What kind of baby food can cats eat
Can Cats Eat Baby Food? Best Baby Food for Cats
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Simple meat-based baby food is an appetizing and easy-to-eat food for sick or elderly cats. In this article, we’ll talk about how baby food can be a great dietary supplement for some cats, which baby foods are best, and which types of baby food are never safe for your cat.
Again, it’s important to remember that just because meat-based baby food is safe for cats, it doesn’t mean that it’s a nutritionally complete meal for them. You should only give your cat baby food as a treat or supplement.
Simple meat-based baby food with no seasonings, onion, or garlic is safe for cats and can be used as a temporary meal replacement. Simple cooked, pureed meat is easy for your cat’s body to digest, easy for their mouths to handle, and is typically quite palatable. This makes it an ideal choice for cats who are feeling sickly or having a hard time eating.
Baby food can be a good supplemental food choice for:
- Cats with a reduced appetite due to disease, including CKD, cancer, liver disease, and other problems
- Cats with periodontal disease and a painful mouth
- Cats who have had their teeth extracted and can no longer handle firm foods
- Cats with temporary stomach sensitivities and symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea
- Ferals who need to be enticed into a trap or to come closer to people
If you recently had a baby, chances are you’re overwhelmed and sometimes forgetful, so it’s possible that you’ll forget to stock up on cat food. In this case, baby food might just be what you have around. Don’t feel like a bad cat guardian if you have to feed your cat baby food in a pinch!
Provided that you give your cat a meat-based recipe without any dangerous seasonings or additives, it’ll be a delicious and healthy treat.
While baby food is sometimes recommended for cats who need easy-to-eat nourishment, not all baby foods are equal. Just like adult food, some of it is safe for cats and some isn’t. You’ve got green bean baby food, pumpkin baby food, carrot baby food, chicken baby food, beef stroganoff baby food. And just as is the case with people food that isn’t pureed, not all of these varieties are appealing or nutritious for your cat.
The following types of baby food are safe for cats and can be a wholesome addition to the feline diet.
Beech-Nut Classics Stage 1 Meats include chicken in broth, turkey in broth, and beef in broth
. These recipes contain just meat and broth, so they’re entirely safe for your cat to consume. We like that they’re free from starch and therefore closer to your cat’s natural carnivorous needs.
One reviewer said the following about Beech-Nut Chicken & Broth:
“My senior cat had a period where he threw up all the time. We started giving him baby food and kitten milk to ease his upset stomach. The baby food is quite light and mild. Not stinky. Slightly oily, but not too bad! My cat really enjoyed the baby food. There are no unnecessary ingredients, just chicken and water!”
This product lineup includes ham, turkey, chicken, and beef recipes. They’re all made without any garlic, onions, or other seasonings. The simple recipes include just meat, water, and cornstarch.
While cornstarch isn’t ideal for cats, it can be an acceptable inclusion in their diet if the cat is sick or otherwise in desperate need of nourishment.
Even the first review on the Amazon listing for Gerber’s ham and gravy cat food says:
“All I can really say about this is my 35 pound, orange tabby kitty cat absolutely loves Gerber Baby Food Ham! I bought it for him for a treat once and he learned to audibly say the word “HAM” with that first meal. I’m a vegetarian and I don’t have children but I have a orange kitty that will tell you this is the best stuff he’s every eaten!”
Before you feed your cat baby food, read the ingredient list. Don’t give your kitty any food containing the following ingredients:
- Added sugars or sweeteners
- Canola oil or other vegetable oils
- Fruits of any type (except for the occasional pumpkin for gut motility)
- Vegetables of any type
This rules out simple fruity or veggie products like prune baby food, sweet potato baby food, and carrot baby food. It also means that you shouldn’t give your cat meal-style foods for older babies with flavors like beef stroganoff and chicken stew.
Your cat can eat baby food alone for about 2-3 days before you’ll need to start transitioning them back to a nutritionally complete and balanced raw, homemade, gently cooked, or canned diet.
Baby food is designed to nourish infant humans—omnivorous creatures who, unlike cats, can live without fresh raw meat, organs, and bones. Cats, however, require raw meat or a facsimile thereof.
It’s crucial to remember that baby food lacks taurine, an amino acid that cats can only get from supplements or raw meat.
As obligate carnivores, cats require certain vitamins and amino acids found only in fresh meat. One of these is taurine, which supports ocular health along with numerous other bodily functions. Cats who are deprived of taurine for any extended period of time will go blind and experience diminished digestion, heart function, and reproductive abilities.
If your cat is struggling to eat due to dental issues or needs an extra calorie boost, baby food isn’t your only option. Here are a few other types of foods that can help to keep your cat strong.
Kitten food is about twice as calorie-dense as a standard adult cat food. It’s usually extremely palatable and easy to eat, too—which helps your cat to get in all those beneficial calories. The kitten food we’ve found works best is Fancy Feast canned kitten food, but you’ll find many other formulas from a variety of companies. Just remember to look for canned or wet food. Hydration is always crucial, and a dry food won’t deliver the water your cat needs.Fancy Feast Kitten food is a nutritious and easy-to-eat alternative to baby food.
Nutri-Cal is a high-calorie gel for cats who need a concentrated source of energy. It’s highly-palatable to encourage cats to eat it, though some may need to squirt it onto the feline’s gums or paw. It’s also a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
Your cat may or may not be willing to eat egg yolks on their own, but if you’re able to get that tongue lapping, the addition of raw egg yolks to their bowl will add a lot of nutrition in a small package.
Boiled or Raw Chicken
You’ve probably heard the standard recommendation of boiled chicken and rice for cats with diarrhea and other digestive issues. Because cats are obligate carnivores with no physiological requirement for plants, we disagree with the inclusion of rice in this bland diet.
Boiled boneless chicken, however, does provide a gentle, palatable source of the nutrition your cat needs with few of the inflammatory ingredients that can make them feel worse.
If you’re willing to try out raw food for your cat, you may also consider feeding them raw chicken, with or without the bones intact. This is a nutrient-dense and extremely tasty form of species-appropriate nutrition. As explained in incredible detail on Raw Feeding for IBD Cats, raw food, as the ancestral feline diet, is potentially the only route for an IBD turnaround.
Can Cats Eat Baby Food? What You Need to Know
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Your cat is your baby. But if you recently brought a human bundle of joy home, you may be tempted to share some nutritious baby food with your feline friend. But can your cat safely consume baby food? It depends. While cats can eat meat-based baby food, ones that contain veggies could be potentially harmful and even lethal.
Here’s everything you should consider before dishing out a bowl of baby food to your kitty.
Can Cats Eat Baby Food?
While cats are natural carnivores, even in the wild, they eat trace amounts of vegetables from the stomach contents of their prey to obtain essential vitamins. Also, eating whole prey with the bones contains minerals not found in the meat alone. Domesticated housecats acquire their daily dose of nutrients through their diet of commercial cat food.
While you can treat your cat to small portions of meat-based baby food every once in a while, it should never be used as a substitute for cat kibble. Baby food lacks enough taurine for cats, which will lead to malnutrition if cats are only fed baby food as their daily diet.
If you have a sick or senior cat that can’t comfortably consume regular cat food, you can feed her small helpings of meat-based baby food. However, wet cat food is always the healthier option.Image Credit: MapleHorizons, Pixabay
Is Baby Food Bad for Cats?
Babies are extremely fragile little creatures. That’s why most baby foods are crafted with sensitive stomachs in mind. But just because a baby can safely eat baby food doesn’t mean you should be feeding it to your cat.
This is especially true if the baby food contains any onion or garlic powder, which is common with some brands. These two ingredients are extremely toxic to cats.
Never feed your cat baby food that contains:
- Veggies of any kind
- Fruits of any kind (except for infrequent pumpkin as it promotes gut motility)
- Added sweeteners or sugars
- Canola oil or vegetable oil
When looking for baby food to feed to your cat, always choose meat-based baby food with no seasonings. A teaspoon of turkey-, chicken-, or lamb-flavored baby food makes a tempting treat for kitties.
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When is It Okay to Feed a Cat Baby Food?
All-natural, meat-based baby food makes good supplemental food for cats if:
- They suffer from a reduced appetite because of a disease, such as liver disease, CKD, and cancer
- They’re elderly and have periodontal issues or a painful mouth
- They’ve had their teeth extracted and can’t eat firm cat kibble
- They have temporary digestive sensitivity
- They’re feral cats that you want to entice into a humane trap
You can also offer healthy cats a small helping of meat-based baby food as the occasional treat. However, baby food should never make up a large portion of your kitty’s daily diet.
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How Long Can a Cat Eat Baby Food?
A cat can consume baby food as its main meal for only about 2 to 3 days. After that, you’ll need to slowly start transitioning them back to normal cat kibble or wet cat food.
Baby food doesn’t contain taurine. This is a vital amino acid that cats can only get from commercial kibble, raw meat, supplements, or wet cat food.Image Credit: aprilante, Shutterstock
Baby Food Alternatives for Cats
If you don’t want to feed your sick or elderly cat eating baby food, some good alternatives are:
- Kitten food
- Raw or boiled chicken
- Egg yolks
Remember, these options should never replace your cat’s normal kibble or wet cat food.
- You might also like: Can Cats Eat Chickpeas? What You Need To Know
The Bottom Line on Baby Food for Cats
A small helping of meat-based baby food that doesn’t contain any additives is perfectly okay to feed your cat. It may even be helpful for elderly or ill cats that can’t consume normal kibble.
Never feed your kitty baby food that contains garlic or onion; it can be fatal. Also, never use baby food as a substitute for your pet’s regular cat food for prolonged periods. However, your cat can enjoy a small spoonful of meat-based baby food! She’ll love the full flavor and yummy aroma!
Featured Image Credit: MapleHorizons, Pixabay
- Can Cats Eat Baby Food?
- Is Baby Food Bad for Cats?
- When is It Okay to Feed a Cat Baby Food?
- How Long Can a Cat Eat Baby Food?
- Baby Food Alternatives for Cats
- The Bottom Line on Baby Food for Cats
An American expat living in Metro Manila, Philippines for over a decade, Christian is a lifelong cat lover and the proud papa of two rescue cats, Trixie and Chloe. Both girls were formerly among the droves of strays that roam the cities and countryside. Three-year-old Trixie was pulled from a litter found under the porch of a neighbor’s house, while two-year-old Chloe was brought home by Christian’s young son, Henry, who found the kitten crying in the parking lot. As Editor in Chief of ExcitedCats.com, Christian is thrilled to be a part of the pro-feline movement.
Is it possible to give cats baby food?
1) What is baby food
2) Can I give baby food to a cat? Pros and cons
3) What can be replaced?
What is baby food
Many owners believe that everything done for children is absolutely hypoallergenic and safe, so they give baby food to cats and kittens without hesitation. This includes special purees and mixtures of vegetables and meats intended for feeding babies. The most popular manufacturers are companies such as Agusha, Gerber and so on. However, are such dishes included in the list of products that are not harmful to your pets? Let's figure it out!
Is it possible to give baby food to a cat? Pros and cons
The general answer is yes, you can, but there are many nuances that the Murkosi team will tell you about in this article. First of all, it is worth understanding that cats are predators and that of infant formulas, meat ones are most suitable for them (except for some special cases). However, even they are not a complete diet, that is, such food cannot be fed to a pet on an ongoing basis.
A valid option for baby food for a cat is in those moments when he is weakened, cannot chew and digest healthy food. This is usually associated with past illnesses and operations, with diseases of the esophagus and gums. But even in these cases, the transfer to a similar diet should occur only on the recommendation of the attending veterinarian.
For example, baby food can be given to older cats that develop gum disease and tooth loss. If the pet has a sensitive gastrointestinal tract that is unable to digest the usual cat food for some reason, then this type of food can also be offered to him. With such a serious health condition, baby food for a cat will be an excellent alternative to regular food, but owners should pay attention to other important aspects. The first of these is what such food consists of.
To begin with, it is worth understanding what kind (that is, consisting of what components) baby food should be offered to a cat. To do this, it is advisable to know if the fluffy is allergic to any vegetables or meat. The surest way to check is to give your pet one or another puree (from beef or chicken, containing certain vegetables) in a small amount and monitor his condition. If you observe fever, diarrhea, vomiting or any other unhealthy reaction of the cat's body, stop feeding it this product. Offer another mixture, after checking its components for similarity with the previous ones and making sure that they do not repeat. If there is a reaction to it, then it is possible that it is better to avoid infant formulas from this particular manufacturer. In this case, it is better to stop the experiments and seek help from a veterinarian.
Read about allergies: Food allergies in cats
Next, check the composition for the presence of components harmful to the cat's body. Of course, preservatives are excluded from baby food, but there are still many other substances that are harmful to cats. First of all, don't buy formulas that contain soy for your cat, as this is not part of the cat's natural diet and can lead to serious digestive problems. Lactose is also categorically not recommended for cats, since many mustachioed cats have intolerance to this substance.
More about the dangers of lactose: Can cats be given milk?
Important! Baby food for a cat should never contain onions, garlic and salt! Onions and garlic contain a disulphide component that promotes the breakdown of erythrocytes (red blood cells) in a cat's body. Its constant presence in the blood leads to the development of hemolytic anemia and can be fatal. If the baby food contains sugar or salt in large quantities, then it should also be avoided, because these substances lead to serious disorders in the digestive system, liver and kidneys.
What other foods off the table are harmful to cats: Natural food for cats: good or bad?
In the adoption center "Murkosha" they always carefully check the components of the feed that are given to our cats, and we take products only from proven and really high-quality manufacturers. Each owner should also be careful about choosing the diet of his pet.
Many owners mistakenly believe that they can feed their cats expired baby food. However, this opinion is fundamentally wrong! The cat's body is as sensitive to spoiled food as the human body, so delay can cause poisoning and intoxication.
Another disadvantage of feeding a cat with baby food is that it is still intended for human children. Baby food for kittens is not a product that should replace everything else like professional food. Be that as it may, the best nutritional option for a healthy kitten is mother's milk, and then special food, because it contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals for the healthy growth of a kitten.
It is also a mistake to feed a cat with baby food consisting exclusively of meat. It would be more correct to combine it with vegetable mixtures to maintain the proper level of all the vitamins and nutrients a cat needs - because a mustachioed pet needs not only proteins, but also carbohydrates and fiber. A veterinary nutritionist can help you with this.
Therefore, baby food is a major compromise in any case. For comparison, in the professional feeds of the super premium and holistic class (which are used in Murkosh), the balance of useful substances is precisely adjusted, and there is also a vitamin and mineral complex.
Read about super premium food: Super premium cat food
About holistics: Holistic cat food in the diet - but only a product used for health problems in an animal.
What can be substituted?
Of course, the most obvious alternative to baby food for kittens is professional food labeled “for kittens”. For the little ones (but who have already stopped feeding on mother cat's milk), we recommend wet food. It usually consists of specially minced pieces of meat, and also includes a wide list of vitamins for healthy growth and development of the furry.
Now many companies have started to produce food in the form of a pate, which is more than a worthy alternative to meat mixtures, while (if it is a quality food - super premium and holistic class) it already contains all the useful substances necessary for the growth of a kitten.
More about pates: Pates for cats
not suitable as a complete natural food, but may be recommended for medical reasons by the attending veterinarian for a certain period. However, owners should always carefully monitor the condition of the cat after eating such foods, and also contact the veterinarian if symptoms of an allergic reaction appear. Remember that your pet's health is entirely in your hands!
Is it possible to feed a cat with baby food
Feeding your cat should be treated responsibly, as your pet's health depends on it. The question of whether it is possible to feed a cat with baby food has a number of nuances that must be taken into account.
First of all, it is worth remembering that the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and cats have significant differences. For example, in the structure of the oral cavity, the length of the intestine and much more. Cats are carnivores, so their digestion is adapted primarily to digest meat food.
Can an adult cat be fed baby food?
Baby food may be given to adult animals, but not as permanent food. To maintain a high standard of living and health, a cat needs to receive a balanced diet. At the same time, purees intended for children cannot fully meet this requirement, therefore, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian-nutritionist in advance so that he draws up a rough plan on how and what to feed the cat, what vitamins to add if necessary.
However, in some cases, softened food is a direct indication for feeding. For example:
- for diseases of the oral cavity. Such as stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontal disease and others;
- lack of appetite. For example, canned food can often be more appealing to animals;
- the absence of teeth in elderly animals or in cases where teeth have been removed for indications;
- during illness. Namely, if the animal needs softer and easily digestible food.
There are many canned foods on the market today, designed specifically for cats (including those with special needs). Therefore, each owner can choose the right diet for his pet without resorting to baby food.
How to give?
Meat should be the main ingredient in a cat's diet. However, it is wrong to give only mashed meats. The pet must receive a source of fiber. It can be vegetables, or vegetable purees intended for children. The ratio of components suitable for the pet will help you choose a veterinarian, taking into account the physiological data of the cat. But as a rule, the plant part of the diet does not exceed 15%.
It is better to choose one brand of baby food and give it only. It is necessary to accustom a cat from a small portion, gradually increasing it to the necessary one.
Cats need cereals in individual cases and are prescribed in small quantities as an addition to the main diet. Baby cereals containing sugar, salt, milk or flavorings are not suitable for pet food.
Situations when you should not give a cat food intended for children
In some cases, food may not be suitable for a pet. How to understand it:
- after feeding, the animal has digestive disorders. For example, diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, soreness in the abdominal wall;
- allergic reaction to food components - redness of the ears, itching, rashes.
Can kittens be given baby food?
When it comes to newborn kittens. If for some reason a cat cannot feed them, then it is impossible to replace cat's milk with a human mixture. This can lead to serious consequences, up to the death of the offspring. Infant milk formulas are adapted to the gastrointestinal tract of infants. In addition, in their composition they may contain many components that are not absorbed by the body of a small cat.
What is important:
- on the first day of life, the kitten must receive colostrum;
- if for some reason the cat is unable to feed offspring, it is desirable to attach the kittens to another lactating cat if possible;
- if natural feeding is not possible, the offspring are transferred to artificial.