can cats eat human food?

Can Cats Eat Human Food?

Most of your cat’s diet should be nutritionally complete cat food. However, an occasional bite of your food is considered to be generally safe for your cat. Every once in a while, you can give your cat a treat from your plate. So, can cats really eat human food?

It is important to know how to choose diets or treats that will be of nutritional benefit to your feline friend. Here is a list of human foods cats can eat and those that are toxic to cats. 

Human foods that are safe for your cat


Cats are obligate carnivores.This means that most of their nutritional needs are met by feeding on animal proteins. Poultry, beef, and other meat types are natural dietary options for your feline friend. The nutrients obtained from meat are good since they ensure that your cat has a strong heart, a healthy reproductive system, and good vision.

The meat should be cooked. Feeding your cat raw meat of any kind puts her at risk of salmonella poisoning. You should also skip meats that are high in sodium such as ham or cold cuts. Too much salt can be toxic to cats.  

Whole grains

Whole grains such as oats have high protein content per calorie. Most cats like whole grains. Whole grains are a convenient meal since they are easy to make. Coarsely ground cornmeal is good since it has the right texture for them. You can also try oats, barley, rice, and wheat berries. However, you have to remember to mash them first to the right texture. Many cats also like small grains such as couscous and millet. The grains have to be cooked for your cat to digest fully. Breadcrumbs are also okay.  

Although whole grains are not a necessary part of their diet, a few whole grains won’t harm your cat. In fact, it might be helpful if she’s having some digestive issues.


Your cat should always be provided with cooked fish. Feeding your cat raw fish increases the risk of your cat getting salmonella poisoning. Cooked fish is an excellent source of protein for your cat. Fish are a vital source of amino acids which help to keep your cat healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids help with heart disorders, arthritis, and help your cat’s eyes to stay sharp. 

Canned fish such as tuna can also be fed to your cat. Tuna, in particular, can be fed to cats if they are feeling unwell. Tuna in sunflower oil is easy for your cat and it helps to improve your cat’s appetite, especially if she is sick. 

Cats can also eat other seafood such as shrimp and prawns. These also have to be cooked. Your cat requires a balanced diet. Giving your cat a wide range of food helps to prevent your pet from becoming nutrient-deficient. 


Eggs are a rich source of amino acids and protein for your cat. As part of a balanced diet, a small portion of cooked egg, boiled or scrambled can be part of your cat’s meal. Cooked eggs also make a nutritious treat. The eggs should always be cooked since feeding your cat raw eggs puts her at risk of contracting harmful bacteria such as salmonella which will make her sick. 

Veggies and fruits

can cats eat human food?

Most cats are not fond of vegetables. However, they are a rich source of vitamins and are rich in water and fiber, which help with digestion. Feline-friendly vegetables include steamed broccoli, cantaloupe, cucumber, or asparagus. Spinach is also good for cats, but it should not be given to cats with kidney or urinary problems. Also, you should be careful not to give them garlic or onions. 

Cats can eat a variety of fruits as an occasional addition to their diet. The fruits should be cut into small pieces that are easily digestible. You could also give them chilled fruit to help them cool down on a hot day. Feline-friendly fruits include bananas, strawberries, apples, blueberries, and seedless watermelon. 


Cheese is a protein-rich snack that should be given to your cat in small amounts. However, in addition to milk, cheese has high salt and fat content. Giving your cat too much cheese can cause obesity and digestion problems.


Pumpkin is rich in fiber and nutrients, This helps to improve your cat’s bowel movements and the hairball situation. 

Human foods your cat shouldn’t eat


It’s widely known that cats can not eat this human food. Chocolate contains theobromine which when ingested, can cause your cat to suffer from heart problems, muscle tremors, or seizures.

Coffee, tea and energy drinks

Drinks such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and energy drinks contain caffeine which may cause your cat to suffer from rapid breathing, restlessness, muscle tremors, and rapid heart palpitations.

Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure and shouldn’t be fed to cats. 

Onions and garlic

Onions, garlic, and other members of the onion family may cause digestive upset in your cat if eaten in sufficient quantity. If eaten in large quantities, it can cause anemia. 

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are toxic to pets. Other types of nuts like walnuts and almonds can cause digestive upset and potentially even pancreatitis in cats.

Bread dough

The yeast in bread dough can lead to stomach bloating and twisting and can be fatal. Yeast also produces alcohol as a byproduct, which is harmful to cats. Baked bread, however, is considered safe for healthy cats.


As little as a tablespoon of alcohol can severely affect your cat. It can cause severe liver and brain damage.


This artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum and candy can cause your cat to become ill. 

Final Thoughts on Human Food For Cats

Although the occasional bite of human food is safe for your cat, their regular meals should be high quality cat food.  Now you know better about whether cats can eat human food.

Want to learn more about your cat’s diet? Here’s more!

Can cats eat dog treats?

Are strawberries safe for cats to eat?

When is tuna bad for cats?

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