Cats have been kept as pets for thousands of years, and humans love spoiling and caring for them. If you go out of the house and notice a stray cat coming toward you, it’s going to be very difficult for you to resist sitting down and petting the cute animal.
Cats have been domesticated over the years, so they share a special bond between humans and themselves. However, you should know that their eating habits have evolved dramatically. Stray cats tend to eat very different meals when compared with pet cats.
When you bring a cat at home, you change its dietary habits very quickly. You start serving processed meals from a bag, and it gets a healthy supply of nutrients through either jelly meals or the biscuits. Some are even filled with nutritious jelly that cats love to eat. Needless to say, cats at home do not have to worry about their food at all.
They get their food at a fixed place, at a fixed time, and if they are ever hungry, you can rest assured that your cat knows how to get your attention. On the other hand, stray cats lead a very different life. They are not accustomed to these packet meals or jelly, and they only have to forage through the dust bins and the trash dumpsters to find their meals.
So, it’s often difficult for you to figure out exactly what to feed a stray cat. If you have a small family of stray cats out in your yard or near your home, you might be inclined to feed them from time to time. But, the conventional meals that you feed your cat are not suitable, and certainly not affordable, for feeding a group of cats. Instead, there are a number of other things that you can feed them.
As mentioned, stray cats tend to eat a variety of other things. Here are a few common food items that you can give to a stray cat.
1 – Boiled Fish
There’s no need to worry about the quality of the fish. Just visit your local deli and buy the least expensive fish they have available. Then, take it home and boil it. Then, you can just serve it to the cats outside. However, you should know that boiled fish is not a staple part of a cat’s natural diet.
Despite what you might have seen in pop culture, fish is actually just a small portion of a cat’s natural diet, so don’t turn it into a regular thing. You can always pair the fish up with other things, such as mixing it with a plate of rice and then serving it to the stray cats.
Canned tuna is also a great option, though it should be used sparingly. That’s because canned tuna is expensive, and more importantly, it doesn’t provide the right amount of nutrients that cats require.
2 – Rice and Lentils
This might come as a surprise to many people, but cats have no aversion to rice or lentils. Lentils offer a great source of protein to the animal, and provide a set of nutrients for the cats. Therefore, feeding them rice or lentils on an intermittent basis is a great idea, and could be advantageous for the animal.
Another thing that you can add in the mix is chicken liver. Chicken liver is readily available from local stores, and you can ground it up and mix it in the cat’s meal. Chicken liver offers magnesium, copper, and iron, all of which are vital components for a cat. On top of that, cats love liver because it tastes so good. You can also add boiled liver in the mix if you want; they are just going to devour it as much as they can.
But, you need to understand that a lot of it can be harmful, so you need to give it to them in moderation.
3 – Rice and Chicken
Cats love chicken, period. Cats love potatoes too. It doesn’t matter if you mash them, boil them, or bake them, cats are going to be all over potatoes, especially if you mix them in chicken. Potatoes are relatively inexpensive and they are easily available from your neighborhood vegetable store, so you don’t have much to worry about at all.
The best thing about potatoes is that they are perfectly safe to eat and they also provide a healthy dose of nutrients to your feline friends. Mashing the chicken together with the rice is a fantastic idea and it’s going to help you create a suitable meal that you can feed the cats in the day or during the night.
4 – Eggs
When it comes to feeding a stray cat, most people don’t want to go through all of the trouble. That’s understandable as well, so you might be looking for something that is easily available and doesn’t require any time to prepare. Thankfully, you have eggs.
Cats like eggs, and they provide Vitamin B to the animals as well as protein, making them a pretty good meal actually. However, if you want to reduce the chances of food-borne diseases, you might want to consider boiling the eggs before you give them to the cats. If there are kittens, you should consider peeling the eggs off as well. It’s a great way to provide a healthy and hearty meal without spending any time on preparation.
5 – Yogurt
This might come as a surprise to a few people, but cats love yogurt. But, you need to be careful, because stray cats usually have vastly different digestive systems. If you want to make sure that the cat will be able to digest the food properly, you should always give it a small amount at first. If the cat doesn’t throw up and is able to digest it, you can always give it more.
You should know that cats are able to safely handle various kinds of dairy products such as sour cream, yogurt, and even cottage cheese. Cats prefer lactose-free yogurt, so it’s best if you buy that variant instead of the one that contains lactose. Dairy products have a bit of nutrition in them, but don’t think of it as a full meal.
6 – Boiled Chicken
Then, you have boiled chicken. This is a favorite for cats, and they are going to devour it like crazy. The best part about feeding a cat boiled chicken is that it’s virtually a full meal, and it’s also relatively inexpensive. You can just buy chicken from your local grocery store and boil it at home. It doesn’t require any amount of effort whatsoever.
If you want to go a step further, you can also consider shredding the chicken and then giving it to these little cats. There’s no reason for you to season the chicken using pepper or salt; just boil it directly and give it to the animals. Cats love this, and it won’t be long before the entire plate is wiped clean.
7 – Chicken Broth
Occasionally, you can also give the kittens some chicken broth. Chicken broth is easy to make, and you can also customize it according to your wishes. However, it’s important to note that the chicken broth shouldn’t contain other things such as garlic, sodium, or onion.
All of these things are strictly out of bounds for cats, so it’s recommended that you avoid using them at all costs. Instead, if you know how to make chicken broth at home, just make plain broth and feed it to the animals. If you want to liven it up a bit, you should consider adding a bit of rice to it too.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of meals that you can feed to a cat. It’s important that you do a bit of research to ensure that the nutritional value is suitable for the cats.