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Cat tales: Tidbits and treats

October 26, 2013

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WHAT foods can your kitty eat safely off the table?

It is so hard to resist licking off the cream on the little cakes that my human family sometimes have with tea. Likewise it is so much fun to be for them to spoil me with little bits of broken burger patty or slivers of smoked chicken from their sandwiches. It becomes such a very special treat.

But not anymore! The days of titbits from the table are over. My human found out from the vet that many human foods can be unsafe for cats because our body needs are different from humans. We are primarily meat eaters and our systems are geared to that. Even if it is just a teeny weenie bit that I beg with the cutest faces I can put on, it just does not work anymore, because just that tiny bit can upset our digestive system.

Meh! And a disapproving thump of my furry tail.

Now there is a ‘never’ list for us that she has put up on the fridge that should never be fed to me. She has put it up so that everyone in the family can see it and remember it on their fingertips. On top of that list is chicken bones that can harm the stomach walls of a cat.

I sat down on my favourite window sill to gaze at the birds and sulk. Cats should never have this, cats should never have that! According to the list onion, garlic, grapes or raisins, sugary treats, chocolate and caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee is really bad even in small doses.

“Let the cat beg,” my human tells her friend. “Most foods on the dinner table are not safe for cats.”

Human food is generally cooked in onions and garlic. Onions contain a substance which destroys red blood cells in the cat, causing a form of anaemia. Garlic contains a similar substance, but in a lesser amount.

Your kitty may have a sweet tooth but you can’t feed it chocolate cake and brownie. Chocolate contains a substance that cannot be broken down and absorbed by the digestive system in cats which is different from the digestive system of humans. I was horrified to learn that just bit of chocolate truffle can make me puke or give me muscle stiffness or seizures. That takes care of the brownies then!

Harmless looking grapes and raisins that I sometimes like to play with and then chew up, are supposed to be pretty dangerous for us. Scientists are still researching on how bad grape poisoning can be for cats.

“Oh I need a drink”! I jumped off the window sill and walked royally to my milk saucer only to find out that it had disappeared. “Meoww”! I complained to my human.

“No more milk!” pat came the reply. Milk apparently is not poisonous for cats but it contains a substance called lactose which is also present in milk products. She told me that if I promise to be a good cat, she would give me a small amount of cream two or three times a week. The key here is the higher the fat content in milk, the lesser lactose it contains. Oh what a lifesaver!

Anything that upsets the electrolyte level or digestion of cats, will then cause harm to the liver and kidneys too in the long run. I decided to sulk some more and go and chew up the delicate tassel on my human’s handbag as quick revenge, but my rather evil thoughts were interrupted.

“Tuxeee”! I ran up to her as she held out a palm full of cat treats for me. Life isn’t so bad after all.