Thanksgiving Foods Safe For Cats: What’s Ok To Share?

It is that time of year again…time to gather at the dining room table and enjoy a bountiful meal. As tempting as it may be to indulge your feline friend in many of the table scraps that will be readily available, is it really such a good idea to do so?

Cat sitting at table waiting for thanksgiving dinner

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According to, there are some Thanksgiving foods that are simply not safe for cats to consume.  Carnivorous by nature, cats get most of their essential needs from meat products. Bearing that in mind, if you are going to treat your cat to some Thanksgiving dinner and some leftovers, let the focus be on the meat products. Also remember cats have highly sensitive stomachs. Translation?  Digestive system disorders can occur when they are fed products that aren’t necessarily beneficial to them.

To help you identify Thanksgiving foods safe for cats, below is a list of items you can enjoy sharing with your loving, four-legged, fur ball of a friend this holiday:

Turkey meat

This type of meat is safe and healthy for cats. It is chock full of proteins, and cats really seem to enjoy the taste.  Aim for the white meat, however.  Avoid sections flavored with garlic, onions, heavy dressings and herbs. Those can all be poisonous to cats. Just stick to clean, white meat and make sure there are no bones in it, either.

One Potato, Two Potato

Plain and unseasoned potatoes are safe for cats. Set aside a small spoonful of potato for your cat before adding  milk, sour cream, cheeses and other seasonings, that could spell digestive disaster for your cat.


Not only do cranberries have health benefits for humans, they also are great for cats.  If your cranberry sauce is not made with artificial sweeteners, loads of sugar and other harmful ingredients, let your cat enjoy a taste.  Mix it in with some of his cat food and watch him go to town!


Pumpkin can be beneficial to cats with digestive system disorders.  High in fiber, unseasoned pumpkin is safe for your cat. But avoid giving him any pumpkin pie.  The high sugar level and other artificial ingredients can be harmful to your cat.

Green beans

These are fine, provided there isn’t any milk, butter, yogurt or other dairy products and seasonings in them.

One other option to check out is Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Thanksgiving Day DInner canned cat food. With this, it’s actually cat food, without any of the ingredients that could be dangerous to cats. It contains some of the ingredients of Thanksgiving dinner, in a cat safe recipe.

It is best not to feed your cat anything from the table.  The dietary requirements of cats are different than those of humans. If you feel strongly about sharing with your cat, go for small amounts of unseasoned and allium-free foods this holiday when treating your cat.

Please stay safe this Thanksgiving! Obey health safety protocols in effect in your area to keep your family healthy. This year Thanksgiving will be different, but all things considered, we still have much to be thankful for……..enjoy everyone!

Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.