Chyrle Bonk, DVM

Dr. Chyrle Bonk has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. She lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons, where they spend their free time exploring the great outdoors that is right in their backyard.

Can Cats Eat Baby Food? Is It Really Safe?

Three glass bottles of baby food on a white cloth, which is on top of a blue surface. Two wooden spoons can be seen in the background. The bottle on the left has orange baby food in it, the middle jar has greenish-brownish food, while the bottle on the right has red baby food in it.

You’ve probably referred to your cat, more than once, as your baby. So, why not feed them baby food? The truth is cats can eat baby food depending on the ingredients and, of course, in moderation. Baby food can be very nutritious and offer an appealing taste and texture for those picky eaters or kitties recovering from an illness.

Possible Problems Associated with Feeding Your Cat Baby Food

Before you switch your cat over to an all-baby food diet, it’s important to remember that not all baby food is meant for your kitty. It also shouldn’t be a significant part of your cat’s regular meals. 

Most cats are going to go wild for the meat blends of baby food, naturally. However, it’s these products that can contain harmful seasonings like garlic, onion, and salt. While these pair nicely with roast beef or chicken, they are toxic to cats. 

You’ll also want to avoid baby foods that contain raisins, grapes, and chocolate.

Another possible issue with feeding cats baby food is if you decide to make it their complete diet. Cats require the amino acid taurine. Most other mammals can make taurine on their own, but not cats. 

Cats require taurine in their diet. It is essential for heart health, vision, digestion, and immune function. Taurine is only found in animal-based proteins-meat. Meat-based baby foods will contain taurine, but if you choose to go the meatless route, your kitty may be in trouble.

Also, baby food is still meant for humans, which means it can be relatively high in calories. If you’re feeding a kitten or active adult, this may not be a big deal. However, if you’re feeding a cat that’s like most housecats, they don’t need the calories. That’s why baby food is best left as a treat or for feeding in the short term only.

How to Feed Your Cat Baby Food

If you’re looking to liven up your cat’s kibble or provide a quick treat, baby food is an excellent choice for your cat. It’s also suitable for short-term feedings, such as following surgery, an illness or injury, or dental issues.

It can also work to hide medication if your kitty is on any prescriptions.

Keeping a few jars of meat-flavored baby food on your shelf may come in handy from time to time for your feline friends. Just be sure that it doesn’t become their long-term diet and that you’re giving it to them in small amounts.

Again, always check the ingredients label to ensure that the baby food you choose is free of onion, garlic, grapes, raisins, and chocolate.

The Benefits of Baby Food for Cats

If you’ve ever thought about feeding your cat baby food, you’re not alone. It can actually be a very convenient and wholesome source of nutrition. Other benefits include:

  • Great Nutrition: Baby food is formulated for tiny humans, so it’s made out of, you guessed it, actual human foods. These foods are cooked and pureed to a texture that babies with few or no teeth can handle. Mixing and matching different baby foods are meant to provide a growing child with complete and balanced nutrition. Therefore, it should also be very nutritious and easy to digest for your kitty.
  • Enhanced Aroma and Texture: Some kitties prefer a smoother texture than regular cat food can provide. This makes baby food an excellent substitute for even pâté types of cat food. It also tends to be very aromatic to entice picky babies and cats alike to eat it. Baby food can be a good choice for senior cats that aren’t eating much or for cats coming off of an illness. The texture can be easily handled by cats with dental disease or cats with digestive issues that don’t trust their regular food.
  • Easily Digestible: A human baby’s digestive system is a work in progress. They aren’t ready to take on solid human food as adults do. Instead, they need gentle, easily digestible products. Baby food is made with this in mind. The same is true for some cats. Those with sensitive stomachs, seniors, or cats following an illness can benefit from the digestibility of baby food, so their digestive system doesn’t have to work too hard.
  • Convenient: Baby food comes in conveniently packaged, meal-sized portions. They’re great to take on the go or to store at home. They also come in a variety of flavors, making it easy to find something that any kitty, picky or not, can enjoy.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve ever wondered if baby food can be fed to cats, now you know that it is a safe alternative to regular cat food, depending on the flavor. Baby food can provide excellent nutrition to your cat in a tasty and easily consumable package. It makes a great food substitute for senior cats or those that need a little digestive support following an illness. Just make sure that baby food is given in moderation and free from toxic ingredients.

The 5 Best Cat Doors For Your Home

A black cat with white paws is seen coming out of a small cat door installed in a white door.

Most kitties relish their freedom and independence. For some, that means having easy access to the outside world. For others, that means access to their litter box and food bowl. If you have a cat that likes to come and go but would rather not spend your day opening and closing doors for them, installing a cat door may be a worthwhile investment. Cat doors can provide your kitty access to the outside or allow you to hide their litter box behind a closed door. So, if you’re tired of coming to your cat’s beckoned call, these cat doors can help you out.

1. Best Overall Choice: PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Cat Door

PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog Door or Cat Door
Durable construction with a solid aluminum frame.
Easy, do-it-yourself installation.
Slide-in closing panel to control the your pet's access into or out of your home.

For a high-quality and durable cat door, the PetSafe Freedom is a great choice. It is made of solid aluminum that will stand up to normal wear and tear as well as some rough handling from your feline friends. The flexible yet heavy-duty vinyl flap is easy for your kitty to move when they want to come in or go out, and it closes tight with a magnetic strip to keep cold drafts and moisture out.

The PetSafe cat door also features a slide-in panel when you want to control when your cat can enter or exit, as well as to keep unwanted visitors at bay. The PetSafe Freedom easily installs in any wood, metal, or PVC interior or exterior door. It also comes in four different sizes should you need to accommodate dogs along with cats.

Depending on where you purchase this PetSafe Freedom cat door from may cause some issues with hardware. Some kits have shown up incomplete or lacking the needed screws to install. So be sure to take an inventory of all parts when you first set it up.


  • Durable frame
  • Heavy-duty flap helps weatherproof it
  • Slide-in panel to lock


  • Sometimes kits are missing hardware
  • Magnetic flap doesn’t always close tight

2. Best for Exterior Doors: Perfect Pet All Weather Energy Efficient Cat Door

Perfect Pet All-Weather Energy Efficient Door
Innovative Double Vinyl Flap design creates energy efficient air pocket for maximum insulation.
Lock Out slide to keep pets in or out.
Adjustable frame telescopes ¾-inch to 1 ¾-inch thickness.

If you’re looking for a cat door to handle some extreme weather, the Perfect Pet All Weather Energy Efficient cat door is a great choice. This cat door is made from foam molded plastic that is durable while it insulates.

It also has two vinyl flaps that help to keep the drafts and water out while creating an insulating air pocket. This makes it easy for your cat to go in and out but keeps the cold, hot, or wet weather outdoors.
Along with the Perfect Pet cat door’s weatherproofing, it also features a slide-in panel when you want to close it. This panel can go inside, outside, or both depending on how sturdy you want your lock to be. When put on the inside, it clicks into place so it can’t be opened from the outside.

This cat door is versatile enough to fit all exterior doors and wall kits to accommodate wider doors, or walls can be purchased separately. There are also four different sizes should your cat need to share this door with a canine companion.

In extremely cold climates, ice can build up on this door, making it so that it doesn’t seal. Also, strong gusts of wind can lift the flaps. However, this is more than likely true of any cat door. Just be sure to carefully install it so that it’s level to prevent the flaps from hanging crooked.


  • Dual flaps to seal out weather
  • Slide-in panel to lock
  • Accommodates all doors with optional wall kit


  • Can build up with ice so that the flaps don’t seal
  • Doesn’t completely block wind

3. Best for Interior Doors: The Kitty Pass Interior Cat Door

Kitty Pass Interior Cat Door Hidden Litter Box Pet Door
Smooth, Wide opening allows your cat to pass through SAFELY, without tails getting snagged or caught up.
Easily fits all standard (hollow and solid) interior doors with sizes, 1 1/4

If you’re looking to hide a litter box or just want to provide your cat with their own safe space behind a closed door, The Kitty Pass Interior Cat Door is the way to do it. This cat door fits on both solid and hollow interior doors, allowing your cat to easily sneak in without the whole world knowing when they’re doing their business.

When you’re looking to hide a litter box, the last thing you want is a flashy cat door. The Kitty Pass is paintable to blend in with the background, and it comes with cute little ears on one side and a tail on the other for some subtle humor. There are no unsightly screws, and it can handle a cat up to 21 pounds.

While this cat door does come with an installation template to cut the hole in the door, it’s still important to measure carefully to be sure it fits. The template may be too large for some of the doors. Since the size of the hole determines how well the door fits together, cutting a hole that is too large may cause the door to come apart. Measure carefully before cutting.


  • Cute and inconspicuous
  • Fits hollow and solid doors
  • For use in cats up to 21 pounds


  • Installation template may be too big
  • Door will not stay together if the hole is cut too big

4. Best for Sliding Doors: PetSafe One Piece Sliding Glass Door

PetSafe 1-Piece Sliding Glass Door for Dogs and Cats
Installs easily in 1 piece without having to cut the door.
Patio panel is available in 2 adjustable heights to fit in your existing sliding door track; adjustable up to 80 11/16 in or 96 in.
Built to withstand heavy use, the door has an aluminum frame and tempered glass.

For sliding glass doors, PetSafe makes this durable insert to quickly and non-permanently accommodate your cat’s outdoor desires. Made from aluminum and tempered glass, this cat door will hold up to repeated use while still allowing full function of your sliding door. It also has a latch on the side so that you can still secure your sliding door.

This panel slides into the track of any sliding door using heavy-duty springs to hold it in place. That means no cutting or drilling is required, and it easily comes out should you need it to. This panel is also adjustable to fit all sliding door frames and comes in different flap sizes for a comfortable fit for your cat and all of their furry friends.

When purchasing this product, you might want to also invest in some weatherstripping to help seal both the panel and the sliding door. Since this panel prevents the sliding door from closing normally, some airflow may be going through it.


  • Fits easily into all sliding door frames
  • Allows full function of sliding door
  • Different sizes accommodate all pets


  • May cause some air to pass through
  • More expensive

5. Best Budget Option: CEESC Magnetic Pet Door with 4-Way Lock

CEESC Cat Doors, Magnetic Pet Door with 4 - Way Rotary Lock for Cats
Convenient knob-style switch, you could easily control your cat or other cats in or out options: in only, out only, in and out freely, totally locked.
Easy to install with step-by-step installation instructions.
It fits to being installed to interior doors, exterior doors, walls, windows, cupboards, glass, etc.

Here’s a cat door that can be installed in exterior or interior doors and walls. It has a weatherstrip brush to help reduce noise and prevent moisture and insects from sneaking through. The weatherstrip can be easily removed and replaced as needed.

Along with some weatherproofing for outdoor use, this door also features a 4-way lock. This allows you to close off access completely, leave it free-swinging, or allow it only to be opened from either the inside or outside. This provides a lot of variations of access for your feline friend.

This cat door from CEESC is an easy install type, with labeled screws and an adjustable tunnel depth to accommodate any thickness of wall or door. This cat door will work for most average-sized felines, but if your cat is on the larger size, CEESC makes a large and extra-large version as well.

This 4-way locking system may not stand up to a determined cat. So, if your cat doesn’t like being told where they can and can’t be, they may be able to get through this cat door even when it is locked.


  • 4-way lock system
  • Removable weatherstripping for added weatherproofing
  • Comes in 3 sizes to accommodate all types of cats


  • Won’t keep out determined cats
  • Does require a hole to be cut

Best Cat Doors Buying Guide

A white and black cat going outside through a small cat door installed on a brown door.

The most commonly used place for a cat door is an exterior wall or door to allow your kitty some outside time by their choosing. Other uses include allowing their litter box and other feline necessities to be stored out of sight (and smell!) behind a closed door. They do all of this without you needing to open and close the door. So, if your cat likes going on outside adventures or needs easy access to their space without an open door, a cat door is for you. So, what’s important to consider when looking for a cat door? Let’s find out.

What to Look for in a Cat Door

A white and light tan can passing through a small cat door installed on a glass door.

There are many different options for cat doors, and the one you choose will depend on your preferences and needs.

  • Where to Set It Up: Some doors are meant to allow your cat access to the outside. These can be placed on exterior doors, windows, or walls. These are usually more heavy-duty and should have a locking mechanism. Other cat doors are meant for inside use and can be installed on interior doors and walls.
  • Size: Cat doors come in different sizes, so you’ll want to choose one that your cat can easily get through. However, you don’t want something so big it will let unwanted visitors in as well. If you have a dog, consider one that will accommodate both of your pets.
  • Security: For exterior cat doors, make sure you choose one that can be locked. This will help keep other animals out, keep your cat in when you need to, and secure your home at night or when you’re away. Along with that, some doors provide 4-way security. This means they can be locked, opened, or locked to incoming animals or outgoing animals.
  • Installation: Some cat doors require cutting holes in walls or doors, so these might not be the best option if you’re renting. Others install in window screens or sliding doors. Some will require more labor than others, so it’s essential to keep your skill level and situation in mind when selecting the best cat door.
  • Durability: Different cat doors are made with different materials. Some may have a vinyl flap, while others have a screen. Some may snap into place while others require screws. Read reviews and choose a door that will stand up to repeated use from all pets in your home so that you’re not left with an unusable cat door.
  • Other Options: There are automatic cat doors that can open when your cat approaches wearing a special collar, cat doors shaped like a cat including cute ears, cat doors with self-groomers, and cat doors for cold climates. These unique features will allow you to customize your cat door to be aesthetically pleasing as well as fully functional.

How to Install a Cat Door

The installation of a cat door will depend on the type of door you choose and where you want to put it. Let’s look at the different types.

  • For Doors: These cat doors are made to be installed in either inside or outside doors. You will need to cut a hole in the door.
  • For Walls: Cat doors can also be installed in walls, both internal walls to allow more hidden access to a litter box or external walls so that your feline friend can get outside when they want to. Pay attention to the thickness of the wall. While most cat doors meant for walls have a telescoping tunnel to accommodate most wall thicknesses, but some do not.
  • For Windows: This type of cat door may provide access by cutting a hole in your window screen. They come as a side-slide or sash-style that allows your cat access with a door and a solid panel to cover the rest of the window opening.
  • For Sliding Doors: These are similar to window-style cat doors, except they are sized for sliding doors. They include a cat door on a solid panel that fits into the existing sliding door track.

If the cat door you choose requires a hole to be cut out of a door or wall, they will often include a template to help take the guesswork out of it. Be sure to read the instructions first to make sure the cat door you chose works with the type of door or wall in your home. Installation may require some special tools that you may not have on hand, so be sure to check that before you get started.

Final Thoughts

Cat doors are a great way to allow your kitty to explore the outside world or hide their litter box away without you having a full-time job of opening and closing doors. There are many styles of cat doors available to fit whatever situation or space that you may have to provide your cat an exit to the outside safely.

Can Cats Eat Spinach? What Will It do to them?

A wooden bowl full of spinach leaves that is on top of a wooden surface. There are also spinach leaves around the bowl on the table.

Spinach is a common food found on healthy eaters’ plates, but does it have a place in your cat’s food bowl? Spinach isn’t toxic to our feline friends and can provide many health benefits. However, spinach isn’t food meant for every cat and should be given with caution to cats with specific health concerns.

What are Possible Issues With Feeding Cats Spinach?

With all of the positive nutrition that spinach can provide to cats, it’s hard to think that there may be a downside. The truth is, spinach can be very detrimental to cats with urinary tract issues

The main problem with feeding spinach to cats with previous urinary tract complications is that spinach contains calcium oxalate, one of the main culprits behind certain types of urinary stones formed in the feline bladder. The treatment for these stones is almost always surgery. If left untreated, they can lead to chronic urinary irritation and frequent bladder infections.

Another issue with cats eating spinach is getting too much fiber. Fiber can effectively relieve and prevent constipation, but too much of it can lead to diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.

How to Feed Your Cat Spinach

Unless your cat has a history of urinary tract issues, the occasional spinach treat will be alright. Also, don’t worry if your cat raids your salad plate and grabs a few tasty leaves. Giving small amounts of spinach is okay for the short term.

What you don’t want to do is try to make spinach a large part of your cat’s regular diet. After all, a cat’s digestive tract is perfectly honed to digest a high protein, primarily meat diet. It’s simply not made to digest a lot of greenery. With this in mind, keep the spinach content to under 10% of their daily food or only give it as an every-once-in-awhile treat to tide them over until the next meal.

Feeding spinach in larger amounts for the long-term is where cats can run into issues. If your kitty has previously had kidney or urinary tract problems, it’s best to steer clear of spinach. Also, if your cat is enjoying their senior years, spinach might not be the best option. That being said, the amounts of spinach present in commercial cat foods differ, and your cat may or may not be able to handle it there. Ask your veterinarian if you are concerned about spinach in your cat food.

What Are the Benefits of Spinach for Cats?

Spinach is a nutrition-packed superfood for humans, and in cats, it’s no different. Many commercial cat foods use spinach to provide necessary nutrients to hungry kitties. Some of those nutrients include:

  • Vitamins and Minerals: Spinach is packed with vitamins A, E, C, and K, as well as many of the B vitamins. It also provides magnesium, calcium, and potassium, things your kitty uses every day.
  • Fiber: The fiber content in spinach can help keep your cat’s digestive system in check. Fiber is important in preventing constipation and helping your cat feel full in between meals. However, large quantities of spinach can turn your cat’s digestion the other way and cause diarrhea, but this usually only happens in amounts that your cat won’t willingly eat.
  • Low Calories: With high fiber and water content, spinach doesn’t have much room left for calories. This becomes especially important in the majority of our domestic cats. They don’t need additional calories making spinach an excellent food choice.
  • Omega Fatty Acids: While not in the amount you would get from fish oil or flaxseed, spinach has enough omega fatty acids to help reduce inflammation and help promote a healthy hair coat and skin.
  • Others: On top of all of the above, spinach also contains lutein and zeaxanthin for healthy vision and nitrates to promote blood flow. This goes a long way in preventing heart disease. It has some anti-cancer properties and antioxidants to help prevent and repair cellular damage.

Final Thoughts

Spinach is known as a human superfood, and it can act that way for cats as well. Feeding your cat small amounts of spinach can provide a nutrient punch that will help combat many health issues. However, spinach should not be a regular food for cats with urinary tract issues or given in large enough amounts to cause digestive problems. Still in question as to whether or how much spinach your cat can have? Speak to your veterinarian.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios? Will it kill them?

A wooden bowl that is filled with shelled pistachios that is resting on a wooden serving tray. There is a wooden scoop in the bowl of pistachios and some loose pistachios scattered around the bowl and on the table.

As with most nuts, pistachios aren’t toxic to cats. But that doesn’t mean they should be a part of their regular diet. While they offer many health benefits to humans and are tasty to boot, they are NOT a great treat for your cat.

Why Your Cat Shouldn’t Have Pistachios

Pistachios shouldn’t be part of your cat’s regular diet. Too many pistachios can cause some real problems.

  • Digestive Upset: The high-fat content in pistachios, and other nuts, can send your cat’s digestive system for a loop. After eating pistachios, your cat may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Most of the time, these signs will only last for a day or two and require a little nursing care to get them feeling better. However, see your veterinarian if their digestive issues last longer than a couple of days or are severe.
  • Obstructions: Pistachios are the perfect size where some cats will try to eat them whole without chewing. Eating too many whole pistachios (with or without the shell) can lead to obstructions in the stomach or intestine. Most of the time, these obstructions will need to be removed with surgery.
  • Flavorings: You can rarely find pistachios that haven’t been flavored. Most of the time, they’re coated in salt, garlic, onion, or other seasonings. While these additional flavorings make them finger-licking good, they can be toxic to cats. Garlic and onion top the list of no-no’s for cats, and too much salt can also lead to severe problems.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios Found in Other Foods?

Pistachios are often included in other desserts and salads to boost their protein and flavor. Since they’re found in smaller quantities in these recipes, many cat parents may assume they’re safe. However, the pistachios are often not the problem here; it’s all the other ingredients.

Some common examples:

  • Pistachio Pudding: A main component of pudding is milk, and even though a saucer of milk is the iconic food for cats, it’s not favorable. Most cats are lactose intolerant. Not only that, but pudding contains a lot of sugar that can have messy digestive consequences for your kitty.
  • Pistachio Ice Cream: Like pudding, the milk and sugar in ice cream aren’t good for your kitty, let alone the pistachios.
  • Snack Bars, Granola, and Other Products: Again, the other ingredients in these products are as or more problematic than pistachios. Products that are high in sugar or fats will not do your cat any favors.

What Should I Do If My Cat Eats a Pistachio?

If your cat happens to eat a shelled pistachio here and there, it’s usually no big deal. Just monitor them for a couple of days for vomiting and diarrhea. 

However, if your cat gets into your stash and consumes several pistachios in one sitting, a veterinary visit may be in order. Eating high amounts of fat can lead to a potentially serious condition called pancreatitis that requires veterinary care. Also, severe digestive upset can require veterinary care.

Health Benefits of Pistachios for Humans

Pistachios are packed with healthy unsaturated fats. These fats are important for reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. They also contain minerals, potassium, and are high in fiber. On top of that, pistachios are a source of antioxidants and protein. They make great human snacks because they provide all of these nutrients and help keep you feeling full longer, preventing you from overeating.

You’re probably thinking, why wouldn’t pistachios make a great treat for your cat with all these health benefits? 

A cat’s digestive system just isn’t designed to digest things like nuts, whole grains, etc. They are made to eat meat. So, even though pistachios are packed with healthy nutrition, a cat can’t reap the benefits as well as humans can. Feeding a cat nuts, such as pistachios, can actually cause digestive upset.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a healthy snack for your feline friend, take a pass on the pistachios. While the occasional pistachio treat usually won’t hurt them, this isn’t a food you’ll want to give them for the long run. Instead, look for one of the many other healthy snack options out there for your cat.

Can Cats Eat Olives? What Will happen if they do?

A wooden spoon resting on a wooden surface. There are green and black olives in the spoon, with other olives, peppercorns, and a sprig of rosemary around the spoon.

Besides being a tasty topping for pizza or a salad, olives by themselves make a great snack for us humans. But should your feline friend be privy to this black or green fruit? Olives are not considered toxic to cats, but they’re not considered an everyday treat either. Should olives become a part of your cat’s diet? Read on to find out.

Possible Issues With Feeding Cats Olives

Besides not providing your kitty any real nutrients, eating olives in large amounts may be dangerous. 

Immature olives are green and either ripen to black or stay green. Sometimes olives may be harvested green and cured in a salt brine to remove the bitter taste. This adds a lot of sodium, making them a risk for cats with heart or kidney disease. Eating too much sodium can also lead to sodium toxicity, which can be severe if left untreated.

Olives are also high in fat. In humans, that fat is used to produce the very healthy dietary staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil. Olive oil carries many benefits, such as decreased inflammation, heart health, and anti-cancer properties. However, in cats, too much fat or oil can lead to an upset stomach.

Cats fed high amounts of olives may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps for a couple of days following consumption. If this is your cat’s first taste of olives, keep the amount small and monitor for these negative effects to help you decide if further olive snacking is in their future.

Along with those downsides to giving your cat olives, there is always the chance that they may choke. Olives happen to be the right size where a cat might consider eating them whole or with minimal chewing. And since they’re a fairly firm fruit, they may become lodged in the esophagus, creating discomfort and possibly even an emergency trip to the vet. Always supervise your kitty when eating olives and consider chopping them into more manageable pieces. 

How to Give Your Cat Olives

If you’ve decided to give olives to your cat, keep a few things in mind:

  1. First of all, always run it by your vet first. This will help ensure that your cat isn’t at risk for kidney or heart disease that might be further exacerbated by a high sodium snack like olives.
  2. Keep the portion size small. We’re talking less than one olive once or twice a week. This will not only reduce the amount of sodium that your kitty is eating, but it will also help ensure that they aren’t getting a fat overload that could send the digestive tract for a messy loop. On top of all that, giving less than one olive per treat session will cut the risk of choking down significantly since it will be a more bite-sized portion.
  3. Stick with plain olives. Even though the hole in olives left when removing the pit invites for stuffing with pepper, cream cheese, or hummus, it’s best to leave that out of your feline friend’s olive snacks. Seasonings like garlic and onion, found in some olive fillings are toxic to cats, and of course, they don’t need the extra fats and calories that these tasty additives contain.
  4. Always monitor your cat for adverse reactions after eating olives. This can be choking or digestive issues. If your kitty shows any problems after eating olives, it’s best to find a different treat the next time they come begging.

The Benefits of Olives for Cats

Olives are a stone fruit (fruits with a pit, or “stone” in the middle) like lychee, cherries, peaches, and mangos. All of these fruits are packed with health benefits for humans, including:

  • Antioxidants like vitamin E to boost the immune system and repair cellular damage
  • Iron, copper, and calcium
  • Oleic acid for anti-inflammatory effects, helps the heart, and may fight cancer and osteoporosis

However, cats don’t get many of these benefits from eating olives, other than a pleasing taste and even a little bit of a high. Olives, especially green ones, contain a similar compound to nepetalactone, the enticing oil found in catnip. This may make your kitty do their happy dance anytime you open a can of olives.

Final Thoughts

Whether due to the pleasing taste or the euphoric feeling, your cat may crave olives and beg for them anytime they’re available. However, olives shouldn’t be considered a main part of their diet and should only be given in minimal amounts infrequently. This is to prevent excessive sodium consumption, digestive upset, and even weight gain. Give your kitty olive treats only under supervision.

The Best Cheap Cat Food: Four Cat Food Picks Under $25

A Gray Scottish Fold cat eating cat food in an orange bowl on a table

We all want our feline friends to be strong, happy, and live long lives. One of the best ways to ensure this is with a high-quality, healthy diet. The problem is that sometimes those high-quality diets carry a price tag that is beyond our means. Fortunately, there are some cheaper cat food options available to us. I’ll cover the best four cat foods under $25 for a 16-pound bag so that you can nourish your cat without deflating your wallet.

1. Best Overall: Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend With Real Chicken or Salmon

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food
Real Salmon/Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient.
Contains no artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers.
100% Complete And Balanced Nutrition For Adult Cats.

This Purina ONE cat food is an excellent choice because the first ingredient is real chicken or salmon and no artificial flavors or preservatives. 

This provides a high-quality source of protein. It contains 34% protein and 13% fat. This will fuel your kitty through any activity, no matter how hyperactive or laid-back they are, without significantly contributing to obesity.

Purina ONE Tender Selects is also a veterinary formulated product that provides all essential nutrients, including omega fatty acids for a healthy haircoat and skin and taurine for heart health. It also features uniquely shaped kibble that promotes healthy, clean teeth and gums. There are also “bonus” pieces, where the name tender selects comes from, that are meatier, softer texture chunks.

As with any cat food, some cats won’t be interested. This could be due to a flavor or texture issue. Unfortunately for some cats, because this product from Purina ONE contains chicken, it can cause issues for cats with food allergies. However, there is also a salmon version flavor if chicken is a problem for your cat.


  • Real chicken/salmon as the first ingredient
  • Added omega fatty acids 
  • High protein content
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Can affect cats with food allergies related to chicken (for chicken recipe)

2. Runner Up: IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult Original With Chicken/Salmon

Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food (Chicken & Salmon Recipes)
100% complete and balanced nutrition with 0% fillers.
Real chicken or salmon is the #1 ingredient.
Maintains healthy digestion with natural fiber and prebiotics.

Another great option for those on a budget is IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult cat food made with chicken as the first ingredient. Real chicken, plus chicken by-product meal, contributes to this food’s 32% protein content. It’s a little higher in fat, at 15%, making it more ideal for active or younger kitties than the more sedentary types.

To round it out, IAM Proactive Health Healthy Adult also packs in omega fatty acids for a healthy haircoat and skin, prebiotics and fiber to balance the gut for healthy digestion. Fiber also contributes to a cat’s feeling of fullness after a meal, reducing the amount that they eat (and beg). Other varieties, including urinary tract health and indoor formula, are available if your kitty has other specific needs.

This product does contain chicken and corn, which could create issues for cats with digestive sensitivities or allergies (salmon recipe also is available). Some pet owners also have issues with their cats not liking the taste or texture. Quality control can also be an issue, especially with larger batches and depending on the supplier. Just be sure to always inspect your cat’s food before feeding it to them to make sure there is no mold or bugs.


  • Real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Fiber and prebiotics for healthy digestion
  • Omega fatty acids to improve haircoat and skin


  • Quality issues with some bags containing mold
  • Contains chicken and corn
  • Some cats don’t like it

3. Best for Active Cats: Kirkland Signature Chicken & Rice

Kirkland Signature Chicken and Rice Cat Food
Probiotics & prebiotics help support healthy digestive and immune systems.
Kibble size is optimized for your cat and helps keep their teeth clean.
Made using fresh chicken and is the #1 ingredient.

If your cat doesn’t have an “off” button, Kirkland Signature Chicken & Rice is for them. This less expensive food contains chicken and chicken meal as the first ingredients. It also contains 20% fat, which helps to fuel those “go-at-all-costs” kinds of cats. Along with that high fat, there is also an adequate 30% protein to help maintain muscle mass and tone. This food would also be a good choice for outdoor cats.

Human-grade, cultured probiotics are another key ingredient in this food from Kirkland Signature. Along with prebiotic fiber, probiotics help to create and maintain a healthy microbiome for optimal digestion. Your cat may also benefit from the added omega fatty acids and antioxidants for a healthy haircoat, skin, and immune system.

Switching to new cat foods can cause digestive upset in some cats. This food is no different. Some cats may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and smelly stools when switching to this food. That’s why it’s essential to gradually transition your cat to any new food to allow their digestive system time to acclimate. Also, some cats may just not like this food. Kirkland Signature is only available through Costco, which requires a membership for purchase. You can check out this product on their website here: Kirkland Signature Chicken & Rice


  • High in fat for active or outdoor cats
  • Real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion


  • May cause diarrhea and vomiting at first
  • Some cats don’t like it
  • Requires a Costco membership

4. Best Cheap Canned Food: Fancy Feast Creamy Delights

Purina Fancy Feast Adult Canned Wet Cat Food
100% complete and balanced for adult cats.
Easily digestible.
Comes in many recipes and flavors.

For a softer cat food variety to use as a mix-in, Fancy Feast Creamy Delights will give your kitty a protein boost along with a great taste, all at a low cost. This variety pack contains four different flavors to appease even picky tastebuds and to provide much-needed fluids. Meat and liver are the first ingredients to provide a high-protein meal.

There is also a variety of textures in this canned cat food. Some flavors provide a soft pate-style food, while the other is chunks of meat in gravy. All varieties are highly digestible and easily chewed for cats with sensitive stomachs or dental issues.

Since this is a variety pack with different flavors and textures, there is a chance that some cats won’t like all four flavors. However, that can be easily fixed by buying single flavors of Fancy Feast Creamy Delights. This product also contains a small amount of milk, which can be an issue for cats with allergies or lactose intolerance.


  • High protein
  • Easily digestible
  • Contains meat in the first two ingredients


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Contains milk
  • Won’t help clean teeth like dry kibble

Cheap Cat Food Buying Guide

A woman’s hand can be seen opening up a can of cat food while a grey cat with black stripes looks on.

There is a difference in the quality of cat foods out there on the market. Usually, that difference comes with a price variation, with higher-priced foods generally being considered better. That isn’t always the case, and that doesn’t mean that lower-priced cat foods can’t still work for your cat.

What is the Difference Between Expensive and Cheaper Cat Foods?

The difference in the price tag of cat food is generally based on the quality of the ingredients. Higher quality ingredients come with a higher price tag. Higher quality ingredients include whole meats, usually locally or regionally sourced, whole vegetables, and whole grains. Cheaper cat foods may also contain whole products, but most will also use by-products or meat meals as protein sources. While these ingredients are generally considered to provide inferior nutrition, that’s not always the case.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, is the regulating body for pet foods. They determine if pet food meets the nutritional requirements that animals need to survive. They also define what meat by-products and meat meals used in pet foods are. 

Contrary to popular belief, these are not the bits scraped off the floor at the end of processing. By-products and meals contain tissues other than muscle, such as organ meat and fats, that can provide quite a lot of nutrition. They don’t include hair, hooves, teeth, or feces. 

There is a difference in the quality of by-products and meals, but that doesn’t mean that they should be looked down on from a nutritional standpoint. And, let’s face it, cats in the wild eat these kinds of things all of the time.

Foods that are considered organic or “natural” also are typically higher priced. 

What to Look for in a Cheaper Cat Food

Cheaper cat food can still provide all of the necessary nutrients to help your cat thrive; you just need to know what to look for. With that in mind, compare labels across cat food brands that fit your budget. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Ingredients: The quality of the ingredients has a lot to do with the price of cat food. Look for products that contain whole ingredients, specifically meats and grains. Ingredients on a cat food label are listed by quantity, meaning that a food will contain more of those ingredients listed first, second, and so on. Check for a food containing meat, ideally as the first ingredient in kibble or as the first or second ingredient in canned. There is some controversy on the addition of grains to cat foods since cats are obligate carnivores and need to eat meat instead of carbohydrates. However, even cats in the wild consume some grains that help provide fiber, protein, and other important nutrients. So, if your cat isn’t allergic to grains, it’s okay if their cat food contains a small amount.
  2. AAFCO Approval: Again, AAFCO determines if a food is nutritionally adequate for healthy cats. So, make sure that the food you choose is AAFCO approved. This just helps ensure that a cat food isn’t significantly lacking anything significant.
  3. Guaranteed Analysis: This part of the cat food label breaks down the content of different nutrients into percentages. You’ll want to look for a food around 25-32% protein and anywhere from 8-15% fat depending on your cat’s activity level. Also, finding a cat food that is lower in phosphorus may have some benefit in preventing kidney disease down the road.
  4. Feeding Recommendations: Different cat foods are going to have different feeding recommendations. This means that you will need to feed more of some foods to provide the listed number of calories. This becomes important when comparing prices since some more expensive foods may require smaller amounts, making them last longer than cheaper foods. 
  5. Artificial Ingredients: You may notice that more expensive cat foods tend to be brown, while cheaper foods may come in a rainbow of colors. This is due to artificial colors, flavors, or other additives. 

Your cat doesn’t care what color their cat food is, and some of those artificial additives can be detrimental to your cat. Your best bet is to steer clear of any additional additives that your cat just doesn’t need, including color, flavor, and preservatives.

Even with this information, the process of choosing a less expensive cat food can still boggle the mind. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian. Your vet should be an important member of your cat’s life, including nutritional counseling, and most are more than happy to recommend their top picks for any price range.

Final Thoughts

The importance of nutrition for the health and longevity of cats is a hot and important topic that has fortunately led to the creation of a variety of quality cat foods for any budget. Just because you can’t afford the pricier brands doesn’t mean that your cat’s diet has to suffer. Hopefully, this guide will help you choose a quality cat food that your kitty will enjoy with a price tag that your wallet can handle.

The 5 Best Litter Box Air Fresheners

A woman covering her mouth and nose with her hand while sitting down on a sofa, with a cat next to her.

Our kitties provide us with many wonderful things, including love, affection, and companionship. But they also provide us with some not-so-wonderful things, mainly a smelly litter box. If you’re experiencing litter box funk no matter how many times you scoop, it may be time to try an air freshener for your litter box. This list covers five of the best litter box air fresheners for any living situation.  

1. Best Overall: Hamilton Beach TrueAir Plug Mount Odor Eliminator

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Plug Mount Odor Eliminator
Quiet fan pulls in air while the carbon filter neutralizes odors.
Uses a standard 110-volt outlet and is easy to use.
Filter replacement indictor let's you know when it's time to change the filer.

This air freshener takes a two-step approach to better smelling air around your litter box area. The first step is the built-in fan that draws smelly litter box odors into the unit, where they become trapped in a replaceable carbon filter. The next step is the release of clean, lightly scented air back into the room. The carbon filter lasts up to three months and is easily replaceable with inserts that can be purchased separately.

This air freshener from Hamilton Beach plugs into any standard wall outlet and can even come with a nightlight. The fresh scent that this air freshener releases is optional, so you can have cleaner smelling air without the artificial fragrance. 

Since this air freshener has a fan, it’s going to make some noise. This can be an issue depending on the size of the room that you put it in. Also, the scent packet doesn’t last as long as the filter, so if you want a little artificial smell on top of the filtering, you’ll need to replace it more often.


  • Removes odors, doesn’t just mask them
  • Plugs into any standard outlet
  • Optional nightlight
  • Replaceable filter that lasts up to three months


  • The fan does make some noise
  • Scent packet doesn’t last as long as the filter
  • Doesn’t work for very strong odors

2. Best for Allergies: LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Pet Hair

LEVOIT Air Purifier
America's #1 air purifier brand.
Super quiet operation while in sleep mode.
Improve air quality and helps you and your pet relieve allergic symptoms like sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose, and sinuses.
Comes with a lock button so your pets can't tamper with the settings.

If your kitty is causing more than just an odor problem in your home, the Levoit Air Purifier can help rid your home of the litter box smell and pet dander at the same time. This air purifier uses HEPA filtration to remove 99.97% of those harmful irritants from the air, including litter box odor. This provides a fresher smell for your home and healthier air to breathe.

On top of removing odor and pet dander, this air purifier also removes mold, smoke, and pollen. It is quiet enough to use in a bedroom and has a sleep timer should you need a more silent mode for nighttime. There is also a pet lock system in place to help keep your fur babies from pushing buttons and changing the modes. The small size makes it perfect for litter box areas, but it is capable of cleaning the air in a 219 square foot room.

This product is a little pricier than other air fresheners on this list. On top of the initial cost, filter replacements can be expensive too. It is also recommended that the filter be vacuumed at least every two weeks for the best results. 


  • Removes odors, pet dander, and other irritants
  • Quiet operation with extra quiet sleep mode
  • HEPA filtration can help reduce allergies


  • Costs more
  • Replacement filters are expensive
  • Needs to be cleaned at least every two weeks

3. Best Cat Litter Additive: NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer

NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer
A natural product that is safe for you and your pets.
Fragrance free and easy to apply.
Extends the life of your kitty litter.

The NonScents Cat Litter Deodorizer is a product that you sprinkle on top of your regular cat litter. From there, it neutralizes litter box odors at the source with no additional work from you. Odors will be locked in and thrown away with the litter when the litter box is cleaned. This product is safe and non-toxic to you or your kitty.

Not only will NonScents neutralize your litter box odors and leave your cat’s area smelling better, but it will also help extend the life of your cat litter. This will allow you to use less litter, save money, and reduce waste. This product has no fragrance, so you and your cat won’t be overpowered by a perfumy smell.

This is a dry, powdery product, so there is a possibility of respiratory issues if inhaled. Your best bet is to use the product and leave the room, allowing it time to settle. If possible, don’t let your kitty in the room for a few minutes as well. Even though it is a fragrance-free air freshener, some pet owners say it has a slightly chlorine-like smell, which is not over-powering but noticeable.


  • Neutralizes litter box odor, doesn’t mask it
  • Fragrance-free for sensitive noses
  • Extends the life of your cat litter


  • Very dusty and messy if you use a lot of it
  • Some people do notice a chlorine-like scent

4. Best Solid Air Freshener: Citrus Magic Pet Odor Absorbing Solid Air Freshener

Citrus Magic Pet Odor Absorbing Solid Air Freshener
Absorbs even the toughest pet odors using a unique formula with baking soda and powerful odor eliminator.
Convenient, continuous odor control.

Another option for cat litter box areas without access to an outlet is the Citrus Magic Pet Odor Absorbing Solid Air Freshener. This product can be placed in your litter box room and left to do its magic. It uses baking soda and other odor eliminators. Not only does this solid air freshener absorb unwanted litter box funk, but it also releases a light citrusy or linen scent. This scent isn’t masking litter box odor; rather, it should be seen as a bonus fragrance.

The Citrus Magic Pet Odor Absorbing Solid comes in different sizes to accommodate different types of areas. They also last for varying amounts of time. The smaller eight-ounce version lasts for up to six weeks, while the larger 20-ounce version can last up to 14 weeks. This means you can set one out and forget about litter box odor for over a month.

If you have a multi-cat household, you may need to look for something a little bit stronger.


  • Absorbs odors instead of masking them
  • Has a light citrus or linen scent
  • Easy to use and long-lasting


  • Doesn’t handle very strong odors
  • Citrus scent may be overpowering for more sensitive noses

5. Best Spray Air Freshener: Zero Odor Pet Odor Eliminator

Zero Odor Pet Odor Eliminator Spray
Non-toxic, non-allergenic, cruelty free and easy to apply.
Does not cover up or mask odors with a fragrance or perfume.
Works on clay and clumping litter.

The Zero Odor Pet Odor Eliminator is a great option for quick and easy litter box odor removal. This spray can be used on surfaces or sprayed into the air. Spray it directly on your clumping or non-clumping cat litter for quick odor neutralization. This spray traps odors and neutralizes them so that they no longer linger in your household.

Zero Odor doesn’t have any additional fragrances to mask the odor. However, it does have a tracer scent that lingers temporarily to help you know where you have sprayed. This product is also biodegradable, safe, and non-toxic to you and your cats. It also won’t irritate allergies or other respiratory sensitivities. Other products from Zero Odor can be used on laundry and other areas of the home as well.

This air freshener spray from Zero Odor is made to work with clumping and non-clumping clay litter. Other litters might not yield the same results. In fact, corn or other flushable litters didn’t show the same odor clearing results. Also, this product might not last very long. It neutralizes the odors in the air or on the surface but doesn’t linger to capture future odors.


  • Safe, non-toxic, hypoallergenic
  • Spray on any surface or in the air
  • Neutralizes odors instead of masking them


  • Doesn’t work as well with non-clay litters
  • No long-lasting effect

Best Litter Box Air Fresheners Buying Guide

A hand is seen holding a spray bottle of air freshener. The mist of the air freshener coming from the bottle can been seen in the air.

Even though you love your feline friend, their litter box odor can sometimes wear out their welcome in your home. When scooping and cleaning aren’t enough, you may want to look into getting an air freshener for your litter box. Here’s what you need to know.

What to Look for in Air Fresheners for Litter Boxes

Getting the right air freshener for your litter box isn’t as easy as picking out a pleasing scent. Instead, there are many different attributes to take into consideration.

  • Type of Air Freshener: Some air fresheners simply cover up odors rather than get rid of them. If that’s ok with you, then look into a scented plug-in or spray with a scent that you like and use when needed. However, if you’d rather neutralize odors, you’re going to need something a little stronger. There are air fresheners out there that use a filtration system to remove odors and others that use chemicals or products, such as baking soda, to absorb or neutralize odors. Some air fresheners will need an outlet, some will need replacement filters, and some will need to be reapplied often. 
  • Ability: As with anything else, not all air fresheners for litter boxes are created equal. Some do a better job than others at getting rid of litter box smells. Your best bet is to look for products that contain carbon filters or baking soda to get rid of odors. Chlorine is also an option if you don’t mind the smell.
  • Fragrance: If you want your litter box to carry more of a pleasant scent, rather than no scent at all, look into an air freshener with some fragrance. However, it’s important to remember that your kitty may be put off by strong smells in their space, making them not want to use their litter box at all. Your best bet is to go with a subtle fragrance rather than an overpowering, perfumy one.
  • Safety: Of course, you don’t want to get a product that isn’t safe for you or your cat. One way of doing this is by getting a product that is specifically designed for litter boxes. The other way is by reading the labels for any safety warnings.
  • Duration: There isn’t an air freshener for litter boxes out there that lasts forever. Every product is going to have a life span. Finding a long-acting air freshener will ensure that your cat’s litter box odors are kept at bay for longer so that you won’t feel like you have a part-time job changing it.
  • Multi-Purpose: You may choose to get an air freshener that does more than just combat litter box odor. If that’s the case, many on the market also double as cleaning agents or air filters and can be used around the house to control other odors as well. 

Just be sure to think about your specific litter box situation when purchasing an air freshener. If it’s tucked away in a confined space, a smaller freshener may be better. If it’s out in the open, you’ll need something that can handle larger areas. Also, consider your access to an outlet if you’re looking for something that needs power. Finally, consider your kitty’s needs. If they are sensitive to smells or sounds, you’ll want to find something more inconspicuous. 

More Tips to Keep Litter Box Odor Down

Reducing the smell of the litter box in your house is going to take multiple actions. Air fresheners often aren’t enough to effectively keep things smelling fresh.

  • Scoop Often: If you have the time, scoop after every visit your cat makes to the litter box. Since that often isn’t feasible, scoop at least once a day, preferably twice, to keep all noses happy.
  • Wash the Box: Changing the litter isn’t enough. To effectively remove litter box odor, you’ll need to wash the litter box with soap and water at least once a month.
  • Enough Litter Boxes:  The general rule is that you have one more litter box than you have cats. That means for four cats, you would want five litter boxes. This helps decrease competition and helps cut down the messiness that each box experiences.
  • Air it Out: Keeping your litter box in a tight space may help hide it from view, but it can also increase the smell. A well-ventilated area is better to help air out those odors.

Final Thoughts

If your cat’s litter box odor is starting to come between the two of you, it may be time to get a litter box air freshener. Whichever one you choose, make sure that it is safe to use around your cat. After that, you can choose one based on your personal preferences and litter box needs.

Can Cats Eat Ketchup? Will It Hurt Them?

A white ramekin on a brown cutting board filled with ketchup is in the middle of the image (with a leaf of parsley on the top of the ketchup) with tomatoes, salt grains, pink peppercorns, and parsley leaves around it.

Ketchup may be an all-American human food that we love to douse our hamburgers in or slop over our french fries. Some people may even eat ketchup at every meal. Even though ketchup is a popular condiment for us, it should not be a part of your cat’s diet. While ketchup isn’t necessarily toxic to cats, it’s not healthy for them either. 

Can Cats Eat Ketchup?

Ketchup provides no positive nutritional value to your cat’s diet. But that doesn’t mean that it does nothing for your cat. Ketchup can be quite harmful to them if consumed in high enough amounts.

  • High Sugar: Believe it or not, ketchup is high in sugar. Cup for cup, ketchup contains more sugar than vanilla ice cream! Giving your cat a lot of sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes that are not only difficult to treat but can also be life-threatening.
  • High Salt: Ketchup also has more than its fair share of salt. While small amounts of salt are usually no big deal, lots of salt can lead to heart and blood pressure issues long-term and salt toxicity short-term. Cats that eat an overload of salt may have vomiting and diarrhea, a decreased appetite, tremors, or seizures.
  • Garlic and Onion: These ingredients may give ketchup a tasty touch, but they are very toxic to our kitties. Both onion and garlic seasoning can lead to a blood disorder called Heinz body anemia which can potentially be very serious.
  • High in Calories: This goes along with high sugar content, but it’s still important to reiterate. Ketchup contains plenty of empty calories, meaning calories that don’t provide any other nutritional benefit. This means that giving your cat ketchup can put them on the fast track to obesity and all of the complications that come with it.

What Happens if My Cat Eats Ketchup?

A lick of ketchup here and there shouldn’t affect your cat much. So don’t worry if your feline friend sneaks a bit off of your burger wrapper or plate. The real trouble comes if your cat decides to gorge itself on ketchup behind your back. 

If that’s the case, carefully monitor your kitty for signs of stomach irritation, most commonly vomiting and diarrhea. Most of the time, these signs will resolve on their own in a couple of days, but if your cat is having trouble for longer than that or their symptoms are severe enough to cause dehydration, tremors, or seizures, see your veterinarian immediately.

Most of the time, cats won’t want more than a taste or two of ketchup, but if you happen to have a ketchup addict on your hand, be sure to keep any ketchup containing foods out of your cat’s reach and remember to lock up the garbage to prevent them from getting at the fast-food wrappers.

Are There any Health Benefits to Ketchup?

Tomatoes are the main ingredient in ketchup, and they pack an antioxidant and fiber punch. However, ketchup tends to be lacking in those nutrients due to its highly processed nature. Ketchup is mostly empty calories with no nutritional value other than providing a tasty pep for most of our fast foods.

Final Thoughts

Ketchup is a tasty condiment that most humans can’t live without. However, it has no place in your cat’s diet. More than a couple of licks of ketchup may be quite detrimental to your cat by potentially leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or digestive upset.