Y Magazine

Emily Shotter on what to feed your cat

We humans adore our feline friends but taking care of them isn’t always as easy as it seems. Whether you have your own fur-family or just feed strays, you should be careful about what you are giving them.



Milk is probably the number one offender when it comes to “helping out the kitty that was starving”. Most cats become lactose-intolerant after a few weeks old. So it’s important not to feed them cow’s milk. Stick to good, old plain water and a little cat food or meat, or get kitten milk from the vets.

When it comes to food, supermarket brands are fine for feeding those who would otherwise be starving. But I feed both strays and my own cats a better choice of food to keep them healthy. Top of the brands are those such as Orijen, Applaws, Taste of the Wild and other high-protein, low-grain varieties. However, Royal Canin is good enough for most.

Cats are carnivores so they need lots of protein. We love to treat our cats but remember that carbs are not good for them. So it is fine to give them chicken and beef but if you’re feeding them that exclusively, be sure to include taurine and other elements essential for their well-being. Most good brands have taurine and other vitamins and minerals included so the hard part is taken care of for you. One final warning: beware of human-grade tuna. It can cause long-term health issues and, in the short-term, cause upset kitty tummies. So as an occasional treat, it’s fine but for mine, I avoid it altogether.