By all accounts cats are carnivores. They need meat, and lots of it. Meat meat meat, flesh, protein, wet and messy and slimy. I made the decision years ago to move my cats to canned food, so Apollo feasts on canned vension on a daily basis. You’d think he would be happy with this biologically appropriate arrangement.
I thought cats were supposed to be finicky. This is why I find his vulture-like scavenging so perplexing. While Apollo will occasionally pluck a wayward piece of chicken off the counter (a rare oversight on my part, since it makes his fur fall out) he is just as likely to go for the types of foods he is supposedly genetically programmed to have no desire for:
- popcorn (his favorite)
- maple walnut ice cream
- brussels sprouts. Seriously? I can’t pay anyone else in the house to touch them! What cat in his right mind likes to munch on brussels sprouts?
And of course, let’s not forget what he did to the gingerbread mansion I worked on for 2 weeks straight:
I gave him some catnip treats I found while I was cleaning out the pantry yesterday, after reading the label and determining that they were not anything that should trigger his allergies. NEVER AGAIN. He woke me up twice that night, once with his yowling incessantly at the bookshelf and the second time with a fervent and intense need to deliver to my ankle a swift and definitive death. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE *CHOMP* It’s venison or nothing from now on, cat.
Anyone else have a closet omnivore? What is the strangest stuff your cat likes? I can’t be the only one whose feline has odd tastes.
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Daisy the Curly Cat says
Harley and I are wild for string cheese. I like peanut butter, too. But mostly we like meats.
Dr. V says
A peanut butter loving cat! After my own heart!
My freaky cat love peanut butter too! She also goes bonkers for corn, potatoes and anything caramel!
the 7msn ranch says
When Snapper was a young delinquent, he snatched a frozen, two-pound pork roast out of the kitchen sink and ate most of it…including the plastic wrap and styrofoam tray. I was ready to declare myself senile for losing a defrosting pork roast…until I found a few tell-tale bits of tray on the floor with teeth marks.
Dr. V says
I’ve had those moments too. “I could have sworn I bought a loaf of sourdough…wait… what’s that crumb?….BRODY!!”
My old kitty Fizzgig always wanted to eat whatever I was eating. She LOVED Fritos. She drove me bonkers while I as making corned beef and cabbage on St. Pat’s day, so I gave her a huge cabbage leaf, figuring she’d see I did not have much to interest her. She ate the cabbage and came back for more. She also once stole the button mushrooms out of some Thai leftovers.
My friends had a cat that would steal citrus fruits on the counter. The things that cat would do to grapefruit were hideous.
Our cat goes for tomatoes. He will jump onto the table for them (which he won’t do for anything else) and run and hide with them to devour out of sight. They are the most coveted item.
We had a dog who adored cabbage (and kale, and ate my brusselsprouts in the garden down to nubs) but dogs are supposed to be omnivores.
One of my cats is very strange. She will ignore most food – including fish but goes crazy for caramel dip, hummus, dried pineapples, and one particular kind of frozen yogurt that has blueberries in it. The caramel dip is her absolute favorite, it is the only thing she will beg for even if it isn’t out.
Another one of my cats can smell pita bread from miles away and run straight to it. Not just any bread, but pita in particular.
Georgia Jewel says
Both of my cats are omnivores- Cheddar loves french fries, popcorn and butter. Pewter adores bread and will break into our bread box to get to it. (We tape it closed.) My dog loves broccoli but it gives him gas so I rarely let him have it.
Rose D. says
My Eesa LOVES Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce. She also like tortillas, and once ignored a pork chop left on the counter, in favor of steamed broccoli.
Vanilla cookies and my Dog’s food (and the dog goes for the cat’s–sheeshh)…
Q would go nuts for banana bread and poppyseed muffins.
Cami will eat anything. She begs at the table even.
Spaghetti? Yes, please!
Carrots? Yes, please!
Ketchup? Yes, please!
Corn? Yes, please!
Lettuce? Yes, please!
BBQ Sauce? Yes, please!
Scrammbled Eggs? Yes, please!
Tortilla Chip? Yes, please!
Romeo loves lasagna and pizza.
Our dearly departed baby Molly LOVED ranch dressing.
Roger, another cat now at the RB would literally swipe cheese out of our hands and run off into the corner and devour it.
caren gittleman says
Ohhh how this made me LAUGH!!! The decimated gingerbread was hilarious, maple walnut icecream??? THAT is a first!! lol…brussel sprouts?????
The sprouts I think would be tied to cats loving grass…(sprouts are GREEN!! lol)…both of my cats LOVED BROCCOLI!! Go figure!!!
My Angel Bobo used to ADORE the kind of black olives that were on pizza….he used to beg for them and I ordered them on the pizza just for HIM!
Unfortunately Cody developed food allergies last summer and the vet has him on a strict diet of rabbit/pea (Royal Canin) so he hasn’t had a treat to speak of since then. Occasionally he scavenges stray crumbs that may have found the floor (from my sloppy husband lol) but that is it. The vet and I have to re-assess his allergy situation to see if/when we can start re-introducing other foods again
I once had a cat who LOVED asparagus, mushrooms and broccoli. He would literally swipe them off of our plates.
I had another who loved bread/cake products. Once a friend was watching her in her own home for me. The woman’s son came home from school and called his mother in a panic, claiming that they had a Giant Mouse or Rat who had stolen the brand new loaf of bread from the kitchen counter and dessimated it to mere crumbs in the wrapper. My friend was convinced her son was making it up to cover the fact that *he* had eaten the bread. When I found out, I had to laugh because I knew what had really happened to the bread!
I currently have a little kitty who will eat just about *anything*. She especially likes Chinese food.
And I have a silly male orange tabby who, for all of his life, has told us we were trying to poison him whenever we offered him turkey. Suddenly, this year, at the age of 14, he has decided that he likes it. A lot.
And all of my cats have always loved pizza crusts — I’m not sure if for the taste or the crunchiness and the way they feel on the gums.
Pesto loves cantaloupe and canned peaches. If she smells cantaloupe she will come running (with her belly swaying to and fro) to the kitchen. She also likes small bits of watermelon. Her real food is NB canned and Wysong Uretic. She’ll be 14 in March!
My cat Muffin used to like popsicles, licking cheetos, and cleaning the bowl after I ate spaghettios or canned soup. She would beg for table scraps and hit my mom on the arm constantly during dinner.
My other cat Milo, he never begged for food ever. He was a little odd.
One of the house cats at our hospital is obsessed with Cheez-Its and Wheat Thins. She will lick the salt off of them, roll on them, and then eat the soggy mess.
Susan Montgomery says
Our Cat won’t touch any ‘Human’ food, but will munch on the occasional dog cookie crumb she finds. Her true passion is flowers. Doesn’t matter what kind, she will finagle a way to where they are and eat them. I have not had a bouquet yet without a missing flower or two and teeth marks on it.
Oh, flowers and plants are definitely off limits in my house. Alley will go straight for them!
Tabitha W says
KD. Mini LOVES KD
Teaspoon likes veggie soup, cheese, noodles, you know, the norm.
Miss Emma only eats cat food. She turns her nose up at anything else. Brianne, on the other hand, likes cookies, crackers, potato chips, french fries… I have to keep them well out of her reach, or she’ll grab them and take them to her ‘lair.’ 😉
Jen L-N says
yup, one of my cats ADORES cheese. she’ll lick the bowl after i eat macaroni and cheese. and then beg for white cheddar popcorn from trader joe’s 😛
The only thing Alley eats that isn’t cat food is whipped cream. If we have “treats” at night, we give Clyde (the dog) frozen baby food (fruits, veggies, whatever – he thinks it’s dog ice cream) and Alley (cat) gets a tiny (dime-sized) shot of whipped cream. It’s so funny because when she sees everyone else in the family having their dessert, she will expect to have her whipped cream.
Awww, that is adorable!
hidden exposures says
loaves of bread and chocolate chip cookies are not safe in this household…i tell people my cat is more of a dog than my dog is!
I left a ham sandwich on the cupboard once and my kitty ate the bread and the lettuce but left the ham.
Dr. V says
NO!! ha ha ha!!
hidden exposures says
that really is quite hilarious!
My older cat used to love bites of strawberries (slightly dehydrated – great for trail mixes, etc). She has a sensitive digestive tract now in her older age, so I don’t give her anything other than her food and an occasional petrodent tooth cleaner/treat. She LOVES those, by the way. If I’m careless enough to leave the pouch where she can get to it, she will bite/chew/tear her way into the bag and scarf it ALL in one go… which I’ve discovered in the mornings and after work on three occasions. (yes, apparently I need more training)
Ben and Henry don’t really go for people food much, but Henry… he’s another story. He likes it all! He particularly likes popcorn and ice cream. We tried to capture a video of him the other night (to no avail, of course…) He cried every time I moved my spoon from the bowl toward my mouth. It was SO funny! Crazy boy.
My cat passed away a few years ago, but she loved tofu cream cheese. She wouldn’t touch REAL cream cheese, which everyone else in my family eats, but she loved the tofu stuff that I have because I can’t eat dairy. She’d run over every time she saw me with a bagel and I’d put a dab on her nose.
My parents cat, Ringo, has some weird food choices…Popcorn, marshmallows, cheese(he loves cheese!), the husks off sweet corn, and will pretty much steal what is available if you leave your plate unguarded.
My husband and I’s cat, Charlie, is total opposite. He doesn’t try to steal food or has any weird tastes, though he does eat popcorn. He likes to beg for tuna, canned chicken and turkey breast.
Oskar loves apple sauce. I have to give him the little cups to lick when I’m done or else he gets all meowy.
I also switched my cats to an all canned diet a few years ago. My cat Omar had the hardest time. I’d come down to the kitchen in the morning and the loaf of bread would be ripped open and some eaten. The poor guy had become a carb addict from all the carbs in dry food and the withdrawal was too much for him. The bread stays hidden now so we don’t have a relapse.
Emily K says
Harley likes rice cakes and popcorn. Maybe it’s the salt? But she will not eat cat treats, no matter the kind I try. But eating brussels sprouts are truly amazing – even I don’t touch those!
I have 5 cats, and only one so far really likes a variety of things:
The middle of a soft french roll, kinda mushed into a cube,
Dried seaweed (She will nearly snatch it from me on its way to my mouth if I don’t give her some first!)
Fresh grated Parmesan mushed into a cube (her brother loves this, too!)
4 out of the 5 love grass. I take them out on short, supervised backyard trips, and they just sit and eat the grass. I call them my little goats when they do this.
Some non edible items she just lies to chew, not necessarily eat:
plastic bags ( I have no idea, she likes to chew these, so I keep them out of her reach.)
The end of the curtain rod. The tall cat tower is next to the window, and she likes to do this, too. Not just rubbing her cheek, actually chewing on.
When I was still in vet school, Isis knocked a spaghetti squash off the counter overnight and proceeded to feast on its flesh. She also nicked some artichokes off the stove one time, and then in a rare occurrence of collusion with the dog knocked some off for her as well. She then proceeded to vomit said artichoke onto our bed the next morning. My favorite, though, was when she broke into a bag of garbanzo bean flour.
I figured our cat was strange, but perhaps not…
Max tore through tin foil to eat a pumpkin cake (and cream cheese icing) and also ate through a plastic bag to the potatoes inside. He was a lovely weirdo.
My first cat Taffy would beg for bananas and strawberries. He also loved cheese.
Percy doesn’t like much other than cat food, which is strange to me. He’ll lick milk out of my cereal bowl, but that’s about it. (He gets raw fed, so maybe he’s satisfied with that?)
Pandora will beg for crumbs from my peanut butter cookies, and her sister Zowie has occasionally been found knawing on pizza crusts and licking up the sauce.
This isn’t really food but I’ve always wondered and worried about this. No one has ever said it was bad, just weird. Maybe you can enlighten me. My first Maine Coon, Naphtali, used to love licking plastic. He would lick the grocery bags. I wondered if it tastes like water–or something else. Then my second Maine Coon, Kelly, does it too! They both liked licking the plastic liner in the trash can! Our other non-Maine Coon cats have never done this.
Oh… I just remembered… my cats also like squid/cuttlefish. (We don’t have it that often in the house, so I plum forgot about it before) Whenever I think of a wild feline hunting a cephalopod, it cracks me up.
Lorie Huston, DVM says
Thanks for giving me a good laugh, Dr. V. Believe me, with 6 cats, I can relate.
Jessica Kleczynski says
We have two cats with strange appetites 🙂 Our big cat loves cheese, ice cream, and popsicles (he has his own because my husband is diabetic and his ice cream & popsicles are bad for him). This cat gets better quality ice cream than I do! I buy the kind with the least amount of ingredients that I can find.
Our little girl, who won’t eat lunch meat or any other meat unless it comes out of a cat food can, or fish of any sort no matter where it comes from, strangely loves popcorn and anything plastic. We have to watch her whenever we have popcorn so that we don’t end up at the emergency vet with one of the hard bits stuck somewhere unpleasant. We also have to make sure that no plastic packaging is available or she will sit and chew on it all day!
My elderly cat Tommy eats everything. If you leave anything remotely food smelling out, he will eat it. I once watched him pick up an entire potato wedge off my plate and the devour the whole things. He’s a tiny cat, 5lbs at most, but he can put food away like you wouldn’t believe.
Things Tommy goes bonkers for: Doritos, popcorn, french fries, broccoli, shortbread, rice, quinoa, gummi bears, and pretty much any dinner I make. He’s a total food hound.
I remember one night, I had a sleepover with my friends (I was about 8 or so), and we were eating a bag of smart food (basically just white cheddar popcorn). Well, my 20 year old tiny cat Grizzy decided that the half bag that was left belonged to her. I woke up to find the bag ripped open and every inch of the surface of it cleaned.
Cats are scavengers.
My husband had a 50th birthday party for me, complete with tent on the lawn and all. A friend brought the birthday cake (carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, my favorite!) over, and set it on the kitchen counter. She had decorated it nicely. Of course, our cat got on the counter and proceeded to lick frosting off one whole corner of the cake, much to the horror of the friend! The pictures of my party include a sheet cake with one corner missing. I noticed the friend didn’t eat any cake! We still tease her about that!
Jennifer Febel says
One of my cats LOVES bread. Will hijack my grocery bags and attack the plastic just to get at the loaf. Another cat likes eating lettuce. And, of course, shredded cheese and butter are a fav!
I’m curious, why did you switch to all canned-food? My girls are on nothing but dry food and their teeth look so much better (and the litter box doesn’t stink so bad).
Dr. V says
Hi Cara- Rather than try and give you an overly simplistic answer, I’ll just point you to Dr Lisa Pierson: http://www.catinfo.org/, who explains it very well.