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Giving your Cat a Holiday Snack

An orange kitten poses among pumpkins and fall leaves.

As Thanksgiving approaches, the smell of delicious foods cooking in the kitchen might tempt your kitty to come begging for a treat. While cats aren’t quite the indiscriminate eaters that dogs are, it’s important to be aware of what is and what isn’t safe for them to eat.

Keep These Festive Foods Away from Your Cat

Onions and garlic, which appear in a number of holiday dishes — from mashed potatoes, to stuffing, to casserole — are toxic to both cats and dogs. They can cause damage to your pet’s red blood cells, leading to illness such as anemia. That could make for a very un-merry holiday indeed!

The bouillon that you use to make tasty stocks and gravy contains a highly concentrated amount of sodium. If your cat ingests a cube, it can lead to hypernatremia — a high level of sodium that can cause lethargy, disorientation, and even seizures in your cat.

While it’s OK for your kitty to enjoy small amounts of pure pumpkin puree, pumpkin-flavored treats and baked goods containing pumpkin are a no-go. From artificial sweeteners to cream, there are a lot of hidden ingredients in desserts that can upset a cat’s delicate stomach.

And pre-baked goods can also be an issue.

“If people like to make bread or rolls around the holidays, the rising dough can be a health hazard for pets that eat it as it can continue to rise in the stomach.”

– Dr. Dianne Brown, medical director at Cat Adoption Team

Give Holiday Goodies in Moderation

Cat lovers know our furry friends enjoy gravy! But a typical Thanksgiving gravy is much fattier and saltier than gravy marketed for cats and sold in pet stores. It’s probably safe to let your feline have a few licks but don’t give them the bowl.

Let Your Cat Enjoy This Thanksgiving Treat!

Skinless, thoroughly cooked turkey meat is a safe, healthy treat for your kitty. So, let your pet share in leftover duty after the holiday meal is over. Just remember that it should be plain turkey without all the fixins! 

About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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