Tips For Sharing An Afternoon Tea With Your Cat
Whether you're planning an afternoon tea for two or getting involved in a street party, millions of us will be celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June with British snacks and festivities. But how can you make sure your cats aren't missing out on the fun?
Involving your feline friends in celebrations like these can be tricky, especially as they have certain dietary needs and limitations to consider. However, with a little know-how it can be really easy and fun to put together a special, cat-friendly afternoon tea. Here, Catit share a few top tips for doing so, just in time for the Jubilee which begins on 2 June.
Bake some treats
Getting busy in the kitchen and baking some treats for you and your cat to enjoy can be a really fun way to make your Jubilee afternoon tea extra special. And, the good news is that there are plenty of cat-friendly recipes you can try, as many baking ingredients such as flour and eggs are safe for cats to eat occasionally. Cats as a species are lactose intolerant, but even a very small amount of cheese or milk can be a tasty treat for a special occasion. So, a savoury scone or selection of cat-friendly sandwiches (tuna and cucumber, for example) could be safely enjoyed in moderation.
If you want to whip up some sweets, be aware that sugar isn't toxic to cats, but it is very bad for them. However, many fruits are toxic, especially grapes and raisins, and so is chocolate. So, traditional cakes and pastries won't be suitable for an afternoon tea for your cat. Instead, look to include sweet potato and pumpkin in your bakes and avoid adding sugar altogether to create a safer sweet treat for them to enjoy. Or, try making meat versions of your favourite desserts out of tuna, chicken, ham, or parfait.
When cooking or baking savouries for your cat, be careful to avoid too much salt and also fat. For example, choose tuna tinned in water rather than brine or sunflower oil, and unseasoned chicken breast with the skin removed. Be sure to avoid onions and garlic in your recipes, as these can cause uncomfortable or even dangerous digestive issues.
Include different textures and tastes
Afternoon tea is supposed to be savoured and enjoyed, so putting on a spread of different flavours and textures for your cat could be key to keeping them entertained throughout your meal. When shopping for treats, look for a few kinds with different qualities such as chewy, soft, crunchy, and runny, so your cat has a variety on their plate.
Some pastes and pates in the pet food aisle can even be frozen into cat-friendly ice lollies, so look for moulds that will allow you to create interesting shapes to serve. Not only will this add a new dynamic element to your afternoon tea, but it's ideal for helping to keep your cats cool on hot days!
Remember that cats aren't very good at recognising when they are thirsty, so you may want to take extra care to encourage them to drink more water — perhaps you could pour it from a teapot!
Lay the table
Just as you would for a traditional afternoon tea, think carefully about how you will present your spread to create a visual feast as well as a tasty one. No afternoon tea is complete without a cake stand! Small ceramic plates are easy for cats to eat off, but angled dishes are best as this is a more natural position for them to eat from. To ensure everything stays where you have put it, consider using non-slip rubber or silicone mats in a similar way to placemats. Not only will these help plates and dishes stay in place, but they'll also gather crumbs and spills for easy cleaning afterwards.
Finally, you can turn your attention to décor and dress code. If you're contemplating a formal theme, a bow tie collar would be perfect for making your cat look smart and sophisticated. To further set the scene, you could supply your cat with some new royal-themed toys and décor such as play castles and towers, so they can really feel like a queen (or king) for the day.
Paul Trott, UK Marketing Manager at Catit said:
"The Queen's Platinum Jubilee is a very rare and special occasion, so up and down the country we'll be marking it with British festivities like afternoon teas and street parties. If you're thinking of getting involved, why not include all members of your family in the celebrations — including the feline kind?
"Though a cat's diet is mostly carnivorous, that doesn't mean you can't put on a varied spread for them to enjoy as their own afternoon tea. Textured foods can be very stimulating, so look for different kinds of cat treats like chewy jerky, creamy pate, crunchy biscuits, and soft grilled meats. For something really exciting, a frozen creamy treat can capture their attention and even cool them down.
"If you're feeding your cats human food or even baking some treats yourself, remember to thoroughly research each ingredient you intend to use. Many foods common in our kitchens can be unhealthy, dangerous, or even lethal for cats, so take care when preparing your afternoon tea to ensure it's as feline-friendly as possible."