In this article we explain what cats can eat, what are the bases of their diet, how many times a day they should eat and what foods are dangerous for them.
This is what cats can eat
As owners of a cat (or several!), to answer the question about what cats can eat, we first need to know what the nutritional requirements of the feline species are. You have to think that cats, like all animals, have their digestive and masticatory systems prepared to digest and take advantage of certain foods and not others. In the case of the domestic cat (Felis catus), we must bear in mind that, throughout the domestication process, neither its nutritional needs nor its behavior have changed substantially. Therefore, it is still a hunter of small prey (mice, opossums, lizards, etc.) whose diet is mainly made up of animal protein. This video about feeding cats is very interesting and explains it very well. In this article you will know What Do Cats like to Eat for breakfast? So read the entire article carefully.
Protein in cat diet
Cats are born hunters. In biology, it is said to be a strict carnivore. Its diet has much higher protein requirements than other domestic and animal mammals such as dogs. Therefore, animal protein is the basis for the answer to the question “what can cats eat?” Cat diets should be high in animal-derived tissue, and experts recommend that at least 25% of a cat’s total daily caloric intake be derived from protein. However, not all types of proteins work. If you want to know more about the best proteins for cats, see the article Cat Diet: The Importance of Proteins.
Meat yes but be careful with the viscera
Some people decide to supplement the feed they give their cats with some leftovers. This is not recommended for several reasons: 1- Commercial feed has a composition designed to maintain a balance of nutrients that can be altered by the supplements that we offer the cat. 2- Some people give their cats organ meats (livers, kidneys, etc.) thinking that they can be a good source of nutrients. Indeed, they are rich in protein and also in Vitamin A, but it has been proven that cats fed diets consisting mainly of raw liver develop a disease called Vitaminosis A, dangerous because it puts the development of the cat at risk and causes skeletal problems. and other symptoms such as lethargy.
Cereals, legumes and vegetables
As we have explained, the axis of the cat’s diet is the protein intake provided by meat, but there are other foods that cats can eat. It is true that the cat does not have any nutritional need to ingest carbohydrates (it is able to obtain most of the energy it needs from the catabolization of protein). But nevertheless, cats have the necessary enzymes to digest and metabolize carbohydrates and these can be a very useful source of energy. As indicated by the AVEPA feline medicine group, cats can eat wheat flakes, cooked rice and even potatoes in limited quantities. The same thing happens with plant-based foods.
This is what cats can’t eat
The list of foods not recommended for cats is long, but these are some of the most prominent:
Cooked bones: can splinter and cause stomach perforation or even choking death.
Sausages: they must be avoided because they may contain sulphites as preservatives.
Canned tuna: it can be offered as a prize but not as a regular food since it does not contain taurine, an essential amino acid for the correct functioning of the cat’s metabolism.
Fish all the time: feeding a cat only with fish is not recommended since
- Coffee or other caffeinated products
- grapes or raisins
- Macadamia nuts
Champignons and other common mushrooms
Can cats eat fish?
If anyone is asked about what cats can eat, it is possible that the first thing that comes to mind is the image of some fish. However, feeding fish to a cat does have some risks:
The consumption of raw fish viscera can cause paralysis or muscle stiffness in the cat (Chastek’s palsy). The reason is that these parts of the fish contain a component that destroys Vitamin B1. If the cat does not have enough Vitamin B1, it can suffer from muscle paralysis.
Bones are a problem: Like the bones of cooked meat, they can lead to perforations of the esophagus and intestinal blockages.
This parasite can be present in raw fish meat and can give cats stomach upset.
We hope we have helped you clarify what cats can eat with this post. Remember that, if you have any questions, you can always contact Nutro’s team of expert nutritionists and we will solve it for you.