I recently binged on some daytime T.V., but before the usual guilt ensued I had the good fortune to witness a human oddity I hadn’t seen before (naively and unforgivably, I thought I had seen them all). A certain Tele-psychologist with a distinct Southern drawl and reassuring beady eyes was attending to the confessions of a woman who identified herself as a cat. Not a cat-lady. A bona-fide cat. Thankfully caught on tape for posterity, she wore what looked like a custom-fitted, faux-fur cat suit, slept in a kennel (bit of identity confusion there), and to my astonishment, gorged on cat food from out of a bowl marked with her cat pseudonym. An obvious health hazard. But having arrived at a common standstill concerning my attempts to comprehend human coping mechanisms, I began thinking: what about those times I fed pets human food? Seemed like a fairly common practice. Turns out it’s not such a good idea. Human food has a proven damaging effect on pet health.
One of the main consequences of turning your pet onto a diet of human food is the threat of obesity. Human foods are stuffed with calories, yet are absent of the requisite mix of vitamins and minerals your pet needs, accounted for in scientifically tested pet foods. Even the odd tidbit can ward your pet off proper pet food, and over time, this vice can cause heart disease and diabetes. Or indeed, such a corpulent feline that it won’t be able to walk. You’re not cruel are you?
A pet’s diet comprised of too many rich foods can also irritate the pancreas, causing pancreatitis. If the pancreas fails to supply the digestive system with sufficient enzymes for digestion, a pet can experience nausea, dehydration and at worst find itself incapacitated at a veterinary hospital with a drip running out of it for a week or more.
There are also many foods fit for human consumption that are indigestible or toxic, resulting in vomiting, bloody stools and even death. Foods to avoid include:
· onions and garlic
· bones (small and brittle ones)
· grapes and raisins,
· raw eggs,
· fatty and oily food,
· macademia nuts and walnuts
· fruit pits or seeds
· sugary food
If you succumb to the psychological tactics of your pet and cave in to their feigned cutesiness, be sure that the human food it consumes does not exceed 10% of its overall diet, and stick to plain foods that are not buttery, oily or sugary.
Best to listen to our advice. Or you might find your pet claiming it’s a misunderstood human.