Edu-Blog: The Thanksgiving leftovers kitties don’t need

In general, giving your cat table scraps is not a good habit to get into. But if you want to share your celebration with your cat by giving them a little leftover turkey or fish, that’s fine. Just be absolutely sure to avoid sharing any of the foods below, as they can be harmful to your cat’s health. A fair number of cats are prone to pancreatitis which can be triggered by a fatty meal such as a fattier piece of turkey or a piece with skin

In general, unless your veterinarian has advised differently, your cat’s diet should primarily include food made just for cats. 


Cats typically aren’t interested in solid chocolate, but it’s worth emphasizing that chocolate in all forms is toxic to cats. Baking chocolate can be dangerous even in minute amounts, and cats may be more drawn to holiday desserts and drinks.

Cooked bones

Never feed your cat cooked bones as they can splinter, causing internal damage or blockage that could be fatal. If you’re going to share any turkey this Thanksgiving, be certain there are no bones in it.


Most cats stop producing the enzyme required to break down milk (lactase) when they’re kittens. That means that most cats are actually lactose intolerant. Ingesting dairy products can lead to cramping, gas, diarrhea and other stomach issues.

Onions, garlic, etc.

All onion relatives (the allium family) can break down a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. This can occur even if the vegetable is cooked, processed or turned into a seasoning. The allium family includes shallots, leeks, chives, and other bulbous herbs.


Some people include raisins in their turkey stuffing. If you do, you might not want to let your furry friend clean your plate. Raisins (and grapes) cause illness and can even lead to kidney problems in cats.

Raw eggs

Raw eggs may contain salmonella, E. coli and other harmful bacteria. They are not appropriate to feed your cat (or people). This includes raw bread dough, which is particularly harmful to cats due to its yeast content.

Raw meat

Similar to raw eggs, raw meat and fish may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning in cats. Be aware that feeding raw food to your cat can infect you and other members of your household.

Bonus Fact: Pumpkin purée (not pie filling) is ok to share. In fact, the fiber content in all edible gourds can aid in your cat’s digestion. However, they might not be interested in eating it unless you combine it with some wet cat food.

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Posted in Feline Care.