Cat with green eyes near pumpkin

Thanksgiving foods you can share with your cat

while Thanksgiving was designed to be our annual opportunity to reflect and be grateful, family and food are often the first things that come to mind when we think of our favorite November holiday.

since many of us consider our cats to be four-legged family members, excluding them from the holiday celebrations isn’t really an option. yet, with many veterinary experts cautioning pet owners about the perils associated with animals eating human food, it can be difficult to find fun and safe ways to incorporate our feline counterparts into the festivities.

Dr. Justine’s Lee’s favorite snack for her cat during the holidays? small ½-inch pieces of turkey or salmon skin. but remember that when spoiling your cat, to keep it all in moderation!

here, some recommendations for what to feed (or what not to) your cat this Thanksgiving from Dr. Justine Lee, a board-certified veterinary specialist in emergency/critical care and toxicology.

Thanksgiving foods that you can safely share with our cats:

·      meat and fish

o   cats are carnivores, meaning meat and fish is among the safest Thanksgiving dishes we can share with kitty. remember, however, that uncooked meats and fish pose the same threat to cats that they do to humans such as E. coli or Salmonella. expect tuna and poultry to be among your feline’s favorites. avoid feeding any bones however, and limit it to small amounts to prevent any gastroenteritis (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea).

·      vegetables

o   cats don’t derive much nutrition from veggies, some seem often fond of chomping on greens. while household plants can be dangerous to your feline companion, unseasoned vegetables don’t present such a risk. in fact, cats can benefit from the fiber and carbohydrates found in produce like baked carrots, green beans, winter squash or steamed broccoli. while most cats will turn their noses to this, if they want a small piece, no problem!

·      dairy products

o   unless you’re a rookie cat owner, you’re well aware that cats love dairy. however, with cheese, milk, butter and ice cream frequently making the list of foods cats should avoid, dairy can be scary. that’s because cats can be lactose intolerant, and more than a few licks can result in vomiting or diarrhea.  if you plan to feed your cat some cheese or a tiny dollop of ice cream, give it a small portion to first see how its digestive system reacts and go from there.

·      eggs

o   if your cat is in pursuit of protein, look no further than eggs. while many natural cat diets strongly encourage that feline caretakers feed their cats eggs, we recommend you serve them up cooked to avoid the risk of Salmonella and E coli.

remember: cat portions will be much smaller than what you’d typically give your human family members. although Thanksgiving is synonymous with overindulging, it’s especially important to keep serving sizes tiny if their Thanksgiving meal is a rare deviation from an all-cat food diet.

foods to avoid completely on Turkey Day:

·      bones, especially cooked bones, which are likely to splinter

·      the string wrapped around the cooked turkey – this can accidentally become stuck in the stomach and intestines, resulting in a life threatening linear foreign body (which requires an expensive surgery while ruining your Thanksgiving holiday!)

·      beer, wine, or anything else with alcohol in it

·      macadamia nuts

·      onions, garlic, or anything from the Allium family

·      chocolate

have a happy and safe Thanksgiving from your friends at sWheat Scoop!


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