Poisonous Foods For Cats

Our cats are picky eaters, that’s for sure. Sometimes we might want to spoil them with a tasty treat that doesn’t come in a can or a food bag, but there are several foods that we should avoid for our cats at all costs. Do you know which foods to never feed your cat? Some might seem like a no-brainer but a few on this list may come as somewhat of a surprise. Because of our cat’s overly curious nature, it’s most important to be sure that you never leave any of the foods on this out on an open counter where your kitty can access them. Here’s our important list of poisonous foods for cats…

Tuna Fish

Most cats will go crazy at the sound of a can opening, and tuna is no different. The alluring smell of the juice wafts through the air and usually works like magic to get your cat’s attention immediately. But you as the caring cat parent must be careful. The mercury content in canned tuna fish can be harmful to your precious feline. Did you know that the mercury content in canned albacore tuna is 3x as high in that of skipjack (light) tuna?

And not only this, but canned tuna is high in unsaturated fats which are not good for your cat. Skip the real tuna altogether and find yourself a cat-approved tuna fish-flavored alternative.

Milk–And Dairy in General

We may remember those old cartoons that showed us nostalgic imagery of cats drinking from milk saucers, but this is not ideal for kitty in real life. As obligate carnivores, your cat’s digestive system doesn’t have the capability to break down milk protein–meaning that your cat is actually lactose intolerant. If your cat was to ingest milk or dairy products, it can lead to upset stomach and diarrhea. There are, however, a few cheese options that are suitable for your cat in bite-size quantities.

Chocolate

There are a number of reasons why this sweet treat is not safe for feline consumption. Luckily your cat doesn’t naturally have a taste for sweets, so they aren’t likely to beg you for a bite whenever you have some yourself. Chocolate often contains caffeine, which is a big no-no to always avoid. Many diet chocolates contain xylitol which is super dangerous for both cats as well as dogs if consumed. Theobromine found in chocolate can lead to “chocolate poisoning” for cats if consumed, so this is just another one of the many reasons why chocolate is a poisonous food for cats.

The signs of chocolate poisoning are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased reflex responses
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma)

Chives, Garlic, Onions

Although you may not be chopping these up to pass out to your kitty, think about how often we use these in foods that we prepare for ourselves. If you happen to let your cat nibble on any type of bread or a piece of cooked meat you’re prepared, you must ask yourself first if there are any chives, garlic or onions on there. You can never be too careful when it comes to your cat’s safety.

Grapes and Raisins

It doesn’t matter what color the grape, do not give it to your cat. This tasty treat for humans is highly toxic to cats and can result in kidney failure if consumed. Even a small amount can have a detrimental effect to your cat’s health. Signs and symptoms of grape poisoning are as follows:

Vomiting is usually seen within 12 hours of ingestion. Other signs that may occur within 24 hours include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Decreased urination
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Possibly death

Although we usually think to leave grapes out on a counter or tabletop, please be sure to store them away far from your cat’s reach should you have them in your home.

Alcohol of Any Kind

It doesn’t matter if it’s beer, wine or liquor, all of it is poisonous to your cat. Of course we wouldn’t think to give this intentionally to our cat, but if you leave your drink sitting out for any reason near kitty, you must keep a close eye. Liquor affects a human’s brain and their liver–and the same is true for your feline friend. Did you know that just two teaspoons of whiskey is enough to put a cat into a coma? And remember, the higher the alcohol content, the worse the symptoms.

Bones And/Or Table Scraps

We may believe this is an ideal treat or reward for a “good kitty”, but the truth is anything but. A bone can splinter and cause an obstruction, or even worse, cut the delicate lining of your cat’s intestines and digestive system. In regards to animal fat/trimmings, both cooked and uncooked are not safe for feline consumption. These remnants of human food can cause intestinal upset in your cat and even lead to diarrhea and/or vomiting. If you want to give your cat a special treat, find them one in the cat food aisle at the store, not from your dinner plate.

Want a human food that you can give your kitty to share? We’ve got a list here for you. But remember, providing your cat with play or mental stimulation is way better for them in the long run than any food you can spoil them with. 

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2 Comments

  1. Regarding bones – only cooked bones are dangerous. Cooked bones become sharp and can get caught in the throat, stomach or intestines. Raw bones break into chunks or cubes, can be chewed up and swallowed safely. In fact raw chicken necks and wings are a great snack or meal. If your cat is willing and able (dental problems will make this impossible) to eat raw bones it will help keep teeth and gums clean as well as give them necessary nutrients.
    And raw meat in general is nothing to be afraid of.
    Cats have a much shorter digestive tract with higher levels of acid than humans. Bacteria will not have a chance to make your cat sick. How do you think they survived in the wild? Raw feeding is the most natural for our kitties. However the right balance of nutrients is important. If you decide to feed raw, do research it.

  2. Just to clarify – COOKED bones are bad for cats, but they CAN eat raw bones. It’s the cooking that makes bones brittle.

Written by Modi Ramos

Crazy cat lady since birth and lover of all things feline. Owner of CattitudeDaily and former Editor of iHeartCats. Meow!

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