What to Feed Cat When Out of Food? (The 20 Emergency Cat Foods)

what to feed cat when out of food

You are in the grocery store, you have a full cart, but there is no cat food when it comes to pet food. You are feeling helpless and don’t know what to do next.  What should you feed your cat? This blog post will give you some ideas of what to feed cat when out of food?

The first thing that comes to mind is the dry kibble for cats, which can be found at any pet store or supermarket that sells pet products. Dry kibble can also come in flavors like salmon or chicken (some people even buy their pets human-grade canned foods).

But if you want something more natural, there are freeze-dried raw meats available online and at most health stores – these freeze-dried raw meats are available for cats and dogs.

Another option is to feed your cat leftover cooked meat or chicken- or if you are vegetarian, you can use tofu instead of the meats. Finally, if you want to give your cat some canned food, try using tuna fish (the kind in water) with rice – make sure that there isn’t too much cooking oil; if there is, you’ll have to drain the water from it.

Another idea you can try is feeding your homemade cat foods, like a slice of pumpkin bread with tuna.

It would help if you also made sure that the food stays fresh and doesn’t go rancid. Raw meat must be kept frozen before being given to your cat or dog.

Our experts recently make a list of best tasting dry cat foods that cats like most, please visit to know more about the cat’s favorite tastes.

Bland Diet Recipe Ideas for Cats

It’s simple to make in a food processor or blender. Don’t over-mix it; you don’t want it to become watery. Check temperature before serving.

  • 1 cup of boiled or cooked boneless chicken
  • ¼ cup mashed steamed broccoli
  • ¼ cup of mashed steamed carrots
  • Chicken broth – add few tablespoons first – add more if food is too thick


  • You may use beef instead of chicken.
  • Rice can replace carrots and broccoli.

Emergency Cat Food: The 20 Human Foods Cats Can Eat

Human foods that are safe for cats include:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Carrots
  • Rice
  • Pumpkin
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Spinach

1. Grains 

A small serve of plain, cooked grains you can feed to your cat like:

  • Mashed brown rice
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Breadcrumbs from whole wheat bread

Cats like well-cooked small textured grains. like polenta, millet, and couscous. But grains are not suitable for all cats, especially for those who are on grain-free kibble. So, consider their routine diet before feeding grains.

2. Vegetables

Frozen or fresh vegetables are both fine to give to your cat. However, avoid giving them with the skin on, as this is harder for animals to digest. You can feed a small amount of finely cut, microwaved, steamed, or boiled.

  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Spinach

Fresh, frozen, and canned varieties of all the veggies mentioned above are okay to feed. However, avoid corncobs, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Also, avoid large chunks of vegetables and do not make it a routine like you can provide vegetables for a few days when not feeding kibble or canned food but not for a week.

3. Fruit

Cats cannot state the sweet flavor, but still, there are a few fruits that cats can eat like:

  • Cooked apple
  • Ripe banana
  • Applesauce without added sugar or spices
  • Canned or fresh peaches
  • Blueberries

These all are good sources of vitamins for cats, while on the other side, Raisins are not safe to feed. Other fruits like oranges, kiwi, grapes, strawberries, coconut meat are okay as a small treat.


You may offer your cat peanut butter but in strict moderation. Cats do like nuts, but nuts can cause serious digestion problems. That is fine if you serve them as treats, but nuts are high in fat and may cause a tummy ache if too many are consumed.

4. Meat 

It’s the favorite of cats; they like it in all forms like:

  • Deli meat which is un-spiced and lean
  • Fresh human-grade raw meat, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and pork
  • Cooked meat (All)
  • A small amount of liver

This does not mean cats can have all types of food that contain meat like you must not offer your cat leftover food that includes items from the dangerous food list. An excess amount of liver can also lead to vitamin A toxicity.

While selecting a piece of meat for your k, you need to avoid the fat parts and bones.

You need to completely avoid processed meat and cooked manufactured meat which contains preservatives it can be detrimental for your cat. Cooked bones also pose a threat of choking hazards.

Foods You MUST AVOID (dangerous food list)

  • Grapes, raisins, and currants
  • Bacon, sausage, hot dogs, etc.
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Milk
  • Anything spicy or in a spicy sauce
  • Deli meats
  • Alcohol 
  • Avocados
  • Bread dough and yeast
  • Caffeine and coffee
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Garlic, onions, chives, and leeks
  • Grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas 
  • Green or raw potatoes
  • Macadamia and other nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Rhubarb and rhubarb leaves
  • Seeds from apples, peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries
  • Sugar, candy, lollies, ice cream, and gum
  • Xylitol

Typically, when dogs or cats have a sudden change in their diet, they will experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Abdominal pain
  4. Constipation
  5. Dehydration
  6. Reluctance to eat – even if you switch back to their normal diet

Tips for NOT Running Out of Pet Food

  1. Buy more than one bag of your pet’s food
  2. Keep some on hand in case you unexpectedly run out
  3. Make sure to include your pet when grocery shopping so they have their usual diet
  4. Vet clinics usually carry the brand that you buy, just in case
  5. There are usually 7-10 days after an order is placed while it ships to your home
  6. Check with local natural/health food stores, as many carry some kibble and canned foods for pets
  7. If you’re concerned about finding a product quickly during an emergency, contact producers directly to find out if they offer direct shipments or sell through third party retailers
  8. If you want to test out a new brand, purchase one bag, and if your pet is doing well with it, try the next bag.

Once you find good quality food that works for your pet, stick with it! By experimenting or trying new foods all the time, you might just be putting your pet’s health at risk. Different types of food contain different ingredients, which will affect your pets differently.

As a furkid parent, you must be aware of how much cat food cost? As well as if you have multiple pets at your home cats, and dog, then get information about how to stop dogs from eating cat food? And how to keep cat food away from dogs? It is necessary to ensure your kitty gets what you fill in her bowl.

To the behavioral side to educate pet parents, we recently published a guide on “why does my cat keep throwing up her food?” it helps you understand why cats through up their meals.

In summary

There’s no need to worry if you run out of cat food for a day or two, or don’t want to use up your emergency ratio. Instead, you can safely offer your cat a variety of balanced, nutritional protein-based meals from the basics in your fridge, freezer, or pantry if you follow the above instructions.

Just keep in mind that, while you should be cautious when choosing what human food cats can eat, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Even if the food you feed Fifi isn’t thought to be harmful to cats, she may still have an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting. She could be more sensitive to human foods than usual because of this.