Feeding Cat Holiday Leftovers

We all look forward to plentiful holiday feasts – our feline friends included! These days are full of love, joy, and of course, various delectable dishes. Many cat owners rightfully assume their cats deserve their share of the tasty holiday leftover food. Naturally, some of the ingredients can be the right food for your cat. However, in some cases, feeding your cat holiday leftovers isn’t good for their health and well-being. But there is no need to worry. Cats at Home Pet Sitting here to give you a few pointers on what your cat can and cannot eat from leftover holiday dinners. 

 Whether you want to treat your house cat or help stray and abandoned cats, exploring what “human food” they can digest is necessary. As much as you enjoy the holiday leftovers, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe and adequate food for cats. Some foods, you can cook them or adjust them and make a nutritious or cats. But, there are some bony or spicy dishes that are out of the question. So, let’s take a closer look.

Holiday Leftovers cook, skin, and debone poultry and fish

A cat eating holiday leftovers off the table

Meats without spices are good holiday leftovers

Chicken, turkey, duck, and other poultry are loved by many during the holidays. Your cat included. The nutritional benefits found in poultry suit the cat’s daily needs. As cats do not digest carbohydrates, so stay away from foods carb-heavy. Instead go for protein-rich food such as lean, free-range chicken, turkey, or fish. However, you need to make some adjustments before you feed your cat.

It is best if the poultry isn’t fried, but if it is, make sure you remove the skin. Although it is tasty, it is not the healthiest part of the chicken, as it contains a lot of fat and calories. Not to mention that the skin might contain spices, allergens, or toxins.

Also, you shouldn’t give your cat bony parts of the bird, such as the chicken leg. Of course, you should carefully remove all bones from fish. The cat could experience respiratory problems or injuries in the throat, intestines, or stomach if it swallows tiny bones. Giving your pet raw foods might have gained popularity in recent years. However, veterinarians advise against it. This might expose your cat to harmful parasites and pathogens.

Don’t feed your cat salty, fatty, or spicy holiday leftovers

Even a single ingredient unsuitable for cats can turn healthy post-holiday leftovers into a harmful meal. The greatest problem is fat and sugar as they disrupt gastrointestinal functioning. Sugary foods can provoke seizures, and long-term exposure to fat and sugar leads to diabetes and pancreatitis. When feeding your cat holiday leftovers, it’s advisable to avoid seasoned or marinated dishes. Intestinal problems can also appear if the food has garlic and onion. The same can happen if you feed your cat beans, green beans, or any such ingredient. A better option than spicy food would be adding a little bit of gravy to the regular cat food. This will make the food tastier without causing short-term and long-term health issues.

Some fruits and vegetables can be safe

White cat drinking bowl near grapes

Cats should never eat raisins and grapes

If you plan to prepare a big holiday meal at home or a venue, it can be tricky to figure out what to do with food waste. Luckily there is a solution for both of those problems. If you have to move a lot of decoration, tables, chairs, and other furniture, you can always ask a moving company such as strongassmovers.com to help you out. 

If you have dishes with seasonal vegetables and fruits, you can treat your cat to some of them. In fact, some greens present a vitamin-rich food for cats. For instance, pumpkin, squash, and broccoli are perfectly safe foods for cats. Apples are also a good treat for cats, but only if you remove the seeds and the core. Apple seeds contain a harmful substance like cyanide, so don’t forget to do this. Make sure you peel and deseed all fruits and vegetables as the core may contain herbicides and other toxic substances. 

 Aside from foods from the allium family, it is also wise to avoid raisins, grapes, and beans. Also, as we mentioned, the vegetables and fruits cannot be too salty, sugary, or spicy. So, if you have some leftover cake, it is better to eat it yourself.

Don’t feed your cat too many holiday leftovers

A cat begging for a bite of holiday leftovers

Your cat might be cute, but sometimes it is necessary to resist for their sake

Remember – your pet shouldn’t eat too much food as it can make them vomit. Treat holiday leftovers more like a treat rather than a cat food replacement. Of course, it is tempting to share your meal with your furry friend, especially because they are usually thrilled to grab a bite off the holiday table. However, human food does not contain all the necessary nutrients they need daily. The food can also be too caloric or fatty for the cat.

How to recognize if the holiday leftovers are harming your cat

There are some tell-tale signs your cat might be struggling with some ingredients you might have fed it. If your cat starts choking, it might be that a bone got stuck in its throat or esophagus. Other red flags showing your cat is not feeling well include diarrhea, vomiting, aggressive or repetitive behavior. Also, take note of any flu-like symptoms like fever, sneezing, or coughing. Take note of these symptoms when feeding your cat holiday leftovers and react promptly.

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