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Home > Cats > What Can Cats Eat on Thanksgiving? 9 Vet-Approved Options

What Can Cats Eat on Thanksgiving? 9 Vet-Approved Options

Cute cat sitting at beautiful Pumpkin in light, vegetables on wooden rustic table

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and give thanks. It’s a time to get together to eat, drink and be merry, but what about our feline friends? Can cats eat anything special on Thanksgiving? Cats like to bask in the ambiance of Thanksgiving too, but it’s important to do it safely. In this guide, we’ll list the nine foods your cat can eat on Thanksgiving to enjoy the holiday with you.


The 9 Great Food Options Cats Eat on Thanksgiving

1. Turkey

freshly roasted turkey
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Did you know that 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving each year? Luckily, this delicacy is safe for cats to eat and enjoy. Turkey is an excellent source of protein for cats. However, if you’re planning on feeding the turkey you prepared for a thanksgiving feast, skip giving that kind of turkey to your cat due to the seasonings, which are bad for cats.

The best way to feed turkey to your cat is lean turkey breast. Ensure the turkey breast is cooked, without excessive oils, salt onion, or garlic. You’ll also want to avoid feeding turkey skin and bones.

2. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes
Image by: Hebi B., Pixabay

Most people enjoy mashed potatoes as part of the Thanksgiving meal, but if you want your cat to enjoy them too, skip the seasonings. Ensure you feed a small portion, and don’t add butter, cream, or anything else. Natural mashed potatoes in small quantities should be just fine.

3. Plain Green Beans

Fresh green beans in bowl on wooden table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Notice that we said “plain” green beans, meaning no green bean casserole for your kitty. Green beans are a great source of fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. Remember, don’t feed them any food with seasonings—just plain green beans that have been cooked. Most cats don’t care for green veggies, but you can certainly give it a try.

4. Pumpkin

Image By: stevepb, Pixabay

Pumpkin is another excellent source of fiber for cats, and it also has some health benefits attached to it. In fact, pumpkin is terrific to feed your cat for digestive issues like diarrhea because it helps bulk up the stool. It also serves as an excellent remedy for constipation.

Keep in mind to skip putting pumpkin pie into your cat’s bowl. You can feed it right out of the can, but ensure the ingredient is only canned pumpkin with no additives or seasonings. You can dollop one to four teaspoons of canned pumpkin and mix it into your cat’s food or serve it on its own.

5. Broccoli

a bowl of steamed broccoli
Image Credit: Oliver Hoffmann, Shutterstock

Broccoli is one of the best vegetables you can feed your cat, and it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. The best way to serve broccoli to your cat is steamed or boiled, then cooled. Again, do not add seasonings to the broccoli. Avoid feeding raw broccoli, as this could lead to tummy upset because it’s harder for your cat to digest.

6. Apples

apples on a wooden table
Image by: pasja1000, Pixabay

Apples provide vitamins C and K and are also high in calcium and fiber. Be sure to remove the seeds and stem of the apple, as these parts of the apple are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. Cut the apple into small pieces for easier digestion for your kitty.

7. Cooked Carrots

cooked carrots
Image by: Piqsels

Carrots lack protein but offer other nutritional benefits for cats, such as vitamins A, K, E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and fiber. Be sure to wash the carrots before cooking or boiling them, and skip the seasonings. Cut them up into small pieces for easy digestion. Avoid feeding raw carrots, as raw carrots are harder for your kitty to digest.

8. Peas

Peas contain a nice blend of carbs and protein, so go ahead and give a little to your cat. But again, do not add any seasonings to the peas. Peas are low in calories and high in fiber, but if you give your cat peas from a can, ensure there are no added salts, and peas should be the sole ingredient.

9. Squash

Image by: Nick Collins, Pixabay

Squash casserole is a Thanksgiving treat for most families, but if you want to feed it to your cat, skip the casserole and feed squash with no added oils, salts, or anything else. Squash has many health benefits, and it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Never feed raw squash to your cat because it could be a choking hazard, and raw veggies are hard for cats to digest. Making the squash into a puree is the best option for smooth digestion.

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We want to note that all the above foods mentioned are safe for your cat to enjoy but with no added seasonings, oils, or butter. You can add a dollop of each food into your cat’s bowl but don’t overdo it. To make your cat feel like a part of the celebration, let your cat eat these foods while you’re having Thanksgiving dinner.

Remember never to give your cat alcohol, chocolate, garlic, onions, stuffing, or gravy. Cats love Thanksgiving too, and now you know what you can feed them so your cat can join in on the festivities.

Featured Image Credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj, Shutterstock

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