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Feline Feasting: Discovering What Human Foods Are Safe for Cats

Cats are notorious for their discerning taste buds, often preferring the finest of delicacies. While their diet primarily consists of commercial cat food, many pet owners wonder if they can treat their feline companions to human foods. However, not all human foods are safe for cats, and some can even be harmful.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 15 human foods that are safe for cats to eat, ensuring your furry friend can enjoy occasional treats without any health risks.

Cooked Chicken or Turkey:

Lean meats like chicken or turkey, without any seasoning or bones, can be a delightful treat for your cat. These proteins mimic what cats naturally eat in the wild and can provide a nutritious boost to their diet.

Cooked Fish:

Fish, such as salmon or tuna, cooked thoroughly without any seasoning or bones, can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your cat’s diet. However, be cautious of feeding too much fish, as it can lead to thiamine deficiency over time.

Cooked Eggs:

Eggs are a fantastic source of protein for cats. Scrambled or boiled eggs without salt or seasoning can be a wholesome treat for your feline friend.

Cooked Vegetables:

Some vegetables, like cooked carrots or green beans, can be safe for cats in small amounts. However, cats are obligate carnivores, so vegetables should only supplement their diet and not replace meat entirely.

Small Amounts of Cheese:

While not all cats are lactose intolerant, many are, so cheese should be given sparingly. Cottage cheese or small amounts of hard cheese can be a tasty treat for cats that tolerate dairy well.

Plain Yogurt:

Plain yogurt contains probiotics that can benefit your cat’s digestive system. However, due to its lactose content, yogurt should be given in moderation, like cheese.


Cooked or canned plain pumpkin is not only safe for cats but can also aid in digestion. It’s often recommended for cats with constipation or diarrhea as it provides fiber.

Small Amounts of Cooked Rice or Pasta:

Plain, cooked rice or pasta can be a bland yet safe option for cats with upset stomachs. However, these should only be given in small amounts and be a manageable portion of their diet.

Cooked Oatmeal:

Plain-cooked oatmeal can provide cats with fiber and may benefit cats with hairballs or digestive issues. Avoid adding any sugar or flavorings.

Apples (without Seeds):

Apples can be a refreshing snack for cats when sliced into small pieces and without seeds. However, the seeds contain cyanide and should be removed to prevent toxicity.


These antioxidant-rich fruits can be a healthy treat for cats in moderation. They’re low in calories and can be a fun way to provide enrichment for your cat.

Watermelon (without Seeds or Rind):

Watermelon flesh, without seeds or rind, can be a hydrating and refreshing treat for cats, especially on hot days. However, due to its high sugar content, it should only be given occasionally.

Cooked Sweet Potatoes:

Plain, cooked sweet potatoes can be a nutritious and tasty addition to your cat’s diet. They provide vitamins and minerals while also adding variety to their meals.

Plain Popcorn:

Plain, air-popped popcorn can be a fun and low-calorie treat for cats. However, avoid adding butter, salt, or seasonings, as these can harm cats.

Cooked Squash:

Cooked squash, such as zucchini or butternut squash, can be a safe and nutritious option for cats. It’s low in calories and vitamins, making it a healthy addition to their diet.

Here are some things that we should avoid for cats

Let’s cover some additional points on what to avoid when it comes to feeding human foods to cats:

  • Onions and Garlic: These common ingredients in many human dishes can be toxic to cats. They contain compounds that can damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Even small amounts, whether raw, cooked, or powdered, should be avoided.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure. Even a tiny amount can be dangerous, so it’s crucial to keep these fruits out of reach of your feline friend.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to cats (and dogs). Ingestion of chocolate can lead to symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and even death. Keep all chocolate products safely away from your cat.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol affects cats much more severely than humans due to their smaller size and different metabolic rates. Even small amounts can cause intoxication, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, and even death. Never allow your cat access to alcohol in any form.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some medications, can harm cats. Ingestion can cause symptoms like rapid breathing, heart palpitations, tremors, and seizures. Keep caffeinated products away from your cat.
  • Raw Meat and Fish: While cooked meats and fish can be safe for cats, raw versions can pose risks of bacterial contamination such as Salmonella or E. coli. Additionally, raw fish can contain thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down thiamine (Vitamin B1), leading to deficiencies over time.
  • Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many sugar-free gums, candies, baked goods, and some peanut butter brands. Ingestion of xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin in cats, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, and liver failure. Always check labels and avoid products containing xylitol.
  • Bones: While cats in the wild may consume bones as part of their diet, cooked bones can splinter and cause choking, gastrointestinal obstruction, or puncture the digestive tract. Avoid giving your cat any bones, especially cooked ones.
  • High-fat Foods: Foods high in fat, such as fatty meats, fried foods, and rich sauces, can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats, including vomiting and diarrhea. Long-term consumption can also contribute to obesity and pancreatitis.
  • Dairy (in large quantities): While some cats may tolerate small amounts of dairy, many are lactose intolerant and may experience digestive upset, including diarrhea, from consuming milk and other dairy products. Limit dairy treats and monitor your cat’s reaction.

You can help keep your cat safe and healthy by being aware of these foods to avoid. Always double-check ingredients and consult your veterinarian if you need clarification on whether a food is safe for your feline companion.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about feeding human foods to cats, along with their answers:

Q1: Can I feed my cat table scraps?

A1: It’s generally not recommended to feed your cat table scraps regularly. While some human foods are safe for cats in moderation, many contain ingredients that can be harmful to them. It’s best to stick to cat-specific foods for their primary diet.

Q2: Can cats eat dog food?

A2: Cats have different nutritional needs than dogs, so it’s not advisable to feed them dog food exclusively. Cat food is formulated to provide the essential nutrients that cats require for optimal health, and feeding dog food to cats can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Q3: Are any human foods toxic to cats but safe for dogs?

A3: Yes, several human foods, such as onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins, are toxic to cats but safe for dogs. Cats are more sensitive to certain substances than dogs, so they must be aware of these differences when feeding them.

Q4: Can I give my cat milk?

A4: While cats may enjoy milk, many are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar in milk. Feeding milk to lactose-intolerant cats can lead to digestive upset. It is best to offer specially formulated cat or lactose-free milk as an occasional treat.

Q5: Is it safe to give my cat raw meat?

A5: Raw meat can pose risks of bacterial contamination, such as Salmonella or E. coli, and may contain parasites. Additionally, raw fish can contain thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine (Vitamin B1), leading to deficiencies over time. It’s safer to feed cats cooked meat to avoid these risks.

Q6: Can cats eat fruits and vegetables?

A6: Some fruits and vegetables are safe for cats in small amounts, while others can be toxic. It’s essential to research specific fruits and vegetables before offering them to your cat and to remove any harmful seeds, pits, or cores.

Q7: How can I tell if my cat is negatively reacting to a particular food?

A7: Signs of an adverse reaction to food may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite, or changes in behavior. If you suspect your cat is reacting to a particular food, discontinue feeding it immediately and consult your veterinarian for guidance.

By addressing these FAQs, pet owners can better understand the dos and don’ts of feeding human foods to their feline companions and ensure their health and well-being.


In conclusion, understanding what human foods cats can eat is essential for providing them with occasional treats while ensuring their health and safety. By adhering to a list of safe options, such as cooked chicken, fish, eggs, and certain fruits and vegetables, pet owners can indulge their feline friends without worry. However, it’s equally crucial to be aware of foods to avoid, including toxic items like onions, garlic, grapes, and chocolate. By following these guidelines and consulting with a veterinarian when in doubt, pet owners can foster a healthy and balanced diet for their beloved cats. So, What Human Foods Can Cats Eat? With care and knowledge, the answer is a carefully curated selection that adds variety and enjoyment to their meals while keeping them safe and thriving.

IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.


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