FOOD FOR THE HOLIDAYS
The holidays are fast approaching and everyone is in a tizzy getting ready. Soon the smells will begin wafting from the kitchen and filling the house with tantalizing aromas! Everyone is excited – including the felines in your house!
They know something good is happening and they want to share in the festivities. Of course they’re thinking FOOD! They don’t want to miss out so are always hanging around, rubbing against your legs and looking up with sad begging eyes.
“I’m starving!” they meow. “Come on, it’s a holiday! I’m being good and deserve a treat!”
You give in and agree, after all it is a holiday. So the tidbits are fed, in the kitchen during preparations, under the table when the meal is served, and especially when the leftovers are being put away!
Just bear in mind, that what you think is a special treat for your kitty, may actually be harmful instead. There are things that their digestive system simply can’t handle and should be avoided. It’s no fun going to the emergency vet during a holiday because your cat is sick – or worse.
Cats, by nature, eat bland foods. When they catch a mouse you don’t see them pulling out the salt and pepper to season it! When they’re outside they’ll eat grass, but don’t drizzle Honey Dijon Dressing over it.
So, all seasoning is out. If you’re cooking a turkey you can chop up some of the raw parts that come in that little bag in the bird’s cavity. You can give it to them raw or cooked, they’ll like it either way and that’s a real treat, something they don’t get every day.
When the turkey is cooked, you can always give them some of the meat, making sure that the skin with the spices is NOT included.
Sweet and regular potatoes, in moderation, are also acceptable for them, again without the spices, meaning no casseroles. You might take a potato and cook it separately, just for your kitty.
If you’re serving ham for the holidays, do not give any to your cat. They do not tolerate salt intake.
Anything with sugar, like casseroles, cranberry sauce, dessert and anything else, is also out.
Then there’s the gravies and drippings in the pan, so paw-licking good – but havoc on their system.
When you get down to it, there’s not much you can feed your pleading cats from the holiday table.
So, to make it extra special for them prepare something that they don’t normally have. For example, get some turkey or chicken gizzards, cut them into bit size pieces and boil them. No spices! Save the broth and pour a little over the cooked gizzards. Save the rest to use with their normal food.
For dessert you can give them a lukewarm bowl of milk. Cats cannot tolerate lactose from cow’s milk so you can get them some lactose-free milk, or better yet, Goat’s Milk! THAT is the cat’s meow! Nina loves it as well as my other cats. It can be found in the dairy case or in cans (usually by the evaporated milk section). Walmart carries both.
To help you out here is a general list of what cats CANNOT have without suffering serious consequences.
- Garlic and onions
- Grapes or raisins (Raisin Bread, Pudding, Stuffing, etc.)
- Seasonings including salt
- Cooked bones
- Yeast dough
Remember to store away the turkey carcass before your tricky cat starts tearing away at it. Wrap it in foil to hide the tantalizing smell and then wrap it up in a couple of plastic bags well tied. Or, if you have the space, just store it in your freezer until trash day, unless, of course, you make a delicious turkey soup from it for yourself.
In the event there is a mishap and your feline eats something it shouldn’t have and starts having symptoms you could always call for assistance at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: Phone Number (888) 426-4435
Some of the symptoms of a food-ingested problem are:
- Sudden mood change
Always remember, even though your feline may be your best friend and companion, it is not human! Treat your kitty with the special care and thought it deserves so that it will be around with you for a long time!