Thanksgiving is almost here!  If you’re the sort of person who loves to cook for holiday guests, you might have a cat circling your ankles like a little land shark, waiting for a taste of the delectable feast.  It’s only natural to wonder, then, is it okay for your cat to 

Can cats eat turkey?

At first, logic seems to suggest that if pet food companies offer turkey flavored cat food, then it must be alright for them to eat the real deal.  Slow you roll, there! You can only feed your cat a small amount of turkey under the proper conditions. It must be cooked thoroughly or else you’ll risk giving your cat salmonella.  Remove the skin and never feed the bones, because they are a choking hazard. Likewise, you shouldn’t leave the carved carcass for your cat to chew on because the bones could fracture and puncture your cat’s gastrointestinal tract.

Seasonings are also a risk factor.  According to the ASPCA, “While sage can be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving stuffing, it (and many other herbs) contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression in pets, especially cats.”  Be especially mindful of garlic, onions, and chives, which can cause severe anemia. Keep your cat away from the stuffing, too!

What about side dishes?

If you’re really falling for those big sad eyes that your cat is giving you while you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner, Phillip Mlynar of suggests using “simple cheats” method.  For instance, your cat can have a little lick of mashed potatoes before you add any dairy or seasonings.  Likewise, a very small scoop of pureed pumpkin from the can (not pumpkin pie filling) should be okay.

When all is said and done, the ASPCA recommends keeping your pets as close to their regular diet as possible for the holidays.  With many new sights, smells, and people afoot, keeping your cat on the same feeding routine will provide one constant in your kitty’s life.  More importantly, it’ll take one hazard out of the equation when it comes to your cat’s health.

Have you made last minute Thanksgiving plans?  Drop us a line! We have friendly and professional pet sitters available for the holiday.

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Image by rihaij from Pixabay