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Cat Diet

Cat diet

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Cats can be pretty fussy eaters, and aren’t too afraid of letting us know. But what exactly should our feline friends be eating? What should they avoid? How much should they eat? And how often?

We have the answers below.

What can cats eat?

Cats are naturally carnivorous and therefore need to eat meat to stay healthy. Although animal meat protein should make up the bulk of your cat’s diet, small and occasional portions of other foods shouldn’t do any harm.

What can’t cats eat?

Cats have very different nutritional need to humans, and so certain foods that are safe for us to eat can pose serious health risks to cats.


Try to keep your cat away from the following foods. If you suspect she may have ingested some, or if she is showing signs of sickness after eating, contact your vet as soon as you can.


  • Onions, garlic and chives: These foods cause your cat’s red blood cells to break down and can lead to anaemia
  • Dairy: Cats are mostly lactose-intolerant. Too much milk and dairy foods may lead to diarrhoea
  • Grapes and raisins: Small amounts can make your cat ill and can lead to kidney failure
  • Caffeine: High portions can be lethal
  • Chocolate: Eating chocolate can lead to arrhythmia, seizures and even death
  • Liver: Too much can lead to vitamin A toxicity which affects your cat’s bones
  • Human medicine: This accounts for a lot of cat poisoning
How much should I feed my cat or kitten?

As a general guide the amount of food you should feed your cat depends on her age, size and breed, as well as the type of cat food you’re using. The average 3.5kg cat needs around 240 calories a day, which is equivalent to roughly 4/5 of a cup of dried food or just less than a 170g tin of wet food. If your cat is a healthy weight you should be able to feel (but not see) her ribs when you stroke her side.

How often should I feed my cat or kitten?

Kittens generally begin to eat solid food at around three weeks. Kitten should be fed small meals four to five times a day until they reach about six months old. Once a cat reaches six months, she should be fed two meals a day for the rest of her life. 

The content of these pages is for general information only. It does not constitute advice and must not be acted or relied on as being so. Veterinary advice should always be sought before applying this or any other information to any facts and circumstances concerning each individual pet.

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