No scraps, please!
I know the moment. Precisely. When my human walks into the kitchen to make herself a soft chicken sandwich or a cheese sandwich, I quickly rise from my position of what looked like deep sleep until a minute ago, to a brisk run into the kitchen.
That is step one. Now for step two: I sit on her feet or rub my face or myself on her legs and voila! She looks at me, smiles and I am all set for step three. This is the moment when I give her the look.
Every cat lover and cat owner has seen it, experienced it and knows what it means. No one knows the art of begging like we do. The ‘look’ does it. It has to be the cutest, sweetest and most adorable one that we can put on. I can bet my furry tail that nine out of 10 times, it works and a juicy bit of chicken or a lovely nibble of cheese comes our way.
What fun it is to get that lovely, odd scrap from the table or a little surprise from our human’s plate of snacks! Meow! Let’s have an honest discussion as to why scraps happen at all. Why does the need arise? After all, we pet cats are duly spoilt at meal times.
The truth is we are always tempted for more delights. But sometimes it is our humans who are more tempted to please us because they love and adore us so much. If they are enjoying something delicious, they want us to have a sliver or a teeny weenie bit.
Together it all adds up — making us fat, ruining our appetite for our main meals, unintentionally training us to behave badly and beg for more scraps — one of the worst things that you can do for your pet cat.
Scraps coming off the table are usually high in fat content. Chicken bones are dangerous as they can splinter and puncture the stomach. Chocolate is dangerous as it can give cats heart conditions. It is also important to secure trash cans so that cats don’t get to the rubbish and make a meal out of discarded food scraps.
What to share: Rice, popcorn and pasta in tiny amounts can be given to cats as it is not harmful. As long as the rice is not coming out of a plate of greasy, spicy biryani, but is boiled,the popcorn is not sweet and pasta is just plain boiled. Egg whites, a bit of yoghurt and cottage cheese make healthy treats too.
What not to share: Sharing cakes, brownies and sweets is really not a good idea as your cat could be allergic to chemicals used in food such as colouring agents or other stuff used for processing food.
Feeding your cat raw eggs, meat, chicken and liver is not a good idea as you can transfer dangerous bacteria into their systems.
Remember that too much tuna as a part of a cat’s diet could cause mercury poisoning. Onion and garlic cause tummy upsets. Contrary to popular belief, not all cats can tolerate milk. Grapes and raisins are not allowed and neither is caffeine which comes as tea, coffee and cola drinks, as it is harmful for cats. Gums, candy and toffee can stick to teeth and are not good for cats.
However much you would like to share your favourite stuff with your pet, there has to be a line drawn between your food and kitty food, and if you stick to the rules, you will enjoy a happy and healthy pet for many years to come.