Thanksgiving Food For Feline Friends
Mon, April 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Food For Feline Friends

Thanksgiving is about being thankful for a year with loved ones as the family feasts on a mountain of food. / Photo by: Eugene Bochkarev via 123rf


Thanksgiving is about being thankful for a year with loved ones as the family feasts on a mountain of food. Turkeys, pumpkins, and mashed potatoes are a staple during this holiday, and it is tradition to stuff oneself with these delicacies. Unfortunately, not everyone's stomach can hold all the food laid out in front of us on Thanksgiving, so it's only natural that there will be leftovers. Pet owners can be tempted to share these leftovers with feline friends, but before handing them some food, here is a list of Thanksgiving dishes that they can and cannot eat. 


According to a report by Viva Cat Cat, a website that provides information about feline health, they mentioned that having plain turkey is okay for most cats in small quantities. Cats are natural carnivores, and a bit of lean protein is healthy for your cat. You may serve these baked or stuffed with the flavorful herbs and spices, but your cat shouldn’t have a meal with too many preservatives in it.

Too much turkey meat and skin can contain more fat, and that could be too greasy for your pet. Preferably, pets should be fed skinless, white meat. However, even a feline can’t resist a beautifully cooked turkey. Health experts advise pet owners to, if they decide to give them a piece of turkey, make sure to remove the bones in order to prevent choking hazards. 


According to a report by Viva Cat Cat, having plain turkey is okay for most cats in small quantities. / Photo by: Elena Veselova via 123rf



Cats shouldn’t have food that contains onion and garlic. Cat World, a website that provides articles about cat health, stated that stuffings that contain these ingredients can be toxic and can cause Heinz body hemolytic anemia. This is a life-threatening disease in which the red blood cells are destroyed because of the formation of Heinz bodies.

Every so often, there will be arguments in the family about who makes the best stuffing. However, this doesn’t concern your cat as they’re not allowed to consume this anyway. It is unlikely you'll be serving bland stuffing so this is completely off the list of Thanksgiving food that your cat can eat. Thanksgiving stuffing is also full of alliums, which are incredibly dangerous for your cats. So, even if you remove all the garlic and onion in your stuffing, the turkey grease and other rich ingredients can wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive system. 

Turkey Gravy

One of the most popular foods on the table during the Thanksgiving holidays is the turkey gravy. Humans love to relish a spoonful of gravy, and it might not be harmful to your pet, but you might want to steer clear of this. According to Kitten Toob, a website that provides articles about cats and their health, gravy is reportedly high in salt and fat, both of which can hurt your cat’s health. 

If you feed them some turkey, do this before adding the gravy rather than giving them leftovers off people’s plates that already have gravy added. A tiny lick of gravy is okay, but never fill your cat’s dry food with gravy. The amount of salt can also cause problems that can spell disaster for cats that already have heart issues. 

Mashed potatoes

Unsalted mashed potatoes with no added ingredients are safe to feed your cat. However, a lot of the ingredients that humans add to mashed potatoes can be harmful to cats. Mashed potatoes are loaded with salt and butter for that savory flavor that we all enjoy, and other families even add extra ingredients like garlic, onions, and shallots to their potatoes for that extra oomph.

If you want your cat to experience tasting mashed potatoes, make sure that the dish doesn’t contain milk, butter, and cream. These ingredients can cause gastric discomfort and digestive issues, so pass on the potatoes if they contain them.


Unsalted mashed potatoes with no added ingredients are safe to feed your cat. / Photo by: yelenayemchuk via 123rf



Although pumpkins are full of fiber, which is good for cats, adding spices and sugar to it can be a bad thing for your feline friends. Cooked pumpkin would be fine as it promotes proper digestion in cats, but one that’s been added to a pie or covered in condiments is not recommended. 

A lot of pumpkin dishes normally have large amounts of sugar, dairy, and Xylitol, which can cause a dangerous drop in your cat's blood sugar and shouldn’t be consumed by either cats or dogs. On the other hand, a spoonful of pumpkin is also a great type of medication for stomach issues, but you should still consult a vet before giving your cat pumpkin.


Many cat owners are confused about whether they should give their cats bread. Giving them a tiny piece shouldn’t be a problem as long as it is plain and doesn’t contain any garlic or butter. Any dish that contains garlic or onions should remain off-limits to your cat due to the health complications it could cause them.