What Thanksgiving Foods Can Cats Eat? Here’s what should (and shouldn’t) be on your plate, according to a vet

What Thanksgiving Foods Can Cats Eat?  Here’s what should (and shouldn’t) be on your plate, according to a vet
sitting cat with pumpkins and gourds;  What Thanksgiving Food Can Cats Eat?

sitting cat with pumpkins and gourds; What Thanksgiving Food Can Cats Eat?

Bogdan Kurilo/Getty


  1. In this page

While many dogs will beg under the table and sniff around for a dropped morsel during the holiday season, most cats will simply scoot over the counter and run off with a tasty treat, or meow endlessly until they we give in to its charming persistence.

So as you plan your holiday menu, pay special attention to what foods cats can eat for Thanksgiving and what they can’t to avoid an emergency vet trip. Since there is a limited amount of safe human food for catsWe have put together this handy guide.

RELATED: 6 Tips to Make Thanksgiving Safer for Your Pets This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving Foods Cats Can Eat Safely

Veterinarians recommend that no more than 10 percent of a healthy cat’s daily diet come from treats, so always consider nutrition first before dishing out Thanksgiving treats; ask your vet if some are okay. Think of them more as a food topper, a specific treat, or, if indeed your stealthy kitty grabs a bite, something you won’t have to worry about as a result.

We asked Renee Rucinsky, DVM, DABVP(F), owner of Mid Atlantic Cat Hospital and Feline Thyroid Center in Queenstown, Md., for some Thanksgiving cat food tips.

Thanksgiving Foods Your Cat Can and Can't Eat Infographic

Thanksgiving Foods Your Cat Can and Can’t Eat Infographic

Corinne Mucha / Jody Tramontina


The most common question this time of year is “Can cats eat thanksgiving turkey?” Yes! Just the meat, though, well done and unseasoned. Find a good chunk of meat on a part of the bird without Saltbutter or other spices, dice it up and the kitty will purr your praises.


This popular addition to the holiday table always smells enticing, and while your cat may not know what ham is, she still wants some! Again, a small, well-cooked plain treat is fine, but because it’s high in fat and sodium, keep handouts to a minimum.


Not that you sprinkle this tasty spice all over your cat’s plate, but if your turkey has a hint of it, it won’t hurt.


Although Rucinsky says he’s never heard of a cat craving blueberries or cranberry sauce, if your feline friend is curious about raw, canned or cooked blueberries blueberries (no added sugar, grapes, or raisins), a little bit should be fine.


For a small taste of holiday delights, your kitty may have it cooked and plain/unbuttered potatoes that are baked, boiled, or pureed. This includes sweet potatoes as well. Raw potatoes are toxic to pets due to the property solaninewhich causes severe gastrointestinal upset.

Green beans

Many dogs love crisps fresh green beansBut what about cats? Maybe. If they’re lightly steamed, without spices or butter, you’ll be more likely to take a bite. But keep the green bean casserole on a higher counter away from kitty.

RELATED: Can cats eat bacon? A vet says small things, and only sometimes


“It’s corn!” And it has the juicy, slightly crunchy flavor that some cats really like. just make sure your cat’s corn it is boiled and removed from the cob without butter or seasoning.


If your kitten ever has problems with constipationyour vet might recommend plain canned pumpkin or cooked plain pumpkin puree for a nutritious fiber boost. So before you start the cake factory, one of these options is fine.

Whipped cream

Rucinsky says that most felines are lactose intolerance and you usually don’t want homemade whipped cream or Reddi-wip. However, others may want a turn or two of a creamy treat, so if your digestive system can handle whipped cream, a little is fine. Keep them away from alternative whipped toppings, though, as they usually contain a lot of oil and sugar.

RELATED: 15 Toxic Human Foods You Should Never Give Your Cat

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid Giving Your Cat

For cats with digestive problems such as pancreatitis, following the diet established by a veterinarian is essential for their health, and treats are not allowed on the table, even during the holidays. Even if your kitten is healthy, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these foods.

Turkey skin, bones and juices

Oh your furball would love to sink your teeth into these nummies, but they’re a no-no. Fat and sodium are two big reasons, and bones also have a choking hazard. rucinsky says no raw turkey or chickeneither, as they can contain E. coli and salmonella.


Technically, cats shouldn’t have much bread unless it’s fully baked, and then just a little. Another problem with stuffing is that many family recipes include delicacies like sausages, oysters, broths and condiments that are not safe for felines.

garlic and onion

Rucinsky says anything in the allium family of herbs and vegetables—chives, garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, and shallots—is toxic to pets because it contains chemicals that destroy red blood cells and cause anemia.


The ASPCA notes that nutmeg may cause vomiting and other serious symptoms of poisoning, so no pumpkin pie for kitty. post the animal poison control hotline on refrigerator in case of emergency: 888-426-4435.

Grapes and Raisins

Although studies are inconclusive as to why grapes and raisins they are so toxic to our pets cats are small enough that even a couple of these fruits can cause mild reactions like dehydration to more severe gastrointestinal problems.

RELATED: Can cats eat chocolate? Experts say stick to the kibble


A raw mushroom won’t harm your kitty, but most Thanksgiving foods include buttered mushrooms and therefore should be avoided. the Mycological Association of North America warns that 99 percent of wild mushrooms are also toxic to pets.


Oh butter. Its fat content gives us flavor but it is not good for kittens. See also note above on lactose intolerance. Margarine and other substitutes are also not allowed.


It is also not safe in Thanksgiving food for cats. anything with xylitol. So if the dessert buffet is overflowing with treats containing this sweetener, make sure your kitty has a better alternative, like a banana either blueberry.


Not that your curious kitty sticks her nose in your wine glass, but be aware of certain dishes that are slow-cooked or topped with alcohol. As little as one teaspoon can cause vomiting, Diarrheaand more severe reactions.

RELATED: Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog Can and Can’t Eat This Holiday

Safer Thanksgiving Cat Treats to Make Instead

Now if you Really If you want to show your favorite fluffy how grateful you are for him, create a special meal. “Maybe use a seasonal kitty plate with a Thanksgiving theme. Make it festive!” Rucinsky says. “Several major food companies offer the turkey option in their canned foods, so serving it during the holidays may be the safest option, especially for cats with sensitive digestive systems or other dietary limitations.”

Try your luck with homemade cat treats with a salmon and sweet potato pie either tuna and catnip treatsAnd your kitty will thank you infinitely!

Leave a Comment