17 Human Foods Cats Can Eat Safely

By: Chewy EditorialUpdated:

cat looking at apples
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17 Human Foods Cats Can Eat Safely

Searching for a healthy snack for your cat? Fortunately, you don’t have to look much further than your own pantry for some cat-safe foods to feed your pet. And once you find out what human foods cats can eat, you can start getting creative by making your kitty delicious DIY cat treats.

Read on to discover which feline-friendly human foods are expert-recommended, so you can start feeding your cat like every other family member.

Healthy Human Foods Cats Can Eat

1 Salmon

human foods for cats - cooked salmon
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A good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can be a delicious and tasty treat for cats and is often already found in commercial cat food, said Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. While some cat-friendly human foods can be fed to your cat raw, make sure to give her only cooked salmon, Dr. Wismer said.

PureBits salmon freeze-dried cat treats make it easy to feed your cat salmon with all of the benefits and none of the cleanup.

2 Spinach

Human foods for cats - spinach
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Full of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and K, iron and calcium, spinach can be a healthy, cat-friendly treat, according to Dr. Wismer. However, if your cat has history of calcium oxalate bladder stones, you should avoid giving them spinach.

Different cat foods also include spinach as an ingredient due to its vast health benefits. Purina Beyond Grain-Free ocean whitefish and spinach canned cat food features spinach within the top five ingredients for a natural, pate-style food for adult cats.

3 Cantaloupe

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High in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which helps maintain healthy skin and eye health, cantaloupe is one of several cat-safe fruits, according to Dr. Wismer.

4 Eggs

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Another good source of protein and B vitamins, eggs are safe for your feline to eat, Dr. Wismer said. In order to reduce the risk of food borne diseases, be sure to cook any eggs you feed your cat.

5 Fish Oils

human food for cats - fish oil
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Start whipping out the fish oil cat supplements! According to Emmy-award winning veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber, while pet parents tend to get away with giving their dogs people food more often than cats, fish oil is something that can help benefit both species. With a variety of options, including salmon and cod liver oil, the omega 3s in fish oil can help prevent dry skin in the winter and keep your cat’s coat healthy throughout the year.

Supplements made from wild-caught fish, like PetHonesty Omega-3 Fish Oil Immune, Joint & Skin & Coat Supplement for Dogs & Cats help support skin and coat health with natural fatty acids.


human food for cats - cooked, unseasoned chicken
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Because cats are obligate carnivores and require diets that contain mostly meat (unlike dogs who are omnivores and can live off of a variety of different foods), their bodies aren’t able to digest fibrous foods as easily as dogs and don’t always like the variety of people foods that dogs do, according to Werber. However, any type of meat, like chicken, is right up their alley.

A good source of lean protein, chicken can be a great choice for your cat, as long as it is cooked thoroughly and the skin, which can be fatty, is removed, Werber said. Chicken is another ingredient often found in commercial cat foods.


human foods for cats - Bananas
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High in potassium and soluble fiber, bananas are a cat-safe snack, according to Wismer. Although bananas are a healthy treat, they (like all items on this list) should make up no more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily calorie intake, she added.


human foods for cats - Oatmeal
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A source of energy and B vitamins for your pet, oatmeal is another human food that can be found in commercial cat foods, like Natural Balance Fat Cats low-calorie diet. However, just because oatmeal may be cat-safe, not every feline will like it, so you’ll want to introduce these foods slowly and make sure they like them before incorporating them into a regular part of your cat’s diet.


human foods for cats - Pumpkin
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Can cats eat pumpkin? Not only is pumpkin low in calories and high in fiber, it is also be an effective treatment for cats who suffer from abnormal stools. You can incorporate pumpkin into cat treats since it’s both safe and healthy.

Commercially-available supplements for cats make it easy to introduce pumpkin into your feline’s diet. Weruva Pumpkin Patch up! dog and cat food supplement is a puree that supports stool quality and healthy gut mobility in single-serve pouches.


human foods for cats - Cheese
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Are cats lactose intolerant or can cats handle some cheese from time to time?

If your cat shows an interest in this feline-friendly food, Dr. Wismer recommends feeding a hard cheese, like cheddar, Swiss or Gouda. These cheeses are high in calcium and protein and can be easily baked into treats or fed to your cat raw in small amounts.


human foods for cat - Bread
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A good source of protein and fiber, Dr. Werber said some cats like to snack on bread, a feline-friendly human food.


human food for cats - Apples
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High in fiber and vitamin C, apples are another food Dr. Werber says cats can eat, as long as they’re fed to your cat without the skin, seeds or stems.


human foods for cats - Blueberries
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A good source of vitamins A and C, blueberries can be found in some cat foods, like American Journey salmon grain-free dry cat food, and some felines may even like to snack on frozen blueberries, Dr. Wismer said. Read more about blueberries for cats.


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Another lean protein, turkey, including cooked turkey breast or sliced deli meat, is a cat-safe snack.


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High in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A, peas are another cat-safe human food. They often are found in commercial cat foods, but can be fed to your cat frozen or raw.


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High in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B5 and C, as well as potassium and magnesium, watermelon is a safe treat for cats, in moderation. Read more about watermelon for cats.


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In moderation, strawberries make a “fun, perfectly acceptable treat” for cats, says small animal vet, Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ based in Silverthorne, Colorado. The juicy fruit is a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Read more about strawberries for cats.

How to Feed Cats Human Foods

You’ll want to limit the amount of treats you give your cat each day, even if they’re healthy.

“Limit treats to 20 calories each day, [which] would be two teaspoons of cooked salmon or chicken or 25 blueberries, but you wouldn’t want to give them all of those berries,” Dr. Wismer said. “You can mix and match human food treats with cat treats to reach that number.”

If your cat seems to be gaining weight as a result of her human food treats, however, you’ll want to scale back on the amount of treats you’re feeding her, she added.

When introducing new foods to your cat, you should expect them to have a little bit of gastrointestinal upset, Dr. Werber says. If it’s a food they’ve never had before, their bodies may not be used to digesting it and they can be a little finicky about what they eat. Dr. Werber’s advice? Give them some variety to see what they like, make sure to do everything in moderation and avoid any type of seasonings. To ensure your kitty is receiving proper daily nutrition, continue feeding their cat food in addition to any human food snacks.

So next time you're snacking on one of the foods above, you can rest assured your feline friend can have a bite. And when you feed your cat in small amounts, these human foods cats can eat make a healthy addition to your cat's diet.


By: Chewy EditorialUpdated: