Will Those Thanksgiving Left-Overs Poison Your Cat?
Thanksgiving is the consolation prize of the holidays. It’s the holiday that says, “hey man, we know Halloween is over, and that’s a huge bummer, and to top that off, you’ve still got 2 months until Christmas. So here, have an excuse to gorge yourself on giblets and pass out on Uncle Don’s plaid, tobacco-scented pull-out.” Yes friends, as we all know, the main focus of Thanksgiving is to eat. There are no rules on Thanksgiving. Put cranberry sauce on everything! Fill your pumpkin pie hole with as much pumpkin pie as you can! And don’t forget to feel vaguely uncomfortable as your cat stares longingly at you from the floor, watching you take each bite as if you are physically hurting her by not sharing your delicious spread. Your cats do that too, right? Of course they do. They’re cats. But after the anarchic banquet of gourmet debauchery has reached it’s peak, what should you do with the scraps? Those forsaken strips of bony turkey parts? Should you… should you give them to your perfect baby cat, Mister Whiskers? Let’s find out.
The Safe Zone
If you’re going to get particularly ambitious in the kitchen this year for Thanksgiving and are planning on making pumpkin pie from scratch, don’t throw out those leftovers! Plain ol’ canned pumpkin is an excellent source of nutrients for your beloved little babypuss - just make sure it’s the real stuff. Pumpkin that’s been processed with artificial sweetener can have an adverse effect on your kitty baby’s digestion, so make sure it’s the real deal.
Any type of bread is a good source of fiber for your honey darling, but remember, everything in moderation. Additionally, if you’re baking the rolls yourself, keep the dough away from your babe! Raw dough is simply no bueno for your kitty’s insides.
Ah yes, the main course. Got some turkey scraps you don’t know what to do with? Send ‘em your cat’s way! Turkey is 100% kitty kosher. However, if your cat isn’t used to eating real turkey, don’t be alarmed if she does have some tummy upset. Introducing a new food to your cat is always a bit of a surprise to their systems (just like humans), so if your cat gets a little gastrointestinal discomfort, there’s no need to hit the panic button. Start off by giving her a few pieces to see how she likes them before dumping a whole heap into her bowl. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to peel the skin away, as the skin is mostly empty fat, which isn’t harmful, but isn’t the best thing in the world either. ANY fatty bits should be considered a no-no. And always remember: be wary of the bones - you don’t want your precious pudding choking on anything unexpected! I once made the mistake of giving my foster cat, Jane Foster the Foster, a piece of chicken with the bone in it, and oh man, let me share with you the error of my ways. Have you ever heard what a malfunctioning garbage disposal sounds like? Because it pretty much just sounds like a choking cat. She growled and hissed until I dislodged the wee nugget bone from her teeny weeny adolescent kitty chops, then ran away to hide behind the PlayStation until she recovered from the trauma. So yeah, basically just like, don’t even risk it. You’ll save yourself and your cat some suffering.
The Danger Zone
Now that we’ve covered the safe foods, let’s go through some foods that are most decidedly NOT kitty-friendly:
If you’re working away in the kitchen and you find Madame Jellybean meowing at you incredulously for some treats, DITCH THE RAW STUFF. Don’t even give her a sliver! Raw food, especially raw meat, is straight-up NOT GOOD for your little four-legged love!
Some cats can be lactose intolerant - in fact it is not at all uncommon, and giving them dairy will… well, you know, cause the same sort of problems a human might encounter. Yes, kitties love cream, but no, they really shouldn’t be having it. Once a kitten has been weaned from its mother, there is no reason she should be having any milk or dairy.