Cat food is the best source of food for cats, it nutritionally balanced and meets all their nutritional needs. As a rule, it is not recommended you share human food with your cat, but if you do, make sure it is safe and make it an occasional treat only.
Grated cheese is a great way to add calcium to the diet, to encourage a cat who has lost his or her appetite to eat. You can either give it a small amount on its own or try sprinkling it over their food. Cottage cheese is another type of cheese that’s safe for your cat to eat.
Do not give cats soft cheeses such as brie and camembert.
Image WJ van den Eijkhof, Flickr
Plain yoghurt, not the fruity stuff which contains too much sugar. Some cats love it, but not all.
Yoghurt is good to give to a cat who is on a course of antibiotics. These drugs not only kill harmful bacteria, but they also kill good bacteria in the gut, which can lead to diarrhea. Yoghurt can replace good bacteria.
Both cheese and yoghurt are generally safe for cats to eat even if they are lactose intolerant, but if you are unsure, try your cat on a small amount and see how he goes.
Small amounts can help with the passage of hairballs. But do not feed large amounts of butter due to the fat content. One teaspoon added to the food once or twice a week is enough.
Cooked chicken or turkey
This is a great option for a cat who is sick or recovering from a sickness. It is tasty enough to encourage a cat to eat but bland enough to not cause an upset tummy. Most cats love small pieces of cooked chicken.
Most cats love tinned fish, and it is an excellent way to encourage a cat who has lost his or her appetite to eat. However, be extremely careful feeding your cat fish as cats can become tuna junkies. They can also develop yellow fat disease, which is caused by feeding too much fish that is deficient in vitamin E.
Keep tinned fish for special occasions only or to encourage a sick cat to eat.
Cooked or raw. I know the topic of raw food is somewhat controversial, and it is entirely up to you if you decide to feed raw meat. If you do, make sure it is human grade raw meat, and it is fresh.
I like to give our cat chunks of round steak (I buy a bit extra when I’m cooking a casserole), it gives him something to gnaw on and is good for the teeth and jaw. Cut it up into 2cm cubes.
Don’t give your cat cured meats such as ham or salami.
Another controversial one if given raw as there is a small chance of salmonella. If you would like to feed your cat eggs and don’t want to take any chances, then scrambled eggs or chopped up hard-boiled eggs are recommended.
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This is a popular choice for the sick cat as it is palatable to cats and easy to digest. Just be careful with the ingredients as some can contain onion and garlic, both of which are toxic to cats.
There’s generally no reason to give your cat rice when he’s well, but sometimes a sick cat suffering gastrointestinal problems can benefit from a bland diet. Rice and chicken are often recommended to rest the gastrointestinal tract.
Mix 1 cup cooked chicken breast with 1/2 cup cooked rice. Add a small amount of chicken broth if the mixture is too dry.
Surprisingly, some cats do enjoy eating vegetables. Cooked pumpkin is a great way to add fibre to the diet if your cat suffers from hairballs as well as helping to treat diarrhea and constipation. Other vegetables cats seem to enjoy are broccoli and carrot. Don’t give your cat hard vegetables such as broccoli or carrot raw as they can be a choking hazard; the best way to cook vegetables is by boiling or steaming. Don’t give your cats anything containing onion, garlic or potatoes.