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Feelings on table scraps  

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
I am wondering how all of you feel about feeding your kitties table scraps?

We feed our cats table scraps along with their regular food for two reasons. First, our cat Angel lived on table scraps in her previous home and can't always digest all of her cat food, so we supplement with table scraps. Of course, we have to let Sagwa, Sarobi, and Cringer have scaps too...lest there be a fight.

The second reason is since we're vegan we feel comfortable sharing our food, as it is healthy.

What do you all think about feeding table scraps?
post #2 of 55
It depends on what you are feeding, and how much. Things like tomatos and members of the nightshade family are potentially toxic to cats. I would at the very least have a list of foods that are toxic to cats and I wouldn't overdo feeding table scraps at all. Cats need protein and meat, they are carnivores, not vegans, feeding them out of their normal realm of dietary needs is a bit risky. There are so many good foods on the market today, they would be a lot happier imo with some quality canned food as well as dry to nibble on. Some cats have problems digesting their food, as cats are gulpers. That's why dogs love soiled litter pan waste because it is almost pure protein. Buying elevated feeders will help slow them down when eating, so will adding water to their food.
post #3 of 55
Originally Posted by vinceneilsgirl
I am wondering how all of you feel about feeding your kitties table scraps?
We feed our cats table scraps along with their regular food for two reasons. First, our cat Angel lived on table scraps in her previous home and can't always digest all of her cat food, so we supplement with table scraps. Of course, we have to let Sagwa, Sarobi, and Cringer have scaps too...lest there be a fight.
The second reason is since we're vegan we feel comfortable sharing our food, as it is healthy.
What do you all think about feeding table scraps?
From what we've read and experienced with our two cats, if your priority is good nutrition for your cats, then next to feeding a fresh wholesome diet (either raw or cooked food), the feeding of meat and table scraps are a good addition to commercial cat food. This will help to lessen the reliance on overcooked, processed products that are typically less nutritious.

Of course, regardless of the fact that you're vegan, the majority of food you feed your cats -- whether it be commercial food, table scraps, all fresh food, or a combination -- MUST BE MEAT since they are obligate carnivores.

Looking through our books at home, here's relevant info we could find regarding table scraps:

From Ann Martin's "Food Pets Die For" - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846:

page 93:
Repeatedly, the pet food industry and many vets warn pet owners that human food should never be fed to cats and dogs. However, since 1990 I have encountered wonderful vets who recommend that we avoid commercial foods and opt for a homemade diet...A growing number of vets believe that pets enjoy a much healthier and longer life if we take the time to cook for them. Dr. Belfield states in his book, "How to Have a Healthier Dog", "What's wrong with carrots and peas and salad and even fruits and cooked cereal? Nothing that I know of. I know a retired vet in his eighties who has been feeding generations of dogs from table scraps. Meat, vegetables, grains, fruit." (Wendell Belfield and Martin Zucker, How to Have a Healthier Dog, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1981, p. 42)

page 94:
...if you are unable or unwilling to cook for your animal companions, add some whole foods to their diet. Leftover meat or vegetables from your own meals are a good choice but avoid giving them junk food or highly seasoned foods. Carrots, celery sticks and apple slices are wholesome, easy treats to have on hand. Whole grain crackers are a favorite of my guys -- both the dog and the cats. If you can combine some fresh snacks and family leftovers, along with a pet food that uses human-grade ingredients, your animal companion should be eating well!

From Martin Zucker's "The Veterinarian's Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats" - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books:

page 27:
- Feed the highest-quality pet food you can find and use that as the springboard, the base, for a better diet.
- To this base add a mix of fresh meat and vegetables. Add what you eat -- if you yourself eat well. "Animals will be a whole lot healther if a portion of their diet contains fresh and raw food," says Pamela Wood-Krzeminski, DVM, of Boca Raton, Florida.
- A pet multi-vitamin/mineral supplment, along with extra vitamin C.

page 34:
Many vets put down the idea of table scraps. But not the ones I talked to. Table scraps have gotten a bad rep because they supposedly upset the nutritional balance of "scientifically formulated" pet foods. If commercial diets are so scientific, why are so many pets sick and overweight? More likely the real reason for dissuading consumers to refrain from table scraps is that the pet food industry will sell less pet food.

Holistic vets generally favor table scraps, as long as you keep them wholesome and simple. One commonsense guideline offered by Norman Ralston, DVM, is this: "If the food on your plate is harmful for your pet to eat, maybe you should not eat it yourself."

Some vet suggestions:
- Share a little of what you are eating every day with your pet. That provides taste and nutritional variety.
- Remember that all cats are individuals with individual tastes, sensitivities, and needs. Make sure what you're feeding is not causing allergic reactions.
- Raw or steamed vegetables are excellent, paricularly carrots, anything in the broccoli family, squash, and leafy greens. Many cats love the taste of cooked squash. Raw vegetables in general should be mashed, grated, or aged. Vegetables can be pureed in a blender, then left to sit in a container for a day or two before feeding.
- Try different fruit, particularly in hot summer months.
- Seaweed is a magnificent source of trace minerals.
- Stay away from spicy, salty, and fried foods.
- No sweets, cookies, or cakes.
- Store your leftovers in a plastic container with a tight cover and refrigerate. Use a bit at a time for flavor enhancing. Warm up the leftovers a bit after taking out a portion from the fridge.


As for our two cats, they initially started out on commercial super-premium human-grade food like Wellness and Innova, and once in awhile, they had some table scraps. That diet was satisfactory for them. But now, on the recommendation of our holistic vet, they're both on ready-made raw food -- products from companies like Amore and Pets4Life using mostly organically-grown ingredients, as well as meats from free-range non-medicated (e.g., no antibiotics or growth-hormones) animals -- and are doing extremely well.

We would recommend that you speak to a holistic vet for further info and suggestions; if possible, ask them if they do Computerized Electro Dermal Screening (CEDS) which can test each cat for possible food sensitivities. You can find such a vet in your area at: www.ahvma.org/referral/index.html

Good luck and good healthy eating to you and your cats.

Donna and George
post #4 of 55
If tomatos can be toxic, why is tomato sauce often recommended as a palatability enhancer for cats? o.O What's your source? If this is true, I'm going to have to make some rules about it around here :P

Cats only need ONE amino acid in meat, which is taurine. Taurine has been synthetically produced on a large scale for decades, and it has been shown that cats can survive with it perfectly well. Cats eating meat-based commercial cat food were dropping dead from taurine decifiencies due to the low quality "meats" used (how healthy do you think chicken cancers and pig feces are for cats to eat?) and the rendering process; when they realized this, manufacturers added synthetic taurine, and no more deficiencies. This same synthetic taurine is what's used in vegan cat foods. Cats do not meat food; they need food with specific nutrients in the right amounts. It's sad that vegan cats have been living happily and in good health since the 80's, but so many people remain ignorant about vegan cat diets.

We share rice milk from breakfast and such with Kitty and Robin. They usually love it. Robin is somewhat more picky than Kitty is. We limit it and they're healthy.

BTW, "Obligate Carnivore" by Jed Gillen is a fantastic book. You can order it for $10.
post #5 of 55
Feed your kitty a vegan diet and it will die prematurely. Get a grip. They hunt to survive if not under human care. But I suppose cats killing to survive is cruel too, right? This isn't rocket science, it's common sense. But I have spoken to an animal health and nutrition specialist about this, and cats do in fact need MEAT to survive.

And please, don't make such over-generalized untrue statements about the whole of the commercial pet food industry.

If you want a vegan pet, get a bunny or a hamster.
post #6 of 55
You can say and quote all you want regarding feeding cats vegan diets. But cats are carnivores by nature, and yes adding certain vegetables to their diet is quite acceptable, but feeding them strictly vegetables ALL the time is not.

As for tomatoes being poisonous, I use a book that I have on my reference shelf-

The Merck Veterinary Manual

Perhaps the companies using tomato sauce are unaware of the dangers it can represent. Wouldn't be the first time that a company trying to help animals, instead harms them.
post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 
My fiance and I are vegan...I never said that our cats were. They eat cat food. However, I will never allow meat in my home. When I say table scraps, I'm talking about pasta, veggies, bread...things like that.

I had no idea that tomatos could be toxic to cats. Our cats love tomato sauce. Maybe they mean actual raw tomatos?
post #8 of 55
I'm glad to hear that you do feed them cat food. As with any industry, there are good ones and not so good ones. We've had people on here who have tried to make their cats have the same morals as they do with regard to eating meat and it just isn't possible.

As far as studies or whatever, the person I have talked with about this is privvy to the latest scientific research as it is his business and he said straight out - Cats need meat to survive. I suppose someone could prove otherwise, but the vast majority of the research says that.
post #9 of 55
Honestly VNG I wouldn't even take the chance. Tomatos are a part of the nightshade family and that should be enough warning right there. I feed my cats vegetables, but there is purpose in feeding them what I do. mashed and cooked green beans with a tiny bit of butter, canned pumpkin all to add fiber into their diet. A cats normal meal (without human intervention) consists of mice, and small rodents, birds, lizards toads. They don't typically go into a garden and start chewing on an ear of corn. I am not being a smart ass here, just trying to make a point. Just because we can adapt to whatever we feel we can and or want to eat, does not mean that they can- not without somehow paying the price.
post #10 of 55
valanhb>>>Oh, I'm aware that most people are quite misinformed about vegan cats, and that some brands use "human grade" ingredients. But the truth is that typical pet foods are extremely unhealthy, and this did cause taurine deficiency in large numbers of cats.

The truth also is that vets familiar with vegan cats don't seem to have a problem with it. I told one vet that I was worried about the small chance that it could affect Kitty's urine and that we were feeding him more moist food just in case. She said there's nothing wrong with being safe and having his urine tested, although even if the pH is on the high side it's not necessarily something to worry about. We eventually did get his urine tested, it came back fine, everything normal, no crystals.

Please name ONE nutrient in meat necessary for feline health that can't be found in vegan cat food.

hissy>>>We're not feeding them just vegetables. You think we want our cats to go blind and die? :P We're feeding them commercially prepared vegan food--right now, a mix of Evolution brand canned and kibbled. We're going to get some organically grown stuff from our natural foods store and make them Vegecat food as well.

Cats, "naturally," do not live with humans, get vaccinations, go to the vet, go in carriers, get food in bowls, get food from bags or cans, eat fish, eat bovines, eat hogs, eat chickens, use sisal scratching posts, ride in cars, live in North America, or many other things they do today. I don't see people protesting everything on the list. I don't care what happened centuries ago; I care what the best thing to do is. And what I see, here and now in the real world, is that complete vegan diets are perfectly healthy for cats, my cats should have a perfectly healthy life, and no animal should have to be tortured and/or killed. To keep the cats perfectly healthy and to lessen the number of animals being tortured and killed, we feed them vegan diets.
post #11 of 55
It comes down to personal choice, proper research and what the cat owner believes is vital for their cat's survival. You have your opinion, and I have mine and no matter what either of us says, I doubt those opinions will change.

I work with feral cats, I feed them canned food, raw meat and dry cat food. I give them fiber in their diet and I do not expect them to conform to my needs, I conform to theirs. I have been doing this for 15 years, and will not be changing their feeding program based on the fact that some animals die because I feed meat. Because honestly, I believe the cats would be severely compromised health-wise if I fed them mainly vegan .
post #12 of 55
Even though I don't think it was the intent of this thread to begin with, it has turned into a debate on the relevancy of a vegan diet for cats. Therefore, it belongs in IMO now and not in the Health & Nutrition forum.
post #13 of 55
IMO, I care what my cats eat. I want them to live happy, healthy and LONG. Feeding them food that cats are not by nature suppose to be eating will not assure a long life span. I also feel that what I eat has nothing to do with what cats eat. I can't see myself serving a can of cat food at a family dinner!
post #14 of 55
I will give mine snacks depending upon what I am eating. Usually, they are far more excited abt getting the food than they are interested in eating it. One of my cats, Sasha, will literally eat anything, as well as cat food, so if I give her something, like a small piece of some cooked eggs, the others get very jealous and mill around looking for handouts. Most of the time they will not even eat food that you would expect them to, like deli meats.

My cat Khan loves milk, but only from my cereal remains. (Milk does not disagree with his system at all.) He will not drink milk poured into a bowl for him alone.

My crazy Razpy's fav human food (which he gets a lick of once in a blue moon) is maple syrup lol. I make french toast once in a rare while, and will let him have a lick or two.
post #15 of 55
We don't feed table scraps per se. We cook the furry ones their own chicken breast (Skinless and plain) and add a small amount to their evening meal. Same with fresh pressure cooked green beans. A very small amout a couple of times a week. No food from the table at all.
We helped one cat cross over last year...she was 19, and we have another kittycritter that is heading for 20 in July. The vet says we must be doing something right.

I'd have to agree.


Forgot to add:

They're not spoiled.

post #16 of 55
Buddy seems to have a delicate digestive system and if I feed him anything except turkey 'n giblets cat food, he gets the runs. Therefore, EVERYBODY eats turkey 'n giblets.

Our dogs get the occasional bit of "people food": the leftover hamburger patty, a few French fries, a piece of bacon or sausage. I had to quit giving them steak bones, though - they made Ike barf.

There is no question about cats being carnivores - just look at their teeth - sharp incisors and none of the grinding molars, found in herbivores.
post #17 of 55
hissy>>>Your belief is wrong--in fact, the only ACTUAL (not imagined) health risk is a slight increase of urinary tract problems in males, easily corrected by more water, less magnesium, and more methionine in the diet. There are vegan pH cat formulas for such cats, just as there are nonvegan pH cat formulas. For Kitty, it's totally unnecessary

yayi>>>So you feed them live insects, birds, and rodents?

I ate Evolution cat food before (the dry kind), just to see what it's like. They use only human-grade ingredients and they guarantee that any ingredients used would be safe for human consumption. It tasted like...a bit hard to describe...you can try it yourself if you wish Hard cracker?

Lucia>>>Robin gets jealous of scraps that Kitty gets, even if she doesn't want hers. She'll chase him away and then just sniff at his :P

katl8e>>>That doesn't sound very healthy. Why do you think Buddy's like that? Did you ask a vet? Is he just allergic to everything?

The only safe cooked bones for dogs to have is cattle legs, iirc. All bones are also abrasive. I only give dogs safe chews, like regular Nylabones. Those not only prevent punctured and blocked intestines and such, but also dental problems later in life.

There's no question that cats' ancestors were carnivores. That doesn't mean they can't be in good health as vegans.
post #18 of 55
Wet and dry vegan cat foods are available, as well as nutritional supplements that are intended to be mixed with home-prepared vegan cat foods. Nevertheless, we do not have hard evidence yet to ascertain whether synthetic taurine, arachidonic acid, and other essential nutrients are metabolized effectively by felines. It is quite possible that a number of cats fed a vegan diet could appear to be healthy for several years and then "suddenly" experience devastating health- or life-threatening consequences. Some side effects of inadequate or inappropriate nutrition in cats are blindness, heart problems, kidney problems, listlessness, poor muscle tone, dull coats, and flaky skin. Is it fair or right of vegans to impose their personal diet choice on naturally carnivorous companion animals? This continues to be an issue of much debate.

Weatherlite you have your beliefs, I prefer mine. I am done addressing you on this issue BTW.
post #19 of 55
I figure that Buddy is like me - some foods affect ME that way. As long as I see three happy, healthy cats - thick, shiny coats, sharp, white teeth and acceptable energy levels - I'll keep feeding them the way that I do.

It looks as though the dogs' diet agrees with them, too. They are both lean, well-muscled and VERY energetic. I let them have table scraps, the same way that I used to let my children have candy: as a rare treat and not enough to make them sick.
post #20 of 55
Weatherlite, did you only join this site just to enforce your beliefs onto others and criticise people on theirs?
post #21 of 55
I will address the original question....I do feed my cat the occational piece of turkey. Tigger is very fond of the turkey breast used in subway subs I have discovered.

post #22 of 55
I will address the original question
Me too....
....... If I cook plain meat (eg no sauces or marinades) Jeepers will get a few titbits but AFTER we have finished eating, if she has 'leftovers' it's usually from me because I don't salt my food (Jason covers his food in salt). She loves duck and chicken, but isn't fussed on lamb. She has whiskas kitty milk occasionally but not real milk (she doesn't care for it at all) She's also partial to squid rings
post #23 of 55
I try to avoid table scraps at all. Squirt has a tendency to be chubby, so he doesn't need it. Joey is as thin as a rail, but I find since I never started in with the table scraps habit, neither of my cats beg or show up when people food is around, and I prefer it that way. The biggest exception is when I occasionally open a can of tuna. Joey can smell that across the entire house and comes running. I'll let him lick out the empty can.
post #24 of 55
When we have chicken or turkey, three cat-sized bites always seem to magically fall off the bones. At the same time, two large dog-sized bites fall off, too! Amazing, how that works out.
post #25 of 55
hissy>>>Is it fair or right of nonvegans to impose their choice of companions on beings naturally NOT factory farmed and killed in slaughterhouses? If I can save two cats AND countless "farm" animals, why shouldn't I?

I suppose you're every bit as opposed to typical commercial pet foods as you are vegan cat foods, considering that many have inadequate or unreliable amounts of nutrients and rely on supplements to meet AAFCO standards? After all, it doesn't make sense to condemn synthetic taurine in vegan foods, while praising it in rendered byproducts.

From Obligate Carnivore:

"But I have to concede that none of this is a guarantee that the synthetic form will be metabolized by cats as efficiently as that which naturally occurs.

Many vets--those that are even aware that synthetic taurine exists at all, that is (and many do not, which is a scary thing)--will raise this as an objection. To be able to say with confidence that synthetic taurine is adequate we'd want to be able to look at a large number of cats that have been fed synthetic taurine over a lifetime. Which is an easier sample to come by than they might imagine...

The greatest irony in this whole foolish taurine issue is the simple fact that most cats living today have been relying on synthetic taurine all of their lives anyway!

In the late 1980's, tens of thousands of regular old meat-eating cats were dying mysteriously each year from dilated cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart). Although these cats were far from vegan--they were being given a variety of popular brands of meat-based cat food, including many whose commercials you have seen and probably know by (enlarged?) heart--it was ultimately traced to a deficiency of taurine."

It goes on to talk about the quality of such pet foods and how most manufacturers today know about taurine and add synthetic taurine to their foods, the same synthetic taurine that vegan manufacturers use. And any typos are, of course, my fault ^^

And BTW, I would think that after about 20 years, health problems would have come up by now.

Kiwideus>>>Obviously, everyone voices their thoughts here. Or else they wouldn't be posting. Unless you think they've been hypnotized into posting things they don't think :P

What's the point of asking such a silly question? Oh, yes, to make only ME look bad for something EVERYONE else is doing on these boards. Thank you for your transparency.

Deb25>>>I don't think table scraps affect weight, unless you feed them inappropriately fatty foods. Human foods high in fiber are more likely to let him feel full without gaining weight, actually.
post #26 of 55
Hey, a slightly off question. What if you feed bunnies or hamster meat? Is it bad for them?

Also, is it just me or do you sometimes think the cat food smells real good. I love the fancy feast salmon can. I am tempted to take a bite. hehe
post #27 of 55

Our cats are very well behaved...
Right up until we bring some KFC in the house.
The littlest one (Tink) sits on the floor and cries.
The Middle (BooBooKitty) one tries to get it right off the plates. Something she never does with anything else.
The Oldest (Queenie) waits patiently knowing that at the age of 19 she'll get some. At 19 it really can't hurt her and she's entitled imo.

Katl8e- White meat turkey is something else we'll actually set aside and cook for the dogs and cats. Isn't it amazing how those bite size pieces just "happen" to fall off?

Weatherlight- We all have our beliefs. I respect yours. Please respect mine and go off the attack.
post #28 of 55
I feed table scraps (generally beef or lamb, because he doesn't like poultry) when we eat meat, and will give JC mashed potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, pumpkin, tuna, cheese or hardboiled eggs if he begs, but only as "tidbits", i.e., in very small quantities, and always unspiced. He sometimes helps himself to fruit or vegetables, e.g., lettuce, in the garden.
I personally don't make any donations to animal protection associations that promote vegetarian or vegan diets for cats (or dogs, though I'd say they're not obligatory carnivores, as cats are, but omnivores), and I boycott all food(including that containing meat) produced by companies that offer vegetarian/vegan cat food, as, after careful reading of the available "serious" literature, I've concluded that such diets constitute cruelty to animals.
post #29 of 55
I don't feed my cat table scraps because she needs to lose at least 1lb. If I give her table scraps she will expect it every night. The only exception is when my bf eats tunafish, canned in water, then she gets alittle bit, and that's once a week. When she loses this lb. I think I'll cook some chicken for her.

I've been seriously thinking about giving her organic chicken or turkey meat from a health food store mixed with some vegetables but still am not informed enough to make that decision. I am also a vegetarian but would have no problem giving her this meat. She's a cat, everything I've read says that cats must have meat, so what's best for her goes. I've never heard of vegan diets for cats, I admit I don't know anything about it, but I don't think I would ever feel comfortable putting her on this diet.

She gets Wellness dry and canned food, supposed to be one of the best. Human grade deboned chicken and a host of other ingredients, such as alfalfa leaf, peas, canola oil, cranberries, blueberries, Norweigian Kelp, whole apples, zucchini, sweet potatoes, Yucca schididigera (?) and others. She also nibbles on grass that I grow in a pot. I'm no expert but it seems okay to me. She's healthy (so far) and looks good.

Jill and Candy
post #30 of 55
Originally Posted by bumpy
Hey, a slightly off question. What if you feed bunnies or hamster meat? Is it bad for them?

Also, is it just me or do you sometimes think the cat food smells real good. I love the fancy feast salmon can. I am tempted to take a bite. hehe
I feed some rabbit meat (canned), because our cat loves it. I doubt he'd eat hamster meat, as he generally brings me any rodents he manages to catch. I think he wants me to cook them for him. I've actually tried some of JC's canned food to see what it tastes like (generally bland).
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