Chocolate’s Guide To What Cats Will Eat…

1. Cat Food, in so far as it is expensive, not boring and in variety (both dry food and pates – the pates being the favourite of the two, dry food is better for snacking)
2. Mice – successfully self-caught and kept (Even if they’re bigger than your face, Chocolate)
3. Birds (not empirically proven as of yet, but definitely guessed at, even if the *nyanya* is … a hawk!)
4. Rats (also not empirically proven, and Chocolate has speculated that friendship is an acceptable option. As far as Mini’s concerned, rats are suspiciously like mice on steroids!)
5. Salad (because it could potentially have a mouse on it – it happened to Mini once)
6. Raw Meat – any!
7. Cooked Meat (potentially better than raw meat)
8. Carrot ends (we’re still not sure why, but Mini eats them – are they little orange mice?)
9. Zucchinis (Mini manages a whole one sometimes and rarely does he stop at one!) ?!?!
10. Cucumbers (Mini again)
11. Soup – when lukewarm (Mini yet again – it’s an obsession and he’ll knock the lids off pots to get to it)
12. Fresh Bread (all three, with gusto)
13. Cheese (this is about learning the mouse perspective)
14. Guinea and Rabbit Food (Luna mainly)
15. Iguana Feed (Luna mainly, but Chocolate too)
16. Dog Food (even the stuff the dogs won’t eat ???!)
17. Raw Egg (occasional)
18. Cookie Dough (Luna)
19. Cream
20. Chocolate Cream (which is a little odd or cannibalistic for someone called Chocolate… Would it sound terrible to mention that there was a guinea pig called Cream (who did NOT get eaten)?)
21. Milk (only if refrigerated – tried warm milk once and they went ewwww! They weren’t even sure about it once it cooled down!)
22. Any kind of cottage cheese
23. Yoghurt (before they realised that it was wronged milk!)
24. Apple Stems (weird – Chocolate!)
25. Tomato Stems (poisonous! CHOCOLATE! MINI! But so far so good…)
26. Cherry Stems (weird again – they attempted cherries but it wasn’t quite right)
27. Sugar (anytime, especially off strawberries – ask Luna all about it)
28. Lindt Chocolate (in licks and pieces… if they can get it, which we try to prevent cuz it’s ours! 😀 )
29. Whipped Cream (Luna mainly)
30. Sour Cream
31. Mayonnaise (Luna) (If it’s an actual food item and fatty, usually the cat eating is Luna; if it’s not an actual food and weird, it’s usually Chocolate)
32. Raffaello (even the pesky coconut bits) (Luna)
33. Chinese cooking (anytime, anything, especially prawns!)
34. Prawns (Only if well made)
35. Rice Noodles (all three cats staring at a rice noodle on the floor with expressions of what the hell? and what do you do to eat it? – it was an epic adventure, spearheaded by Luna the most adventurous food eater)
36. Grass
37. Pineapple leaves (or stalks, or whatever the shoot-thingies are called)
38. Pips and small fruit stones (any that are lying around) (big fruit stones are toys)
39. Anything food-ish that can be dug out of trash
40. Mashed potatoes (on rare occasions)
41. Butter (way to go Terry Pratchett)
42. Ice Cream (and it’s weird – it’s weird milk and it bites because it’s cold)
43. Jasmine Tea (cooled and non-sweetened) (Chocolate)
44. Chamomile Tea (cooled and non-sweetened – not as big an interest in that one though) (Chocolate)
45. Tissues (also a good toy – Chocolate)
46. Q-Tips (Chocolate – and we stopped her before anything bad happened)
47. Dental Floss (Chocolate – she actually succeeded in a small piece, scared us silly for a day and was absolutely fine. She actually sped up the eating process to finish it before I could grab the piece that was still dangling out! How she gets to all these things is a mystery.)
48. Cables (chewing mainly – Chocolate)
49. The Felt Streamer of Their Cat Toy (Luna managed to get 5cm approx. into her mouth!)
50. Bottle caps (toy or food? – good question)
51. Hair (can’t avoid that falling on the floor… Which means it gets stuck on the way out the other end)
52. Thread (Chocolate)
53. Catsan (a brand of kitty litter – Luna somehow had to…)
54. Cardboard (as mentioned elsewhere, cf. Mini’s Uses of A Cardboard Box)
55. Sellotape (Chocolate)
56. Shed Lizard’s Skin (technically protein, but still disgusting, and always, ALWAYS on the bed, Luna!)
57. Any Bits that stick off a Computer or anything else
58. Buttons (none successfully)
59. Dirt (fresh or dry)
60. Hay
61. Small and middle-sized stones or pebbles
62. Twigs
63. Pencils (Chocolate)
64. Pens (Chocolate)
65. Each Other’s Ears
66. Dog Fur
67. Occasional Passing Dogs…
68. Orange Peel
69. Potato Peels
70. Books (especially Ivanhoe for some reason)
71. The Horrible Unseemly Thing on the Lizard’s Neck (Luna, It’s meant to be attached… But It interferes with his cat-ness, like the spikes and the bit of the tail and all the scales and the claws; it’s all wrong – he’s really a cat, he’ll learn to like it…)
72. Wool (most cats only play with it, these guys try to eat it)
73. Flies (quite good at catching them too)
74. Stinkbugs (no success thus far, hence the continued pursuit!)
75. Fingers and Toes (especially at odd times of the night or morning)
76. Feathers (off anything, including dreamcatchers)
77. Pieces of Random toys
78. Anything that could cause suffocation and/or serious damage and in Mini’s case, the fox live rabies vaccine bait (a German one too).
79. Hair Ties (unsuccessfully, but brave attempts)
80. Guinea pig or Rabbit poo (where available!)

Written by C.

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2 Responses to Chocolate’s Guide To What Cats Will Eat…

  1. happycatgirl says:

    Lol.. this is a pretty extensive list! And I thought my cat had a wide palette. Funny you mention the chamomile tea because I have been spiking Blues food with it to keep her sleepy and less noisy at night. So far so good. Also impressed that they tolerate the chocolate given its toxicity. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yup, cats have, like all other living being, a huge amount of likes, even slightly odd ones… lately, Choc’s been into eating shoe boxes (and I mean eating them… weird… that and the glue tape on cardboard, so we have to be careful with her…). We don’t know what makes the shoe boxes in particular so appealing, but she seems to think that this is really it for her.
      As for the rest of the comment, I feel that I need to make a little comment myself. I am an anthropologist (among many other degrees) and not exactly a spring chick, I’ve years of experience with animals and with humans. One of my particular penchants are superstitions, modern and past (on which I am currently writing a book, mainly dealing with my research in Slovenia at the moment, but inclusive of other stuff that ties in with the wider theory as well), as well as human-animal relations.
      You mention toxicity of chocolate (the food, not the kitten… 😉 although I fully agree with you on the kitten being toxic, she’s woken me at four am by pouncing on my feet – they were peeping from under the blanket – for every day of this week, so yeah… 🙂 ). You can believe me when I say that I have been in contact with vets from all over Europe and US (work related, plus pet owner)– good vets, people who know what they’re doing! – and there is absolutely no conclusive, empirical scientific data confirming the suggested toxicity of chocolate. I’ll get into that a bit more in a moment, but first, a little bit of homework – think of this. How many pets (and humans!) eat chocolate (and a lot of worse stuff) every day all over the Western world? And if so (and trust me, it is so…), how come that there isn’t an epidemic of pets keeling with liver and kidney failure all over those parts of the world?
      That much for rhetorical questions… but they are necessary, because they make us think. There’s plenty of superstitions in the world, and I want to give you just some of the most what-the-hell?!!? ones that I’ve come across, be it during research or my general life (which is pretty much research for an anthropologist, we’re nosy people…). I don’t make’em up, I only write them down.
      I’ve come across the belief that chocolate is toxic in regards to human diet, as well as that of dogs, and, recently, cats, quite some time ago. Truth be told, mostly I found people being unable to explain why; it just is. Plenty of people seem to think that chocolate is toxic like alcohol (granted, some people take a kick off the Casali Rum thingies…), or cigarettes, or just generally. There’s mention of liver failure, or kidney failure, or dying in general and we’re still talking about humans right now. Interestingly enough, some informants seem to see chocolate as indulgence, making it IMMORAL (yikes!) to eat chocolate – so putting firmly that chocolate is poison is avoidance of gluttony (which happens to also be the name of a small article I’ve written not long ago, pending publication, dealing mainly with virtue anorexia; I’m currently working – among other things, due to a request from a friend who is a doctor interested in the topic – on a similar project, a slightly more drawn out one, dealing with anhedonism – the inability to enjoy things – due to religious, social and cultural indoctrination, mainly among Slovenes, but we’ll see where the research takes itself). Whatever it is, this comment alone is worth a trip back to good old Mary Douglas and her work (“Purity and Danger”); not bad, perhaps a bit complicated and technical in places, but well worth the read even for a layman (I would most definitely recommend it!); her only problem might be that she does not, sometimes, think outside the box. We are, most likely, then dealing with a question of “(im)morality” in consuming something pleasant, which, in avoidance of that “forbidden pleasure”, causes people to turn away from it and turn others away from it by assumptions that it’s “bad”.
      But why? What makes a concoction of vegetable matters and milk so problematic? Humans are counted, biologically, among the omnivorae (or omnivores… beings that eat both vegetable – where chocolate also stands – and animal materials). Cats and dogs (so felidae and canidae) are carnivorae (carnivores; ‘caro, carnis’ meaning meat in Latin (it’s the third declension, so it has a dual root)). That means they eat meat, so animal derived food, flesh, whatever you want to call it, with small exceptions – everywhere in nature, as well as in our homes, these animals retain the need for “medicinal herbs”, i.e. grass that helps with digestion, etc… There is very little difference between cats and dogs, bar their teeth, but most dog food consists of less animal matter (so less meat) than the cat food; most likely because, due to our ideas of domestication and the dogs being seen as the more domestic of the two, our canine companions have become so associated with more “human” food that we tend to feed them stuff that more resembles our own than we do the cats. In general, in my experience, there are less people who are willing to see cats as fully domestic; they have more a role of companions, not “best friends” like dogs. In many places, people still believe cats are “evil”. That’s too bad; owning a dog as well, I can firmly say that the only difference is in size (the dog that I have is rather big in comparison to our catties 🙂 ). In fact, on the subject of domestication – I have come across the idea, here in Slovenia, that dogs are not supposed to eat raw meat, because they will go wild and become dangerous. Granted, Slovenia is, if I do say so myself, as a researcher, a rather primitive country, but it’s still part of Europe and in Europe, vets have been saying for a long time that raw food is an essential part of any animal’s diet (including us humans!). So what is actually in chocolate? Well, scientifically, the only real danger coming from consumption of chocolate can ever come from the chemical e numbers that you get in some rather inferior types of chocolate (mostly, people avoid that in chocolate, but I have, recently, come across a Polish chocolate that I can only describe as a disgusting piece of cancer… because the preservatives, colourants and flavours were pretty much it). Generally, what you’ll find in chocolate is sugar (be it white or brown, even fructose in better chocolates… white sugar’s really the worst, because it is used up by the body so quickly that you feel the need for another piece almost immediately, which, of course, with sedentary lifestyle of most people, can lead to gaining weight and the constant need for sugar; but brown sugar and esp. fructose are ok, they are used up slowly, so you don’t actually need to rush to the cupboard for another piece), milk (in different proportions, depending on how much cocoa powder there is in the particular chocolate), cocoa powder and butter (yes, cocoa makes butter, so to speak… many people still don’t know that… despite many cosmetic products including it!), lecithin (a derivation of soy, which is fine, provided it’s not genetically manipulated – we don’t know yet how that affects our organisms!… but otherwise, lecithin is used, by some European vegetarians and vegans, as a weight loss magic powder. Tried it out of interest – and I’m still here! 😉 – and it was quite interesting in yoghurt) and other little things, such as pieces of nuts or honey, or whatever that chocolate includes. None of which are in any way toxic (unless you’re allergic, of course). Chocolate is even rather useful for human bodies – cocoa is chockfull of magnesium, a mineral that you really do need for your body to operate properly (it takes care of your muscles and bones, among other things, and usually, frequent cramps in legs and other parts of your body, even, with women, menstrual cramps, can be indicative of lacking magnesium… which is not difficult, because chocolate is really one of the last things to include it naturally, through cocoa powder… due to overmanuring by farmers in most of the 20th century, pretty much the majority of the magnesium has been lost from the soil, where it would be “picked up” by growing crops and would get into the husks and from there into our (full grain) food… if you read German at all, there’s a very nice book by M. Grillpartzer on healthy diet, full of yummy recipes, that also mentions that in very simple terms…). So an urge to eat chocolate, especially the really dark stuff, anything 50-60% and up, can mean that we’re lacking magnesium. And that’s not all. Chocolate includes, again through the cocoa (magical thing, the cocoa, really… and that’s just the beans, no one actually eats the fruit anymore :(, and that was once described as “like eating flowers” by a past explorer), serotonin, which is also known, by some, as the happiness hormone. This happy little hormone (no pun intended 🙂 ) works against depression and is very similar to what the body experiences after a successful physical exertion, through breastfeeding and of course during and after good sexual intercourse (it’s what takes care of our pleasure and happiness, even and especially then). This is why, sometimes, people crave chocolate… filling up on the happiness hormone can make you feel better and frankly said, if a lot more people did exercise and nibbled on some chocolate instead of anti-depressants, which can do more harm than help to many, the world would be a better place. 🙂
      I’m more an exercise freak myself, which is why chocolate is a rarity for me (and it has to be REALLY good… 😉 ), but it seems right to me to clarify some of this.
      Of course, this explains some of the problem. But what about the rest?
      Well, as I said, our palate should be wider than that of cats and/or dogs; but that is not exactly true, especially since some very respected brands already include a lot of vegetable matter (including potatoes, once a total nono for dogs!) in the diet, and the animals are more than fine. Truth is, we’re all adaptable, we probably don’t even know how… maybe Luna, who’s especially chocolate orientated, feels she lacks love because we don’t generally allow her to beat up Mini. 🙂 My greater concern with what the cats eat has to do with Choc’s crazy obsession with eating stuff that IS actually a problem, such as dental floss, or stones, or whatever happens to be around. My dog is a long haired breed, and last time, believe it or not, I caught Choc eating her fluff! Managed to get it out, as well, before she could give herself a nice little furball, but good grief, does she try to swallow fast! Oh, and a really funny story – a few months ago, when I went buying pet food, there was a young woman, younger than myself, hanging around the store, obviously as help, but badly so… since she started talking about how dogs aren’t supposed to get any cat food because it’s animal protein and it would, like… KILL THEM! There was this liver failure thing again… Remember what I said about both felidae and canidae being carnivores? Well, animal protein is just a fancy way to spell M-E-A-T.
      I spared the kid with a long lecture, mainly because I was tired and wanted to cycle home fast (20 km before me, and that not easy routes! With about 10 kg of pet food!), it was getting late and I just damn well wanted her to STOP TALKING. I had enough difficulties with trying to concentrate on what I was doing, having been up researching for more than 36 hours.
      Some other “alligators in the sewers” stories that I’ve come across – some funnier than other.
      1. Babies don’t feel pain. Sadly, Slovenes operated on children without any anaesthetics for a long time because of that.
      2. If you warm up rice, it explodes. Met that one while I was studying. Don’t know how THAT one happened, since plenty of already prepared meals demand just warming up…. And funnily enough, while plenty include rice, they don’t explode.
      3. Pepper pips are poisonous and will kill you. Too bad. Plenty of chefs use them as spice (and if you look, very often you’ll see little pieces ground in your spices mix). I’ve spiced my salad’s up with them plenty of times… wonder why I’m still breathing.
      4. A woman’s not supposed to ride, because her uterus will get shaken and she will NEVER have babies. I heard this whopper here, while doing preliminary research for something else years ago. People actually believe that, to a point; I think that the main reason is the inability of the rather conservative Slovenes (there are specimens here, so to speak, who still wear dimity scarves… and since you’re supposed to wear them all the time, I’ve interviewed doctors who had to soak the said scarves off women’s heads, because the old ladies have never, ever removed them in their life. After fifty years or so… but you probably want to have supper, so I won’t say anything more on that. 😉 🙂 ). Anyway, I ride. A lot, especially when on terrain (perfect way to get places, you see). And my uterus is fine, thank you. I won’t even deign to mention that there’s no medical reason to believe such crap.
      5. Women shouldn’t wash during periods. Whatever we may think of the Dark ages, this place gets worse – another Slovene one, but I’ve met this elsewhere in Europe and even in America. Despite the gynos and other medical personnel telling everyone that hygiene is not just a greeting (unless you spell very badly 🙂 ).
      6. Yoga/stretching/exercise is bad for you… because it will confuse your nervous system and it won’t know where it’s going and you’ll like, die. Whether you want to cry or laugh about this one, all I will say is that the person putting that out had less than even a high school degree, and happened to be German. Oh, and they were also overweight (but I’m pretty sure their nervous system would be fine, if they weren’t also a neurotic chain smoker.)
      7. Fav of the day – this one’s a bit obscure and a bit older, but still… Brehm, a 19th century (if I recall correctly, only ever came across him once, years ago) naturalist claimed that a leopard will, if kept in a cage, become perfectly tame, but will, because it’s tongue is so rough, lick a human hand until it reached blood, upon which, it will go insane. Hm. Ok, granted, cat’s tongues are a bit rougher than dogs, but they generally don’t lick people to blood… and even if they could, how many people get a hypnotic wish to HOLD STILL and wait until that happens? Won’t float my boat, but I’m liberal in my ideas, so… yeah.
      8. Horses are really evil and want to kill humans all the time, but they see them 9 times larger than themselves and therefore don’t dare. Another Slovene primitivism… and apart from the fact that it’s complete and utter crap, I will say this. A horse once saved my life. So I kinda tend to think about this along the Hidalgo lines: “Mister, you can say anything about me. But NOT my horse.” 🙂
      9. An Indonesian one – women can actually give birth to snakes, lizards and crocodiles, even at the same time as they’re giving birth to their children. I’d love to see what the school lunch boxes look like – “Hey, bro, what’ve you got?” “Aaah, she made me the chicken sandwich…” “Too bad, I know you probably won’t want to exchange for the one that still has the beak and the legs and the feathers attached…” 🙂
      10. Ostriches put their head into the sand when they’re scared. Everybody knows this one, but nobody, I think, knows how and where this actually first saw the light of day. Ostriches most definitely do NOT put their heads into the sand (what would be the point?). They either run for it, and they’re good runners, or kick with their powerful legs.
      11. Bats tangle into your hair on purpose. Ok… WHY? And funnily enough, there’s NOBODY who’s ever seen that happen. Worse than ghost stories. 😉
      12. When oregano (that thing we all love to have on our pizza!) first made it to Europe in the Middle Ages, St. Hildegard actually wrote that yeah, fine, ok, so it was sort of alright, BUT, since it was exotic, was bound to be harmful to one’s health. Something very similar happened when lemonade first appeared in Paris.

      I think I made a point… I also hope I made you laugh. We all feel very concerned about our pets all the time (probably more than ourselves 🙂 ) and it’s easy to start getting concerned about rumours. I definitely would, if my work didn’t include all this. Among other things that I have heard mentioned as poisonous (to humans), were, as follows : coffee, tea, green tea (?!? Even more than the others…), milk, soy, any kind of exotic food (and that can vary, depending on the informant… some people think “exotic” happens in the other village, and I don’t just mean the Slovenes when I say this!), fruit, veg, meat. I wonder if air’s ok.
      One actually poisonous meal that a lot of people have – the blowfish. Personally, I’ve never had it, nor would I… because the way to test whether or not you’ve managed to make it edible for the guests is for the person preparing it to try it first. I just don’t think that’s nice… and we really don’t have to eat everything, especially when the meal is putting up such a good resistance. 😉 🙂 But I do eat seaweed, and that happily, and most people shiver when you mention it.
      All the best to you and your cat; hope you’re doing well and that this little answer makes you laugh and clarifies a lot of things that could worry you. 🙂
      Lots of love,
      A.

      We’ll have to try the chamomile on the cats whenever they’re upset… Thanks for the suggestion.
      C.

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