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Can Cats Eat Baby Food? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Can Cats Eat Baby Food? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Your cat is your baby. But if you recently brought a human bundle of joy home, you may be tempted to share some nutritious baby food with your feline friend. Can your cat safely consume baby food? It depends. While cats can eat meat-based baby food, ones that contain veggies could be potentially harmful and even lethal.

Here’s everything you should consider before dishing out a bowl of baby food to your kitty.


Cat ball divider 1Can Cats Eat Baby Food?

While cats are natural carnivores, even in the wild, they eat trace amounts of vegetables from the stomach contents of their prey to obtain essential vitamins. Also, eating whole prey with the bones contains minerals not found in the meat alone. Domesticated housecats acquire their daily dose of nutrients through their diet of commercial cat food.

While you can treat your cat to small portions of meat-based baby food every once in a while, it should never be used as a substitute for cat kibble. Baby food lacks enough taurine for cats, which will lead to malnutrition if cats are only fed baby food as their daily diet.

If you have a sick or senior cat that can’t comfortably consume regular cat food, you can feed her small helpings of meat-based baby food. However, wet cat food is always the healthier option.

baby food soup
Photo Credit: MapleHorizons, Pixabay

Is Baby Food Bad for Cats?

Babies are extremely fragile little creatures. That’s why most baby foods are crafted with sensitive stomachs in mind. But just because a baby can safely eat baby food doesn’t mean you should be feeding it to your cat.

This is especially true if the baby food contains any onion or garlic powder, which is common with some brands. These two ingredients are extremely toxic to cats.

Never feed your cat baby food that contains:
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Veggies of any kind
  • Fruits of any kind (except for infrequent pumpkin as it promotes gut motility)
  • Added sweeteners or sugars
  • Dairy
  • Canola oil or vegetable oil

When looking for baby food to feed to your cat, always choose meat-based baby food with no seasonings. A teaspoon of turkey-, chicken-, or lamb-flavored baby food makes a tempting treat for kitties.

When Is It Okay to Feed a Cat Baby Food?

All-natural, meat-based baby food makes good supplemental food for cats if:
  • They suffer from a reduced appetite because of a disease, such as liver disease, CKD, and cancer
  • They’re elderly and have periodontal issues or a painful mouth
  • They’ve had their teeth extracted and can’t eat firm cat kibble
  • They have temporary digestive sensitivity
  • They’re feral cats that you want to entice into a humane trap

You can also offer healthy cats a small helping of meat-based baby food as the occasional treat. However, baby food should never make up a large portion of your kitty’s daily diet.

How Long Can a Cat Eat Baby Food?

A cat can consume baby food as its main meal for only about 2 to 3 days. After that, you’ll need to slowly start transitioning them back to normal cat kibble or wet cat food.

Baby food doesn’t contain taurine. This is a vital amino acid that cats can only get from commercial kibble, raw meat, supplements, or wet cat food.

baby food
Photo Credit: MapleHorizons, Pixabay

Baby Food Alternatives for Cats

If you don’t want to feed your sick or elderly cat eating baby food, some good alternatives are:
  • Kitten food
  • Raw or boiled chicken
  • Egg yolks

Remember, these options should never replace your cat’s normal kibble or wet cat food.

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cat paw dividerThe Bottom Line on Baby Food for Cats

A small helping of meat-based baby food that doesn’t contain any additives is perfectly okay to feed your cat. It may even be helpful for elderly or ill cats that can’t consume normal kibble.

Never feed your kitty baby food that contains garlic or onion; it can be fatal. Also, never use baby food as a substitute for your pet’s regular cat food for prolonged periods. However, your cat can enjoy a small spoonful of meat-based baby food! She’ll love the full flavor and yummy aroma!

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: MapleHorizons, Pixabay

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