32 surprising foods cats can eat

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There are many surprising foods that cats can eat. While we want to be sure that we are providing our cats with a nutritious diet, there is no reason that we can't shake things up every now and then for our furry friends.

You are probably already feeding your feline the best cat food, and that's great. We want to make sure that your cat's diet mainly consists of cat food, as they require a unique ratio of proteins, carbs, and fats. Cats also require taurine, an amino acid that they cannot produce on their own, which is why it is commonly found in cat food.  

We should note that it is always best to check with your vet before offering new food to your cat, especially human food. That being said, there's no reason why your furry feline can't have something fun and exciting. Along with the best cat treats, here are some surprising foods that your cat won't be able to get enough of. 

32 surprising foods cats can eat

1. Raspberries

cat sitting next to raspberries

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Raspberries can be a nice treat for cats as they don't have much of a sweet tooth. Raspberries are low in sugar, full of fiber, and an anti-inflammatory food. If you decide to offer raspberries to your cat, remember to cut them into smaller portions.

2. Beef

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Beef is a great source of protein and you will probably find that most of your cat's food contains beef as one of the main ingredients. However, that doesn't mean that you can't cook some up as a treat for your cat. You can even try making soup for cats, with a delicious beef broth. 

3. Human baby food

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These foods are highly palatable to tempt fussy babies to eat and cats love them, too. Before purchasing, check the container to make sure that they don’t include onions or garlic - sometimes these ingredients are included in baby foods for flavor, but they are one of the foods cats should never eat

4. Tuna

cat eating tuna

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As long as it is cooked through, tuna is safe for cats to eat. Make sure not to give this as a main meal too often. Your cat should mainly eat the best dry cat food or the best wet cat food, which will ensure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. 

5. Eggs

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Can cats eat eggs? Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins and are safe for your cat to consume as long as they are properly cooked. Try offering a little bit of scrambled or boiled eggs to see if he likes the taste. 

6. Broccoli 

steamed broccoli

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Vegetables make a great low-calorie treat for your cat and most are safe for cats. Broccoli would definitely be one of these vegetables. You can offer it in its raw form, or you can steam it a little bit to make it easier for your cat to eat. 

7. Cucumbers

cucumber slices

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Cucumbers are packed with water and could be a nice refreshing treat on a hot day. Be sure to peel the skin before offering to help your cat munch safely. 

8. Bananas

cat eating bananas from human

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Bananas are safe to offer your cat in small portions. Be sure to take the peel off, as it can a choking hazard to your feline. 

9. Peas

peas in a bowl

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A study published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine, concluded that there was no evidence cats couldn't digest carbohydrates like peas. So feel free to dish some up, just be sure you offer them without anything added like butter or salt. 

10. Blueberries

cat sitting next to blueberry containers

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Blueberries are safe to feed your cat in small quantities. Blueberries can be high in sugar so take care not to overfeed them to your cat. 

11. Carrots

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Carrots are rich in many vitamins such as potassium and vitamin A. They can be a healthy snack for your cat. However, you'll want to be sure not to offer them in their raw form. We recommend pureeing them or steaming them until they are soft.

They can also be added to DIY cat treats you can whip up in a flash.

12. Watermelon

cat eating a slice of watermelon

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Who doesn't love a nice slice of watermelon on a hot summer day? Your cat will appreciate this refreshing treat just as much as you. Just be sure to remove the seeds for them.  

13. Rice

steamed rice in a bowl

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You may have noticed that rice is a common ingredient in many cat food labels. But you are safe to also offer it on its own.  You will want to be sure to offer cooked rice and consider brown rice as it contains more of its original vitamins and minerals, as a study done by the Harvard University School of Public Health found. 

14. Apples

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Apples are safe for cats to consume. We would recommend peeling and cooking the apples until they are soft before offering them to your kitty, and don't forget to remove the seeds!

15. Spinach

spinach leaves

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Spinach is frequently found in many commercial cat food brands. It is high in magnesium, folate, and calcium. Try steaming some spinach and be sure not to add any seasonings, as they are generally unsafe for cats. 

16. Oats

oats in a bowl

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Oats are another grain that can be considered safe for your cat to eat. Serve up a delicious bowl of oatmeal for your furry feline to enjoy. However remember to mix it with water and not milk, as milk is one of the human foods that are poisonous to cats

17. Pumpkin

bowl of pumpkins

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A hearty vegetable, pumpkin is certainly a fall favorite. Pumpkin can be served as soup or puree. If you celebrate Halloween there are even tasty homemade Halloween cat treats you can make with pumpkin for your cat.

18. Strawberries

cat eat strawberries

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For pet parents navigating through diabetes in cats, you may want to avoid offering strawberries as they can be high in sugar. But otherwise, offering some every now and again should be fine, just remember to remove the steam and cut into smaller pieces.

19. Pineapple

pineapple slices

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This exotic fruit can be offered to your cat in moderation. Be sure to remove the prickly skin and peel before giving it to your kitty. You will also want to offer fresh pineapple rather than canned, as canned pineapple can contain preservatives that are not good for your cat. 

20. Cranberries

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In a study published in the Natural Product Research Journal, it was shown that cranberry extract can help treat urinary infections in cats.  These types of infections can be one of the most common illnesses in cats, so if you're wondering how to treat urinary tract infections in cats, it is best to work with your vet. 

21. Pears


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Pears are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. They could make a healthy and tasty treat for your feline. You will want to remove the peel for your cat and only offer the flesh part. 

22. Green beans

green beans

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Green beans can be a fun and colorful treat to offer your cat. They are full of fiber, which aids in digestion. As with any 'people food,' you will want to offer sparingly and not as a replacement for their standard cat food. 

23. Shrimp

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Your furry feline may love shrimp as a tasty snack. You will want to remove the shells and cook the shrimp thoroughly. Also, skip any additional cooking oils or seasonings. 

24. Melon

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Whether it be cantaloupe, honeydew, or a galia melon, melons are generally safe for your cat to eat. As always, you will want to remove the rind and offer small pieces for your kitty to consume. 

25. Fish oil

fish oil capsules

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Some vets recommend including fish oil in your cat's diet to support overall health. It can help with joint pain, and brain health and can even help skin conditions. As always, be sure to check with your vet before offering to your cat. 

26. Sweet potatoes

sweet potato on chopping board

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Sweet potatoes can be given to your cat, as long as they are not offered every day. You will want to offer them cooked or mashed, do not offer them raw or with the skin. You may also find that some of the best kitten treats will include sweet potato as one of their ingredients if you prefer to offer that instead. 

27. Chicken

grilled chicken

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When preparing chicken, take extreme care to ensure that it is cooked all the way through. Cats should never be given raw chicken. Also, be sure to remove any skin and all bones. 

28. Chia seeds

chia seeds

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Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. It is important to soak the seeds for at least an hour or until they are jelly-like. They can then be served as a pudding. After soaking, they can be ground up into a powder and sprinkled over your cat's food. 

29. Lentils

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Lentils are safe for cats to eat, as long as they are cooked and no seasonings have been added. Lentils are also frequently found in commercial cat food brands. 

30. Squash

different types of squash

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Another fall favorite, squash is safe for your cat to consume. You will want to remove the skin, and seeds and then cook the flesh so that is soft. Squash is high in fiber and is considered an anti-inflammatory food.

31. Salmon

pieces of salmon

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You may soon find that salmon is a favorite of your cat. You want to be sure to cook it thoroughly and remove any skin or bones. We would also recommend opting for fresh salmon instead of the canned version, as they often contain high levels of sodium which can be harmful to cats. 

32. Turkey

slices of turkey

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Just like with other meats, be sure that the turkey is cooked completely through. You can offer thin slices without any fat to your kitty. You will want to steer clear of turkey in the form of deli meat though, as they can be very high in sodium.

Elizabeth Racine, DVM

Dr. Elizabeth Racine is a small animal general practice vet covering all things pet health and wellness.  Her special interests include veterinary behavior, nutrition, and internal medicine.  As a freelance writer, Dr. Racine has written content for major companies in the industry such as the American Kennel Club, Merck Animal Health, Bayer PetBasics, Elanco, and CareCredit.  In her free time, Dr. Racine enjoys playing trampoline dodgeball, hiking with her beagle Dasher, and spending time with her three mischievous cats.