Top 10 Strange Foods that Cats Can Eat

Strange Foods Cats
House cats love to eat meat, just like their big cousins in the savanna. Our feline companions get their nutrition from meat — not from crops, fruits, or vegetables. The protein from the meat they eat promotes cardiovascular and reproductive health, as well as sharp eyesight.

But upon visiting my brother’s house, I saw his cat nibbling some herbs in the garden and a cube of watermelon that had fallen on the kitchen floor. Aren’t cats obligate carnivores? So, I made a simple poll on social media to see what other strange foods cats eat.

Immediately, I received a long list of unexpected cuisine preferences by their whiskered housemates. The following foods what made the top 10:

Herbs and Grass

Catnip

Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family. Also known as the “King of Cat Herbs,” it felines all over the world love it! The plant contains a compound called Nepetalactone, which gives cats an intoxicating “high” similar to marijuana when sniffed or eaten. This feline ecstasy lasts for a few minutes before wearing off.
catnip for cats

Cats may react to catnip by being hyperactive — rolling around, meowing, flipping over, and eventually, zoning out. Still, the results vary between individuals. However, only 2/3 of cats react to the chemicals in the plant. Young kittens are not affected by catnip at all.

Cat Thyme

Cat Thyme
Cat thyme produces the same intoxicating “high” as catnip, with the attendant feelings of contentment. So, you may want to give your cat a small pot of cat thyme if it doesn’t react to catnip. Your kitty will surely thank you after it’s done spazzing out. While this plant relaxes your cat, its odor is sometimes offensive to the human nose.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass
If you can’t endure the pungent smell of cat thyme, try lemongrass. Aside from the cooking uses it offers, it gives your home a subtle, refreshing scent. The long thin blades offer cats a satisfying crunch. You will likely see nibble-friendly patches of lemongrass if you go to your local pet store.

Valerian

Valerian
Don’t worry if you might see your cat munching valerian leaves in your backyard. This pungent herb is safe for your kitty.
While valerian is notable for promoting sleep in humans, it works the exact opposite for felines. The herb acts as a stimulant to cats, giving lazy fat cats a bolt of energy to turn them into exercise machines.

Spider Ivy

Spider Ivy
Spider ivies feature white and pink-purple flowers, as well as a rosette of long, thin, and arched foliage that is either green and white-striped. Not only do these plants look gorgeous in your home, but they also offer stimulant qualities that your kitty will love. Your cat will also love batting at the bouncy leaves.

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Cheese

Cheese for catsCats love cheese as much as dogs. Lazy as they are, they are willing to chase with dogs when cheese cubes fall on the kitchen floor.

Cheese is high in protein, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is suitable for all cats. A majority of adult cats are intolerant of dairy products. Unlike kittens, they don’t produce enough of the lactase enzyme that will digest milk. The production of this enzyme slows down after weaning.

There will be unpleasant consequences to your cat’s gastrointestinal system if it eats cheese in large amounts.

If your pet does eat cheese without a problem, it can quickly pack on pounds. Hence, cheese and other dairy products are a poor choice of protein for house cats.

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Fresh Fruits and Cooked Vegetables

Despite being hypercarnivores, our feline companions can also acquire nutrients from plants. That is why many cat food manufacturers include fruits and vegetables to their products.
You can alternate fish flakes and dried meat treats with fresh fruits and half-cooked vegetables. These healthy treats provide fiber for your cat. You can explore treating with the following:
Cheese for cats
  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Beetroot
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mango
  • Sweet potato
  • Watermelon
Bear in mind that fruits and vegetables should only make a meager percentage of your cat’s diet to prevent nutritional imbalances.

Furthermore, make sure to remove the rind and seeds of the fruits before you serve it to your pet.

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Cooked Fish

Fruit for catsIf your kitty is as greedy as ours, he likely sees an aquarium as an eat-all-you-can buffet. Cats become addicted to fish quite quickly. That is why it is often a bad idea for pet fishes and house cats to coexist.

Moreover, raw fish contains high amounts of thiaminase that deteriorates thiamin, which is an essential vitamin for your pet. If your kitty likes to eat fish, you can save it as an occasional treat.

Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but keep it to a minimum.

Carnivorous fishes, such as tuna, swordfish, and salmon, can lead to mercury poisoning in cats when eaten in large amounts. Likewise, be sure to cook the fish well before serving it.

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Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs for catsHard boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein for our feline companions. This protein-rich yet straightforward food is especially helpful for pregnant and lactating cats.

Likewise, eggs contain a lot of vitamin B essential for feline health.

Be sure there are no traces of the shell before serving the egg to your kitty.
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Canned Baby Food

Baby meat for catsIs your kitty avoiding its food lately? Simple meat-based baby food makes a fantastic solution for cats who have a hard time eating due to being sick:
  • Cats with a reduced appetite due to cancer, CKD, and liver disease
  • Cats who have a hard time chewing due to periodontal disease
  • Cats who just had their teeth extracted
  • Kittens who are just weaned by their mothers

Baby food is often palatable and easy for the mouth to handle and digest in the stomach.

Take note: baby food should be fed to cats only when necessary.

Also, be sure to check the ingredients for onion and garlic that can be harmful to cats.

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Bugs and Insects

Buds and catSome indoor cats view any winged trespasser as hunting prizes.

The aerial hunt involves climbing curtains and leaping on one furniture to the other in the pursuit of stalking, capturing, and eating the wayward bugs and insects.

While this behavior seems gross to us, humans, this occasional feast is often harmless. But if your cat shows any sign of ill health, call your vet immediately.

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Ice Cream

Ice cream and catCats love ice cream so that you can give your pet a spoonful of your Ben and Jerry’s as a rare treat. However, a cat’s desire to eat this frozen treat is not because of its sweetness that dogs and we crave.

In fact, cats do not have sweet taste receptors.

Hence, our whiskered friends don’t have a sweet tooth at all. The simple answer to why cats love ice cream is because of the milk and its high fat and carbohydrate content.

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Baked Bread

Bread and catBread is a useless food item for cats, but there is no worry if your cat steals bits of bread occasionally.

Cats have no issue digesting, absorbing, and metabolizing dietary carbohydrates in bread.

You can give your bread bandit bits of baked bread in moderation, but it should never become a staple in their diet.

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Cooked Rice

Rice and catCats eat cooked rice, but its role in your pet’s diet remains a moot point among many cat owners. Many believe that rice offers no nutritional value and is just a “filler.”

But according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, it is the easiest grain for your cats to digest.

Thereby, it is an excellent source of energy-boosting complex carbohydrates.
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Takeaway

We grew up watching movies and cartoons where cats eat fish and drink a saucer of milk. But it turns out that many foods please our feline companions’ palate. Although our cats may enjoy a slice of cheese, a scoop of ice cream, or any of the items mentioned above, they should not be a staple to their diet.

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