What Can Cats Eat Besides Cat Food?

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their diet primarily consists of meat. While commercial cat food is formulated to meet their nutritional needs, many cat owners wonder about incorporating other foods into their feline friends’ diets. It’s crucial to be cautious when offering human foods to cats, as some can be harmful or even toxic. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various foods that cats can safely eat besides cat food, ensuring they receive a well-rounded and nutritious diet

1. Cooked Meat

Cats thrive on protein, and cooked meat is an excellent source. Ensure that it’s plain, without any seasonings, and cooked thoroughly to eliminate the risk of bacteria.

2. Fish

Fish can be a tasty treat for cats, but it should be offered in moderation. Too much fish may lead to nutritional imbalances, and some cats are sensitive to it.

3. Eggs

Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and can be scrambled or hard-boiled for your cat. Ensure they are fully cooked to avoid any risk of salmonella.

4. Cooked Vegetables

Certain vegetables like carrots or peas can be safe for cats when cooked. However, cats don’t require a significant amount of vegetables in their diet.

5. Fruits

Some fruits, like small amounts of melon or berries, can be safe for cats. However, cats are obligate carnivores, and fruits should only be given as an occasional treat.

6. Plain Rice or Pasta

Small amounts of plain rice or pasta can be offered to cats, especially if they have a sensitive stomach. These can provide a bland source of carbohydrates.

7. Canned Pumpkin

Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) can be beneficial for digestion. It contains fiber and can help with both constipation and diarrhea in cats.

Foods to Avoid

While there are safe options, there are also several foods that are toxic or harmful to cats:

1. Onions and Garlic

These can cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Even small amounts can be toxic.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to cats. Ingesting chocolate can lead to serious health issues.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, and some sodas, can be fatal to cats. Keep these beverages out of reach.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol consumption can lead to severe consequences for cats, including liver damage and respiratory failure.

5. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats, so it’s crucial to keep these away from them.

6. Bones

While small, soft bones might be safe for some cats, large or cooked bones can splinter and cause digestive issues or injury.

7. Dairy Products

Contrary to popular belief, many adult cats are lactose intolerant. Feeding them milk or dairy products can lead to digestive upset.


In conclusion, while cats thrive on a diet primarily consisting of high-quality commercial cat food, incorporating small amounts of safe and healthy human foods can provide variety and additional nutrients. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your cat’s diet, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions. Remember that moderation is key, and be vigilant about avoiding toxic foods to ensure your feline companion remains happy and healthy.