Can Cats Eat Ham? What Is Safe & Unsafe to Feed Your Feline

Sam-I-Am may not be the biggest fan of green eggs and ham, but our feline friends seem to want to try anything we put on our plate. As cute as this may be, pet parents are left wondering: Can cats eat ham? What about eggs? What's safe and unsafe for my fur baby?

You love sharing your home, your life, and maybe even your food with your fur babies, but it's important to know what's safe for them to eat and what isn’t.

Vets use the term “dietary indiscretion” to refer to when a cat eats foods outside of his normal diet, which can give him tummy troubles. Dietary indiscretion also refers to when your cat eats other substances that he shouldn’t - like your medicine, string, or house plants.

PrettyLitter Can Cats Eat Ham and Other Human Food

Find out what in your home – from tuna to Tylenol – is okay for your cat to ingest and what isn’t. Plus, learn how you’ll know if your kitty has eaten something he shouldn’t have.

Can Cats Eat Ham (and other Human Treats)?

Those big kitty eyes begging for a nibble of your tuna salad sandwich are hard to resist. But before you fork it over, you need to know which “people foods” are safe for your fur baby have a taste of.

Unlike you, your kitty doesn’t get much nutritional value from veggies, so no need to start bargaining with her to eat her broccoli like you may have to with your two-legged children. While veggies usually aren't harmful to your cat, there's really no need for them in her diet.

Cats are primarily carnivores - meaning they thrive on eating meat, just like T-Rex in Jurassic Park. I’m sure you can see the resemblance.

So, can cats eat ham? What about steak, chicken, or fish?

Your cat can safely eat most meats as long as they're cooked (sorry, no sushi for Fluffy) and they have’t gone bad. The same is true for eggs, in most cases. However, some kitties are allergic, so start small if you want to give your kitty a bite of hard boiled egg and keep a watchful eye out for any reactions.

Many kitties love cheese, too. While it can be a good source of protein and fat, it's common for adult cats to become lactose intolerant. If your fur baby develops lactose intolerance, he may have a hard time digesting dairy, which can result in unpleasant indigestion and diarrhea. (aka, no fun for anyone!)

According to Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, “a good rule of thumb is that human food should not make up more than 15 percent of a cat's diet.” Like with most things in life (except for snuggles and love), your cats should only be given human food in moderation, if at all.

What Foods Can’t My Cat Eat?

Now that we've answered the burning question – can cats eat ham and eggs? – let's take a look at the human foods that are off limits for your feline.

According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, these foods are a big no-no for your little one:

  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Raisins
  • Avocados
  • Kelp
  • Anything containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener
  • Chocolate
  • Sugary treats (Our feline friends don't do well with carbs and sugar)

Other foods that are typically sited as bad for your fur baby are alcohol and caffeinated drinks. No beer or coffee. Sorry, Fluffy.

What Else is Unsafe for My Cat to Ingest?

There're plenty of things in your house that your cat may try to snack on that aren't stored in the pantry or refrigerator, but some are worse for your pet than others.

PrettyLitter Can Cats Eat Ham and Other Human Food

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), some of the most frequent causes of feline poisoning are:

  • Insecticides, used for your lawns and gardens
  • Rodenticides, used to get rid of those unwanted rats or mice
  • Household cleaning products like bleach, detergents, and disinfectants
  • Antifreeze
  • Lead (thankfully, house paints no longer contain lead but it can be found in other items and substances like plumbing materials, gasoline, and ammunition)

Other items to keep away from your kitty include medications meant for humans – like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, and vitamins – and flea medicine meant for dogs.

Also, your cat shouldn't be munching on a salad (or floral arrangement) made from plants like poinsettias, lilies, mistletoe, holly, tulips, amaryllises, baby’s breath, and hydrangeas.

How Will I Know If My Cat Ate Something Bad?

No matter how close you watch your fur baby, she will eventually show her naughty side and get into something off limits.

Here's a list of signs that may point to food poisoning:

    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Seizures
    • Blood in the stool/urine
    • Lethargy
    • Loss of appetite
    • Bruising
    • Nosebleeds
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Inability to urinate
    • Difficulty breathing

Depending on what your cat got himself into, it may take just a few minutes or up to several days for your fur baby to start showing symptoms. Of course, it's always better to be safe than sorry with your little one, so if you suspect she's eaten something she shouldn't have, call your vet or take her to an emergency vet clinic near you.

Can cats eat ham and other human goodies at your house? How do you feel about sharing human food with your fur baby? Let us know in the comments below.




Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

Author



23 Responses

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Mary Lou — Hi there, Mary Lou! As our fur babies get older, their personalities change a bit – just like in humans. At 12 years old, your fur baby is entering the senior years, so that’s to be expected. However, yowling can also be a sign of some health problems, so we strongly recommend getting your kitty checked out to be safe.

In the meantime, here’s an article that talks all about cat talk and what it means: https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/hear-meowt-what-your-cats-meows-mean
It might help you understand what your cat is trying to communicate.

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Erika T – According to research, kelp can be extremely harmful to cats with hyperthyroidism. Since hyperthyroidism in cats can be hard to detect, veterinarians often recommend steering clear of it, just in case. While there are tons of healthy vitamins and minerals in kelp that can be beneficial to your kitty, there are also other sources of those goodies that don’t come with a risk to hyperthyroidism-afflicted cats. Here at PrettyLitter, we prefer to always take a “better safe than sorry” approach when it comes to feline health… juuuuuust in case. :)

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Lea F — Hi there! You’re absolutely right, we don’t recommend ever giving kitties cooked bones. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Dotty H — Hi there. While your cat’s eyes may melt your heart, we would highly recommend avoiding feeding your cat sugary food. It simply isn’t good for kitties. Your cat may look sad when you tell him ‘no,’ but you’ll be glad you resisted when he gets a positive health report at his annual vet check-up. Cat’s can’t really digest sugar so it’s best to avoid it at all costs.

Thanks for sharing! We’re so glad you like our litter and that you’re an active part of our cat parent community!

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Danielle Hi Danielle! While some raw foods can be good for our kitties, the main purpose of cooking food is to kill any lingering bacteria. If you get your foods from a market, the original source is often unknown. We recommend cooking any food you give your fur babies – especially chicken – just in case there’s any bacteria that could hurt their little bodies.

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Guido Hi there! You should be very cautious when it comes to cleaning products. Some cleaning solutions can be too strong for your cat’s paws or her senses. We would recommend using pet-friendly and natural products if possible. If that’s impossible for your household, we recommend you keep your cat in a safe room with the door closed until your surfaces are dry and can’t be picked up on her paws.

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Mary Henry Hi there! UTI’s are just miserable for our cats, aren’t they? Luckily, your cat isn’t alone and UTI’s can be very common in cats.

You can read our post for more information on cat UTI’s here: https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/what-s-the-deal-with-cats-and-utis

Water is key. You might want to try adding a small amount of low sodium chicken broth to his food. It’ll add a tasty flavor and moisture to the dry food. Plus, it’ll keep him hydrated as he’s trying to feel better.

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

May 27, 2019

@Ariel L — while it’s tempting to let your fur baby lick up your yogurt remnants, we don’t recommend it. Kitties shouldn’t have sugar as it’s very hard for them to digest. To prevent tummy aches or future health problems, we recommend sticking to safe cat snacks high in protein and with no sugar at all.

Lisa Holder
Lisa Holder

May 21, 2019

Tank (my cat) and I love, love, love Pretty Litter. Comes right to my door. Less to deal with, less tracking from Tank’s paws. Now if you sold wet cat food – just the gravy is all Tank wants these days, I wouldn’t even have to go down that isle. lol

Erika T
Erika T

May 22, 2019

Ok all of these aren’t surprising but Kelp? Can you tell us what is bad about kelp, Ive never read anything about this being toxic. Im guessing its the salt content?

Lea Fuchs
Lea Fuchs

May 22, 2019

My cats eat an all raw meat diet. Cooked bones are EXTREMELY dangerous for cats. Only raw bones that aren’t load baring should be given. Do your research before you feed your cats anything but raw meat. Cook food has very little nutritional value.

Dotty Hutchins
Dotty Hutchins

May 22, 2019

My cat will eat pizza, ice cream, lemon meringue pie, cool whip, filling from twinkies. All in moderation, of course. Can any of these hurt him?

I love your Pretty Litter and have recommended it to many of my friends. Thanks for making my life so much easier and less smelly.

Diana
Diana

May 14, 2019

I love Pretty Litter. No odors, no dust.

Linda Dickson
Linda Dickson

May 10, 2019

Millie and Tiny love canned tuna (in water). Tiny loves cheese. I give them a tiny bit when I am eating it myself, otherwise I would never have any peace.

Esther Jones
Esther Jones

May 10, 2019

My Rufio would eat almost anything when I first got him as a kitten. He even tried onions. I had no idea they were a no-no. I’m just glad he didn’t have any reaction. He doesn’t want them now, thankfully.

Guido
Guido

May 22, 2019

Excellent article, how cautious should I be regarding floor cleaning products?

Anne Thibault
Anne Thibault

May 10, 2019

I Love Pretty Litter.It’s Awesome.Perfect for Kitty and me.

MARY L HENRY
MARY L HENRY

May 22, 2019

my 18 mo old male cat is getting UTI s and blockages from crystals. He’s on prescription dried food but hes not happy with it. You have any advice on his diet choices or any other ideas to keep him happy and healthy?

Lynda Martinez
Lynda Martinez

May 10, 2019

My cat only eats canned cat food and Temptations treats. She’s very healthy and loves to eat her canned food from her paws. She’ll pick it up and eat it, kinda like her paws are a fork or spoon

Judy
Judy

May 10, 2019

My cat only eats dry food. She won’t eat canned catfood or any people food. She always comes over to see what I am eating and promptly " covers it " Felina’s version of “your really going to eat that”

ARIEL L WITBECK
ARIEL L WITBECK

May 22, 2019

my cat loves yogurt. I often have a bowl of yogurt with berries and cereal for dessert. There is always some of that residue in the bowl which she likes to lick up. (Who needs a dishwasher?!) This is in such small quantities, that I don’t think she can
be harmed. (?)

Suzanne G
Suzanne G

May 10, 2019

We have an excellent vet who has educated us on what and what not our cats can eat, so they are fed nothing but the food she recommends and they’re thriving. But cats are funny. We once had a cat who loved corn chips and would steal them right out of my hand. Another cat would chomp down on any plants or flowers I brought into the house so I quickly learned not to bring in any, yet another one loved to eat cardboard (he didn’t ingest much, mostly just ripped it up and spit it out). Now we have a cat who loves any kind of plastic bags – grocery bags, zip lock bags, clothing bags – anything! We have to be very careful about keeping that stuff where she can’t get it or I end up cleaning plastic-loaded cat gack off the carpeting.
Most of the items on your “Cats Can’t Eat” list are known to us, but there are a few we were unaware of – so thanks very much for providing it!
We love Pretty Litter and so do our cats. It’s great stuff that makes our lives easier and helps to protect the cats – one of them has had bladder crystals in the past. I LOVE the lack of odor, easy box cleaning and not having to drag home heavy bags of litter!

KC
KC

May 22, 2019

Hi, I usually don’t make any comments, but have been a pretty litter customer since I first read about the litter…2-3 years? 4 years? As you get older it’s harder to tell, anyway, I never try to feed human food to my cat 🐱 he also won’t eat it when my husband offers him any thing… salmon, tuna, fresh snapper, crab 🦀 But he was a feral that I started feeding when he was hurt (10 years ago) think that makes a difference? BTW he is in house full time now.

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