Thanksgiving is one of the most important celebrations of the year for residents of the United States. It is a time when people get together with their friends and family to give thanks, celebrate, exchange gifts, and eat a delicious feat. The food is one of the most important elements of this celebration for many people. Traditionally, a roast turkey is served with all the trimmings, although exactly what is included can depend on personal tastes and family traditions. If you are a cat lover, you will probably want to include your cat in the celebrations and share some of the delicious food with them. Before doing this, it is important to know which of the Thanksgiving foods are safe to feed to your cat. The following is an overview of which Thanksgiving foods are safe for cats to eat, and which you should avoid giving to your pet.
Thanksgiving Foods That Are Safe for Cats to Eat
Fortunately, many of the foods that are traditionally served at Thanksgiving are safe to feed to your cat. According to Cattime, These include the following:
- Turkey – Cats eat a diet that is high in protein, and turkey is a good source of this. Therefore, this is one of the Thanksgiving foods that is safe to feed your cat. The white breast meat is the best part of the bird to give them as this is the leanest part. However, you can give them small quantities of the darker, fattier meat. Do not give them too much of the dark meat as the high-fat content can cause a tummy upset. It is best to avoid giving them the skin as this is fatty and most people season the skin.
- Plain mashed potatoes– Plain mashed potatoes with no added ingredients are safe to feed your cat. However, Catster notes that many of the ingredients that people add are potentially harmful to cats. If you like to add ingredients such as milk, butter, cream, onions, or shallots to your mashed potatoes, then you should give the cat the mashed potatoes before you add any of the other ingredients.
- Green beans – One of the most traditional vegetables served with a Thanksgiving dinner is green beans. If you cook this plain, then they are safe for cats to eat. Some people make a green bean casserole, and this involves cooking the beans with onions. If this is how you serve green beans at Thanksgiving, then do not feed them to your cat as onions make cats poorly.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkins are full of fiber that is good for cats. Cooked plain, they are fine for cats to eat. However, if you add spices and sugar to your pumpkin, it is best to avoid feeding it to your cat. If you are using canned pumpkin, check if it is just cooked pumpkin or if sugar and spices have been added.
- Carrots – Another common accompaniment that is served with Thanksgiving dinner is carrots. If you have cooked these plain, either boiled, steamed, or roasted, then they are fine for your cat to eat.
Thanksgiving Foods That Cats Should Avoid
While there are many foods served at Thanksgiving that are fine for cats to eat, there are also some foods that can make them poorly, so these are best avoided. Here are some of the foods that are served at Thanksgiving that you should avoid feeding to your cat.
- Turkey bones – Although turkey is safe for your cat to eat, you should never feed them the bones. These are brittle and can snap, which can cause tears to your cat’s stomach or bowel. They are also a choking hazard and can cause diarrhea.
- Gravy – Another food to avoid giving cats from a Thanksgiving dinner is gravy. This is high in salt and fat, both of which can cause your cat to become poorly. If you plan to feed them some turkey, do this before adding the gravy rather than giving them leftovers off people’s plates that already have the gravy added.
- Stuffing – Although stuffing is a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving dinner for humans, it is one of the most dangerous components of the meal for cats. Stuffing often contains onions, scallions, shallots, or garlic. According to Pets Best, these ingredients can all cause a condition called Heinz anemia. This is a life-threatening condition that destroys the red blood cells. Stuffing may also contain herbs that can irritate your cat’s bowel.
- Ham -In addition to a turkey, many people cook a ham for Thanksgiving. This is another food that you should avoid feeding your cat. Ham and other pork products can cause pancreatitis, which is a serious condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed. They can also cause sickness and diarrhea. Furthermore, ham is high in salt and fat, both of which are bad for your cat.
- Desserts – Although desserts are often the highlight of the Thanksgiving dinner for humans, you should not feed your cat desserts. They are usually high in fat and sugar, which will upset your cat’s tummy. The high sugar levels are also bad for your cat’s dental health. The most dangerous desserts for cats are chocolate desserts as chocolate is toxic for both cats and dogs.
Thanksgiving Food and Your Cat – The Final Verdict
If you want to include your cat in your Thanksgiving celebrations, then there are many foods from your feast that you can share with your furry friend so that they feel included in the event. These include turkey, plain mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans, and pumpkin. However, there are also some foods that you should avoid feeding your cat to prevent them from becoming unwell over the holiday season. The foods that you should avoid include gravy, stuffing, turkey bones, ham, and desserts. If you stick to the foods that are safe for your cat to eat, then they can have just as much of an enjoyable time at Thanksgiving as you.