It’s now only hours away from when many of us will be sitting around a table, heaving under plates of food that we couldn’t dream of getting through in a month of Sunday’s. Invited or not your Favourite Feline is probably going to make an appearance at said table. Despite their insistence to the contrary there are many foods which should definitely be off the cat’s menu this Christmas Day.
We all like the special treats that come along at this time of year and it’s fine to include your pets in this tradition. Remember though that cats are strict obligate carnivores where their nutrition is animal based not plant based. With this in mind here are some of the traditional Christmas fare that should be exclusively for human consumption:
Foods Your Cat Shouldn’t Eat
Raw Fish: Passing around some sushi for entrée? Raw fish contains an enzyme called thiaminase which when ingested by your cat splits thiamin (known as vitamin B1). When it splits it becomes inactive and can cause neurological problems;
Raw Eggs: Yes, eggs are full of protein but also have the potential to expose your Favourite Feline to salmonella bacteria. Raw eggs along with raw meat and dairy are all high risk foods for salmonella;
Processed Meat: Sausages, salami, cabanossi etc etc often contain lots of fat and lots of salt neither of which should be a feature of your cat’s diet;
Alcohol: I’m hoping that this one is a given. Even a spoonful of alcohol can cause brain and liver damage in your cat;
Onions, Garlic, Leeks and their relatives: These veggies, which we add for the purpose of giving flavour and body to dishes, contain allium compounds which can damage puss-cats red blood cells because cats cannot metabolise it. Not so long ago Pussa mistook a small piece of onion for, well goodness knows what. There was an immediate rejection of the offending piece accompanied by much heading shaking and a quick departure to the water bowl. We aren’t expecting a repeat of that anytime soon;
Anything with Caffeine: Read as coffee, tea, energy drinks, and soft drinks. Caffeine can cause muscle tremors, heart palpitations and rapid breathing;
Dairy Products: Forget the marketing imagery of fluffy cats lapping up bowls of milk to their heart’s content. Dairy products be they cow, sheep, goat or any other creature we can extract milk from, are strictly off the menu for cats. Cats, like many animals, lose the ability to digest lactose once they are weaned as kittens. Having a drink of milk or a lick of cream is likely to result in an upset stomach for your puss-cat;
Grapes, Sultanas & Raisins: Hello Christmas pudding/cakes/tarts. These contains a toxin which risks kidney failure in both cats and dogs;
Bones: Steer clear of bones, especially cooked bones which are liable to shatter and splinter when chewed. This can cause your cat to choke or a perforation anywhere along their intestinal tract.
Remember that your pets are not furry garbage disposal units. If you want to give your Favourite Feline a little treat on Christmas Day slice them off a bit of plain turkey, pork or ham. Treats are just that – occasional indulgences – rather than regular menu features.
Meanwhile, if the hoomans are eating chocolate for breakfast, well that’s just par for the course in December. And so this is Christmas.
Wishing all our Favourite Felines (and their Pet Parents) a happy holiday season with lots of purrs.