Are you having Thanksgiving dinner at your place this year? If so, there are some things you need to know about Thanksgiving food and cats. While they aren’t normally the beggars dogs are, most cats will take advantage of an opportunity to chow down. So it’s best to know what is and is not good for them.
Turkey: Yes. This staple of Thanksgiving happens to be completely edible and delicious for felines. Skinless white meat is most benign, but most cats can handle dark meat or a bit of skin and giblets as well. I remember as a child my father would give a hearty helping of skin, fat, and giblets to the cat every Thanksgiving. I was worried that it could cause heart disease in the cat. I had not yet learned that fat and cholesterol do not contribute significantly to heart disease in cats, and possibly not in humans either. However, the fattier parts of the turkey are more likely to cause upset stomach, so go easy.
Gravy: The cat I mentioned above suffered no adverse consequences from his gravy lapping. However, remember that gravy is fatty and salty. Moderation is key, and the salt could cause problems for cats with pre-existing heart conditions.
Mashed potatoes: I like to make my mashed potatoes with lots of garlic, onion, shallots, half-and-half, and butter. It turns out that garlic, onions, and shallots can cause Heinz body anemia in cats. And many cats are lactose intolerant, so the half-and-half could be a problem. However, garlic isn’t cyanide and half-and-half isn’t acetaminophen (which is massively toxic to cats). Most cats could survive a bite or two of my potatoes. And they certainly could tolerate milder, less rich mixtures. But I wouldn’t recommend serving up mashed potatoes to your cat.
Read more about Thanksgiving dinner and your cat at Catster.