Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family, and that includes your cat! If your cat is an important part of your life, and you want to show them just how thankful you are for their friendship, there’s nothing wrong with including them in the festivities. This year’s Thanksgiving feast will include all your traditional favorites, and a lot of those dishes are safe for cats. The key to planning the perfect cat-friendly feast is to know the difference between foods that are safe for cats, and those that could make your feline friend sick.
We’ve put together a list of Thanksgiving foods that are generally safe for cats to consume. Remember, however, that every cat is an individual. It’s always best to check with your vet before giving your cat something other than their regular food.
It’s not Thanksgiving without turkey! Thankfully, this holiday staple is perfectly safe for your carnivore cat. White meat is healthier, but your cat can also enjoy a nibble or two of dark meat or skin. Be cautious, however, if your bird is heavily seasoned with garlic or onions. Those vegetables can be toxic to cats in large quantities. You also need to remove all the bones from your cat’s serving.
Your cat might not be as excited about the mashed potatoes as you are, but they can still be a tasty treat. Make sure the potatoes are served to your cat plain with no butter, sour cream, garlic, or onions. All those extras could cause a holiday stomach ache.
If your finicky feline refuses to eat their potatoes plain, you can add a small amount of gravy (as long as there are no onions or garlic). Remember, however, that gravy is high in fat and salt, and your cat probably doesn’t weight more than 10 pounds. One tablespoon will be plenty. And if you already know that your cat has heart issues, it’s best to skip this one.
If your cat is into vegetables, there’s no reason they can’t have a few green beans on their plate. It’s best if the beans aren’t covered in butter or salt. You might also help your cat out by cutting up long beans into more bite-size pieces.
Cranberry sauce makes a healthy Thanksgiving cat treat as long as it’s not made with excessive sugar or artificial sweetener. Check the label if it’s store-bought, or confirm with the chef if it’s homemade. A small spoonful will be perfect for your cat to enjoy.
Don’t forget about dessert! Pumpkin is not only safe for cats to consume, it actually has great health benefits. It’s full of fiber and can help settle their stomach after that delicious Thanksgiving meal. Instead of slicing up a piece of pumpkin pie, it’s better to let your cat have a helping of plain pumpkin. Once it’s in pie form, it contains a lot of sugar and dairy that’s not great for cats.
Thanksgiving Foods You Definitely Want to Avoid
While the above listed foods are fine for your cat, they can’t indulge in everything in the buffet. Some foods are toxic to cats, and others are simply too unhealthy. It’s best to keep the following foods off your cat’s plate.
- Mac and Cheese (too much dairy)
As we mentioned before, it’s always best to confirm your cat’s Thanksgiving menu with your vet before the big day. Sometimes cats can feel sick after a sudden change in diet. But as long as you keep the serving sizes small and monitor your cat’s well-being, you can both enjoy a delicious holiday feast.