Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Kitties…

Sharing responsbly with your pets will definitely make them thankful!!!

If you’re anything like me, you drool just thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, which luckily for us, is right around the corner! And, if your pets are anything like mine, they will not let you enjoy your scrumptious meal without batting their lashes and giving you their best sad face, or guilt trip to try and get you to share (and that’s if they’re feeling polite and don’t try to take it straight off of your plate!)! I am usually able to resist their adorable furry faces, and deny them my human food trying to keep their health in mind… but is it really that bad for them?!

Similarly to humans, kitties can eat most things without any issue, the key is moderation.  There are very few foods that are dangerous to kitties even in small portions, but there are a few out there you should be aware of. It is common knowledge to keep treats like chocolate, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks away from our pets, but other dangerous foods aren’t so intuitive. Root vegetables such as onions and garlic can be harmful to cats in small portions – so be sure to keep Felix away from the stuffing and garlic mashed potatoes this holiday!

thanks givingBut… my kitties are not so interested in the mashed potatoes or side dishes… they have their eyes on the big bird in the center of the table! Now, if you want to slip your kitty a few pieces of Turkey, this is relatively harmless. Poultry is one of the main components in most kibble or canned foods that you can buy for your cats, and is a natural part of their diet. There are still a few things to be cautious about though when feeding your cats table scraps. Keep in mind that the average cat should consume approximately 200-250 calories per day, which is only a small fraction of the amount of calories we consume as humans. Treats and snacks should account for no more than 10% of your pets diet, limiting you to sneaking them only 20-25 calories off of your plate!

You should also be careful about giving your cat too many fatty trimmings, or foods with high fat content – like the delicious, juicy skin from the turkey! Fat is nutritious, and it is needed in our pets diets, as well as our own. However, too much fat can give your poor kitty an upset stomach resulting in diarrhea, and can even cause pancreatitis in severe cases.

If you are giving your kitty cooked turkey from the table, be sure it is just the meat, and no cooked bones are making their way onto the floor or into their food dish! While raw chicken or turkey bones can be good for your kitties teeth, cooked bones can easily splinter and cause a lot of damage to the lining of their digestive tract. If you are giving your kitty raw bones or meat, you want to be sure that it is fresh and not left out too long as the meat can quickly grow bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli which will make your kitties sick. Picking bones to give your kitty can be a little tricky too. You want to make sure that the bones are not too large or dense (ie. knuckle bones, or large marrow bones), because cats can crack their teeth on these. On the other hand they should be large enough that the whole bone cannot fit in their mouth or be swallowed whole as this will pose a choking hazard. Meaty bones, such as the neck of the turkey are generally safe, and giblets like the heart provide tons of nutrients for your kitty!
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Now, lets forget the bird! A feast would not be a feast without a good helping of cheese– melted on the vegies, grated on the pasta, baked into a cake, or heck just on its own! Sounds great, right?! The kitties think so too! Once cats reach adulthood though, most of them develop lactose intolerance and they are unable to digest dairy products, and this can also lead them to having loose stool. You can try giving your kitty a small portion of cheese or other dairy products, and see how they are able to handle it. If it does not seem to bother their tummy, then you can continue giving it to them as a little treat, just keep in mind the fat content once again!

In conclusion, your kitty does not have to miss out on the Thanksgiving feast as long as you are mindful about what, and how much you are going to treat them to. The only foods that truly need to be avoided entirely are root vegetables like onions and garlic, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol (in addition to grapes/raisins, kelp and sugary treats/candy which were not previously mentioned in this post!). Although if you have any questions regarding your kitties diet or health it is always a good idea to contact your vet for clarification. Have a great holiday everyone, and SHARE RESPONSIBLY!!thanks giving 2

Cats Castle Cat Hotel is a cat boarding that specializes in both short term and long term cat boarding. Our cattery provides a luxurious alternative to pet sitting. Our facility is located in Oakville Ontario, just minutes off of the QEW. Our customers come from all over Toronto and the GTA, Markham, Milton, Hamilton, Mississauga, Burlington and more!

 

References:
http://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/how-much-heart-is-too-much
http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/7-foods-you-should-never-feed-your-cat?page=2
http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/5-human-foods-cats-can-eat/
http://kb.rspca.org.au/what-should-i-feed-my-cat_262.html