Is it safe for a cat owner to eat their cat’s leftover human-grade food treat?

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In my opinion it is 95+% safe to eat your cat’s leftover human-grade treats but you won’t find a conclusive answer to the question in the title on the Internet because there probably isn’t one. The reason why I ask the question is because about an hour ago I ate the remains of my cat’s king prawn treat. He left two pieces in his food bowl and I couldn’t let them go to waste so I ate them.

But, it occurred to me that a cat’s mouth contains bacteria as does the mouth of humans by the way. There’s perhaps too much spoken about the dangerous bacteria in a domestic cat’s mouth when, to be honest, humans have the same amount of dangerous bacteria in their mouths (and dogs).

To be clear, a cat’s mouth is like the mouths of all animals containing various types of bacteria including:

  • Pasteurella multocida which can cause infections in both cats and humans when one cat bites a human or another cat. The bacteria is injected under the skin. That’s different to eating bacteria because it goes into the stomach where there is stomach acid. My presumption is that in my case, my stomach acid will kill the bacteria which might have been on those prawn pieces.
  • Streptococcus which can cause infections in humans such as strep throat.
  • Fusobacterium can be found in a cat’s oral cavity and is linked to periodontal disease in cats (gum disease). It can also cause infections in humans.
  • Porphyromonas which is linked to dental disease in cats.

Not all bacteria in a cat’s mouth is harmful and normally the risk of transmission to humans is slight except when bitten. Or perhaps when you eat their food!

I don’t expect I will suffer any ill effects from eating my cat’s leftover prawns but I’ll report back on this page if something happens.

My artificial intelligence assistant tells me that it is “generally not recommended for humans to eat cat treats [however,] if the treat in question is a human-grade food item like prawns, and it has been prepared and handled in a safe and hygienic manner, it may be safe for a cat owner to consume it.”

The artificial intelligence computer focuses exclusively on things such as the ingredients of the cat treat, the food preparation, general hygiene and allergies. It does state that you should “ensure that the cat treat has not been contaminated by the cat’s saliva”. I didn’t. It might not have been and it might have been. I just don’t know. But like I said I think the risk is incredibly small but wait-and-see.

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