Despite the efforts of hundreds of thousands of shelters, rescue organizations, and kind-hearted people who adopt, there are millions of homeless cats living in the United States alone. There’s a good chance you’ll see one or two stray cats in your neighborhood as the seasons change and unneutered cats keep having more kittens.
You might encounter a stray cat at your door or see one sniffing about your neighborhood. If so, it’s unlikely that you’ll have enough time to quickly run to the store and get cat food.
Being natural predators, cats mostly consume food that comes from animals. While kids can consume some things derived from plants, it is best to limit their intake to animal products like chicken, turkey, tuna, or scrambled eggs. Cats shouldn’t drink milk because they don’t have the enzymes they need to digest it.
So, you’re now left wondering what to feed a stray cat besides cat food.
Stay tuned to see what you can feed stray cats in your community if you don’t have any cat food on hand.
What should strays be fed?
If you so want, you may provide stray cats with a dish of fresh, clean water as well as regular, high-calorie cat food or canned tuna. Although it attracts other creatures including possums, skunks, and raccoons, dry cat food is still advised. You may prevent this by leaving dry cat food out during the day and taking it out at night. As the next few paragraphs explain, you can also feed the cat different foods that people eat.
What occurs if stray cats are fed?
Even though you simply intend to feed stray cats with good intentions, it might not be a good idea to do so. This is due to the possibility of one or more of the following events:
• These stray cats will repeatedly visit your house, yard, or grass.
• The neighbors could find them bothersome.
• They may become overcrowded.
• They could be carriers of diseases.
It’s likely that once you start feeding stray cats, those cats will bring more cats into your yard. Additionally, because they are fed high-calorie cat food, this could result in a larger litter and a faster reproduction rate. Not to mention the indignant neighbors who dislike the stray cats in the area. There may even be laws and rules in some towns and localities prohibiting feeding stray cats.
South Miami veterinarian Dr. Patty Khuly advises having stray cats fixed if you plan to feed them on a regular basis. Utilizing the TNR programs of regional animal rescue organizations in your area is a wonderful approach to achieve this. This will make it easier to control the number of stray cats in the area.
If you plan to routinely feed the stray cats, you should also keep them in your yard. In order to discourage them from visiting other people’s yards, you might create an outdoor litter box for them to use. Don’t leave any unfinished meals outside. You could also suggest that your neighbors use cat deterrents like lemon peels and pans of vinegar to keep cats away from their homes.
Additionally, if pet owners have not taken care of stray cats, they may have parasite infestations or even rabies. To have them immunized, dewormed, and treated for fleas, you could ask your neighborhood animal shelter or rescue organization for assistance.
You can feed stray cats with human food
Local wildlife, which primarily consists of rodents and small mammals including mice, rabbits, and squirrels, is hunted by stray cats. They also consume fish, birds, and lizards.
If you are feeding stray cats and don’t have any canned cat food on hand, you can feed them these human meals instead:
Eggs are a safe food option for cats and a rich source of protein and vitamin B. It should be boiled before giving to cats because it might help lower the chance of contracting foodborne illnesses.
Since cats are obligate carnivores, chicken is a good option for them as they mostly consume meat. Cats, unlike dogs, cannot digest high-fiber foods, so it is best to serve them with cooked meat and poultry.
Turkey is a lean meat that is a rich source of protein and makes for a tasty treat for cats.
Another human food that is acceptable for cats is oatmeal. It is safe for cats and a fantastic source of energy and vitamin B. However, some felines might not enjoy the flavor or consistency of oatmeal.
Fish is a favorite food of cats, and stray cats may even catch it themselves from rivers or waterways. Cooked salmon, which is a high source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, can be given to them. Check out our earlier essay on the subject of cats and fish.
You can also give stray cats the following human foods and meals:
• Boiled vegetables, mashed
• Minced liver, rice, and lentils
• Baked potatoes with rice
• Rice and chicken soup
• Pumpkin puree and oats
Lastly… consider what to feed a stray cat that isn’t on a cat food diet.
In conclusion, feeding a stray cat without cat food doesn’t have to be challenging. At least that’s something if you have leftover cat-safe food!
The world will already be a better place if you are able to feed a starving cat. I appreciate your kindness and concern for the animals who required food, shelter, and affection.