Can Cats Eat Chicken and Turkey Stuffing?

Last Updated on November 27, 2021 by Julia Wilson

Can cats eat stuffing?

Cats cannot eat stuffing due to the onion and garlic which are toxic to cats. Additional potential dangers include leek, chives, herbs (oregano) and fat.

Allium

The greatest concern with chicken and turkey stuffing is allium (fresh or dried). Members of the allium family including onion, garlic, leek and chives contain the alkaloid N-propyl disulphide which causes causing oxidative injury to the red blood cell membrane, leading to the formation of Heinz bodies. Heinz bodies are clumps of irreversibly denatured hemoglobin attached to the red blood cell membrane. Macrophages (a scavenger cell) clear affected red blood cells in the spleen.

Fat

While cats do need some fat in their diet, high quantities induce pancreatitis, an extremely painful inflammation of the pancreas. Not all cats who consume a fatty meal or treat will develop pancreatitis, but it is impossible to predict which cats will be affected. Fatty food can also cause gastrointestinal disturbances (vomiting and diarrhea), and add excess calories to the cat’s diet.

Holiday food cats can and can’t eat

As we move towards the festive season, it’s important to be aware of what cats can and can’t eat. Many foods safe for humans can be problematic for cats. Even food that is safe can be an issue for cats with health conditions or cats who don’t cope well with changes in diet.

Limit treats to no more than 10% of a cat’s diet and always remember that cats must eat complete and balanced cat food for optimal health. Treats are fine, but they do not meet all the cat’s nutritional needs.


Safe to feed

Do not feed
Cooked meat (chicken, beef, lamb, turkey)Chocolate
BeansAlcohol
CarrotStuffing (regular or forcemeat)
Sweet potato (plain)Grapes or raisins
Pumpkin (plain)Onion
Mashed potatoGarlic
Cranberry sauceGravy
CornMushrooms
Brussels sproutsCooked bones
Apples (seeds removed)Bread
BroccoliNuts
TurnipArtificial sweeteners (xylitol)