Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Leftovers for Cats

The holidays mean plenty of eating, and with it, plenty of leftovers. And while it’s perfectly fine to spread the love and share some of your meal with your cat, not all dishes are safe for our feline friends. Here’s what to share—and what to skip—when it comes to holiday leftovers for cats.

Turkey, chicken, tuna, and salmon
Scraps of cooked meat and fish are just fine to add to your cat’s food—although be sure to take into account how sensitive her stomach is when portioning it out, and avoid giving fat, gristle, skin, and bones.

Raw or lightly steamed vegetables like green beans and carrots are a good addition to your cat’s diet. Avoid corn, however, because cats have difficulty digesting it.

Fresh whole cranberries are great for your cat’s bladder health. Cut into small pieces to avoid choking risk.

Pumpkin and squash
Many cats love cooked pumpkin or squash blended and mixed with their regular food. In addition to being tasty, both help promote better digestive health. Just avoid any pumpkin or squash cooked with butter.

This yummy treat with high fat can aid in digestion and relieve gas pains.


Grapes and onions
These common foods are often added to holiday dishes, so be sure that none make it into your cat’s bowl. Both can be very toxic.

Cranberry Sauce
While cranberries themselves are good for cats, the same is not true for cranberry sauce, which has added sugar that can upset feline tummies.

Bread (baked or unbaked)
The complex carbohydrates in bread can cause your cat’s liver to overproduce digestive enzymes, which can cause serious health problems in the future.

Chocolates and candy
For many cat caretakers this is common knowledge, but a gentle reminder never hurts. The chemicals in chocolate and other holiday candies can be lethally toxic to cats. Make sure your four-legged friends don’t get near this stuff.

Nuts can cause temporary paralysis in your cat.

Remember: everything in moderation

Just like humans, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Don’t overindulge your kitty, and if you’re feeding new foods, space them out to give her body time to digest.

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