A lot of people on the Internet ask questions about whether their domestic cat companion can eat tuna, cheese, milk, raw chicken or cooked chicken et cetera. They’re basically asking whether their cat can eat other things than commercially prepared cat food. Perhaps they are disappointed in commercially prepared cat food and I wouldn’t blame them but we are stuck with it and provided you give your cat the highest possible quality commercially made wet cat food you are on pretty safe ground. However, you are not on particularly safe ground if you start deciding to give your cat something else but is there a method or a thought which guides us?
If we start off with the premise that the ideal cat food for a domestic cat is a mouse pretty much in its entirety, then everything else should fall into line (I am not suggesting you should feed mice to your cat, obviously!). So, for example, cheese is nothing like a mouse therefore cheese is not particularly suitable for a cat unless it is in very small quantities. Cats like cheese because of the fat content which is around 3% in full fat milk. But cheese contains other ingredients and were are not sure what those ingredients are. It is high in salt, for example. The answer then to feeding a cat cheese is in very small amounts, if at all.
You might think that raw chicken is a bit like a mouse but it isn’t because raw chicken cannot be a balanced diet for a cat. It will be provided commercially, probably frozen, and there is a possibility unless one is careful that the chicken may carry salmonella which could harm your cat. Raw chicken needs handling properly. In addition, a small part of an animal like the leg of a chicken is not the same as the whole of a mouse.
Tuna is a fish as we know and there is the faint possibility of the fish having mercury inside it which may harm your cat if your cat is fed large quantities of it. In addition a cat should not be solely fed a fish diet; we all know that. It is neither balanced not is it “meat”. There are other complications with providing your cat with fish in large quantities. You can read about them on this page.
As for milk, we know that a lot of cats are lactose intolerant and therefore drinking milk may give them diarrhoea. This, by now, is common knowledge.
You can see, therefore, that if one wishes to go off the well trodden route of high quality commercial wet cat food you are entering into an area where there could be problems because the cat’s digestive system is specialised. We know that the cat is an obligate carnivore. A domestic cat requires a specialist diet which really restricts a cat owner from deviating from it. It is hard to replicate the mouse is an ideal cat food. It requires skill.
People can provide their cat with raw cat food but once again that requires skill and unless you’re skilful at it you are liable to provide your cat with an unbalanced diet or worse.
I’m not saying that people should not try feeding their cat a raw diet but be careful and thoughtful. Sometimes manufacturers prepare a raw diet for domestic cats. This, I would consider to be safe.
In short, therefore, the answer to the multiple questions about whether a cat can eat cheese, milk, tuna and other treats such as ham et cetera is that in very small quantities the answer is yes but beyond that the answer must be no. People should stick to what is safe but that should not mean a permanent diet of dry cat food because personally, I don’t consider it safe either. The moisture content in a mouse is about 70%. What I mean is that a mouse is made up of 70% water and therefore once again, if you want to apply a method, dry cat food does not replicate the mouse as a balanced diet.
The method referred to in the title is to go back to basics and bear mind (a) that the ideal cat food is a mouse and (b) that the cat is an obligate carnivore with a specialist dietary requirement. You can’t deviate from it except in small doses.