Pets become members of our families, and many owners are tempted to feed them human food. Kittens are no exception as their lovable, adventurous nature endears them to their owners.
Some foods are harmful to kittens and should be avoided, while others are safe for these little felines to consume, provided they do so in moderation. Unfortunately, kittens do not know the difference and often get their teeth into foods they should not consume. Owners should keep such foods out of reach for their kitty’s safety.
Here are some human foods that will benefit a kitten:
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, a nutrient that contains many building blocks, also known as amino acids. These amino acids are essential for cellular and tissue growth and maintenance. Therefore, kittens need plenty of protein to support their developing bodies. Healthy bones, muscles, and joints are essential for kittens when they play and learn about their surroundings. Kitten owners should consider including an organic cat joint supplement in their feeding schedule. Weak joints make cats and kittens susceptible to joint injuries and arthritis later in life.
There are 20 amino acids in proteins, each with a vital role in ensuring bodily health. Eggs contain the nine most essential ones: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. This makes them a healthy option for humans, and kittens benefit from them too. However, you should never feed a kitten a raw egg as they might contain the E. coli or salmonella bacteria, potentially fatal in a kitten’s underdeveloped digestive system.
Most cats are particularly partial to poultry meat. Chicken and turkey are nutritious meats that kittens can eat as they are rich in protein but low in fat and cholesterol. However, kitten owners should keep some basic rules in mind when preparing chicken for their kitty.
First, never feed a kitten raw chicken or turkey as it could contain harmful bacteria that the heat from cooking will kill. The meat should be cooked by boiling it without adding any salt or seasoning. Second, trim all the fat from the meat before serving as kittens do not require much fat as part of a healthy diet. Third, chicken bones pose a choking hazard, and it is preferable to remove meat from the bone before serving it.
Red meat and liver
Kittens can eat some lean ground beef or a little liver, but it should not become part of their daily diet. As with poultry, the meat should contain as little fat as possible. Even so, some residual fat will be present in any red meat you serve a kitten, and it is more than sufficient to meet their intake needs. Any meat fed to a kitten should be thoroughly cooked to eliminate the threat of dangerous bacteria.
Owners should feed their kittens liver in sparing amounts, as too much could lead to Vitamin A toxicity, affecting normal bone growth and development. It is advisable to keep liver off the menu until your kitten is a little older. It is rich in folate, iron, and Vitamin B, essential for a cat’s overall health and well-being.
Like humans, kittens benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, present in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These fats are unsaturated and healthy, meaning that they are safe for kitties to consume. As with other meat, fish should be cooked before serving it to a kitten. Their tummies are sensitive to bacterial infections, and their immune systems are still developing. Therefore, their digestive systems cannot cope when harmful bacteria are introduced, leading to them having an upset stomach and an inevitable visit to the vet.
Kitten owners should be cautious about relying on fish as a protein source for their fur baby’s diet. For example, tuna does not contain enough protein to meet a kitten’s daily requirements. Salmon contains more protein, making it a healthier alternative. Nevertheless, fish should not be substituted for regular cat food, which is fortified with the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals a healthy kitten needs.
Fruit and vegetables
Most of the human foods mentioned above as being safe for kittens are meat-based as cats are carnivorous creatures. However, that does not preclude them from eating fruit and vegetables. Kitten owners need to be selective about what they offer their felines as some fruit and vegetables, such as grapes and avocado, are not meant for cat consumption.
Cooked pumpkin is suitable for kittens, especially those that struggle with constipation. It is a high-fiber vegetable that will stimulate the digestive system into optimal functioning. Spinach is another healthy alternative as it is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K and calcium and iron. A kitten may love to snack on frozen blueberries, healthy because they contain antioxidants that bolster the immune system. Peeled apples are also a great kitten snack as they are fiber-rich and full of Vitamin C.