Each time I eat lunch there is a cat in my lap demanding attention. It's not hunger, her bowl is full. She definitely prefers people food (at least meat, cheese and sour cream) over canned food or kibble. I am afraid that if I feed her what she likes she will get some sort of nutritional imbalance.

How much people food can I give her without causing health issues?

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    do not feed your cat any human food at all. Jun 13, 2018 at 17:25
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    Huh what? You mean steak is unhealthy for cats? Jun 13, 2018 at 19:38
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    read rebeccas answer,your cat might get fat and this is not healthy for your cat. Jun 13, 2018 at 20:29
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    I fail to see the difference in terms of calories between kibble and steak. Except I don't like canned shit, why would the cat like it? Jun 14, 2018 at 0:33
  • So, that explains why all Felidae suffered such poor dietary health for the >25 million years leading up to the turn of the 20th century AD. No Fancy Feast.
    – voices
    Jun 15, 2018 at 11:45

2 Answers 2


You will not cause a nutritional imbalance by giving "people food" on top of her regular food. My only concern at this point would be that she becomes over-weight or obese by having more calories than needed a day.

Unhealthy Food Items

Cats are lactose intolerant, it would be best to stay away from the cheese and sour cream.

Other unhealthy items include but not limited to:

  • onions
  • chocolate
  • garlic
  • coffee
  • avocado

Home Made Diets

If you have the time and patience, making a balanced home made diet is a great way to satisfy his needs for the real deal. Hilary's Blend is our go to, the recipes have been shown to be completely balanced, each have had a full nutrient analysis as well. You need to buy her supplements to compliment the recipes.

  • Re cheese and sour cream, traditional production methods break down the lactose or otherwise reduce its quantity, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance#Dietary_avoidance. It depends very much on the production method (and with cheese, also on the type of cheese). I know of several people who feed their cats hard cheese (which has little lactose left, if produced in a traditional way). If the cat develops diarrhea after being fed cheese, that may be a sign of her getting more lactose than her system can handle,but if she seems fine, I would not worry too much.
    – user149408
    Sep 4, 2020 at 12:17

Pets bugging people for food is not usually a pet problem, but a people problem. By giving them food, you are reinforcing the behaviour that it is OK for them to ask for it. The more you do it, the more pesky they will become.

What I learned through various sources, including Cesar Milan's "Be the Pack Leader" is that in animals, in Milan's case dogs, but I've found it applies to cats as well, the dominant members eat first. You can see this in a pride of lions, when the lionesses do the hunting, but wait for the lions to eat first, and then the cubs eat after the lionesses.

What I do in my home, is not feed the animals until I've eaten. While I'm eating, I don't acknowledge them at all, and I will reprimand them with a gentle push or a snap of my fingers if they try to interact with me. If I have some scraps, leftovers, or treats that I want to give them, I keep it aside and give it to them, in their food bowls, when I am done eating.

They have learned to not disturb me, or my guests, when we're eating. This makes for an overall more enjoyable experience around them, rather than being embarrassed and fight with them.

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    I don't feel bothered. I enjoy making her happy. She is not a pest. I am just trying to make sure I am not making her sick. Jun 13, 2018 at 19:37
  • Cats are very much not lions. We might be in the process of making them more lion like, but are not there yet. Jun 14, 2018 at 7:45
  • Felines are generally solitary hunters; lions are the only ones that hunt in packs. Hence dog logic likely applies to lions more than to any other species of feline, including domestic cats. If you want to discourage begging, feeding your cat before you eat may do the trick equally well—the cat will be fed and therefore less interested in food while you have some on the table.
    – user149408
    Sep 4, 2020 at 12:31

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