergic reaction.

Like fish and meat, eggs need to be thoroughly cooked before cats eat them.

Also, be sure that there are no traces of shell in the egg!

Human Food #5: Fresh Vegetables

cat eating human food - asparagus
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Like humans, fresh veggies are great for cats. They have lots of vitamins and fiber, which can aid general health and digestion.

Many cats don’t like vegetables, but if your cat does, feel free to let them have some.

Sometimes, cats will chew on house plants, which can be toxic for them. If you notice them doing this, Dr. Colleran says that small portions of veggies can be a good option for your cat instead.

A few good veggie options are steamed asparagus or broccoli, baked carrots, winter squash,  green beans, or chopped greens — make sure they are always thoroughly washed before serving them to your cat.

Human Food #6: Cheese

cat looking at swiss cheese - human food
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Cheese and other dairy products are high in protein, but dairy isn’t quite as good for cats as meat (although they definitely love it).

Although many cats like dairy products, they’re one of the most controversial human foods for cats. This is because a lot of cats are lactose intolerant and cannot process dairy properly.

Some cats are able to eat dairy without a problem, though, so if your cat is okay with it, cheese and other dairy products can be a good source of protein.

If you’re not sure how your cat reacts to dairy, try giving them a tiny amount — if they have any sort of stomach upset, they may be lactose intolerant.

Human Food #7: Fish Oil

human food fish oil
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

For those who’d rather not feed their cat fish, a good alternative is enhancing their food with fish oil.

According to veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber, fish oil is good for keeping your cat’s skin from getting dry.

Fish oils can also give your cat a healthy, shiny coat, explains Paw Culture.

Human Food #8: Fresh fruit

cat eating cantaloupe - human food
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although many cats don’t like fruit, it is actually healthy for them. If your cats are always chewing on your house plants, though, fruit can be a great option for them.

Paw Culture explains that cantaloupe is especially good for cats because it is high in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which can help keep your cat’s skin and eyes healthy.

When feeding your cats melon, make sure to always remove the seeds first, and only feed your cats small amounts of fruit. Since cats are carnivores, their bodies can only process small amounts of fruits and veggies at a time.

Human Food #9: Bread

cat eating human food: bread
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Bread can be a good source of fiber and protein for cats.

However, try to avoid feeding them white bread. Instead, feed them whole wheat breads, or breads with whole grains in them.

Again, bread should not replace your cat’s regular food, but instead it should just be used as a supplemental treat once in a while.

Human Food #10: Canned Baby Food

cat eating baby food
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Meat-based baby food can be a great solution for cats who are avoiding their food or are recovering from being sick.

Pets World explains that baby food can also help cats take their medicine.

However, baby food shouldn’t become a regular part of your cat’s diet; use it only when necessary.

Make sure to always check the ingredients for garlic and onion, as both can be really harmful to cats.

And as always, talk to your vet before changing your pets’ diet, and always feed them safe human food in moderation.

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Note: These food suggestions are meant as supplements to your cat’s diet; they should not replace your cat’s primary food source. They should only be given in moderation, and under the guidance of your veterinarian.