Oddly enough, neither of my boys were all that interested in baby food, except for very select flavors from very select brands (and never from jars), so my cats were never exposed to baby food except as a by-product of messes (which they ignored).
But a lot of Gerber baby food (and other baby food) is made with some pretty wholesome ingredients, including a lot of meat, leading many cat owners, particularly of cats with very sensitive stomachs or who are very picky, to wonder: can cats eat Gerber baby food?
Short answer: As long as you are minding the ingredient list (meat and few other ingredients), then yes, cats can eat Gerber baby food in small quantities. However, it’s not something your cat should eat all the time as it’s missing essential nutrients and minerals that cats need to stay healthy such as Taurine.
Table of Contents
Do Cats Like Gerber Baby Food?
This is really going to depend on the cat. Some cats have absolutely loved it and it has worked as a way to stimulate the appetite in old or ill cats (or kittens). Others (like mine) turn up their nose at it.
Gerber baby food that is made strictly with meat and water is likely to go down better than Gerber baby food made with other things. The ones made with just meat and broth are also healthier for cats compared to the ones that are made with a range of ingredients.
If a cat likes Gerber baby food, they are probably going to like it throughout their lifespan, making it a good treat for senior cats who aren’t feeling well or kittens who need some extra food to round out their usual diet.
Do Cats Hate Gerber Baby Food?
Some cats will show absolutely no interest in Gerber baby food. They may not like the texture, the smell, the taste, or the fact that they associate it with the Noisy, Messy Thing you brought home in the last year! If this is your cat, you don’t really have anything to worry about.
Gerber baby food might be useful as a treat in some instances, but it certainly should not be a regular part of your pet’s diet because it is lacking in essential minerals and vitamins.
Cat Eating Gerber Baby Food Kill My Cat?
Recall that Gerber baby food comes in a variety of flavors and combinations, so the answer to this is really going to depend on which one(s) you let your cat eat. Baby food with the following ingredients are more problematic:
- Garlic or garlic powder, onions, chives, or leeks
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
- Lemon juice
Other foods can simply be harder on a cat’s stomach, such as vegetables, some fruit, and any grains, so these should also be avoided, or else your cat will be uncomfortable afterward.
Assuming you stick with only Gerber baby food that is made with meat and water, then it won’t kill your cat and in fact, can be used to entice a cat to eat. However, a cat should not live on Gerber baby food or even have it for too long or too often.
The main reason for this is that the food is formulated for baby humans, not cats, so it’s missing key nutrients. Being too heavily deficient in taurine, in particular, can lead to blindness in cats.
It’s also needed for healthy heart function, to maintain a healthy pregnancy, and to help the immune system. Taurine deficiency is not easy to spot early or track, so once you know there’s a problem, it is more likely than not too late to do anything about it.
Gerber baby food is also missing nutrients that kittens need in order to grow up strong and healthy, so it’s best to avoid it altogether for them.
Gerber baby food is best used as a way to feed elderly or sick cats who don’t want anything to do with their normal food and you need to entice them to eat something.
Many cats who would refuse to eat their regular food may be more inclined to eat baby food because it’s soft, easy to digest, and smells good to them. In this case, you want food that is made strictly with meat and broth or water, nothing else. The chicken and broth ones are the safest since they have the simplest ingredient list: chicken, water, and cornstarch.
How Much Gerber Baby Food Can I Feed My Cat?
The jars may be small, but cats don’t need to eat very much of this stuff! This is mostly because some cats will start to expect that they will always have it and try to replace their regular food with it, which is not something you want.
Assuming you are going with the really simple meat Gerber baby food, the amount you feed your cat will really depend on the age of the cat, how much other food it’s eating, and your wallet (Gerber baby food isn’t exactly cheap after all).
Since you don’t want your cat to try to live off it, figure that you should serve part of a jar that has been warmed up and then poured over their regular food. Make sure to refrigerate leftovers.
For really stubborn cats, you can try letting them lick a bit off your finger or feeding your cat via a syringe. If that doesn’t work, it’s probably time for a trip to the vet to try to figure out why your cat won’t eat and what to do next.
Healthy cats on the other hand can have Gerber baby food as a treat. In that case, they shouldn’t have more than a spoonful or two put on top of their regular food or put on the side. If this is what you are doing with your cat, then it’s a treat and should make up no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.
Finally, you might just be flat out of cat food and have some baby food on hand and it’s the cat’s supper time. Giving it to them as supper once in a great while is usually fine, but don’t let yourself or the cat make a habit of it!
Gerber baby food may not be the first thing you think of when you think of cat food, but it can work as a treat, in a pinch if you have no other food, or as a way to entice a cat’s appetite.
It’s important though to make sure you are going for one that is made strictly with meat, water, and cornstarch and no other ingredients, otherwise, you risk making your cat sick. It’s also important not to let your cat live off it or they will be missing key nutrients. But as a treat, a very occasional dinner, or as a way to entice a cat to eat, Gerber baby food works pretty well.
Does your cat eat Gerber baby food?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.