For many indoor cats, Thanksgiving is one of the few festive days when they get to eat all sorts of tasty table scraps. But is it really a good idea to share your holiday meal with your feline pal?
Truth to be told, there are some Thanksgiving foods which are safe for cats to eat.
It’s not exactly the greatest option, but you can indeed spoil your fluffy pet on Thanksgiving by treating it to something other than a home-cooked cat diet or its typical cat food. Chances are your kitty won’t mind the festive meal at all.
It’s important to keep in mind that felines are carnivorous creatures by default. This means that they get all of their essentials from meat products. As such, even when you’re treating your pet with leftovers, the food should be based on meat.
What’s more, some cats have extremely sensitive stomachs and can easily suffer from digestive system disorders. Bearing this in mind, the following typical dinner meals aren’t exactly safe for every single furball.
Thanksgiving Foods That Are Mostly Safe For Most Cats
It wouldn’t really be a Thanksgiving without a turkey, would it? Fortunately, turkey meat is not only safe, but also healthy for cats. It’s packed with proteins, it’s tasty, and it’s also a main ingredient in many cat foods.
White turkey meat is the best option for felines – not the crunchy, toasted skin crust. The meat shouldn’t be garnished with garlic, onions, heavy dressings, and other herbs or plants which are potentially poisonous for cats. It must also be boneless and should be given only in small amounts.
Bones, dressings, herbs, and other ingredients which add up to delicious flavor can be fatal for your cat even in tiny amounts. The best option is to stick to clean white meat. Also, you must never give the fats, sauces, and turkey stuffing/ dressing to your cat!
Minced meat pies are a common aspect of every typical Thanksgiving dinner. The minced meat pie should be absolutely off-limits to kitty! However, you can treat your kitty to some raw minced meat – unseasoned, of course.
You can also give your cat cooked minced meat if it doesn’t have any garlic, onions, salt, pepper, and other harmful ingredients. Raw meat is a great treat for indoor and outdoor cats alike, regardless of their breed. It’s also better than the turkey meat. Just make sure you’re not overfeeding your feline pal, otherwise you’ll spoil its discipline, as well as its appetite. Moreover, overfeeding your cat during the holidays can lead to obesity.
If you have extra chicken salad, it’s okay to give some to your kitty. The turkey rules apply here too – the meat should be boneless, white, and unseasoned. It should also be given in small amounts and should not include any dressings, herbs, and other harmful ingredients.
Chicken is among the most popular meat used in cat foods. As such, treating your furball with Thanksgiving chicken isn’t exactly breaking its routine cat food diet.
Goose And Duck
Although they aren’t as popular as turkey and minced meat pies, goose and duck dishes are still common in many Thanksgiving dinners. And fortunately, these types of meat are absolutely safe and beneficial for cats.
There’s one particular rule you must obey when treating your kitty with goose and duck meat – it shouldn’t include the animal’s fat. Some parts, such as the duck breast and liver, are extremely high in fats.
Just like too much fat is bad for humans, feeding your pet with animal fat can have lethal consequences. And just like with the other Thanksgiving meats – the duck or goose meat shouldn’t be seasoned or garnished with herbs or dressings. If you have chicken, turkey, or minced meat leftovers, it’s better to stick to them instead of the goose/ duck.
Of course, Thanksgiving dishes aren’t just about meat. Mashed potatoes are an indispensable part of the overall meal. And in some cases they are safe for cats to eat.
If your mashed potatoes are plain and unseasoned, it’s safe to give a small amount of them to your pet. They should lack alliums and herbs. Moreover, since many cats are lactose intolerant, the potatoes shouldn’t have milk, sour cream, cheese, and other dairy products. Otherwise they might upset your kitty’s stomach and lead to diarrhea or other digestive issues.
Cats don’t really benefit from potatoes, so if they’re tasty, that’s the only benefit your pet will get from them.
These delicious fruits have tons of healthy advantages for human beings. What’s more, they’re also so healthy for cats that some premium cat food manufacturers include cranberries in their recipes!
Cranberry juice is a popular homemade remedy for felines with problematic health. Bladder blockages, urinary tract diseases, and infections can be treated with cranberry powder or juice.
If there aren’t any artificial sweeteners, high amounts of sugar, or other harmful ingredients in your cranberry sauce, then it’s a perfectly safe Thanksgiving food for cats. The best way to give it to your furball is to mix some of it with cat food.
Similar to cranberries, pumpkin and pumpkin juice are especially healthy for cats with digestive system disorders. In fact, many pet parents use pumpkin as an additional supplement to their pets’ typical diet.
Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which is essential for felines, canines, and humans alike. Unseasoned pumpkin is safe for your cat. Pumpkin pie, on the other hand, must be totally off-limits due to the high sugar levels and other sweet ingredients.
Green Beans And Peas
A well-balanced cat diet should include fish and vegetable products apart from meat. You can find green beans and peas in many cat foods, whether in cans or in dry kibble. In other words, these Thanksgiving foods are not only safe, but also beneficial for cats.
Just make sure there isn’t any butter, yogurt, milk, or other dairy products and seasoning in the green foods.
Feeding your feline pal with table scraps is a bad idea by default. However, if you treat it to tiny amounts of unseasoned and allium-free Thanksgiving foods, your kitty will enjoy it. Just keep in mind that the feline organism is different from the human one. Cats have special dietary requirements which human food cannot meet. And feeding your furball with improper meals will eventually result in malnourishment and health-based disorders.