Foods Cats Can't Eat

7 Foods Cats Can’t Eat – Toxic and Dangerous

You are leisurely enjoying a freshly baked chocolate cake,  and suddenly you notice your cat staring you down across the dining room hoping you’d share.  You think to yourself okay, maybe a tiny piece won’t hurt. However, chocolate is one of the most harmful food items a cat can eat. Along with a few other food items, if a cat gets a hold of the following items, serious health problems may arise along with a concern of it being fatal.

Here is a list of 7 food items your cat should perhaps avoid:  

1. Chocolate 🍫 and Caffeine ☕

Chocolate is just as poisonous to cats as they are to dogs. Especially the darker chocolate with concentrated cocoa content usually used for baking. The concern with chocolate is the ingredient of Theobromine and caffeine. Theobromine is known to absorb slower in cats compared to humans, and caffeine may overstimulate a cat as they are quite sensitive to it. 

Even if a small amount is ingested, you may notice hyperactivity along with vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort. You may also begin to notice tremors, stiffness, abnormal heart rate, increased thirst, and in extreme cases seizures or death.  You can gain more information about chocolate toxicity in cats here.

2. Grapes and Raisins 🍇

Grapes and raisins seem like a healthy snack to give to your beloved cats however, they are quite toxic. A small amount can damage a cat’s kidney functions and lead to a rapid decline of kidney failure. Some cats may show no symptoms after eating grapes/raisins but if they do, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and decreased urination can be noticed. 

The good news is, most cats do not show much interest in grapes, but you can never be too careful as kidney failure is an extensive workup and can be detrimental to a cat’s health and longevity.

Idea: check out our guides with best cat foods for kidneys and supplements for feline kidney issues instead.

3. Raw Eggs 🥚, Meat 🥩, and Fish 🐟

Raw diet is something that is seemingly becoming popular in between pet owners. However, even if these products come from the safest source, they can include harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E Coli. In addition, an enzyme in raw fish is known to destroy thiamine, which is an essential nutrient that contributes to cat’s brain functions. Furthermore, on rare occasions, a protein in egg whites called avidin, can interfere with a cat’s skin coat. If a cat was to ingest raw egg, meat, or fish, their GI tracts may be affected and diarrhea and vomiting can be noticed. 
Idea: try air-dried food as a safer alternative to raw proteins.

4. Tuna 🐟

Okay seriously tuna?  The answer is, Yes. As tempting as it is to appease your cat by letting them devour a can of tuna everyday, too much of it can lead to mercury poisoning (occasional feedings as treats is okay). Signs of mercury poisoning can include incoordination, difficulty walking and potentially a loss of balance. Also, a can of tuna does not contain the necessary nutrients a cat needs to fulfill the daily nutritious requirements and potentially lead to vitamin E deficiency (if consumed as meals daily). 

Idea: try this homemade cooked tuna recipe or this recipe from Solid Gold

5. Dairy Products 🥛

Seeing kittens drink a bowl of milk has to be the cutest thing. However, is it really safe? In a small volume, milk is said to be not harmful to cats. However, cats are usually lactose intolerant. A large volume of milk and thus, dairy products can cause serious GI problems leading to vomiting, diarrhea, or bloat. 

You can learn more about feeding dairy products, such as cheese in our specialized article.

7. Bones  

Cooked or uncooked, bones can damage a cat’s throat, stomach, and intestinal lining as they try to digest it. Stay clear of whole poultry bones especially since they are sharp and can splinter. If you see that your cat is choking or trying to cough up the bones after feeding, seems very lethargic, seek veterinary attention immediately. 

6. Onions and Garlic 

Onions and garlic are a great addition to a recipe and often used in a variety of dishes. However, these vegetables are often very poisonous to your cat, especially if ingested in large quantities. Also, garlic is known to be more toxic, as one clove of garlic can cause serious damage to your cat’s health. Onions and garlic contain ingredients called disulfides and thiosulphates which lead to damaging of the red blood cells thus leading to anemia. 

Some symptoms to look out for includes vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, rapid breathing, abdominal pain, pale gums, and abnormal discoloration in urine. Some of these symptoms may not appear right away and may take a couple of days to show however, if you know your cat has ingested any onion or galic, it is best to seek veterinary assistance right away. Your pet may need a blood transfusion if they become too anemic.  

Wrapping it up

Overall, some of these food items your cat may not show any interest to. However, it is important to know what certain food items can do to your beloved cats and keeping that kitchen counter clear of these things can potentially save your cat from trouble in the long run. In addition, if your cat does get into any of these items especially chocolates, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic, seek veterinary attention immediately. 

This article was written by Sakura Davis, Veterinary Technician and Consultant at CatPet.Club.

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