25

Thunder Katt: Snacks from the Human Side

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Snoops and Kommando here. Mom’s brain has decided to take a summer break. Fortunately for us, cousin Thunder was able to come to the rescue and give us this yummy post. Thanks, Thunder!

Greetings friends, both furry and non furry alike! Thunder Katt here, and today I’m doing a sort of follow up to my tummy facts blog. I’m here to outline some nutrition facts and tips on human foods favored by me and my sisters, Angel and Onyx. If you have a favorite human treat that isn’t listed, just know that means two things: you have a wonderful palate, and the calories don’t count, so eat as much as you want! (Ed. Note: Thunder is exaggerating. Please snack responsibly.)

Please also note that while all three of us love dairy, including cheese, ice cream and whipped cream, there aren’t many benefits to cats eating dairy products. Due to lack of helpful information, dairy products have been left off the list. We also left off meats and fish, since most cats enjoy these as we are obligate carnivores. 

Lettuce

As many of you may know by now, a preferred Thunder treat is lettuce! I like iceberg the best, but have also been known to chow down on butter lettuce, romaine lettuce, and leafy things that look like lettuce, such as kale. Lettuce can actually help hydrate and cool you down in the hot summer months. Lettuce also has vitamins A and C, which helps with our furs and vision, along with a small amount of iron and folate for overall health. Some lettuce also has potassium, which again helps with our vision. There is a small amount of calcium in lettuce, which can be converted into crude fats in cats. Just make sure you don’t get too much calcium (generally not a risk from eating lettuce), as it can cause deposits in your fatty stores that will eventually make you sick. 

Squash

All three of us have been known to eat butternut squash (it’s a favorite food for the human kitten, so we seem to have a lot of it). Before enjoying this food, be warned that it is orange and will stain furs that are lighter in hue (like my white chest and tummy) so proceed with caution if eating squash in puree form. Squash is generally relatively bland by itself, making it ideal for cats with more sensitive tummies. While you can sweeten up squash with brown sugar or butter, it tastes just as good plain. This superfood actually provides all of your key vitamins, including A, C, K, and magnesium. It also provides vitamin E, folate, and B vitamins. While all of these vitamins provide benefits to cats in small amounts, don’t overdo the squash; our bodies are not meant to process a lot of magnesium and vitamin B in one sitting. However, since you would need over a cup of squash to reach these levels in an eight-pound cat, I say there isn’t much need to worry, and feast away on some squash cubes or puree! 

Grapes

I discovered grapes for the first time about a week ago. They’re wonderful! Not only are they small enough to bat around, they’re cool, which helps with the summer heat. They come on a cool stem/vine that you can chew on (Mom won’t let me do this, but when she isn’t looking it’s fun)! You can pounce in the bag they arrive in for hunting practice. And, best of all for our health, in addition to carbs and protein, grapes also have an abundance of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as thiamine. They also provide a small amount of iron and calcium. I would definitely give grapes a try if you haven’t already. 

Cherries

Cherries are actually not really recommended for cats, since they are considered a stone fruit due to the pits. These puts not only prevent a choking hazard, but we cannot digest the pit if ingested. However, Angel keeps licking the meat of the fruit, which seems to be okay (she typically only gets one or two; we don’t want to risk making her sick). Assuming you avoid the pit and stem, cherries can benefit cats by offering the typical vitamins (A, C, and K), along with magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants. These sound like a great idea when your human brings home the office cold and wants to snuggle right up with you! 

Oatmeal

Another Angel recommended food is oatmeal, especially mixed with applesauce. Be very careful if trying this food, as oatmeal is hot and it’s very easy to burn our noses. While oatmeal by itself is bland, you can flavor it very easily (like with applesauce, vanilla, or another flavor of your choosing). The benefits of oatmeal include magnesium and thiamine. Just make sure to eat it before it dries to the dish, and be warned of its sticky nature, as it can get stuck in your furs and whiskers. 

Applesauce 

Our humans insist on buying the unsweetened stuff (yuck!) since the human kitten eats it as his nighttime snack, but Angel doesn’t seem to mind it. I think she likes the cool, thick consistency of it. Avoid the cinnamon applesauce, as cinnamon is not always agreeable with the digestive tracts of cats. If you choose this Angel recommended treat, know that you are also getting vitamins A, B, C, K, and magnesium, as well as calcium. Apples are fairly high in sugar, so it’s best to limit your intake on this (even if you do get the yucky- I’m sorry, unsweetened-) sauce.

Oat milk

This is definitely another Angel treat! I was so disappointed when I was told my human kitten couldn’t tolerate cow’s milk, so we had to start buying oat milk. We buy the vanilla flavored milk, so I guess Angel finds it tolerable. Like dairy based milk, you don’t want to gouge yourself on this, as there are proteins in there that cats have a hard time with, and a lot of calcium. However, if you do find yourself lapping up a little oat milk, know you’re getting vitamins A, K, and D, as well as iron, fiber and riboflavin. Again, be warned of the calcium content in this drink, and enjoy sparingly. 

Chips 

The one human food Onyx has ventured to try is a quinoa chip. I myself happen to enjoy corn and tortilla chips, and Angel and I both enjoy the flavored chips, such as pizza, spicy, and sour cream. Overall, chips are not healthy, and should be enjoyed on rare occasions as a treat. However, since you’re already indulging on chips, might I recommend you try nachos? These cheesy, meaty chips are absolutely wonderful! 

Popcorn

Angel started eating popcorn the day she came home from the shelter. This crunchy treat is best for us if it’s low in salt and oil. Some benefits of non salty, non oily popcorn include vitamins A, B, and E. Be careful to chew this thoroughly to avoid choking, and have your human remove all kernels prior to eating. 

Crackers

I discovered the joy of Club Crackers the other day. They’re a bit difficult to eat, as they’re so flat, but the salty, baked cracker taste was definitely worth the difficulty of dragging it away and eating. Again, be sure to chew these all the way through so you don’t choke. While enjoying your cracker, note that you are also getting vitamins B and C, though not much else; eat as a dessert or as an occasional snack. 

I do know some kitties, my cousin Snoops included, enjoy sweets. And I’m sure you each have a unique treat you enjoy for yourselves. Keep trying new things, and hopefully you find some new treats to enjoy. But also remember that if something your human offers you is yucky and below standards, it is more than acceptable to stick your nose up, flick your tail and stroll away. They’ll learn eventually. Keep munching and crunching away!

Furs and purrs,

Thunder Katt

28

Who Says Cats are Finicky Eaters?y

Can Cats Eat Watermelon? – Can Cats Eat watermelon without any problem? |  Pro Active Pet Products

You’ve all heard humans say that it’s so hard to find something that kitty likes to eat. Or that kitty used to eat (whatever) food all the time, but now she won’t touch it. Or kitty will only eat one variety of a certain brand.

My Cat Stopped Eating Raw - What Do I Do?

We would like to suggest that maybe kitty isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s the food. Would most humans like to eat the same food every day.? Do most humans like diet food? Do most humans appreciate it when someone else changes their diet?

How To Keep Your Cat From Begging During the Holidays – Meowingtons

Most humans know that cats are obligate carnivores , and we have to get some essential nutrients from meat. Commercial cat food is prepared to be the most balanced diet available for cats. But that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t enjoy a healthy treat once in a while.

Can Cats Eat Carrots? - Catster

A lot of kitties like the occasional veggie snack. Particularly popular are spinach, pumpkin, peas, and green beans. Cats can also have asparagus and broccoli, but it must be steamed before it is served. We don’t have any teeth to grind the fibers in them. They do make excellent toys.

Can Cats Eat Peaches? - Catster

Do you have a yen for something a little different? Fruit is an excellent choice for a treat. Fruit-loving cats usually like apples, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, and peaches. Just because we can’t taste sweet flavors doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy fruit. Maybe it’s the weird skin.

sad cat can't eat bread :( : sadcats

A few other foods that some of our furry relatives like are eggs, oatmeal, cheese, and bread. Remind Uncle Leo that his human should only serve him cooked eggs. Scrambled and hard-boiled are good options.

Can Cats Eat Cheese? Is Cheese Safe For Cats? - CatTime | Cat cookies, Cat  post, Cats

A lot of us are sensitive to dairy products, so cheese is not always recommended. However, for the rest of us it can be an extremely yummy treat.

Cat begging for food - YouTube

If some of these snacks sound good, tell your human. Humans can be extremely difficult to communicate with sometimes. If they don’t get the message the first time, keep trying.

10 Human Foods That Can Harm Your Cat

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

5

Dollar Disappointment

My family has always exchanged stockings on Christmas morning. When I was little, the goodies always included a red apple, a yellow apple, an orange and a tangerine. I remember being disappointed that Santa was so health conscious. All I’d ever seen him eat were cookies. Years later, my son commented on always receiving shampoo and body wash in his stocking. You never see Santa bathing or changing his clothes either. I’m guessing Mrs. Claus has some influence on what gets included.

At one point, I spent a lot of money on stocking stuffers. (The amount I spend has never had any direct correlation with the amount I have, by the way.) I would wander the malls looking for things that would fit in a stocking. There are more than you might imagine. One day, a friend finally explained to me that the concept behind a stocking was that it was filled with little inexpensive things like candy canes and chocolate Santas. Oh. Like the idea that you break up with someone before you give him the expensive gift. I never was good with money.

Enter the dollar store. My first experience with dollar stores was not positive. It was located in a strip mall where I worked. The neighborhood had seen better days (I hope). It was poorly lit, crowded with merchandise, and not very clean. From what I looked at, the reason it was crowded with merchandise was that no one would take that stuff at any price. I could not understand why everyone was raving about dollar stores. Were my friends really that cheap?

A few years went by. I got another job, and drove past a dollar store every day on the way to work. One day I stopped to look around. It was incredible. There were office supplies, craft supplies, school supplies, candy, wrapping paper, all sorts of things. They even had the metallic pipe cleaners my son used to make rabbits (they look better than they sound). I’m not really a shopper, but I looked at everything. I was totally hooked. At Christmas, I fully stuffed all the stockings for under $50.

My dollar store was not part of a chain, so you can guess what happened next. I drove by one day and the owner had sold the shop. The new owner must have been related to the first shop owner I encountered. I was traumatized. I was not going back to spending $7.95 for a Mylar balloon. I had to find a replacement.

My next stop was what I’ll call a pseudo-dollar store. It’s a national chain. A lot of the stuff was one dollar, but the rest was brand-name at discounted prices. This store was the source of most of the health and beauty supplies I bought for a few years. They even had fashion-name make-up for a dollar. It had to be labeled ‘discontinued color’, but in Michigan who knows the difference? The odds of running into Beyonce wearing last year’s eyeliner are pretty low. Alas, I had just made the full commitment when it disappeared.

They opened a dollar store a few miles away from our house. Coincidentally, it’s the same chain that has a store on my way to work. My daughter wanted to stop by one night. It was great! The candy, the pens, the wrapping paper. All was well in the dollar world again. Last Christmas I even bought some nice wrapping paper at the one close to work.

Things were a little crazy this year getting ready for Christmas. Both my daughter and my mother have been ill, so shopping took a back seat to that. I didn’t get to stocking stuffers until two days before Christmas. No big deal – I’d just stop by the dollar store on the way home and I’d be set. We’d have a few more pens and pads of paper than usual, but it’d be OK.

Imagine the look on my face when I opened the door to find that the only wrapping paper left was covered with Justin Bieber. (I didn’t need paper, but it was still traumatizing.) I moved on to the candy. It was appalling – I could only get chocolate-flavored or chocolatey. There was no actual chocolate! Luckily I did have a back-up plan for that – I had bought some of the family’s favorites at work because I knew I would never find it in the dollar store.

I went to toiletries. No nail clippers. No floss. Icky toothbrushes. No body wash for men. No make-up. Large bottles of lotion from some company I’d never heard of, in a scent I didn’t know. This was totally unacceptable. What was I supposed to do?

I went to office supplies. Very few pens. A few memo pads. I tried to think of where else I might go as I wandered the aisles. I finally found some snacks – trail mix, peanuts, etc. Stain remover pens. Socks (not even from China). Packaged, non-Christmas candy. At the counter I found some lip balm.

When I filled the stockings, all was well (although there was LOTS of candy). I’m already planning to stake out the dollars stores next fall to find the best place to go.

In the meantime, I’m going to size up the fruit.