Here’s a look at some of the most toxic foods for cats.
1. Onions and Garlic
Onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions can cause damage to your cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.
2. Raw Eggs, Raw Meat & Bones
Salmonella and E. coli can also be transmitted to humans, so be careful to properly wash your hands after cooking and keep your cat away from these raw foods. Raw eggs also contain an enzyme that can lead to skin and coat problems. Keep your cat from eating raw bones as well—she could choke on them, injure her digestive tract, or damage her teeth. If your cat has a sensitive stomach, read the article.
3. Chocolate and Caffeinated Drinks
We’ve all heard that chocolate can be fatal to dogs, but it’s just as poisonous for cats as well. Chocolate contains substances called methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, high body temperature, muscle tremors, abnormal heart rhythm, abdominal discomfort, increased thirst, and seizures.
4. Alcohol and Raw Dough
Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, disorientation, trouble breathing, coma, and even death. It’s also important to keep your cat away from raw dough. Raw dough causes expansion in the stomach, or creates alcohol in the stomach.
5. Milk and Dairy Products
Lactose in milk can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Most cats are only exposed to lactose from their mother’s milk when they are kittens. Because kittens only drink from their mother’s milk for a few weeks, their digestive systems are often not equipped to handle a reintroduction to lactose. So, while some cats have no trouble tolerating milk, they are not recommended to drink anything but their mother’s milk while kittens, due to the possibility of digestive issues.
6. Grapes and Raisins
Even a small amount of grapes and raisins can cause your cat to become ill — they can even lead to rapid development of kidney failure. Within 12 hours of ingestion, vomiting sometimes occurs. Other signs that can show up within 24 hours include lethargy, diarrhea, reduced appetite, abdominal pain, decreased urination and abdominal pain.
7. Dog Food
Though dog food is not toxic to cats, your cat needs a very different set of nutrients than a dog. Cat food should contain plenty of vitamin A, taurine, arachidonic acid and protein, and dog food has much lower levels of these nutrients. Dogs can survive with lower levels of vitamin A and protein, while cats cannot. Dogs are also able to produce taurine and arachidonic acid, but cats must have these acids in their food. Without a sufficient amount of taurine, cats can develop heart disease, vision and dental issues.
When made into cat food is perfectly fine for cats. On the other hand, tuna sold for human consumption may cause digestive upset when given as an occasional treat in small amounts. It can even cause a painful condition called steatitis, or inflammation of the body’s fat, when fed to cats on a regular basis.
This is a sweetener used in a lot of sugar-free foods, especially chewing gum. There are no records of cats becoming ill from this product, but in dogs it can cause a severe drop in blood sugar followed by liver failure. Therefore it is better to be safe and not let your cat eat foods that contain this ingredient.
Here are some easy tips for preventing your cat from eating dangerous and toxic foods:
- Store foods out of your cat’s reach. Installing cat-proof locks on cabinets may be necessary for a curious kitty.
- Do not let your cat on the counter while you’re cooking or eating.
- Do not feed her table scraps.
- If you notice or suspect that your cat has eaten one of these foods, take her to your veterinarian immediately. While some of these foods may only cause your cat slight discomfort, others can be far more hazardous to her health. If in doubt, ask your vet for guidance.