I Introduced My Cat to Turkey — and I Created a Monster


Specter’s first Thanksgiving is one I won’t forget anytime soon (and not just because it happened only a few weeks ago up here in Canada, where the holiday occurs mid-October). The first plate of Thanksgiving leftovers to enter this house changed my little kitten into a ravenous beast. Specter has a new favorite food, and you better cover your ears if you have some and don’t share — my baby cat is now a turkey monster.

Because I am a vegetarian (with the exception of a recent lapse), we never have turkey in the house, but after celebrating Thanksgiving over at my sister’s place my husband was sent home with a Tupperware container full of white and dark bird parts destined for his sandwiches. Unfortunately for my meat-loving guy, Specter and the dog instantly elevated their begging levels to Code Meat as soon as the lid came off that plastic bowl.

While Specter tried her best to look as cute as possible, dancing around the kitchen and crying out for her share of the bird, I tried to recall everything I knew about cats and turkey. I remembered one particular Catster article by Dr. Eric Barchas about which human foods are safe for cats, and how Dr. Barchas mentioned that cats should not eat the fatty turkey skin, as it can cause tummy upsets.

I wasn’t sure if that rule applied to dogs, too, but just to be on the safe side I selected two pieces of skinless turkey for each of my begging pets.

Of course, the dog got a lot more than Specter, but I seriously think she would have had his portion too if I had let her. Speck was in love at first bite — she chomped down that piece of turkey faster than I’ve ever seen her eat anything, and then she cried out for more.

"Eyeeeeeee-i-eye-i-eye-i-eye-i-eye!" she yelled at me, lifting herself up on her two back feet.

This call for a turkey encore was a new vocalization for Speck. Unlike any noise she’d ever made before, I didn’t quite know what to make of it.

""Eyeeeeeeeeei!" she meowed again, louder.

I tore off another (tiny) piece of turkey and gave it to her.

"That’s enough, Speck," I said, shutting the fridge door and heading back to the living room to binge-watch Twin Peaks with my husband. We had just opened up Netflix when I heard an ungodly howl from the kitchen.


It was Specter, and it was so crazy loud I thought she might be hurt. I jumped off the couch and ran into the kitchen. She looked at me, blinked, and lead me over to the fridge where she cried out again.

"I am not giving you any more turkey and you can’t trick me into it," I told her, returning to my spot on the couch and the pursuit of Laura Palmer’s killer.

Specter’s pleas for poultry went unanswered for the rest of the night, but as soon as the turkey container came out of the fridge the next day she was at it again.

For the next several days Specter cried and carried on whenever the fridge was opened, and especially when that Tupperware container was opened. Specter’s obvious love for turkey got me thinking that maybe my other cat, Ghosty, would like some turkey, too, but my older girl just turned up her nose at the offering of stringy white meat. My Ghost Cat is very particular about her snacks, and finally indulged in a little nibble of turkey, but only if I let her eat it out of my hand.

Ghost Cat didn’t care when the turkey leftovers ran out, but the other three loves of my life (Speck, GhostBuster the dog and my husband) were all very upset by the lack of turkey in our fridge. The pets had gotten used to having roasted turkey as a treat, and my husband, well, he was just upset that he had to share with the pets.

"I’m gonna have a turkey sandwich," he said one night when I asked him what he wanted for dinner.

"Umm, no you’re not," I told him. "It’s all gone."

"What? You mean the dog got all that turkey?"

"Not all of it," I said. "Specter helped."

Feeling bad for my husband and knowing that my sister still had a turkey carcass in her basement beer fridge, I leashed up my dog and went for a walk to pick up some four-day-old bird meat.

I returned from my sister’s house with a purse full of turkey because she’d been down to her last piece of Tupperware — the one with the wonky lid.

Having loose turkey in my purse made me very attractive to my sweet little Specter, who greeted me enthusiastically as soon as I entered the front door.


I heard that noise for the next two days, until the second supply of turkey ran dry. Specter has never made that particular noise since, but I am betting we’ll hear it again after Christmas.

What do your cats have for Thanksgiving dinner? Do you let them have a bit of turkey? Let us know in the comments!

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About the author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten and GhostBuster the dog make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.

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