If you are anything like me then, unfortunately, you have a tendency to show love with food. Two of my three dogs are a bit on the plump side and my cat Norman….well, he could stand to lose a pound or two also. I have been trying to reduce the number of treats that my pets receive…after all a treat is just that…something special given on a rare occasion. If a treat is given all the time…it really isn’t a treat now, is it? Don’t get me wrong, treats are wonderful and the occasional treat will not harm your kitten or cat. As long as you are caring for your kitten by feeding him or her a well-balanced, healthy diet a treat now and then is fine. Treats that are low in sugar (or have no sugar at all) and that are low in fat are best.
There are several foods that you should avoid giving to your cat or kitten all together. You may be surprised at some of the items on the list. Knowledge is power! The more you know about caring for your kitten or cat, the better!
Foods to Avoid Feeding your Kitten
Tuna – I am guilty of giving my cat tuna now and again. I had no idea that tuna was a no-no! Not only is tuna bad for adult felines, but it is also bad for kittens as well. Though the occasional tuna treat will not physically harm your cat it will turn your furry friend into an addict….a TUNA ADDICT! Cats that are fed tuna on a regular basis will, in fact, refuse to eat their regular diet of cat food (you don’t want to turn your puss into a finicky feline…do you?). Not only is this bad for you (tuna is EXPENSIVE!) it is bad for your kitty as well. Tuna that can be purchased at the grocery store is made for HUMANS! It does not have the nutrients that your cat or kitten needs in order to remain happy and healthy. A spoonful of tuna every blue moon is OK, however, tuna is not meant to replace food that is specifically made for cats and kittens.
Milk – Again, I am guilty! I had no idea that milk is NOT good for kittens or cats. Once a kitten is weaned they lose their ability to digest milk products properly. Milk can wreak havoc not only on a kitten’s system but an adult cat’s system as well. So unless you enjoy cleaning diarrhea out of your cat’s litter box on a daily basis, it is best to bypass milk or milk-based products altogether! You can buy “cat milk” at your local pet supply store or online, however, I must warn you…it is EXPENSIVE!
Grapes and Raisins – Grapes and raisins should be avoided at all costs! Though yummy, both of these items can cause kidney failure if ingested by your cat or kitten! Don’t risk your kitten’s health…don’t even let him play with grapes or raisins (many cats and kittens like to roll them around and chase them). Keep both of these items out of your kitten’s reach at all times.
Dog Food – Ok, this one should be obvious. After all, cats are not dogs (duh!). Kittens and cats are meat-eaters and, therefore, need plenty of protein in their diet! Dogs on the other hand are omnivores and often enjoy a few vegetables thrown in with their meat. Simply put, dog food does not provide the nutrients (protein and taurine) that cats and kittens need in order to be healthy.
Bones – Just as dogs enjoy chewing on a good bone cats do too (especially chicken bones!). However, no matter how much they beg (yes, cats do beg) do NOT give bones to your furry feline. Cooked bones can break and splinter as your cat eats them. If this happens, your cat may develop a blockage or worse, have its bowels or intestines punctured. Both of these situations would require medical attention IMMEDIATELY!! Play it safe and avoid bones altogether.
Onions and Onion Powder – The next time you give your kitten a sub sandwich, avoid the onions! All joking aside, onions and onion powder are NOT good for your cat! If ingested by your feline, onions can cause hemolytic anemia which ruptures the red blood cells which in turn can lead to kidney failure. No onions (or food with onions mixed in) for kitty!
Stick to a diet that is specially made for kittens or cats and caring for your feline will be simple as pie (no, your kitten cannot have pie). If you are unsure about the best foods for kittens, do not hesitate to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet can give you advice and recommendations as to what food is best (he or she may even have food available for sale in their office). Treats are not bad for your cat….as long as they are given in moderation and not used to replace your cat’s daily diet. Here’s to happy, healthy, well-fed kittens!