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The nutritional intake of your cat is perhaps the single most important aspect in its health and happiness. It's significant to remember cats, despite many centuries of domestication, are carnivores and require meat. There can be no such thing as a vegetarian feline. Cats have a particularly high requirement for protein. Their preference for high-protein food is not a behavioral trait, or taste issue, but a biological imperative.

Unlike dogs or humans, a cat requires a diet containing a great deal of fat. A well-balanced diet for a cat would consist of many things such as protein, bones for calcium, fats, starches, sugars, fiber, and vitamins. Ironically, (or perhaps not) all these requirements are contained in your average mouse! Here are some guidelines for feeding your cat human food.

1) Don't let your cat become addicted to any one type of food. Cats can find tuna or liver, for example, very tasty and refuse to eat anything else. Too much tuna, which is usually packed in thick oil, will rob the cat's body of vitamin E. Liver on the other hand is very rich in vitamin A and too much of this vitamin can be toxic.

2) Milk may not be fine for all cats. Cats may have difficulty digesting milk and can develop diarrhea. Vets suggest you try milk in small amounts but be sure to watch the cat's stool for a day or two. If diarrhea occurs, the cat cannot properly digest the milk. An acidophilus-enriched milk, available at large supermarkets, can often be consumed by cats that can't tolerate normal milk.

3) It is acceptable to give your cat table scraps as a special treat occasionally, however it's not likely these alone will provide a balanced diet.

4) In small amounts, yogurt, butter, cheese, and raw eggs yolks are all good for your cat. But, avoid giving your cat raw egg whites, as they contain avidin, which breaks down and destroys the B vitamins.

5) If you choose to give your cat fish, cooked and carefully boned is the best way.

6) Cats can eat some cereals such as oatmeal, wheat farina or corn-meal mush but, avoid grits (and hominy in general) as the residual lye is toxic to a cat.

7) On very special occasions give your cat cream. Combining the tastes and benefits of butter and milk, sweet cream is like kitty champagne!