The festive holiday times are upon us, and memories of my dad cooking the turkey and giving our cat the giblets is something I will always remember. Over the years, each one of our cats has loved this treat, but was it really healthy for them? What else is healthy or should be avoided this holiday season? We’ve compiled a list of easy food do and don’ts for our feline friends.
Turkey or Chicken
Kitties can absolutely enjoy some plain, lean poultry (white or dark meat) and be just fine, but avoid giving them any pieces with seasoning, and avoid giving any of the skin. You also should not give kitty anything with gravy.
Definitely don’t give your cat gravy! Rich fatty foods such as gravy can cause diarrhea, and the super high fat content can cause worse problems, too.
Heart & liver gizzards are full of minerals and B vitamins, which is something kitties can always benefit from. Raw or boiled gizzards are safe ways to serve them, and a good meal for a cat. Again, just keep them free of seasonings or gravy!
My dad used to boil this and cut out the meat for our cat, but if you do this, be very careful of any bones. Any raw or cooked bones can break up and splinter, causing injury in the mouth and throat, or get stuck in the GI tract. We recommend avoiding feeding them this part altogether.
Sometimes that shrimp cocktail platter is calling your cat's name! Shrimp is safe as long as it is cooked. No dipping sauce either!
Chicken and turkey are the most safe deli meat options for cats, and you should avoid giving them the super processed meats such as salami or bologna. Even ham should be on the no list.
Cats should not have milk. Ever. Plain and simple. The idea that they can have it is an old wives tale. Cats simply cannot digest milk properly, and the lactose can cause big-time stomach upset. Forget the cute stories of cats drinking milk from saucers, and avoid it.
Unlike in dogs, cats gain no nutritional value from rice, and they most likely won’t eat it anyway. Rice won’t do any harm, but it won’t give them any benefits either.
I have the biggest sweet tooth, but by no means should we ever share it with our feline friends! The caffeine and sugar can be detrimental to a cat; even life threatening. If your cat eats chocolate, call your veterinarian.
The caveat with pumpkin is that it must be raw pumpkin, and not canned pumpkin pie filling, because it’s way too rich. Raw pumpkin is high in fiber, and my vet recommends it when my kitty gets a hairball and needs a gentle push to get it through.
As with humans, everything should be consumed in moderation. We humans may gorge ourselves on Thanksgiving Day, then take a nap, but don’t do that with your kitty. You may end up cleaning up a big mess, or end up at an emergency vet clinic. Both are easily avoidable if you don’t give them table food, or give it to them with caution. If you have questions about sharing your food, always check with your veterinarian. And if you feel your cat has eaten something potentially dangerous to them, you can call the Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
We wish you and your cats a healthy and happy holiday season!
(Today's photo features one of our cute regulars, with a great appetite: Skippy!)
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