Cats are very good at getting owners to do what they want them to do. In fact, some cats are so clever at getting what they want when it comes to a tasty treat that it can be quite amusing. Unfortunately, although their antics bring a smile to your face, giving your cat any table scraps can be extremely harmful for your cat's overall health and well-being.
It can be quite hard to ignore the big eyes and the incessant purring as your cat begs for a bit of your lunch or dinner. However, you have to resist the temptation to give them one of your tasty morsels because in the long run you could be doing your pet a very big disservice health-wise. It could result in them becoming very sick and land you with some huge vet bills.
A cat's digestive system is an extremely delicate affair and it's one that is not designed to cope with fatty foods. Most "people" food is on the fatty side which can cause serious tummy upsets to cats and although rare, it could even prove fatal. The reason being that feeding fatty table scraps to your feline friend might seriously impact their pancreas triggering a fatal condition known as pancreatitis. In its acute form, cats become very sick and need to be seen by a vet sooner rather than later in order to save their lives.
Acute pancreatitis - symptoms can come on very quickly and it's where a cat's pancreas becomes swollen and inflamed because their body retains far too much fluid. However, the pancreas is not severely damaged when a cat suffers from acute pancreatitis.
A haemorrhagic form of pancreatitis - again the symptoms can suddenly manifest themselves very quickly which results in severe swelling and inflammation of a cat's pancreas causing a lot of damage which can negatively impact other vital organs.
Chronic pancreatitis - this is a form of the condition that takes hold after a cat has recovered for an acute case of pancreatitis. They then continue to suffer from the condition as it recurs throughout their lives.
Feeding table scraps to your cat no matter how nicely they beg for them is a real no-no and instead of offering them a bit of your snack or your meal, it is far better to keep lots of healthy treats close by when you are preparing or eating any food for yourself or your family. You have the option to buy in commercially produced cat treats of which there are many on the market, being extra careful to always buy well-known brands. You could also opt to make the cat treats yourself so you know exactly what's gone into them.
However, even healthy cat treats should be given in moderation because too many could result in your cat ploughing on the pounds which then results in them becoming obese. This can lead to all sorts of other health issues. Cats that carry too much weight tend to have shorter life spans because obesity will seriously impact their heart function, it will put a lot of strain on their bodies, limbs and vital organs.
Indoor cats tend to get pampered a lot more than cats that spend a lot of their time in the great outdoors. Cats when they spend all of their time inside the house tend to have access to dry food throughout the day, but they don't get the chance to burn off all their calorie intake, they also get very excited when their owners return home and are delighted when someone makes a snack or starts cooking a meal because they know there's a good chance they will be given a tasty titbit.
Even if the "people food" you give your cat is healthy for you to eat, it does not mean it is safe or healthy for your cat. If you have put any sort of butter, sauce, salt or pepper on the food it could result in your cat suffering from a tummy upset which could lead to an expensive visit to the vet. In the long run, your cat's overall health will suffer and it could mean you don't have them around for as long as you hoped you would.
A cat, when well cared for and fed the correct diet to suit their ages can live a very long time. This can be anything from 12 to 15+ years with some cats living well into their twenties. However, a cat's life span would be a lot shorter if they are fed a fatty diet at any point in their lives and if they become obese, it could shorter their lives considerably.
Sharing your home with a cat is very rewarding and taking good care of your pet means making sure they are always fed the correct type of diet to suit the different stages of their lives. The one thing to avoid is giving your feline friend is any "people food" and any scraps from the table because our food is far too fatty for a cat to digest properly and it messes up their digestive systems considerably. The result could be your pet develops a condition known as Pancreatitis which could impact their overall health and well-being for the rest of your cat's life.