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Top Christmas treats for cats

Most people know how much dogs love to get treats; well cats love them too! The festive season is well upon us and we all enjoy treating ourselves at Christmas time. There are safe ways for you to treat your cat as well. This article aims to explore the Christmas toxicities and then take a good look at what Christmas foods are safe to feed your feline friend. 

Hazardous Christmas foods

Cats differ slightly from dogs in that they are usually fussier about what foods they will eat! However, some cats (like mine!) will pretty much eat anything they get their paws on. Let’s start by focusing on the Christmas foods and treats which are dangerous to cats (this list is not exhaustive):

Christmas pudding and mince pies 

These traditional treats contain dried fruits and we know that raisins and grapes etc are extremely toxic to pets – including cats. 


Cats don’t usually choose to eat sweet things. But I would still recommend keeping sweets and chocolate out of reach from your cat just in case. Chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine along with a small amount of caffeine, both are toxic to cats (and dogs too!). The higher the content of cocoa in the chocolate, the higher the toxicity level. 


We know that cats are true carnivores and might show a lot of interest in your Christmas turkey. Be careful feeding uncooked or cooked bones to your cat, they can cause serious health problems so best to be avoided. 

Onions, herbs and spices 

Onions are extremely toxic to cats and onion toxicosis can occur following ingestion of only 5g/kg (Cope, 2005). Sadly, this leads to oxidative red blood cell damage, anaemia and kidney failure. Please be cautious when feeding your cat any gravy because this could also contain onions, herbs, and spices. 


It may seem obvious, but when the Christmas drinks are flowing, make sure that alcohol is always out of reach of your pets. Never give pets alcohol!

Dairy products 

Interestingly, most cats are lactose intolerant, so drinking milk can make your cat sick. Make sure your cat can’t reach the glass of milk you leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve!

If you think your cat has ingested any of the above hazards please seek Veterinary advice immediately, responding quickly is vital with any toxin ingestion.

What Christmas treats are safe to feed my cat?

Now, let’s explore the fun part. What safe Christmas treats can cats actually eat? Treating your cat (in moderation of course) can be a wonderful thing to do. The following list will hopefully give you some ideas of how you can include your loved feline into the Christmas celebrations (this list is not exhaustive):


Vegetables are very nutritious and vegetables such as carrots (cooked or raw), broccoli and peas can be fed to your cat. Mine loves them!

Boneless/skinless white meat 

This is the treat that your cat is likely to be most excited about receiving! Being obligate carnivores, their diet should consist of animal based protein and therefore, it is absolutely fine offering a small amount of cooked meat to your cat. A very small piece of cooked, skinless, boneless chicken, turkey or fish is fine to feed them, but ensure that it is free of any herbs, oils, or seasoning as these can make them poorly.

Home-made treats

There are many wonderful, accessible online resources (and even pet recipe guides too) containing easy recipes for you to create homemade treats for your cat. These can include meaty treats and fish-flavoured biscuits. As mentioned above, do not overfeed your cat with any form of treats as this can cause a gastrointestinal upset, something which you most definitely want to avoid happening over Christmas. 

Commercial cat treats

There are many pet shops which sell commercial cat treats (Dreamies are usually a particular favourite!). These can sometimes be high in sugar and be unhealthy, so just be careful not to feed too many of these to your cat. 

Furthermore, we also want to avoid weight gain and we know that feeding too many treats can lead to obesity. Feeding your cat a very small piece of cheese may not seem like much, but alarmingly 15g of cheese fed to your cat is the equivalent of a human eating two cheeseburgers! 


To conclude, I hope this article has answered any questions you had about what Christmas treats you can safely feed to your cat. Our feline friends mean the absolute world to us and we like to give them extra love at Christmas time by offering them treats. Be mindful of the food hazards, not only during the festive period but all year round! Have a very Merry Christmas and I hope your cat has a visit from Santa Paws!


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