Food & Nutrition

Can Cats Eat Hotdogs? Are they harmful?

A grey cat with black stripes sitting upright in a small chair, with a food tray in front of it. On the tray is a hotdog in a bun with ketchup, cucumbers, and lettuce. The cat it touch it with his left paw.

Hotdogs should not make up a large part of your cat’s diet, and it’s not just because of their name. Even though hotdogs are made of meat and cats are obligate carnivores, the types of meat and other ingredients that make up hotdogs aren’t suitable and can even be harmful to your feline friend. 

Let’s find out why.

Are Hotdogs Healthy For Cats to Eat?

A grey, white cat with black stripes biting a sausage that is being held by someone's hand.

If you’ve never looked at the ingredient list of hotdogs, you might want to (then again, maybe it’s better if you don’t). Yes, they contain meat but very low-quality cuts as well as some by-products. 

We’re not talking toenails and beaks or anything, but not the high-quality cuts that we normally like to see on our plates or in your cat’s dish. So, while meat equals protein, the meats used in hotdog production provide low-quality protein.

Not only is the meat in hotdogs low quality, but it’s also highly processed. Highly processed foods can be hard on your cat’s digestive system. In the wild, cats eat the exact opposite of processed meat. Natural, non-processed foods are what their digestive tract is meant to use most efficiently. Processing meat, which means grinding, cooking, mixing with seasonings, and packaging, can make it less available for your cat’s digestive system to use.

Other ingredients in hotdogs can also be harmful to your cat.  Some of the additional products in hotdogs can even be dangerous, especially at high amounts.

Ingredients in Hotdogs that are Harmful to Your Cat

A line of hotdogs in a bun (6) placed next to each other. Each hot dog has a different topping that ranges from pickles, ketchup, corn, vegetables to other types of condiments (yellow and white).

1. Fat

It should come as no surprise that hotdogs are high in fat. That’s part of what gives them their unique texture. High amounts of fat can cause a cat (and human too!) to gain weight. Obesity isn’t just a human issue; it greatly affects our pets as well. High amounts of fat can also cause digestive upset, like vomiting and diarrhea, that usually go away within a day or two, but can also lead to a more serious issue called pancreatitis.

2. Sodium

Salt is used as a preservative and seasoning in hotdogs. In cats, too much salt can quickly and easily lead to dehydration and even salt poisoning if eaten in high amounts. Cats’ bodies just aren’t adapted to handling salt digestion because they’ve never encountered it in their natural diet.

3. Nitrates and Nitrites

Hotdogs contain a lot of preservatives. That’s what makes their shelf life so long and gives you the ability to eat some of them without cooking. 

However, some of those chemical preservatives can be detrimental to your cat. Eating too many nitrates can cause a condition called methemoglobinemia, which decreases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

4. Other Seasonings

Avoid hotdogs that contain garlic or onion seasonings for flavor. These spices are toxic to cats. Toppings, such as onion, relish, and ketchup, can also do some harm as they can be high in sugars or other harmful ingredients.

All of this isn’t to say that the occasional hotdog bite will hurt your kitty; they just shouldn’t be given regularly or in large amounts. 

Some cat parents use hotdogs as a pill hider to try to get medications into those discriminatory animals. However, cats are usually too picky to fall for this trick, so don’t count on hotdogs to help you with this one. Save the hotdogs for very special occasions to avoid potential complications. However, it would be best to avoid giving your cat hotdogs altogether.  

Can Cats Eat Other Types of Sausages?

A few different types of sausages, which are sliced and neatly displayed on a board with green herbs and peppercorns.

There are many types of sausages out there, including some with minimal processing and even higher quality meats. While that may seem more appealing to share with your feline friend, the real issue you have to address is the added ingredients. 

Those sausages may still contain those scary spices, like garlic, onion, and salt, as well as chemical preservatives. They may also contain spices or ingredients that are safe for your cat to eat, but that can still cause irritation to their digestive system.

Most other sausages will probably be high in fat too. This makes obesity and pancreatitis a real concern when feeding your cat any types of sausages. Some sausages will even contain cheese, a yummy addition that ups that fat content all the more.

Final Thoughts

Feeding your kitty hotdogs, especially frequently or in large amounts, has the potential to cause some serious issues. There are many better alternatives out there if you’re looking to treat your cat or share a little human comfort food with them. Rather than hotdogs, share unprocessed lean meats or safe fruits and vegetables. 

Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers?

A green, yellow, and red bell pepper in a row displayed on top of a greyish wooden surface.

While it shouldn’t be your cat’s go-to snack, they can enjoy the occasional piece of bell pepper. With their satisfying crunch and dense nutritional content, bell peppers can help boost your kitty’s immune system and provide many other health benefits. Just be sure to give your cats bell peppers in moderation.

What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Bell Peppers for Cats?

Thin slices of yellow, red, and green bell peppers stacked on top of each other.

Bell peppers are packed with nutrition that can make a great addition to any cat diet. They can help support the immune system, vision, the heart, red blood cell production, and overall health.

1. Water

There’s plenty of water in bell peppers (about 92% water), which helps promote hydration and provides fluid that is essential for nearly every bodily function.

2. Fiber

Besides water, bell peppers are high in healthy fiber to help keep the digestive system in check and promote regularity.

3. Vitamins

Bell peppers contain a wide array of healthy vitamins, including vitamin C and vitamin E, powerful antioxidants that help support the immune system and prevent and treat cellular damage. They also contain beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision. Vitamin K is included in there for proper blood clotting functions and bone health. Bell peppers are also sources of many B vitamins, including folate and B6, which are essential for many bodily functions, including red blood production and nervous system development.

4. Minerals

Potassium is the main mineral in bell peppers and is important for heart health and fluid balance in the body. Iron is also found in bell peppers and is vital for proper red blood cell function.

5. Antioxidants

We already named a few, but besides vitamin C and E, bell peppers also contain the antioxidants capsanthin, violaxanthin, lutein, quercetin, and luteolin of which are important for immune system health and prevention of oxidative cellular damage.

Along with all of these beneficial nutrients, bell peppers are low in calories and fat, another great bonus for kitties battling the bulge. 

What Are the Differences Between the Different Colors of Bell Peppers?

A bunch of green, yellow, and red bell peppers stacked neatly next to each other.

You’re no doubt familiar with green bell peppers and possibly even red, orange, and yellow varieties, but is there any difference in these colorful vegetables? 

Nutritionally there is. Bell peppers come in red, orange, yellow, and even purple varieties. Green bell peppers are simply the unripe version of all of these different colors. If left on the vine, green bell peppers will ripen into red, yellow, orange, or whatever color the mature version of their variety is. 

Green bell peppers are often picked before they mature because they have a bitter, rather than sweet, flavor that some people prefer for cooking or snacking. Ripe versions of bell peppers tend to be sweeter. Green bell peppers also have a longer shelf life and are less expensive.

Is There a Nutritional Difference Between the Colors of Bell Peppers For Cats?

Two of each color of bell peppers (red, yellow, and green) arranged neatly around a clipboard with a blank piece of white paper clipped to it. The background (surface) is grey.

Since green peppers are the immature, or unripe, versions of different bell peppers, they also tend to be the less nutrient-dense. The longer bell peppers stay on the vine, the more nutrients it provides. Green peppers tend to have fewer vitamins and antioxidants. However, they also have less sugars, making them a better choice snack for weight loss or diabetic kitties.

Yellow and orange bell peppers have about equal amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while red bell peppers tend to be the most nutrient-packed. They contain almost 11 times as much beta-carotene as green bell peppers and substantially more vitamin C. 

How to Feed Your Cat Bell Peppers

A grey and white cat with black strips on top of a table top, putting it's mouth into a silver food bowl.

The easiest way of sharing bell peppers with your cat is by offering small chunks of raw pepper to them. Ensure the chunks are small enough that choking isn’t a worry, and don’t give more than a couple of pieces at a time. Too much fiber can cause digestive upset. Also, the higher sugar content found in ripe versions of bell peppers may cause digestive problems if given in high quantities.

You may choose to cook bell peppers for a softer snack for your feline friend. If you cook peppers, steaming or roasting is the best way since it doesn’t add any additional oils or fats to the vegetable. 

Be sure to serve them plain, without any additional seasonings, as high amounts of salt can be detrimental, and garlic and onion are toxic to cats. Again, keep the amount fed small to avoid digestive upset or risk filling your cat up to the point that they don’t get the protein and other nutrients they need from their regular diet.

Final Thoughts

Bell peppers can be a great “once-in-awhile” snack to share with your kitty. They contain many beneficial nutrients and are low in calories. There is some variation in the nutritional load between the varieties and ripeness of bell peppers, so choose accordingly and have fun mixing and matching this colorful treat.

Can Cats Eat Bacon? Is it safe?

A grey pot lined with cloth or oven paper, filled with cooked bacon standing up vertically.

Technically, yes, cats can eat bacon, but is it the best breakfast time treat? Maybe not. While it’s hard for us to resist the tantalizing aroma of bacon cooking first thing in the morning, it’s in your cat’s best interest to keep bacon as an “every once in a while” kind of food and even then, only in small amounts. Let’s look at why.

Giving Bacon To Cats: The Good News

A grey, white cat with black stripes is reaching on top of a table to take a bite out of a big piece of cooked meat on a wooden cutting board that is on top of a table.

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that in the wild, they only eat meat. They require higher amounts of protein than our other pet species, so it would make sense that bacon would be right up their alley. And in that matter of speaking, it is. It provides the protein that cats crave and a blend of fats that can be beneficial if kept in small enough quantities.

On the plus side for you, bacon is a fairly inexpensive, easy to make meat that also provides humans with necessary protein and fats, and let’s face it, it tastes pretty good too. So, why can’t we share our bacon with our kitty?

Giving Bacon To Cats: The Bad News

A brown, wooden cutting board with slices of raw bacon on it, along with a knife with a wooden handle and a piece of parsley on it. A white and red towel, wooden salt and pepper shakers can be seen off to the side.

There’s more to bacon than a mouthwatering smell and high protein content. A few not-so-good things are part of the curing process that you need to watch out for in your cat’s diet. 

1. Salt

The first “no-no” item is salt. Just like humans, too much salt can lead to complications in your cat’s health, mainly high blood pressure, dehydration, and weight gain. 

If your cat is eating a good quality commercial cat food, all of their sodium requirements will be met. Any additional sodium outside of their cat food can be detrimental.

2. Fat

The second thing to worry about when feeding your cat bacon is the fat content. While the amount of fat in bacon increases the flavor, it also can increase your cat’s waistline and their likelihood of getting certain and serious diseases. 

Feeding high amounts of fat at one time or feeding high-fat foods continuously can make your cat more prone to pancreatitis and diabetes. Even small fat doses can cause vomiting and diarrhea that make for one sick kitty or at least a nasty mess to clean up.

3. Bacteria

If you go for uncured bacon, you may be sparing your kitty some of the excess salt but could still be subjecting them to bacterial infections, like Salmonella or E. coli. You should never feed raw meat to your cat and always practice safe handling practices when cooking raw pork products.

4. Other Seasonings

You may also have to watch out for any seasonings put on the bacon. Tasty things like onion and garlic salt can be toxic to cats, so opt for a plain version if you’re looking to share.

How Much Bacon Can Cats Eat?

A light grey, white cat with black strips is pawing at some food on a white plate (some sort of meat, possibly sausage). A fork can be see on the right of the image, and a knife on the left. The background is of a cushioned booth style of seat.

Some cat parents may decide never to feed their kitty bacon or to stop feeding it to them cold turkey, but for those of you that can’t bare those sad eyes as you consume your morning meal, here are some guidelines: 

Bacon should be considered a treat for cats, not a dietary staple. Limit the amount of bacon that you give your cat to less than one strip every couple of weeks. Or you may choose to give them a bite or a nibble every weekend. This goes for all processed meats, including ham, lunchmeat, and hot dogs. Keep the quantities small and the frequency low. 

Always monitor your cat for signs of digestive upset following a bacon treat. Any vomiting or diarrhea that doesn’t resolve within 24 hours should be seen by a veterinarian. Any weight gain, increased urination and thirst, or abdominal pain should also warrant a trip to the clinic.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to deprive your cat of the joys of eating bacon, rather keep it as a special treat. As long as you share bacon in small amounts every once in a while, most kitties can appreciate this mouthwatering meat.

Can Cats Eat Mint or Mint Products?

A white, light greyish cat with black strips is on a white wooden surface and is sniffing at mint in a glass bottle. There are white curtains in the background.

There are many varieties of mint, including catnip and catmint. While these are safe options for your kitty, garden mint – the one we cultivate for our own uses – is not safe. Even though there’s nothing like the freshness you get from a stick of minty gum, you should NOT give mint to your cat. You’ll also want to keep your mint plants out of reach of curious teeth and tongues.

Are All Types of Mint Bad for Cats?

A white, grey cat with light brown patches is licking a plant (possibly catmint) outside in a yard next to a wooden fence.

Mint encompasses a large family of herbs, with some that are grown for flavoring, essential oils, aromatherapy, and even insecticides. Some types of mint are even grown for your cat’s enjoyment. 

With many varieties available, it’s important to know which ones are in your home or garden to keep your feline friend safe. Mint plants have oval-shaped leaves that are wrinkly appearing and flowers that cluster together on a stalk. These flowers can be white or varying shades of lavender, depending on the species. Most of the time, mint grows low to the ground, but sometimes it can reach up to three feet high in the wild.

Catmint and catnip are members of the mint family that are cat friendly. Not only are they non-toxic, but cats will also seek them out. 

However, garden mint, the most commonly grown type of mint, is toxic to cats.

Why is Mint Toxic to Cats?

A patch of mint plant leaves. Someone is cupping both of their hands above plant on the right side, which is hold a few mint leaves.

What makes mint unsafe for your cat to eat is the same thing that makes it desirable to some humans. It contains essential oils that can cause irritation to the stomach leading to vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, they can also contribute to the relaxation of the esophageal valve (the doorway to the stomach if you will), which can increase the severity of vomiting.

Certain mint species, mainly pennyroyal, can cause more severe and lasting effects, including liver damage.

The types of essential oils present in catmint and catnip don’t seem to cause as much irritation when ingested by cats, and therefore, is a safe option for them.

What are the Signs of Mint Toxicity in Cats?

A yellow/orange cat with white patches is looking off to the side with a funny face. Next to the cat is a green pot with mint plants growing in it. There is a window with white blinds in the background.

Fortunately, mint toxicity is rare in cats. This is mainly because a kitty would need to eat a great deal of it to do any harm. There is also no guarantee that mint will affect each cat in the same way. Some may have trouble with just a few bites, while others may be fine nibbling away at what seems like the entire plant. Just in case your cat is a frequent mint grazer, here are the signs to watch out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weakness

In more severe cases:

  • Dehydration
  • Jaundice

Mint toxicity can occur after ingestion of wild or cultivated mint, indoors or out.

What To Do If Your Cat Has Mint Toxicity

A white, grey cat with black stripes on a table being examined with a stethoscope by a woman wearing blue scrubs and gloves from behind.

Most of the time, when a cat eats mint, no treatment is required. Mild cases of vomiting and diarrhea will usually clear up on their own within a day or two. However, in cases of severe reactions, veterinary assistance may be required. 

If large amounts of mint or a high-toxicity species, like pennyroyal, are eaten, your veterinarian may induce vomiting, if within a couple of hours of ingestion. Or they may decide to go the route of gastric lavage to empty the stomach of its offending contents. Kitties will be provided with supportive care, such as fluids, anti-vomit, and anti-diarrheal medications.

Mint essential oils should not be used on your cat for any reason unless prescribed by a veterinarian. The chance of them licking the oils off their skin is usually not worth the benefit they may provide.

Can Cats Have Mint Flavored Foods?

A close-up shot of green mint leaves with two pieces of white, rectangular pieces of gum on top (on the left).

Whether or not your cat has access to mint plants, the idea of sharing a mint-flavored treat with them may have crossed your mind. After all, mint is refreshing, cooling, and tastes great, but your cat should still not partake. 

Not only do you have to worry about the essential oils found in mint, but you also have to worry about other ingredients that could be harmful. The sweetener xylitol tops the list as it is very toxic to animals and can be found in many products, including gum and candies. It’s also important to remember that cats can’t taste sweet, so chances are they’ll appreciate the gesture more than the actual treats.

Final Thoughts

For most of us, our feline friends are considered part of the family, and we want to share the things we love with them. While sharing is caring, it’s always more important to keep your kitty safe. Having mint plants, mint extract, or mint essential oils around should be treated with precaution to ensure that your cat doesn’t come in contact with them. If you would still like to plant some cat-friendly herbs, look into catnip or catmint as an alternative to garden mint and other varieties.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

A close-up of pieces of chocolate on a wood table, with cinnamon sticks, a clove, and a cacao pod.

No, cats cannot each chocolate.

Chocolate contains a couple of compounds that are toxic to kitties. This time of year, with Halloween and the holidays right around the corner, while even the healthiest eaters among us may indulge in a chocolate treat, it’s best to spoil your cat in other ways. With a cat’s small body size, tiny doses can be toxic depending on the type of chocolate consumed.

What Makes Chocolate Toxic to Cats?

A two-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on a light brown table, with letter candles on the top that spells the word "BAD."

Chocolate is packed full of tasty components that make many people crave it. Some of those components are also what make it a no-no for cats. The main culprits are caffeine and theobromine. These are known as methylxanthine alkaloids, which disrupt the normal function of the cardiovascular and nervous system. They can also upset the digestive tract. 

Theobromine is in higher concentration in baking chocolate and cocoa powder with milk and white chocolate containing lower concentrations. But that doesn’t mean that these types of chocolate are considered safe. Whether it’s a baked confectionary or a chocolate candy bar, any form of chocolate should be labeled as dangerous for your kitty.

What Are the Signs of Chocolate Toxicity in Cats?

A white and grey cat lying in front of a window on a wooden surface, looking tired.

Cats are far less likely to eat chocolate than dogs. This is most likely because they are more discriminate about what they eat, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Like dogs, cats typically experience digestive upset as the first sign that they ate chocolate. 

For most kitties, that means vomiting and diarrhea within a couple hours of ingestion. After that, they may appear restless, drink more, and urinate more. They may pant, shake, or even go into seizures or a coma. When larger amounts of chocolate are ingested, death may occur within 12-36 hours after ingestion if left untreated.

What Should I Do If My Cat Ingested Chocolate?

A grey, white, and light brown colored cat on a veterinarian examination table, with a woman vet behind the cat's head and touching its ear.

If you catch your kitty in the act of wolfing down a candy bar or sampling a chocolate Bundt cake, or even if you only suspect that they did, contact your veterinarian immediately. Don’t do anything unless advised by a professional. Your vet will want to know when what kind, and how much chocolate your cat possibly ate to move forward with treatment.

Once at the veterinary clinic, the first step is decontamination. Depending on when your cat ate the chocolate, this may be in the form of induction of vomiting, gastric lavage, or administration of activated charcoal. After that, supportive treatment with fluids, heart medications, and anti-seizure medications will be provided as necessary.

Alternatives to Chocolate That Are Safe For Cats

Chocolate/candy lollypops (3) that are shaped like cats with cat faces drawn on by frosting.

If you can’t help yourself and want to share sweet indulgences with your cat, it may help to know that cats actually can’t taste sweet foods. They don’t possess the tastebuds for it, so they don’t know what they’re missing. 

But some cats will want to partake in any treat that you are eating, so some might get curious. If that’s the case, instead of chocolate, treat your cat with carob. 

Carob has a sweet, chocolatey taste of its own without the dangerous toxins and is commonly used in gourmet pet treats. However, just because carob isn’t toxic to cats doesn’t mean that it should be a staple in their diet. Too much sugar and fatty foods are bad for kitty as well. So, if you’re a frequent treater, stick to healthier versions such as green beans, lean meats, and lite cat treats.


While chocolate is a favorite delicacy of people, it should never be given to your kitty. If you have candy or baked goods in your house, be sure to keep them stored well away from a cat’s curious tongue. That being said, it’s also important to recognize the signs associated with chocolate ingestion and to get your cat to a vet immediately if you suspect that they’ve had their paw in the cookie jar.

Can Cats Eat Coconut? How About Coconut Milk?

A tan-ish cat with black patches lying down next to a shucked coconut. The cat's right paw is on top of the coconut.

Can cats eat coconut and coconut products? Coconut is not toxic to cats, but that does not mean they should routinely take part in this tropical snack. Like most people foods, coconut is okay to give your kitty in small, infrequent portions but shouldn’t be part of their daily diet.

Coconut comes in many forms (fresh coconut, milk, oil, etc.) and is used in my ways (desserts, candy bars, an alternative to cow’s milk, etc.). Coconut oil is also gaining popularity as a natural anti-inflammatory, moisturizer, and hair treatment. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder that we would want to share coconut with our feline friends. So, let’s learn how to responsibly give our kitties a taste of coconut without causing harm.

Can Cats Eat Coconut? What Are the Benefits?

A white and black cat looking curiously at a coconut with a straw in it, held in front of its face by someone. There is a green plant and chair in the background.

Coconut meat contains high amounts of fat and fiber and other beneficial nutrients like manganese and copper. The fat is in the form of medium-chain triglycerides, which can be used for energy.

These fats also help promote healthy cholesterol levels, increase heart health, and help make you feel fuller for longer, possibly aiding in weight loss. The brain can also use these types of fats for energy, which could help older kitties with cognitive disfunction. Finally, medium-chain triglycerides also possess antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which come in handy to give the immune system as little extra punch.

Coconut is high in fiber, increasing feelings of fullness in cats on a weight loss program. High fiber can also regulate digestion by increasing motility and helping to remove hairballs. Fiber is important for healthy microflora growth in the digestive tract.

Microflora are responsible for the digestion of many food products in the intestine and require specific nutrients to maintain a healthy, functioning environment.

What Are the Risks Associated With Feeding Coconut to Cats?

A white, brown, and black cat lying down next to a coconut and small Polynesian style drum. The cat looks very tired.

When feeding coconut to your kitty, more is not better. This is mainly due to the high-fat content of the meat and oil. While the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut have many benefits, it can cause digestive upset when given in high amounts, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

If cleaning up a few vomit or diarrhea messes don’t scare you, then maybe this will:  high amounts of fat can also irritate the pancreas leading to a potentially serious and reoccurring condition called pancreatitis. Severe bouts of pancreatitis are not only painful, but they can also lead to diabetes.

If moderate to high amounts of coconut are given over long periods, it can cause hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, where the liver accumulates fat to the point that its function can be decreased. Also, high fat can lead to weight gain, which may already be a problem for most domestic kitties.

What About Coconut Oil for Cats?

A picture that says "coconut" and "coconut oil" with the real products (a real coconut and coconut oil) beneath the text.

Coconut oil has hit its stride lately in human medicine as a natural anti-inflammatory. It seems there’s no medical condition that coconut oil isn’t recommended for. Even with those benefits, coconut oil is still a “small-amounts-only” product for cats.

Coconut oil can be used topically or taken orally to help with dry skin, skin infections, or allergies. With topical application, you have to be sure that your cat isn’t immediately licking the oil off for a couple of reasons. First, it won’t get a chance to work where it needs to, and secondly, consuming too much can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

If given orally, coconut oil can boost the immune system, dental disease, bad breath, digestive health, and chronic inflammation like arthritis. Always speak to your veterinarian before giving your cat any supplement to determine the best usage and dose regime.

How to Give Coconut to Your Cat

A picture of different types of coconut products: A fresh coconut split in half, coconut powered, and shredded coconut.

Again, coconut should only be given to your cat as a small treat. It should not be considered part of their regular diet or used in high amounts or continuously for long periods. That being said, let’s look at the different coconut products and how your kitty can enjoy them.

1. Coconut Meat

You can share a nibble or two of coconut meat with your cat as the occasional treat. Stick with this product in its rawest form, with no sugar or other ingredients added.

2. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another product that might pique your cat’s interest. Coconut milk is made by soaking coconut meat in water and then straining the solids. It is often used as an alternative to cow’s milk as it doesn’t contain lactose. Since most cats happen to be lactose intolerant, a milk alternative might seem like just what the kitty ordered. However, coconut milk can still cause digestive upset due to its high-fat content and can add to weight gain since it’s loaded with calories.

3. Coconut Oil

Applying coconut oil to affected skin two to three times per day can decrease itchiness; just make sure it has a chance to absorb before your cat’s tongue gets after it. If giving coconut oil orally, start small. Monitor your kitty for digestive upset and back off the dose if needed. It may work well to give it to your cat just two to three times per week.

4. Coconut water

This is the liquid found inside green coconuts. It is low in fat but high in potassium. While this is why many people drink it, too much potassium can lead to heart complications in cats. Coconut water is best given very sparingly or not at all to cats.


Coconut has many benefits as a human food that many cat parents want to share with their furry pals. But care needs to be taken to prevent digestive problems and more serious issues like pancreatitis. Always discuss the use of supplements for your cat with your veterinarian to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Cats Eat Peanuts?

Shelled peanuts on the left, a silver spoon filled with peanut butter in the center, and a peanuts in their shell on the right, all on top of a marble surface.

If you’ve ever thought about sharing a handful of peanuts with your feline friend, you can rest easy knowing that peanuts are safe for cats to eat. Of course, as with all other “people food,” there are some guidelines to follow to ensure your kitty’s safety.

Are Peanuts Good for Cats?

A wooden, heart-shaped bowl on a wooden background. The heart bowl is filled with shelled peanuts, with some peanuts scattered around the outside of the bowl.

Kitties thrive on a high protein diet. They use this protein for energy, muscle building, and maintenance. In the wild, a cat’s diet consists almost entirely of meat for this reason. 

As it turns out, peanuts are also high in protein. While this type of plant protein may not be as digestible for cats as protein from an animal source, it can still be valuable to your cat.

Peanuts also contain omega fatty acids that are beneficial for healthy skin and a shiny hair coat. Omega fatty acids can also decrease inflammation, something that comes in handy with kitties getting into their golden years or for cats with long-term health conditions.

Finally, peanuts provide a satisfying crunch. While this might not be something your cat is necessarily looking for in their food choices, eating peanuts may help mechanically clean their teeth. Biting down on a few firm peanuts can help scrape away stuck-on plaque and tartar while stimulating blood flow to those the gums and periodontal tissues.

Can Peanuts Be Bad for Cats?

A white kitten with brown/grey stripes looking directly into the camera looking sad.

It seems that there’s always a downside for every human food that’s considered safe for our furry felines. Peanuts are no exception. 

Peanuts contain all of those fatty acids because they are high in fat. Even fat that’s considered healthy can cause problems if given in excess. This is especially true for cats have difficulty digesting it. 

A high-fat diet can lead to obesity (of course!), digestive upset, and pancreatitis. While pancreatitis is most commonly seen in pups, cats can be affected as well, and can increase the likelihood of diabetes. Vomiting and diarrhea may also accompany a large dose of fat, so it’s essential to give peanuts very sparingly. For most kitties, this means one or two peanuts at a time.

There’s also the risk that your kitty will be allergic to peanuts – just look at the number of people that are. Peanut allergies can present itself as digestive issues – again, the vomiting and diarrhea – or skin irritation and itchiness. If your cat has a bad reaction after eating peanuts, it’s best to stop giving them any and try other options.

There is also a small possibility that your cat can choke while eating peanuts. Some larger peanuts may be difficult for your cat to chew properly and can become lodged in their throat. Consider chopping the peanuts first before offering them to your kitty.

Can Cats Have Peanut Butter?

A few peanuts in their shell next to a plastic bottle of peanut butter. There is a wooden spoon with shelled peanuts in it, resting on the top of the peanut butter jar. This is all resting on a brown weaved place mat.

What kitty wouldn’t love a little dollop of peanut butter on their tongue? It’s tasty and entertaining! 

Peanut butter possesses all of the same risks as eating whole peanuts (minus the choking hazard) with an additional risk you need to be aware of. 

Peanut butter typically contains sugar or some other kind of sweetener and possibly some additional salt. None of these ingredients are good for your cat. Where you can get into real trouble is if your peanut butter contains the sweetener xylitol. This sweetener is more commonly used in low sugar peanut butter formulations and is extremely toxic to kitties. If you must share your peanut butter, stick with a low sugar, low sodium, no xylitol version.

What Kind of Peanuts Can I Give to My Cat?

A background of thin, brown, branches/wooden sticks carved to look like branches. On top on this on the upper right hand side is a wooded spoon filled with shelled peanuts in it.

You should feed your cats raw, shelled peanuts. The fibrous shell that peanuts come in make them a fun toy, but ingesting that shell could wreak havoc on their digestive system. A peanut shell is very high in fiber, which can lead to constipation or diarrhea, depending on how many they consume. 

Cat’s also don’t need the extra salt, sugar, or other coatings that we enjoy on our peanuts. Toffee or chocolate coated ones are definitely out.   

Provided that your cat isn’t allergic to peanuts, take comfort in knowing that the occasional peanut isn’t going to hurt them and may even give them a bit of a protein and omega fatty acid boost for the day. Just don’t get into the habit of feeding them large amounts or often, and always monitor their reactions to avoid an upset.

Can Cats Have Almond Milk? Is It Safe?

A glass cup filled with milk. To the right, a wooded bowl filled with almonds, some of which is spilled over onto the table and overlapping the base of the glass.

Yes, cats can have almond milk. If you add a little almond milk to your morning coffee, feel free to share a bit of it with your feline friend. However, as with most human foods that are considered safe for cats, you still should use almond milk in moderation.

Can Cats Drink Any Type of Almond Milk?

Before we get into giving almond milk to your cat, let’s first explore what almond milk is. If you’re new to non-dairy milk, or plant-based milk, you may be wondering what almond milk even is.

Almond milk is made by blending almonds with water and them removing any solid bits. It’s thick and creamy like cow’s milk but has a slightly nutty flavor. It still contains some of the health benefits that almonds do, like protein, vitamins, and minerals, but in much more watered-down levels. Most brands will be fortified with these things to boost the nutritional content.

With this in mind, there is nothing in almond milk that is toxic to cats, as long as the sweetener xylitol isn’t on the ingredients list. It also is lactose-free should you have a cat that’s sensitive or allergic to dairy.

However, some brands may have added sugars, sweeteners, or fats that can cause digestive upset.


How Much Almond Milk Can Cats Have?

Rather than give you an exact measurement of almond milk that is safe for kitty, let’s look at some guidelines.

Whenever you give your cat new human food treats, always start small and monitor the effects. Start with a few teaspoons and see how your cat reacts. If it’s smooth sailing, you can up that amount to a couple of tablespoons.

However, even if your cat takes to almond milk like a fish to water, it shouldn’t become a staple in their diet. Instead, use it only as a treat for rewarding good behavior, hiding medicine, or sharing a special bonding moment.

Keep the amount of almond milk that you give your cat in one sitting to under one cup.


What Are the Side Effects of Drinking Almond Milk?A white and brown cat lying down with its head resting on its front right leg. He looks to be sad, or not feeling too well.

Almond milk is used by people with lactose intolerance or those on a vegan diet as a substitute for cow’s milk. This is because it doesn’t contain lactose, the sugar that is most responsible for milk allergies or sensitivities. Believe it or not, most cats are lactose intolerant, so sharing a bit of cow’s milk with them may have detrimental effects.

Almond milk doesn’t contain lactose, but it does contain healthy nutrients such as omega fatty acids for a healthy heart, skin, and haircoat and protein. It may also be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, as well as other vitamins and minerals.

Almond milk is also low in carbohydrates and contains about half the calories of cow’s milk. It’s important to know that feeding your kitty a high-quality cat food will cover all of their nutritional bases, so there’s no need to give them almond milk as a dietary supplement.

Again, almond milk in itself doesn’t cause issues; it’s generally the additional ingredients put there to fortify the product that can become a problem.

Too much sugar or fat can cause digestive upset similar to those seen with cow’s milk and can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and bloating
  • Abdominal discomfort

If your kitty is experiencing any of these symptoms after drinking almond milk, cut back on the amount and frequency, or leave it out of their diet. Getting unsweetened versions may cut down on the side effects as well.


What Types of Milk Can Cats Drink?A clear bottle and cup on a pink napkin filled with milk. A small branch with small white flowers is on the left side for decoration.

In case you just can’t help yourself from sharing a creamy treat with your kitty, stick to the kinds of milk that are safe and least likely to cause problems.

With any type of milk, always start small and monitor your cat for side effects before you give them anymore. Keep it as a treat and not as a regular part of their diet.


1.  Non-Dairy Milk

These are plant-based milk varieties that can be made from nuts, coconut, soy, hemp, rice, oat, or peas. They don’t contain lactose and are usually lower in fat and calories than cow’s milk. However, ingredients to avoid would include added sugars and sweeteners, mainly xylitol, which can be toxic to cats, and milk made from macadamia nuts. Also, avoid any added flavors, like chocolate.


2.  Lactose-Free Milk

These are usually dairy milk with the lactose removed. It may be a better option for kitties with lactose intolerance or allergies. These types of milk should still be used in moderation as fat content may still be high enough to cause a problem.


3.  Goat, Sheep, or Other Animal Milk

Cow’s milk isn’t the only dairy milk on the shelves. It’s not uncommon to find goat, sheep, or even camel milk in stores. These products still contain lactose, but at different levels than that of cow’s milk. They may be fine for kitties that don’t have lactose intolerance but can still be high in fat and sugar.


Types of Milk To AvoidA white bowl on top of a brown cloth napkin filled with condensed milk. A stream of condensed milk is seen being poured into the bowl.

There are some milk products that you should avoid giving your cat, even in small amounts.

1.  Sweetened Condensed or Evaporated Milk

These types of milk are way too high in sugar and fat to give your kitty, even in tiny amounts. Even small amounts may cause digestional upset.


2. Cream or Full-Fat

Though it may taste better, cream or whole fat milk is too rich for even those lactose tolerant kitties. Stick with a lower fat or skim version instead.

Even though a saucer of milk is often associated with kitties, it’s not necessarily the best meal plan, even if it is almond milk. Almond milk may be safe for your cat and packed full of beneficial nutrients, but it may also contain enough fats and sugars to give your kitty an upset tummy. Keep almond milk as a treat that’s given in moderation rather than as a staple in their diet. That way, they can still enjoy some nutritional benefits and not get sick.