Are Thanksgiving Table Scraps OK for My Cat?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, offers advice for sharing Thanksgiving with your cat.

Q: Should I give my cat Thanksgiving table scraps?

A: I would not advise it. The food that makes up a traditional, festive Thanksgiving dinner is high in fat, including turkey, and not good for cats. In fact I think we should not give cats “human” food, but they can often have other ideas.

I remember a Thanksgiving party at a friend’s house years ago. She had a striking black and white cat named Mitch. This cat was very much the alpha male and knew it. We were in the living room with food that included chicken wings. One guest put his plate down for just a second and Mitch seized the opportunity. In a flash, the cat snatched a large wing off the plate and scampered out of the room with his prize. My friend was horrified but luckily we were all cat people and just laughed. The cat did not get to keep his chicken wing, though, and was safely put in another room for the remainder of the evening.

I suggest being careful with your cats during Thanksgiving. With so much going on, cats can get into mischief. You don’t want cats jumping up on a hot stove and getting into leftovers, especially finished plates with turkey bones, and eating things that can make cats sick. As with all large gatherings I do think they should be put in a separate room with the essentials — cat food, water, cat litter, toys — until the guest are gone and temptation removed. Extra treats for their “good behavior” will more than make up for them missing the party and you will rest easier.

I wish you and your kitties a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. As always I welcome your stories and comments.

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