What Do Stray Cats Eat and Drink? What to Feed to A Stray Cat?

Love it or not, but you always feel like feeding something to a hungry stray cat. This post covers all sorts of food and drinks that can be fed to stray cats.


What do stray cats eat and drink? As a rule of thumb, a street cat can be fed anything that your pet cat can eat or drink.

To make it easier, as to what to feed to a stray cat, let us exclude the items that you cannot feed to them; all remaining items can be fed to any cat: including stray cat.

  • Chocolates
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocado, and
  • Grapes, etc.

So is this all? Can you really feed everything except those listed above or is there much more to this?

Let us find out.

Are Stray Cats Same as Feral Cats?

Since we’re here to answer a question about stray cats, it is important to discuss whether the stray cats same as feral cats or not.

So what is a stray cat?

A stray cat is a cat abandoned by humans or one who is lost. They can become friendly to humans, get familiar to a new positive relationship (someone who feeds milk) and always ready to be owned.

A feral cat, in simple words, is a wild cat. It is not used to humans, it would not like humans to touch it or hold it. You’d see it on its guard as soon as you approach any closer to it.


We need to know that a feral cat is not same as a stray cat. Here are the most important points of distinction:

  • Feral cats aren’t used to humans – a stray cat is always looking for someone to adopt her
  • Feral cats are almost always unneutered, while stray cats are mostly neutered because they belonged to a shelter or an owner who abandoned/lost them
  • Feral cats are considered detrimental to wildlife – because they breed like rabbits and because they have a long list of preys. Australia is planning to kill feral cats at a massive level.
  • A pet cat can eat cat’s natural preys and processed cat food, a stray cat would take time to get acquainted with processed food again, while a feral cat is beyond eating rodents or processed food; their menu is all natural and a big one.
  • Feral cat eats rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects etc. – basically any animal that is smaller than it.
  • Stray cats – although they’re confused with feral cats, are not the same. Stray cats, depending on how long they’ve been with humans, do not eat just every little animal. Since they live far from wild, they eat stuff like mice, squirrels and similar small domestic animals.
  • A pet cat mostly eats processed and cooked food. This includes industrially processed food (a mixture of all sorts of things that a cat eats) and cooked food like beef, chicken, turkey and lean deli meats etc.

What do Cats Eat?

Considering that there is a fine line between a stray cat and a feral cat, we still have to admit that not only most of the people think that they’re the same, but their lifestyle and food choices are also very similar.


To settle this question for one, here is the detail of the food that stray cats can eat:

  • Tuna – Omega-3 fatty acids, high quality protein, Vitamin D, selenium, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, phosphorus and potassium etc.
  • Beef – Protein, sugar, carbs, fiber, fats, Vitamin B12, Omerga-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, Selenium, Zinc and Phosphorus etc.
  • Turkey – Vitamin B3, Protein, Selenium, VitaminB6, Phosphorus, Vitamin B2, Zinc and Vitamin B12 etc.
  • Lamb – Vitamin B12, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin B3, Zinc and Phosphorus
  • Plain Rice – Manganese, Selenium, Phosphorus, Copper, Magnesium and Vitamin B3 etc.
  • Eggs – Selenium, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Protein, Phosphorus, Vitamin D and Vitamin A etc.
  • Sweet Potato – Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Fiber, Biotin, Potassium, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 and Phosphorus etc.
  • Oats – Manganese, Phosphorus, Copper, Vitamin B1, Iron, Selenium, Zinc and Magnesium etc.
  • Cucumber – Vitamin K, Copper, Phosphorus, Vitamin C, Biotin, Vitamin B1, Potassium, Magnesium and Manganese.
  • Cheese – Phosphorus, Calcium, Protein and Vitamin B12 etc.
  • Processed cat food – mostly, this food is a balanced mixture of abovementioned foods and natural prey of cats

Apart from these natural foods and the processed foods that you will feed to a stray cat, remember that these cats will not stop killing smaller animals and eating them.

As it has been explained above, from rodents to amphibians to insects, a stray cat will almost eat anything if it is hungry.

What do Cats Drink?


That we are done with all the possible foods that a stray cat might have, let us take a look at the drinks and beverages that you can feed to a stray cat.

  • Stray cats love to drink water from natural resources e.g. springs or from puddles. If you intend to feed your cat healthy and pure water, you better get something like a cat water fountain.
  • Do not feed milk to adult cats; it is a long known fact myth that cats love milk – perhaps from the days when Tom cat was shown devouring milk. As a matter of fact, cats cannot digest cow’s milk that we humans love. So do not feed them milk – and remember, even kittens should only be fed special milk made only for kittens.
  • Rule of thumb – to an adult stray cat, you better feed water. Water is what they need to balance all sorts of different food that they have. Milk is not good for adult cats, but if you have to feed them milk, make sure that it is watered down.

What to Feed to a Stray Cat?


We know that there are a lot of food items that you can feed to your new friend: a stray cat. But we want to know as to what is the most balanced diet for a stray cat.

Let us try to answer this question by figuring out as to what is a balanced diet for a stray cat, and then we will take it down to food items that you must add to your stray friend’s meal.

  • Stray cats, once adopted, have been back to wild for a pretty long time before you adopt them. They need a slow and stray regression to clean natural food and processed food.
  • First of all, be sure that a carnivore will need meat – and meat bust be the basic ingredient of its meal.
  • Secondly, do not forget that your cat lived in the wild for a long time – let it eat the kind of things it ate in wild – rodents, amphibians and insects etc.
  • Thirdly, while she’s on her natural diet, slowly and steadily bring her back to food that you can cook at home e.g. boiled beef.
  • Now, it is the time to push your cat to third level – processed dry food. But remember, that you cannot keep a stray cat or any cat for that matter only on dry foods. You need to make sure that her food is a mix of dry food and home cooked fresh meat.

So these were the guidelines – now here is a perfect and balanced diet for your cat.

  • Choose one of the best cat dry food manufacturers and stick to it based on reviews and personal experience.
  • Make sure that while your feline gets to eat beef, fish, turkey and lamb – it does not miss out on veggies. Go for a 70/30 ratio between meat and veggies.

Here is what we suggest for your feline:

  • Prefer canned food over dry food, because they are more moisturized than dry foods – thus your cat remains hydrated.
  • Use veggies like broccoli, asparagus and definitely cucumber. Make no mistake, onions, garlics and other such veggies are not for them.
  • Use meats like beef, tuna, turkey, lamb – and other items like rice and eggs. A big and diverse menu will ensure that your feline friend enjoys all sorts of nutrients that are much needed for her health.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

What kind of food do stray cats eat?

This question has been answered in detail, but stray cat can eat its natural preys e.g. mice, all sorts of meat, some veggies and fruits – not to mention dry or canned food.

Is it okay to feed milk to a stray cat?

Unlike the common concept, milk is not for an adult cat; if you still have to feed milk to your cat, make sure it is watered down.

Can I feed dog food to a stray cat?

A dog is not a carnivore – it is omnivore. A cat is clearly carnivore. You cannot feed dog food to cats – a cat’s feed may have some fruits or veggies, but it is mostly based on meat.

What can I feed to a stray kitten?

A stray kitten is a “baby cat”; it needs milk, but make sure that you only feed processed kitten-only milk to it. Cow’s milk will be bad for its stomach.


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