Photo by aj_1328 (Flickr) published under license (see base of page)
The foods of people and cats overlap. We do eat similar food at a fundamental level but that does not necessarily mean that there is suitable human food for cats. If we look to the wild cats we can see where the similarities are. The greatest similarity is probably in our liking of fish. We eat most of the actual fish and so do some wild cats.
The best known fish eating wild cat is the Asian Fishing cat(easy that one!). Other wild cats like to get wet and rummage around the water. The Asian Leopard cat (the Bengal cat wild cat parent) is just one. Water is a source of food.
It is not surprising that there is considerable overlap as we are omnivores (a species of animal – the human animal - that eats both plants and animals as their primary food source). and cats are obligate carnivores (a species that depends solely on the nutrients found in animal flesh for their survival). The difference is that although on occasions we eat the “same” food as cats (some cats even deliberately eat a considerable amount of vegetation) our food is nearly always processed by commercial manufacturers, while wildcats eat raw food and the whole animal or nearly the whole. We call it meat, cats see it as an animal’s flesh.
If we give our cats human food we nearly always give our cat processed human food as it is readily available. For example, if we give our cat chicken we don’t give it a whole recently killed chicken. Small wildcats not uncommonly eat chickens as farm livestock. It is what gets them killed by farmers by the way.
This give us the clue. Human food for cats could be fish or chicken (
for example) but it must be chicken that simulates the real live thing and that means adding supplements and other ingredients to the commercially available prepared chicken. Or as a second best to give the odd treat of chicken or fish prepared for humans while also providing good quality cat food that contains ingredients and supplements to balance the diet.
And this is what cat breeders do who provide exclusively a raw food diet to their cats. Here is an example recipe from the USA:
- Add powder (Instincts) to the raw meat mixture:
- Also, daily add salmon oil (keep refrigerated and add fresh daily to one
feeding of meat): http://www.grizzlypetproducts.com/index.html
- Recipe: 4 cups Instincts powder, 10 cups water. Mix it. Then…
- Grind: 10 pounds turkey thighs (skinless and boneless) , 6 pounds beef bottom round, 2 pounds beef liver, 4 tins sardines (water packed and add the liquid).
- Mix in the Instincts powder mix. Put it into freezer bags or Ziploc freezer containers and take them out when needed.
This is from Mara of Dazzledots Bengals -- thanks Mara (a USA breeder). You can see a lot more on homemade cat food: Raw Food Diet for cats. Incidentally, the amino–sulphonic acid, taurine is one of the ingredients that should be in cat food and it is a very important one. An undersupply of taurine causes serious ill health over time (e.g. retinal degeneration, heart disease (and see HCM in Bengal cats), developmental abnormalities – book 6). Bengal cats need more than the usual amount it is thought. And rice can diminish its effectiveness.
To recap. Human food for cats is OK provided it is animal’s flesh and provided it contains other ingredients or is supplemented with other ingredients that results in it replicating as near as possible that which the wild cat would eat in the wild – its prey.
Now for the opposite! An after thought…I embedded the video below because it turns on its head the title to this post. This is cat food for humans only it is regular cat food and the video is actually quite disturbing so don’t watch it unless you are feeling strong! The video calls into question some weaknesses (I think) in YouTube’s policies or at least their policing of their policies. YouTube has been expanding too fast it could be argued and it leads to abuses of copyright and at least potentially allows videos that arguably shouldn’t be on the internet.
Some associated pages: