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Human Foods A Cat CAN Eat

Updated on March 7, 2014

Many people think of cats together with milk and/or tuna. However, these are 2 things a cat should rarely, if ever, have. Many cats become lactose intolerant if given milk, and tuna has high levels of mercury and fatty acids that can cause health problems for a cat. Cat food and water are the best diet for a cat, but there are certain human foods that are okay to eat as well.


The main human food that is fine to give cats is meat. Cats are carnivores, so they actually need meat to live. Do not, however, give them meat that is full of sugar or salt. Do always give it to them cooked. It is the best way to know it is okay to eat without any safety concerns. Also, don't let your cat eat your leftover fat pieces. There are too many calories for them in even a small amount of fat, and it can cause diarrhea.


The second best thing that is okay to give a cat is eggs. Just make sure they are cooked because raw eggs may contain e. coli. Cats in the wild do eat raw eggs if they find a bird's nest, but if you have a house cat, it's not a good idea. Also, eggs could possibly cause an allergic reaction, so just be sure to check if anything unusual occurs with your cat after they eat some. If something does occur, don't give them any again. Otherwise, eggs are good for giving your cats protein.


Fish can give a cat many nutrients, but there's only certain types they should be eating. Tuna, salmon, and swordfish are NOT okay to eat. They are more likely to contain higher amounts of mercury which may cause mercury poisoning in your cat. The types that are okay are cod, halibut, and flounder. Fish also needs to be cooked first before you give it to your cat. Uncooked fish may carry tapeworms that will be passed to your cat.


Another food okay for cats is vegetables. They don't really get any nutrients out of it like humans do, but they are able to use the energy they get from it more efficiently. If you notice your cat chewing up plants or grass while he or she is outside, you may want to try giving them a small serving of vegetables. Again, it is preferable if they are cooked. Good veggies to give cats include steamed asparagus and broccoli, green beans, winter squash, or chopped greens. Baked carrots may be okay, but not uncooked carrots as they may be hard to digest.

Side Note: Cats also sometimes use grass as a way to help cough up hairballs, so a little grass is okay for them to eat since they'll be throwing it right back up anyway.


Research has also told me that cheese may be okay for cats as well. However, it is along the same lines as milk. Anything dairy has the potential to cause problems for your cat. If you do try to give your cat cheese, at least make sure it is a low-lactose type of cheese and only give your cat a small dose. If the cat does well with it, you are free to give it a little bit from time to time. But if the cat gets diarrhea afterwards or seems otherwise unlike itself, no longer give it to them. This applies to all of these foods on the lists as well.

Which of these were you most surprised to find that they are OKAY for a cat to eat?

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For a list of items that your cat should NEVER eat, click here.


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    • profile image

      Trish 3 years ago

      This is a very interesting and informative article. My cats won't eat anything on this list though...LOL they are very, very picky. They like their cat food only. I have never tried the tuna thing though. I have always heard they shouldn't eat it. I basically looked this up because I am making tuna frozen treats for my dogs, and I was researching to make sure if the cats get a little of it, it wouldn't harm them. Thank you for helping in my research! It is much appreciated! :)

    • profile image

      Aidan 5 years ago

      Be careful with veggies. Some savory veggies like onions and garlic are potentially toxic to cats.

    • urgurl_bri profile image

      Brandi Swieter 6 years ago from Holland, MI

      I don't eat eggs that often myself because my son doesn't like them much, so I barely buy them. So my cats haven't had any either; not sure if they'd like them or not. But I have had a few people tell me that their cats love them. Maybe I'll try it and see. ha-ha.

    • smokingcupcake profile image

      smokingcupcake 6 years ago from Dayton, OH

      Our cats will not go anywhere near cooked or raw veggies, but they do love eggs! Every time we use any type of eggs, we have to take the trash outside. If we leave it sitting around, they're likely to tear through the bag to get at them!

    • urgurl_bri profile image

      Brandi Swieter 6 years ago from Holland, MI

      I wasn't exactly sure so I did some research for you. Basically, pollution from plants that burn coal can make its way into rivers and streams, etc, and it settles into the tissue of the fish's body. Even when humans consume the fish it can be harmful to us. But we can tolerate higher amounts of it than cats can.

      This is the article I read it from...

    • urgurl_bri profile image

      Brandi Swieter 6 years ago from Holland, MI

      Thanks for the votes Victoria. I had been giving my cats tuna before I learned this, now I definitely won't. They do have cat food tuna in pet stores which is okay, but either way it shouldn't be an all the time thing. I haven't tried eggs either. I honestly don't know if my cat would even eat them, but I'll have to find out and see. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I had heard that about tuna. The only people food my cats will eat is tuna and maybe some other meats. I haven't tried eggs, though! Great hub. Great photos! Voted up, useful, interesting, awesome!

    • urgurl_bri profile image

      Brandi Swieter 6 years ago from Holland, MI

      But fancy feast tuna is cat food. That is fine. We are talking about tuna that people would eat. And that tuna, along with a few other types of fish, are higher in mercury content, which is fine for us but not fine for them. It's also recommended that children don't eat that much tuna as well because of the mercury. And I'm not saying if they have it once in a while, we're talking about over time eventually if they eat it practically every day. And if a cat has an only-tuna diet they are not getting the nutrients they need and could get a Vitamin E deficiency. Also, my research was not only on the internet. This is a fact. Again, for tuna meant for people, not tuna meant for cats. If it's cat food of any type, it's obviously fine to give to cats.

    • profile image

      Darby 6 years ago

      I think this tuna thing is nuts,my cat is 6 years old,he has ate tuna since Fancy Feast originated,don't believe everything you read on internet.

    • urgurl_bri profile image

      Brandi Swieter 6 years ago from Holland, MI

      That's interesting your cat won't eat it if it's only a day old, but I guess that's good, since food can go bad quickly if left out!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      These are all things that my cat loves to eat, especially if it on my plate and not a special plate for her. Amy loves scrambled eggs. And anything that is a day old she hates, even chicken! So any tin I get has to be *small* if it is cat food (instead of people food) or it will just go into the garbage half-eaten.

    • urgurl_bri profile image

      Brandi Swieter 6 years ago from Holland, MI

      Tuna can be okay but it is suggested that you at least then buy a cat food tuna from a pet store and not the kind humans eat. With eggs, as long as they are cooked they should be fine either hard boiled or scrambled. So I guess you could try both and see which your cat likes better. Just remember, everything in moderation. :)

    • Dawn Conklin profile image

      Dawn Conklin 6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      I haven't thought about the mercury content in tuna before when it came to my kitty. I know young kids shouldn't eat a real lot of it, but in moderation it is ok. I have given my kitty tuna but not a whole can in a sitting. I do not make a habit of it, maybe 3 times in her life. I won't give it to her anymore tho.

      She is ok with cheese, we found out the hard way! I dropped a piece and she was by my feet and well, I am sure you know what happened from there!

      With the eggs, do you suggest hard boiled or scrambled?


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