How To Safely Pamper Your Cat With Turkey Treats

By Anne · Nov 12, 2015 · Updated Nov 13, 2016 ·
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  1. Anne
    With the holidays around the corner, traditional butterball turkeys are on everyone's mind. Families gather around the dinner table, and for many the menu calls for turkey. Our cats are part of the family, but should they enjoy some turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

    Generally speaking, it's best not to disrupt your cat's diet. Kitty doesn't understand the meaning of the holiday and won't miss much if you adhere to the rule of not feeding table scraps. That said, with turkey being a good source of nutrients for cats, it's possible to feed some to a healthy cat without putting her in danger. Just make sure you follow these safety rules.

    Safety Rules For Feeding Turkey To Cats

    1. Don't feed treats, including turkey, if your cat isn't well

    Does Kitty suffer from any medical conditions? If so, you should consult your vet before offering anything new, including turkey. Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, liver and pancreatic disease, IBD and food sensitivities all call for very specific diets. Don't risk a flare-up for a few bites of turkey. It's simply not worth it.

    2. Don't give too much

    You are giving a treat, not food, so limit the quantity. Do not offer more than an ounce of turkey, at the very most.

    3. Avoid bones

    Cooked bones are extremely dangerous to cats. They are brittle and can injure the cat's delicate throat, esophagus and intestines.

    4. Avoid skin

    Not only is the turkey skin very high in fat content, it is also salty. Stick to boneless and skinless turkey meat.

    5. Skip the gravy and side dishes

    Gravy is not only rich in fats and salts, it also contains onions and garlic. All of these can be harmful to cats, so are best avoided. Even if your cat happens to show an interest in the broccoli, potatoes or cranberries, make sure he doesn't eat any of them. Various vegetables contain chemicals that are not healthy for cats and can trigger pancreatitis in some cats.

    6. Raw? Only if you're feeding raw already

    Yes, some people successfully feed their cats a raw diet. A raw-fed cat has been transitioned to raw nutrition gradually and her body has learnt to handle the extra load of potential pathogens. If your cat is not used to eating raw meat, the sudden introduction could cause diarrhea, vomiting and possibly a bacterial gut infection.

    7. Discard leftovers properly

    Prevent Kitty from accidentally ingesting cooked bones, skin, gravy or even the string used to tie the turkey's legs together. Don't leave these appetizing leftovers unattended in the trash bin. Make sure you wrap them up and dispose of them properly.

    Turkey-flavored cat food

    If you want to keep things safe and let your cat enjoy turkey while still consuming a balanced diet, you can try a can of turkey-flavored cat food. It's a safe way for a healthy cat to enjoy the taste of turkey. It's wise to stick to a brand that your cat knows and likes. As always with feeding cats, it's best to avoid changes when possible.

    Here are some popular options for turkey-flavored canned foods. The last one is especially festive!

    Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers

    Click here to order on Amazon

    Sheba Perfect Portions Turkey Entree Pate in Natural Juices

    Click to order on Amazon

    Nature's Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet - Turkey Formula

    Click to order on Amazon

    Merrick even has a special edition of Thanksgiving turkey cat food -

    Merrick Thanksgiving Day Dinner

    Click to order on Amazon

    We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season with your pets! More safety tips for cat owners are available here -
    11 Must Know Tips To Keep Cats Safe During The Holidays
    By Anne, Nov 12, 2015 | Updated: Nov 13, 2016 | | |

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  1. caliday
    I've fed them liver barely fried. Once or twice a year to my cat.
  2. gloriajh
    Of course be aware of what spices can be harmful
  3. MeganLLB
    We feed our dogs the gizzard. I wonder if the cats could eat it too?
  4. catspaw66
    We all love our furchildren and try to give them as nice a Thanksgiving as we are having. But, the article tells us there is a way to do it safely. I have heard most of the tips before, yet it is still good to be reminded as the holidays are upon us.
  5. mazie
    Fancy Feast grilled turkey with cheddar cheese, a favorite!
      fiorya purraised this.
  6. catwoman=^..^=
    I especially found the section that covered not feeding your cat raw food unless she is already used to it.  Thanks for the tips and suggestions.  They will really come in handy this Thanksgiving season.
  7. peterbald love
    My cat only eats things with gravy and i give him 4 treats per day. I feed Fancy Feast, but i only feed the fish and poultry flavors.
  8. darren7481
    What about Tofurkey? Being silly, I'm a vegetarian:) But can kitties safely eat soy/wheat gluten based meat alternatives in small amounts? I'm just curious, they'll be getting canned people salmon as per usual holiday treat vittles
    1. nansiludie
      That might upset their tummy pretty badly given it is not meat. They might not be able to handle the grain.
  9. Draco
    great post! This also applies to dogs too! (minus the cat food... lol)
  10. raysmyheart
    Fancy Feast Turkey Feast in Gravy is one of Speedy's favorite meals and that is how she gets her turkey dinner!!  She also likes Purina Grain-free Turkey and Purina One Turkey in gravy!