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.
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.
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.