Cats have hearty appetites and tend to be indiscriminate in their food choices. They are easily attracted to anything that smells and tastes good, and their keen noses lead them directly to any food, which they will happily devour and ask for more.
Nonetheless, cat owners often wonder – what do cats like to eat? To gain insight into the mind of a feline, jump right in to know and understand what appeals to cats and their taste buds.
A Cat’s Diet: Wild Cats vs. Modern Cats
Cats are obligate carnivores, genetically programmed to consume only meat and animal flesh. However, with domestication came new diets that they adapted to survive.
While not natural for their biology, cats have developed the necessary nutrients and enzymes to digest various foods, including fish (despite cats originating from desert plains), vegetation, processed food, and even milk.
Despite being able to eat other things besides meat, cat owners must ensure their pets receive a balanced diet rich in appropriate vitamins and nutrition.
Wild Cat’s Diet
In the wild, cats are skilled opportunistic predators. They primarily feed on small prey such as rodents, mice, birds, lizards, rabbits, and shrews. These preys contain high amounts of protein and fat, which cats need to survive harsh environments.
Wild cats are agile and extremely active creatures that prefer to graze food throughout the day. Their daily activities include hunting and tracking with their remarkable sense of smell.
Modern Cat’s Diet
Cats raised in indoor or domestic environments have more delicate stomachs than their wild counterparts. This requires them to eat only cat food. Their anatomy and biology are already established to process certain nutrients, so even a slight modification to their diet may significantly impact their health.
For instance, cats that only consume wet or dry food and tend to stay indoors lead less active lifestyles. Without hunting exercises, cats develop weight gain and health-related problems.
What Cat’s Like to Eat
Cats are naturally drawn to strong scents, such as cooked meat, fish, and human food. They are even attracted to milk and dairy. This is because cats are drawn to the smell of vitamins and nutrients found in food.
Another interesting fact about cats is that they are habitual eaters, and they look for good smells, tasty and palatable, and new textures when it comes to food. Once they get to taste fresh food, they will develop a liking for it, so cats like to eat anything given to them.
However, there are more foods that cats like to eat, and these are:
|Processed Meat||Cooked or Raw Meat||Canned Fish||Dairy||Other Foods||Fruits and Vegetables|
Despite your cat’s adoration for these foods, they should never replace a suitable balanced diet for your cat; they should only be provided as a treat or a complimentary snack during exercise. Some of these can also be filler foods for cats on dietary plans.
Some foods are also high in unnecessary vitamins or nutrients that a cat may be unable to digest. Fish, meat, and processed foods are high in carbohydrates and omega-3 fatty acids, causing obesity. Dairy and sweets have high amounts of sugar and cause diabetes in cats. Lastly, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and cellulose, causing gastrointestinal distress.
Appropriate Diet for Cat’s
Cat owners must provide domestic cats with high-quality commercial cat food that meets their needs. These needs vary depending on a cat’s lifestyle, age, diet, and health requirements. Many cat foods are available, and pet owners should explore them to ensure optimal nutrition for their felines.
Here are three significant categories of cat foods:
- Wet: It mimics the taste and texture of animal flesh that cats eat in their natural habitat. It contains a variety of options, such as paté, meat chunks soaked in gravy, sliced meats, and pureed ones. This type of cat food is highly recommended for cats who have trouble drinking water or are suffering from kidney disease.
- Dry: Also known as “kibble,” it is perfect for underweight cats and cats with bowel problems. In addition to this, dry food provides additional nutrients and aids in maintaining good oral health.
- Complementary: These snacks and foods provide little nutritional value and serve as filler food instead. These come in handy whenever your cats need meal variations or an appetite boost. However, filler foods should only be given sparingly, as too much can lead to obesity.
As natural carnivores, cats require a diet that reflects their inherent needs. Responsible pet owners must provide the necessary nutrients for optimal health and safety. However, occasional treats for motivation, reward, and exercise can be beneficial for building a bond with your furry feline friend while also getting to know their unique personality.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do cats naturally eat?
Cats eat raw meat, bones, and organs from prey animals in the wild.
Can cats eat rice, bread, and scrambled eggs?
Yes, as long as these foods are given to them moderately.
What foods cats can’t resist?
Cooked meat like chicken, turkey, beef, and lean deli meats. Cats love the smell of meat and wouldn’t pass them up when available.
What kind of milk can cats drink?
They can drink whole, skim, and lactose-free milk but only give it in small amounts and occasionally.
Can cats eat noodles and pasta?
Yes, as long as there are no seasonings and they are not allergic to wheat, eggs, and other ingredients.
Can cats live on human food diet?
No. Their bodies are not made to survive on human food.
Can cats eat shrimp and other seafood?
Yes, but only serve seafood that’s prepared and cooked properly. However, raw or certain kinds of seafood can cause allergies, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal problems.
Can cats eat spicy food?
No. Their stomachs cannot handle spices and seasonings, which may cause stomach problems and vomiting.