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Giving table food for a treat

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Last night we had family over and I gave my kitten some tiny cut up pieces of chicken and steak. Now we are talking 2 tablespoons at most and I always put it on his placement (don't feed from the table). He doesn't beg for it either -- I just give it to him as a treat.

My SIL was horrified that I would give the kitten table food and says I am setting him up to be a bad begger kitty and that it is not good for him (mind you her cat eats only dry cat food and is grossly over-weight).

Growing up we always gave our cat little table treats and he was never obnoxious because of it. I remember my mother even giving tiny bits of raw stew meat as she was cutting it.

Anyhow, he is such a sweet kitty, I think of it as a little bonding thing.
post #2 of 20
One of mine always comes to sit beside me while I'm eating. I know it's terrible, but I always give him a taste of whatever it is- from lettuce to chocolate pudding, he eats it all. He's very polite about it and swore not to tell any of the other cats- it's our little secret.

IMO your SIL can do whatever she wants to do in her own home and so can you. As far as unsolicited advice- give it all the consideration it deserves
post #3 of 20
I don't see anything wrong with giving a cat meat; my 17 y/o Sophie has been a meat eater all her life, and I've never seen any ill effects.
On the other hand, I have Jack who turns up his nose at meat, but is heavy into carbs---cake, pie crust, doughnuts, etc. I just make sure I don't give him a lot, and he's not over-weight at all.
My vet knows about my kitties eating habits and has never told me not to give them those little table treats. I say if it's done in moderation there's nothing wrong with it. ( I think giving your kitty the meat on his own placemat is a good idea)
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by libby74 View Post
I don't see anything wrong with giving a cat meat; my 17 y/o Sophie has been a meat eater all her life, and I've never seen any ill effects.
On the other hand, I have Jack who turns up his nose at meat, but is heavy into carbs---cake, pie crust, doughnuts, etc. I just make sure I don't give him a lot, and he's not over-weight at all.
My vet knows about my kitties eating habits and has never told me not to give them those little table treats. I say if it's done in moderation there's nothing wrong with it. ( I think giving your kitty the meat on his own placemat is a good idea)
If it's bad then I need a spanking! We occasionally cut up chicken or steak into smaller pieces and share our dinner with the cats. Neither one begs (maybe they don't really like my cooking!).
post #5 of 20
Im glad Im not the only one! I feed Vodka the occasional piece of meat off my plate, too. I figure cat food has got to get a little boring after awhile!!
post #6 of 20
Spike and Oz are allowed to eat whatever falls onto the floor while I'm cooking (provided it's something safe for them to have). If they're not interested in the food, they don't eat it; they sniff the air while we're cooking and if it's something they like, they'll come and sit in the kitchen and wait. They've learned that Tuesday night Pasta Night combined with my inability to grate cheese neatly means there's usually some treats on the floor. They don't beg for the food because they don't associate that behaviour with a food reward (they've never been given food because they begged for it). Otherwise, if I have a food treat for them, it goes into their dinner bowls -- then they know it's a treat. If we leave food lying around, yes, they'll get into it, but they know they're not supposed to.

The only time anyone ever gave them "unauthorized" people food was at a Christmas party while we still lived with our old roommates. My sister tossed Spike a cheezie. He licked all the powdered orange cheese off it and walked away. Oz then came over and ate the "styrofoam"-like remains. Neither of them has ever seen a cheezie again.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
The only time anyone ever gave them "unauthorized" people food was at a Christmas party while we still lived with our old roommates. My sister tossed Spike a cheezie. He licked all the powdered orange cheese off it and walked away. Oz then came over and ate the "styrofoam"-like remains. Neither of them has ever seen a cheezie again.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cearbhaill View Post
That is precious !!!!
post #9 of 20
I don't have a problem giving a cat human food (well they get raw meat as their standard diet anyway) but even with leftovers they are allowed to have some. Our rule though is it never comes off of our plate. I've had a beggar cat before and it can get really annoying as they will get in your face to get food. None of our cats beg for our food. If they get food then it is before or after our dinner and in the kitchen, not in a dining area.

Also if your cat is not used to it, as long as its in the proportion of a treat its fine since you don't want to cause diarreah (most cats have sensitive tummies to change in their food). So small samples should be fine.
post #10 of 20
Some cats tummies will be more sensitive then others.
I know my gang couldn't handle a steak that was marinated or had spices on it, but I will feed them peices of bare bones human food on the floor or in their bowl.

They are already terrible food theifs I don't want to encourage them getting worse.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue Ash View Post
Some cats tummies will be more sensitive then others.
I know my gang couldn't handle a steak that was marinated or had spices on it, but I will feed them peices of bare bones human food on the floor or in their bowl.

They are already terrible food theifs I don't want to encourage them getting worse.
Note NEVER should a cat get anything with spices or marinade as some common ingrediants can be posionous...

I feed of my plate... the is how my two who eat raw get veggies
post #12 of 20
I you like to give your cats a treat that's cool, just make sure it's not something that's harmful to them. Meat will never be an issue but the sauces or seasonings could be. It's best to give them a plain piece. Even better, give them a couple raw pieces before you cook them. It's better for them anyway. Try to limit the sweets and carbs as they promote tooth decay.

One of my cats will sit nicely on the floor and wait for falling gifts, my kitten on the other hand, still tries to sneak up and steal some but he's getting better.
post #13 of 20
We give our cats and dogs some table treats after dinner. Ling is kinda a begger, but she's just pushy and a talker to start - so its not something she developed in response to food - she just wants attention.

They have to wait till we are done to get the treat. My 15 yr old rex is patient, and when you are ready, all you need to do is call him for his treat. Usually their treats are chicken, other meats, or cheese.
post #14 of 20
Here is a company that supports feeding pets healthy people food.
www.naturapet.com After all the creation of this pet food company was inspired by Dr Belfield who said something like "What's wrong with unspiced meat and whole grain crackers and veggies?" As long as the meat you're giving your cat doesn't have much salt or seasonings and spices go for it. I would also avoid gravy because gravy has onion powder in it. A fresh food treat is a good idea considering your cat is eating processed food his whole life anyway. You just don't want to upset the nutritional balance of your cat's diet such as vitamins, minerals, calcium to phosphorous ratio but you're not going to do that if you're feeding this as a treat or even as a meal once a week or so. I have a book that says you can occasionally give a cat a meal of fresh food like cooked chicken or turkey or meatballs with a little bit of veggies or a tiny bit of pasta(carbs should only be a very small percentage of your cat's diet), as long as the majority of your cat's diet is complete and balanced from a reliable canned food manufacturer. I forget the author's name but later when I get home from work I can look it up and post the name of the book and the author.

I really think that healthy table scraps are good alternatives to the junk food treats in supermarkets like Friskies and Pounce.
post #15 of 20
I'm much more relaxed about "people food" as my cats are raw fed and essentially eat people food in some form for all their meals It's just prepared in such a way that's suitable for them, not me!

If I'm eating something I feel is appropriate for them, I give them some. But only healthy things. I try not to eat junk myself, I'm sure as heck not giving it to my cats (I figure their junk food is the occasional Pounce treat!). But meat, veggies, yogurt, cereal, etc. I have no problems feeding as treats.

(moggiegirl, I had missed your post when I posted! We said very similar things lol)
post #16 of 20
Yes, soon your kitten will be sitting around with a tin cup or a hat out begging. It could be he'll even take up the banjo and start playing for his meals.



Seriously, consider it "enrichment." Cat's need to do interesting things, like whatever the heck it is YOU'RE doing if it interests them.

If mine bother me for food (and I don't want to be bothered which is hardly ever), I just offer them something I know they won't like, like a piece of lettuce. They usually go away after that and find something better to do.
post #17 of 20
The name of the book I was referring to, the author is Andrew Edney B.V.M and the book is called ASPCA Complete Care Manual. This book is different from the other ASPCA book authored by James R. Richards. The one by Andrew Edney is one of the few books on cat care that does not reccommend dry food as a staple but just as an occasional snack. The author does not go as far as reccommending raw meat but he does reccommend canned food as a staple and this is what he has to say about fresh foods in his words copied from the book.

"The easiest way to ensure that your cat enjoys a balanced diet is to feed it a canned cat food produced by a reliable pet food manufacturer. However you can feed your cat a meal of fresh food once or twice a week to add variety and interest to its diet"

And these are the foods he suggests.

Cooked fresh beef, lamb, pork, or fish baked , grilled or boiled cooled and chopped into small chunks before serving.

Cooked meat with a little cooked rice, pasta, or potato(but he stresses that veggies and carbohydrates should only make up a very small portion of your cat's diet)

Cooked meat with vegetables(carrots, peas, or greens added for extra vitamins)

Minced meat

Cooked Poultry

Cooked Fish

Scrambled egg(never feed raw egg whites)

Oatmeal made with warm milk(appreciated by growing kittens. Do not add sugar)

He also lists the occasional treat of canned sardines, tuna or salmon but I'm not a big fan of feeding canned tuna for human consumption to cats unless it's only a tablespoon.

From another book I have by Katrin Behrend called Cats A Complete Pet Owner's Manual she reccommends these foods to feed only as homemade treats. She prefers commercial cat food as a staple but for treats she reccommends:

Well-cooked meat from cow, calf, sheep, rabbit, and wild game sliced into cat-sized hunks

Well-cooked organ meats such as heart, stomach, and liver. She says that if served raw they act as a laxative.

Cooked and deboned fish once per week

Grated carrots and apples, cooked rice, steamed spinach, and instant oatmeal in small quantities.

Twice a week give a cooked egg yolk; give no egg white since it destroys the vitamin B in the food.

For between-meals snacks, give a teaspoonful of cottage cheese or some grated mild hard cheese two or three times a week, and cat vitamin flakes from the pet store as indicated on the label.

So poster, tell your friend not to freak out so much if you feed something other than kibble once in a while.
post #18 of 20
Not to bring back an old thread but I find it quite intersting that the book suggests all cooked meats. I wonder why the think cooked meat is better than raw. I mean, it's not like it's more work to feed them raw. And I have yet to see a wild cat cook anything before they eat it. The only reason people cook meat is because we can't process raw meat properly. I'd eat raw meat too if it wouldn't make me sick.
post #19 of 20
My kitty is always very interested in my food, but I am guilty since I bring my meals into the den and eat at the computer or watching TV - I live alone so I don't usually set the table and eat in the dining room.

She is totally into anything with dairy and I have to be very careful to make sure I am with my food at all times and don't leave anything on the counters either. I made Fettucine Alfredo tonight and she was so into it that I thought if I didn't get it away she would have rolled around in it She loves popcorn (that falls on the floor) too.

I have given her a bit of pot roast (since she jumped on me and grabbed it off my fork!) but very little since I knew it was spiced. I made sure she drank lots of water afterward - it was so spicy I was thirsty so I figured she must really be. I won't do that again even though there were no ill effects. If I broil or grill a plain chicken breast she can have that if she wants.
post #20 of 20
Cearbhaill, chocolate is extremelytoxic to cats and dogs. Please, please do not give any of this to your cat!

A little meat is fine for the kitty. Some can even have bits of cheese. Gizmo loved this in the past (now she can't have treats.) I would watch the carbs though. But some cats have odd tastes; I once saw a Siamese steal half an avocado and scoop out the meat with its paw, then lick it off.
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