What can cats eat for Christmas dinner?

Enjoying a festive feast is an essential element of Christmas for many families. Cats are part of the family, so it’s only fair for them to be involved in the fun as well!

It can be a challenge to know what’s safe for our feline friends to eat and which food they should avoid, though. Luckily, we have the answers! Not only have we discovered which Christmas foods are safe for your cat, but we’ve also found the festive foods your cat can’t have, and we’ve uncovered some purrfect cat-friendly alternatives… 

Safe Christmas foods for cats

While it may already be a tradition for many pet parents, treating your cat to their own Christmas dinner can make it a magical day for your feline friend.

During the preparation of your cat’s Christmas dinner, avoid using any glazes, oil, salt, butter, milk, seasoning, or flavouring(s).

Also, be careful not to feed your cat too much, or they might suffer from digestive issues like diarrhoea and vomiting – which could definitely dampen everyone’s Christmas spirit!

Here’s some plain food your cat could enjoy as part of their festive feast:

  • Cooked, unseasoned, white turkey meat.
  • Cooked, boneless salmon.
  • Boiled parsnips.
  • Boiled sprouts.
  • Steamed broccoli.
  • Swede (mashed or chopped).

Please note: It’s essential for your cat to have constant access to fresh, clean water. For ideas to help encourage your feline friend to drink more water, view our article which tells you how to keep your cat hydrated

Dangerous Christmas foods for cats

Food is a huge part of Christmas festivities for most, though many ingredients involved in some of the holiday season’s most traditional meals are unsafe for our cats to eat.

Festive food your cat can’t eat, includes:

  • Yorkshire pudding.
  • Pigs in blankets.
  • Bacon.
  • Ham.
  • Meat bones (especially if they’re cooked!).
  • Skin (e.g., turkey skin, chicken skin, etc.).
  • Onions. 
  • Leeks.
  • Garlic.
  • Chives.
  • Potatoes.
  • Peas.
  • Cranberry sauce.
  • Christmas pudding.
  • Christmas cake.
  • Mince pies.
  • Dried fruit (e.g., sultanas, raisins, etc.).
  • Nuts (e.g., macadamia nuts, walnuts, etc.).
  • Grapes.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Chocolate.
  • Alcohol.
  • Dairy products.
  • Sweets.

Remember: Cats should never consume anything that contains a sweetener called xylitol, because it is extremely toxic to pets.

Can my cat have stuffing?

Since stuffing usually contains ingredients like onion, this festive food isn’t suitable for cats to consume.

But, if you’d like to give your feline friend a super special treat in place of stuffing, check out our vet-approved recipe for cat-friendly butternut squash mash!  

Can my cat have gravy?

Gravy is great for us, but it’s not safe for our cats.

Onion gravy is poisonous to our pets, but most other forms of gravy contain high levels of salt that are harmful to cats, too. Feeding your cat gravy could cause health problems like diarrhoea, vomiting, and anaemia.

If you’d love for your feline friend to enjoy something similar to gravy on their Christmas dinner, why not add a tablespoon of wet cat food in its own pet-grade gravy to their festive feast?

Cat-friendly Christmas treats

Whether your cat has allergies, health problems, or they’re on a restricted diet, there may be ways for them to enjoy a Christmas treat, too!

Provided your vet agrees beforehand, your cat could have small amounts of:

  • Raw carrot batons.
  • Cored, de-seeded, peeled apple slices.
  • Scrambled or hard-boiled egg.

To create extra-special, homemade treats for your feline friend to enjoy this Christmas, visit our article about healthy treat hacks for your cat.

What to do if your cat eats something they shouldn’t

In the event your cat eats something they shouldn’t, it’s important to contact a vet immediately – even if your cat isn’t showing any symptoms.

If you can, you’ll need to tell the vet exactly what your cat has eaten, how much of it they’ve eaten, and what time they ate it.

However, in the chaos of Christmas, pet parents may not notice what, or when, their cat has eaten something toxic. Here are some of the signs your cat may have eaten something poisonous:

  • Lack of co-ordination (e.g. wobbling as they walk).
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Increased urination.
  • Excessive sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Lethargy (quieter than usual).
  • Swelling of any part of their body.
  • Inflammation of any part of their body.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.

Eating something toxic could sadly lead to cats experiencing life-threatening reactions like seizures or falling into a coma.

For help preventing an emergency trip to the vet this Christmas, why not have a chat with the experts at Joii Pet Care for advice? As an Animal Friends policyholder, you can book vet video consults with Joii 24/7 for FREE – helping you enjoy peace of mind this festive season. 

Free vet video calls for your cat

24/7/365 with the Joii app.

Our partnership with Joii Pet Care gives Animal Friends policyholders free online veterinary help, whenever and wherever they need it. Download the Joii app today.

The vets and nurses at Joii can provide you with veterinary advice, preventative care and diet plans. Free and exclusive to Animal Friends customers. T&C's apply

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