Table Manners

Should you give your cat table scraps? Veterinarians share their advice.

Posted: Fri Mar 21 00:00:00 PST 2003

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Most cat owners give their pets commercial kitty treats, but what about table scraps or other homemade snacks? Veterinarians are split on the subject.

"Just about any kind of protein source at home, such as chicken or turkey or dried liver, can be used as a treat in small quantities," says Dottie Laflamme, DVM, Ph.D. Sugary sweets, however, should be avoided--especially those containing chocolate, which is harmful to cats and dogs in high quantities.

"Homecooked foods best illustrate the potential problems associated with overdoing cat treats," says Richard Hill, VetMB, Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville. "Cats are special carnivores; they have unique requirements. And it's difficult, using homecooked diets, to get all of those things right. In my opinion, complete and balanced commercial foods are best."

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Reader Comments

janet    bethlehem, PA

2/10/2011 4:29:14 AM

my cats have very good table manners, MOL

janet    bethlehem, PR

9/9/2009 4:43:40 AM

good article thank you

Linda    Mandeville, LA

6/8/2008 7:00:40 AM

My vet says anything a human can eat that my cat can eat, just to watch not to overfeed him and make him fat. He gets meat generally. I keep his cat treats or dry food to give him as snacks when I eat my human snacks.

janet    bethlehem, PA

8/30/2007 9:03:22 AM

Interesting. My cats usually get a little piece of cheese and cold cuts when I eat them.

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