Cats just can’t eat everything that we do, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what it safe without having a list of dangerous foods. Well, below you’ll find a list of foods and drinks that you should not let your cat have. Keep in mind moderation is sometimes the ideal key, but in most cases, it’s safer to just avoid letting your cat get into the tuna, even though he loves his tuna flavored cat food.
Just remember that even if your cat is a picky eater and he loves to eat the fat trimmings from your meat, that doesn’t mean that it is good for him to eat. It is important that you know what you shouldn’t feed your cat, so that you know what to watch out for.
Download this free checklist of 21 harmful foods for your cat.
Make sure everyone in the house is aware of what not to feed that cat.
Chocolate contains two toxins, caffeine and theobromine, that are part of a group of chemicals called methylxanthines. All real chocolate is made from these toxins, though dark chocolate, baker’s chocolate and cocoa powder tend to have higher concentrations.
These chemicals are bad for your cat because they stimulate the heart and the nervous system. According to the group of experts at Best Friends,
“The signs of toxicity can range from vomiting, increased thirst, abdominal discomfort and restlessness to severe agitation, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, high body temperature, seizures and death.”
We shouldn’t have to tell you this one, right? But a cat’s small size makes the animal incredibly sensitive to alcohol, so it’s important not to leave any where your cat could lap it up. Intoxication could lead to vomiting, loss of coordination, disorientation and stupor. “In severe cases it can cause coma, seizures and death,”.
Like chocolate, coffee contains caffeine and can cause a lot of serious health issues in cats. Cats who consume an excess of coffee, or any caffeine for that matter, may experience vomiting, diarrhea, polyuria (or excessive urination), polydipsia (excessive thirst), hyperactivity, rapid heart rate, rapid respiratory rate, hypertension, weakness, cardiac arrhythmia, tremors, seizures, and coma. In worst cases, death may result from cardiac arrhythmia or respiratory failure.
As delightful as the image of a kitten lapping up a saucer of milk may be, dairy products are a no-no for grown cats. Cats can be lactose intolerant, just like us, and should not be exposed to lactose once they’ve stopped nursing on their mother’s milk.
Sensitive cats can experience diarrhea, vomiting and an upset stomach. Cats may enjoy the taste of milk, and can even stomach it in small servings, but they won’t gain any nutrients they’re not already getting from a regular, balanced diet.
Your cat may show interest in your Japanese takeout, but it’s best not to share: Eating raw fish can put him at risk for developing thiamine deficiency, which can lead to stomach issues, seizures and death.
Never feed your cat any drink that contains alcohol, whether that’s beer, wine, liquor, or even foods (such as the chocolates with a drop of champagne in them).
Alcohol will affect your cat’s brain and liver the same way it’ll affect yours, but it’ll take much less to do its damage.
You’ll find that just two teaspoons of whisky can put a five- pound cat in a coma, and if you give the same cat three total teaspoons, it could kill him.
7. Candy and Gum
Anything that is sweetened with xylitol should not be given to your cat. This can include anything from candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and even some diet foods. The xylitol can cause the body to increase the insuline that’s circulating in the body, which can cause the cat’s blood sugar to drop, which can lead to liver failure. Watch for vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination; you may also notice seizures, as well. It only takes a matter of days for liver failure to set in.
8. Dog Food
A few bits and kibbles of dog food isn’t going to hurt your cat, but you just can’t use dog food as a substitute food to cat food. Dog food is formulated for dogs, and doesn’t meet the standard nutritional needs for cats. If you feed your cat a steady diet of dog food, he’s going to be very malnourished.
9. Fat Trimmings and Bones
Table scraps can contain fat and meat that has been trimmed off the bones, both of which are dangerous for cats to eat. The fat, whether cooked or uncooked can cause pancreatitis.
The cat can choke on cooked bones; the bone can also splinter, causing lacerations or an obstruction in the digestive tract.
10. Grapes and Raisins
So many people (myself included) have given their pet a grape or raisin on occasion, but it’s not a good idea (and as soon as I found out, I stopped but that’s just me).
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats. Even just a few can even kill your cat. You want to watch for vomiting and hyperactivity as early signs of kidney complications.
You may find that your cat has never shown any signs of problems, but it’s just best to avoid giving your cat any to prevent any issues.
11. Human Medicine
You don’t want to give you cat any medications that you were prescribed or any medications that you picked up over-the-counter. Just because you have a cold and do does your cat, that doesn’t mean that you both need the same medications, much less the same dosage.
If your cat sneaks a pill from the counter, you want to call your vet or an emergency vet as soon as possible. Never self medicate your cat, unless you’ve already called the vet to ask if it was ok.
On a side note, you’ll find medications that contain acetominophen or ibuprofen can be deadly to your cat, so don’t ever give anything to your cat that contains either ingredient.
Liver can be healthy for your cat only if you offer it in small portions. Too much liver can cause a Vitamin A deficiency, which can affect your cat’s bones.
Watch for bone deformities, bone growth on the elbows and spine, and signs of osteoporosis. A vitamin A deficiency can cause death if it’s not recognized early.
13. Onions, Garlic, Chives
No matter how it’s cooked, prepared, or processed, onions break down the red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. This is true for raw onions and even onion powder.
Garlic and chives can cause gastrointestional issues with your cat, so it’s best to avoid all three. There’s no need to season your cat’s food anyway.
14. Raw Eggs
Giving your cat raw eggs is potentially offering Salmonella or E. coli in his bowl. Plus, there’s an enzyme in raw eggs that can interfere with the body’s absorption of the B vitamin biotin, which can cause skin problems with your cat’s coat.
15. Raw Meat and Fish
Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. In addition, an enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin for your cat.
A lack of thiamine can cause serious neurological problems and lead to convulsions and coma. Although, a raw diet can be one of the more healthier diets for cats, you want to be quite cautious of offering a sole raw diet.
16. Sugary Foods and Drinks
If you offer too many sugary foods and drinks, your can can potentially suffer obesity, diabetes, and dental problems. It’s best that you just don’t offer any sugary foods.
Even though your cat may love tuna, it’s just not the best idea to offer it all the time. If you offer tons of tuna, your cat can become malnourished. It just won’t have all of the nutrients that your cat needs for a balanced diet. Once in a while is ok, but don’t make it a daily habit by any means
18. Yeast Dough
Raw yeast dough needs to rise before it’s cooked, so if your cat eats any of the dough, it will swell in his stomach, which can cause severe pain, as the abdomen fills and stretched. Plus, as yeast ferments, it produced alcohol, which can cause alcohol poisoning.
This sugar substitute is definitely not safe for cats. Ingesting too much of a product containing xylitol can lead to seizures and liver failure. This is sometimes a sneaky ingredient, so make sure you’re checking labels and keeping anything containing xylitol out of your cat’s reach.
20. Uncooked potatoes & tomatoes
Both these plants come from the deadly nightshade family. Eaten raw, they are likely to cause cats gastrointestinal distress. Cooked tomatoes and potatoes, however, have no toxic effects.
(Eating green potatoes, cooked or not, can cause cardiac issues, hallucinations and paralysis, but as they are bitter this is not likely to be an issue.)
The seemingly innocent avocado contains persin, which is very toxic to animals, including cats. The entire avocado tree is toxic, so never let your cat play with the shell or pit.
Depending on the amount of persin ingested, your cat may have gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems or even fluid building up around the heart. In some cases, these issues can even lead to death.