Can cats eat peanut butter, coconut oil and more?
There are a number of people foods that cats can indeed enjoy and do have some beneficial properties for your feline companion, whether they will actually eat it is another question…
However, even if your cat does mooch everything off your plate, there are some foods that can be toxic. In this article we are going to give you a complete guide of those good and bad foods for cats (HINT, they’re not the same as what your dog can and can’t eat), and help you answer that burning question of, can cats eat peanut butter, coconut oil and more?
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? Not Really!
Peanut butter is a delicious mixture of protein, carbohydrates, fat, salt and sugar. This sticky combo makes dogs go wild, but for their feline counterparts, it’s not the best choice.
Even though PB isn’t on the ASPCA’s list of toxic foods, the general makeup of peanut butter offers no nutritional value to your cat.
Cats are primarily carnivorous animals, which means their diet consists mainly of animal protein (mice, birds etc). Although, peanut butter does contain some protein, it lacks the amino acids that cats need to build a healthy body. Additionally, cats cannot process peanut butter properly, which could lead to stomach upset and/or diarrhea.
So can cats eat peanut butter? Even though this human food is not toxic to cats, they should only have it as a special treat and only in very small amounts.
Can Cats Have Coconut Oil? Indeed!
According to holistic veterinarian, Dr. Anna Gardner, there are many benefits of cats having coconut oil. These include for the treatment of;
- Dry skin
- Overall coat/skin health
- Boosting the immune system
- Reducing arthritis inflammation
- Bad breath
- Intestinal health
Veterinarians recommend starting your cat out slowly when feeding it coconut oil (as with any new food). They recommend only feeding ⅛ a teaspoon to begin with at an once-a-day dosage. However, as with any new supplement, check with your pet’s vet to see if your cat should have coconut oil and if it will be beneficial for his/her health.
Can Cats Eat Vegetables? Yes & No!
Sneaking in cat-safe veggies to your finicky feline’s favorite meal is a great nutritional boost. However, not all vegetables are created equally when it comes to feeding our cats. And remember, cats are carnivores and therefore should not be expected to eat a diet consisting of purely vegetables.
Here is a list of the top good veggies for your cat.
Can Cats Eat Carrots? Yes!
Not just for bunnies, carrots offer many vitamins for your furry feline, like beta-carotene and B complex. Just be sure you boil or bake them first as raw bits of carrot can pose a choking hazard.
Can Cats Eat Broccoli? Yes!
Kids may not like this odd-looking veggie, but some cats sure do! Steamed or boiled broccoli can give your pet’s immunity system a boost and has even been thought to help ward off cancer with its free-radical fighting properties. It’s also a good source of roughage if your cat is constipated. Just watch out, though, as some cats will eat broccoli to vomit, just like they would with grass.
Can Cats Eat Peas? Yes!
Peas pack a healthy punch of vitamins, minerals and fiber, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cats can enjoy the occasional pea in all forms; raw, frozen or cooked. If your cat loves peas, then use them as special treat or for training purposes.
Can Cats Eat Green Beans? Yes!
Green beans whether canned or cooked are loaded with fiber. According to some veterinarians, giving cats green beans is a low-calorie treat that can actually help reduce obesity. But start out slowly, as Kitty could get some tummy troubles if fed too many of this green veggie.
Can Cats Eat Squash? Yes!
Not only is squash loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, it can help normalize your cat’s digestive tract. This is especially good if your feline is prone to either constipation or diarrhea. This veggie works well for your cat if you puree it first or serve it up in small cooked nibbles.
Can Cats Eat Zucchini? Yes!
All parts of the zucchini plant are edible for cats. In fact, some cat food manufacturers include this veggie in their ingredients. Zucchini will give your cat vitamin C and is a natural fiber that will nurture your cat’s digestive tract. Bake, steam or even puree this vegetable for a tasty snack or treat for your cat.
Can Cats Eat Popcorn? Yes!
Plain popped corn without butter, seasoning or additives is perfectly fine for adult cats. However, it can pose a choking hazard to young kittens or senior felines. Popcorn will also give your cat a tiny amount of fiber, B vitamins, protein and iron.
Before you search for more veggies to feed your feline friend, here is a list of those vegetables that can be toxic to your cat.
Can Cats Have Onions? No!
Onions eaten in large quantities or over an extended period-of-time can cause anemia in your cat (low red blood cells). Even powdered, minced or bits of onion can lead to stomach upset.
Note: Baby food manufacturers sometimes add powdered onion (or garlic) for flavor, so be sure to read the label before serving it to your cat.
Can Cats Have Garlic? No!
As with the trouble with onions, the same trouble comes with your cat eating too much garlic. Avoid giving your feline buddy any veggie in the onion family.
Can Cats Have Mushrooms? No!
If your cat nibbles on a bit of store-bought mushrooms, he/she will probably not suffer any ill effects; it’s the wild species that you have to worry about. If you have wild mushrooms growing in your yard or area where your cat roams, dig them out, as some mushroom species can be highly toxic to the feline species.
Can Cats Eat Fruit? Yes & No!
Although, most cats don’t go for the sugary stuff, there are some that have developed quite a hankering for the sweet taste of human foods. However, just like veggies, there are those fruits that are good for cats and those that can be quite dangerous.
Here is our list of the top fruits that cats can safely enjoy..
Can Cats Eat Bananas? Yes!
We know bananas will give us a kick of potassium, but can our furry buddies partake in this delicious fruit. Yes! Some cats have even been known to nibble on both frozen and fresh bits of banana.
Can Cats Eat Apples? Yes!
Apples are purrfectly fine for cats, just be sure to take out the seeds, stem and core. These can not only can pose a choking hazard, but they contain an ingredient known as cyanogenic glycoside (releases cyanide when chewed). Apples provide vitamin C, fiber and are a healthy low-cal snack for most cats.
Can Cats Eat Blueberries? Yes!
Considered a super-fruit for humans, your cat can reap the many benefits of this high in antioxidants fruit. In fact, the blueberry is so healthy for cats, that many cat food manufacturers are including it in their recipes. However, only feed your pet a small amount of fresh or frozen blueberries as they can cause diarrhea.
Can Cats Eat Cantaloupe? Yes!
It’s unknown why some cats go crazy for cantaloupe. It could be the juiciness or texture, but whatever the case may be, feeding Fluffy some small bits of this fruit once-in-awhile is perfectly safe.
Can Cats Have Cranberries? Yes & No!
This holiday side dish is known for its vitamins and mineral content and can be fed to our cats with one rule; it should be in a supplement or in the cat kibble itself. Raw cranberries are not recommended for cats as they are harder to digest than other fruits and can cause a choking hazard.
Hold on a second!!
Before you run out and buy a fruit basket, read about these next fruits that can be highly dangerous and even toxic to your cat.
Can Cats Have Grapes/Raisins? No!
Although, there hasn’t been any reported cases of cats becoming ill from eating grapes or raisins, dogs can suffer from acute kidney failure, so why take the risk with your cat?
Can Cats Have Oranges? No!
The essential oils and an ingredient called psoralen found in oranges (and all citrus fruits) are highly toxic to cats. Oranges can give your cat diarrhea and/or cause vomiting. Citrus poisoning can also cause depression and sensitivity to the sun.
Can Cats Have Meat? Yes & No!
Ahhh...meat. It’s where the cat’s dietary “heart” lies. It’s essential for building strong muscles, tissues and organs. It contains many amino acids that regulate your cat’s metabolism, as well as repairing and growing its tissues. The amino acids found in protein is also used by the cat’s body for energy. If these important amino acids are missing in your cat’s diet, Fluffy could experience some serious health issues.
Here is a list of those top meats that your cat will enjoy on occasion.
Can Cats Have Canned Tuna? Yes & No!
Cats love fish, so it’s only natural that we may want to share some of our tuna fish with our fur baby. However, it’s not a good idea in large quantities. A steady diet of this canned fish doesn’t have all the proper nutrients a cat needs and could lead to malnutrition. Plus, it tends to be high in mercury.
Can Cats Have Cooked Meat? Yes!
Because the feline species is carnivorous, its main dietary ingredient should be meat. This includes beef, chicken, duck and turkey. Just be sure to serve Kitty the meat cooked and without any fat trimmings.
Can Cats Have Shrimp? Yes!
With its strong fishy smell, cats go crazy over shrimp, good thing they can have it as an occasional treat. Shrimp is packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty oils. It can be served up raw, cooked and even frozen.
We’ve covered the good meats, now let’s take a gander at those proteins that your bff shouldn’t have.
Can Cats Have Raw Eggs? No!
There are two main problems associated with cats eating raw eggs. The first one is raw eggs can carry bacterias such as E coli and salmonella. The second issue is the protein in raw egg whites contain an ingredient called avidin, which can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B.
Can Cats Have Raw Fish? No!
Raw fish can contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning. It also destroys thiamine (an essential B vitamin) which can lead to serious neurological problems like convulsions and even coma.
Can Cats Have Ham/Bacon? No!
Ham, bacon and other processed meats are too high in salt and sulfites which are both unhealthy options for cats.
Other Toxic Foods For Your Cat
This wouldn’t be a complete guide if we didn’t mention the other toxic foods that don’t fall into the above categories. Check this list out as it contains some commonly found food and beverages that you don’t want Kitty getting into.
Can Cats Have Alcohol? No!
As little as one teaspoon of grain alcohol is enough to produce alcohol poisoning in your cat. Three teaspoons can put your cat in a coma or even lead to death.
Can Cats Have Milk? No!
It’s a myth that cats need milk. In fact, adult cats cannot digest the lactose in this product, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Can Cats Have Yeast Dough? No!
Raw bread dough will continue to rise in your cat’s stomach causing bloating and pain and it can even cut off blood flow. In addition, yeast can ferment producing alcohol poisoning in your cat’s system.
Can Cats Have Dog Food? No!
Dog food does not contain all the essential ingredients a cat needs for a healthy body and mind. The most important being taurine. The lack of this amino acid in your feline can lead to poor eye and tooth health (among others).
Can Cats Have Caffeine/Chocolate? No!
If your cat gets into a product containing caffeine, such as caffeinated drinks or chocolate, it can cause restlessness, tremors, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms and even death.
Bonus – Food That May Be Okay for Some Cats
As an extra bonus and for the health of your cat, we’ve included the following four human foods that can and cannot be fed to cats. Find out why…
Can Cats Have Ice Cream? Yes & No!
The main culprit in dairy is the lactose; however, ice cream tends to be lower in this milk-sugar. Ice cream is also diluted with water and/or added fats so it may not affect some cats. However, if you choose to feed your cat ice cream, be sure it does not contain any added ingredients on our no-no list such as chocolate.
Can Cats Eat Cheese? Yes & No!
As with ice cream, cheese is also lower in lactose and may not affect your feline friend. But once again, watch for those additives like onion or garlic that are dangerous for cats.
Can Cats Have Yogurt? Yes & No!
Yogurt is lower in lactose and is usually cultured, which means the microorganisms found in yogurt have digested part of the lactose. However, do not give your cat those that use added citrus as they are not healthy for your pet.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter, Coconut Oil and More?
Now that we’ve given you a complete guide on the beneficial, toxic and the in between human foods, it should make feeding your feline friend a whole lot easier. But remember, start your kitty off slowly on any new food (human or otherwise) to ensure she won’t have a negative response. In addition, never feed your cat a diet based purely on human foods; it’s just not healthy.
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