What can I feed my cat when I've run out of cat food?

Extensively covered in the media over the last few days, UK supermarkets have warned of a shortage of some cat food products after more than 2.1m people collected a new pet during the nation’s lockdown.

If you are struggling to get your hands on your cat’s favourite meal, we want to help provide you with some safe alternatives to ensure your feline friend receives the food they need.

A few things to consider before providing an emergency meal

Whilst you’ll be able to provide a suitable alternative from your fridge or cupboards to make up a meal for your cat, these suggestions are not nutritionally complete and are not designed to replace their proper diet.

These emergency meals should provide you with enough time to get your cat back to their regularly scheduled feeding program.

Always make sure your chosen ingredients are low in salt and/or fat as this can cause excessive thirst and tummy troubles in cats. Consider any special dietary needs or allergies and avoid any food that may make them ill.

It is very important to note that if you have to prepare your own cat food, cats have very special dietary requirements. They need taurine – an essential acid – to live and function. This is found in their ready-made food so extra considerations will be needed to make a suitable meal for your feline friend.

When preparing your own cat food, remember that cats have very special dietary requirements, including taurine

How to make cat food when you’ve run out

You might be surprised at how easy it is to build a meal for your cat from the ingredients you have in your fridge or cupboard. Here are some cat-safe foods to help feed your cat in an emergency:

  • Asparagus
  • Boiled plain rice
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cooked egg whites or scrambled egg
  • Cooked barley or oats
  • Cooked chicken (skinless and boneless)
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tinned tuna
  • Un-spiced deli slices or chunks
  • White fish (like cod)

Many cats will turn their noses at fruit, but if your feline friend is happy to try some why not try adding some sliced strawberries, blueberries and bananas?

Foods to avoid when making a quick meal for a cat

Not all food is pet-friendly so there are some ingredients you will need to avoid to prevent your cat from eating something toxic.

Avoid these foods when prepping your pet’s meal:

  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine, coffee and tea
  • Corn on the cob (the cob can cause a blockage)
  • Cooked bones
  • Grapes, raisins and sultanas
  • Onions, garlic and chives
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Sweets or chocolate
  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetener)

Please remember to be mindful of the quantities you feed your pet and please be considerate of other pet owners needs when buying pet food. Always speak to a vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s needs.

Looking for more cat advice?

We’ve written some handy cat advice guides, to help you unlock the secrets of your mysterious moggy.


Need cat insurance?

Cat insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your cat gets injured or falls ill.


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