It’s completely understandable how you may want to share your snack with your feline friend. However, before you go about sharing everything that you munch on, it is integral that you make yourself aware of the various foods that are considered toxic for cats. When it comes to human foods, though these foods usually have no negative effects on humans, cats react very differently to them.
Some of the most popular human foods are actually poisonous for cats. It is best that you inform yourself so that you are aware of the hazards of sharing everything with your cat.
Cats are basically family when you think about it and it is only natural for you to want to share everything you eat with them. However, depending on what it is that you are eating, your ignorance could be harming the health of your cat. We have listed out the 27 most toxic foods that you should never feed your cat. It is integral that you understand the difference between a safe and toxic food when it comes to your cat and only feed them foods that are considered safe for their wellbeing.
Should You Feed Your Cat People Food?
Though your cat has the tendency to whine and beg when they see you eating something, people food simply isn’t a prerequisite in your feline friend’s diet. You simply do not have to feed them people food and they actually have no need for them. In order for a cat to be healthy, regular cat food is more than plenty to keep them well-fed and nourished.
You simply do not have to offer them everything that you eat. After all, you do that out of the goodness of your heart, as a treat for your cat and to make your cat feel loved. That being the case, cats actually have a specific nutrient requirement that should be met through their diet. The best way to do this is to give your cat a well balanced and complete commercial cat food that has been formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.
Fruits and vegetables that are considered a healthy addition to meals for humans are foods that would completely exceed the vitamin and mineral requirements of your cat who is already eating a complete and balanced diet through cat food.
Though we are inclined to think that the more nutrients they consume, the better it is for them, this is not always the case. In some cases, excess nutrient intake by your cat can even be harmful.
Hence to answer the question, should you feed your cat people food, the answer is simply not really. You should seek to feed them a commercial diet that is recommended and specifically designed for them. This is the best way to ensure that your cat is getting the nutrition that it requires. Feeding them people food simply do not measure or replace the nutrients provided by a well balanced and complete commercial diet.
Toxic People Foods for Cats
Though you don’t have to feed your cat people food to keep them healthy and can better rely on a commercial diet, you are more likely to offer them a nibble or a bite of whatever it is that you are eating. This is part of petting your cat and is a habit that many cat owners can relate to. Though you rarely do feed them people food, if you have the tendency to share your food with your cat, it is important that you make yourself aware of the various foods that may cause more harm to your cat than good.
We have formulated a well-informed list of people foods that are considered toxic for cats. Whether it is through snacks, meals or just for laughs, do not feed your cat these foods. It will only cause them harm and it is more likely that you would require veterinary assistance if they accidentally consume something that is toxic.
Hence, without further adieu, let’s dive into our list of 27 toxic foods that should never be fed to cats.
1. Xylitol (Artificial Sweetener)
First on our list is something that is commonly found in many commercial available people food. Xylitol is a very common artificial sweetener that usually comes in foods such as gum and candy.
Though Xylitol is considered safe for human consumption, when it comes to your cat, it can have poisonous results. The sweetener can cause vomiting and lethargy in your cat and can have long term health consequences.
Xylitol in more serious cases can cause liver failure. If you care about your cat and though they may whine for that candy that you are eating, do not give them even a nibble of anything that contains xylitol. It is considered a dangerous ingredient and your cat doesn’t know better than to beg. It is up to you to best care for your pet, so be sure to check the label for xylitol, before you feed them any candy or anything packaged sweet products for that matter.
Certain vegetables that are considered safe for humans are simply not considered safe for cats. Onions are one such vegetable that can cause havoc on your cat’s system.
This common vegetable is included in many people dishes and is an ingredient in various foods. Onions can cause gastrointestinal complications in your cat and can even cause more serious complications such as damaged red blood cells.
Long term consumption of onions could cause such damage to their red blood cell count that could lead to weakness due to inefficient oxygen delivery. It could cause damage to internal organs and can even lead to shortening of life span.
All food that contains onions should be avoided. It is also integral that you ensure that you don’t add onions to any meals that you prepare for them at home.
Leeks is yet another vegetable that is commonly eaten by people around the world. Much like onions, leeks contain compounds that cause gastrointestinal complications in cats. Though it is commonly added to various dishes, you should never serve your cat food that contains leeks.
If they eat a large dose of this vegetable, it could serve poisonous and you should never allow your cat to repeatedly nibble on leaks.
If you have leeks growing in your kitchen or garden, it is wise to use a barrier in place to prevent your cat from reaching them. For otherwise it may result in them mistakenly nibbling on something that is considered poisonous for them.
Much like onions, do not feed your cat anything that contains leeks. A single large dose could be the right amount to require emergency attention to resolve the issue.
Scallions is yet another member of the vegetable family that is considered poisonous for cats. They contain compounds that cause damage to red blood cells, resulting in depletion of red blood cell count.
The lower of a red blood cell count your cat has, the more ineffective oxygen delivery will take place. Ineffective oxygen delivery to vital organs can lead to organ damage which is disastrous in the long run.
The most common means to feed your cat scallions are feeding them food that contains scallions. Hence, when you are preparing their food at home, be sure to steer clear of vegetables like scallions which are known to be poisonous. Even a single large serving of scallions could cause serious gastrointestinal complications, hence work to avoid it at all costs.
Shallots contain thiosulphate which is a compound that can cause serious health complications for your cat. This compound though safe for humans is not safe for cats, which is why you should never feed your cat shallots.
Thiosulphate as that found in shallots can cause the red blood cells to rupture, which can lead to a devastating condition known as haemolytic anaemia. It is caused by insufficient red blood cells in your cat’s body. This can lead to long term organ failure and even shortened lifespan.
Shallots are considered poisonous and one large serving can provide sufficient to cause gastrointestinal complications. Do not feed your cat anything that includes shallots are an ingredient.
This is a common ingredient in many foods and is considered good for humans. However it is not at all safe for cats. Garlic too contains thiosulphate, which as mentioned causes the damage of red blood cells. It can cause anaemia in your cat and can lead to long term organ failure.
Garlic is a common addition to many dishes and if you are used to making your cat’s food at home, do not add garlic to the meal thinking it will provide as a nutritious addition.
Not all foods that are common and considered safe for humans are safe for cats and garlic is a prime example of this. You should most certainly also avoid any food that contains garlic, which includes foods like garlic bread.
The trouble is, when you are preparing your cats meal at home, your ignorance may lead you into thinking, adding this and that to the meals will spice up the dish for your feline friend. Though you mean no harm, it is your ignorance that could be harming your cat.
Chives is a common herb that is added to various dishes and foods. This herb is considered toxic for cats and a high dose can cause haemolytic anaemia which is when the red blood cells rupture. This can lead to your cat becoming very weak and in worse cases lead to organ failure.
Do not feed your cat anything that contains chives. If you are munching on a snack and want to offer your cat a nibble, do check the ingredients to ensure that it doesn’t contain chives or anything else on this list.
Salt in high doses can be dangerous for your cat. Who would have thought salt to be dangerous, but that is the truth of the matter, salt is simply not safe for cats and you shouldn’t be adding salt to your cat’s meals in hopes that they would enjoy the taste.
Large amounts of salt through salty foods can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizures and even death. Yes, death; salt can kill your cat.
Salt is one of the most common additions to human food. If you do feed your cat human food and prefer to make their meals at home, make sure to make their food separately and do not add salt into their dishes. They simply do not need the pain and you would be wrong to think that they would enjoy the taste.
9. Raw Fish
This is probably one of the most shocking inclusions on this list. Cats love fish, so why is it dangerous for them. Cooked fish is perfectly safe for cats, however, raw fish can contain bacteria which can do more harm than good.
The bacteria in raw fish can cause infections and can lead to various gastrointestinal complications. The raw fish could contain bacteria such as E.coli or salmonella which could threaten the life of your feline friend.
Raw fish contains an enzyme called thiaminase, which works to destroy thiamine which is an essential B vitamin in cats. Hence, remember, though your cat may whine and beg for that sushi that you are eating, do not bend. Sushi is considered dangerous for cats, for it contains raw fish.
When serving your cat fish, make sure to cook the fish properly and remove any bones which could otherwise pose as a choking hazard.
10. Raw or Undercooked Meat
Much like fish, raw meat is another no-no. Raw or undercooked meat too can contains bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli. It is common to find pets who eat raw or undercooked meat to suffer from gastrointestinal complications.
One of the first signs of complications is diarrhoea, which is very common in pets who consume raw or undercooked meat. When feeding you cat meat, it is important that you ensure that the meat is well cooked to remove any bacteria that may pose a threat to your cat’s wellbeing.
Gastrointestinal complications are only the start. Long term consumption of raw or undercooked meat can cause further health complications and can even lead to death.
11. Raw Eggs
Much like raw fish and meat, raw eggs also may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. This can lead to infection which can even cause death in some cases.
Early signs of infection include vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Further to the bacteria that are present in raw eggs, they also contain avidin which is an enzyme that hinders your cat from absorbing biotin. Biotin is important for the health of your cat’s skin and fur.
Though raw eggs are usually not a component of many people food, you may mistakenly serve them raw eggs thinking they would be a nutritious addition to their meals. This is ignorance at its finest. Do not feed your cat raw eggs, they will only have a negative reaction to it.
12. Macadamia Nuts
Nuts are a common snack for humans and you may have been tempted to throw your cat a macadamia nut when you find yourself munching on them. Macadamia nuts are considered toxic for cats. The exact mechanism as to how this toxicity occurs is yet not known, however, we do know for certain that they are toxic for cats.
You should most certainly keep macadamia nuts away from your kitty’s reach and do not feed them these nuts. Macadamia nuts when fed to cats can cause lethargy, vomiting, hyperthermia and tremors.
This is yet another nut that is commonly snacked on by pet owners who may unmistakenly be feeding their cats something that is considered toxic for them.
Though almonds are rich in oils and fats, it is these oils and fats that can cause digestive complications in your feline friend. Long term consumption can lead to pancreatitis.
Feeding your cat almonds can lead to them experiencing vomiting and diarrhoea. You should most certainly keep almonds away from your cat’s reach to prevent them from overconsuming them, which can lead them to develop pancreatitis.
Another nut on this list that is considered unsafe for cats. Famously an ingredient of pecan pie, do not serve your cat anything that contains pecans for it could have dangerous outcomes.
The first signs of poisoning through pecans involve vomiting and diarrhoea. Though they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, pecans simply do not favour cats. You should avoid pecans and anything that contains pecans to prevent discomfort to your cat.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to feed your cat anything that will make your cat sick, hence add pecans to the list.
No, cats cannot eat walnuts and you should not be feeding your cat walnuts. Though cats will have no trouble chewing and swallowing walnuts, it is after they eat it that the problem will begin to surface.
Walnuts will cause various gastrointestinal complications and signs of toxicity begin with vomiting and diarrhoea. Their digestive tract will start to hurt. Though it is rare for your cat to die from eating a single walnut, they will surely be in a whole lot of discomfort.
Hence, make sure to keep this nut away from your cat’s reach too.
When it comes to fruits, you don’t want to feed your cat grapes. The exact reasoning as to why grapes are considered toxic for cats is unknown. However, they do react negatively to grapes, which is why you shouldn’t be feeding them grapes.
The problem with grapes isn’t immediate. You may not notice signs and symptoms immediately, however, there is evidence to show that grapes can cause kidney failure when fed in the long run.
This can cause shortening of lifespan, which is why you should not make a practice of offering your cat a grape or two everything you eat some grapes.
Much likes grapes, raisins too are harmful to cats. They too can cause kidney failure in the long run.
Though you may be inclined to think of raisins as a good treat for your cat, it isn’t considered healthy. Even a small amount of raisins can make your cat ill.
Hence, be careful when you are baking and drop a few raisins on the floor. If you don’t clean up right away, your cat could nibble and swallow those raisins and fall ill. Do not feed them anything that contains raisins either. Always check the ingredients to ensure that it doesn’t contain anything you shouldn’t be feeding your cat.
This may come as a shock to you, but dairy including milk isn’t considered a safe choice for your cat. Daily, including milk, cheese and yoghurt all contain lactose which can cause digestive complications in many cats that are lactose intolerant.
Don’t get us wrong, not all cats are lactose intolerant. However, most cats are in fact lactose intolerant which is why it is best that you avoid dairy which contains lactose. They simply are unable to process the lactose which will lead to a host of gastrointestinal complications.
If you are looking to feed your cat milk, you can speak to a vet to find a suitable lactose free alternative that may provide as an acceptable treat for your cat.
Both coconut flesh and coconut water aren’t considered safe for cats. They can cause digestive issues in cats.
Though small amounts won’t lead to serious complications or harm, coconut water does contain high levels of potassium for it to be safe for cats.
That being the case, coconut oil may be helpful for some cats with skin issues, however, you should speak to a vet before you consider any holistic means of treating any condition that your cat may be having.
Furthermore, you should avoid coconuts when possible and should always speak to a vet before including any elements of coconuts into their diet.
20. Citrus Fruits
The family of citrus fruits are all considered bad for cats. Lemons, limes, oranges, clementines, grapefruits all contain citric acid and essential oils that cause problems for your cat.
The stems, leaves, peels, seeds and the fruit itself all should be avoided. Though a small amount can only cause an upset stomach, a large enough dose can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting.
Citrus in cats can even lead to more serious complications such as central nervous system depression. Citrus fruits are a common snack for cat owners and you may have mistakenly treated your cat to citrus. If you have, by all means, stop. You may be doing more harm than good.
Coffee contains the methylxanthine caffeine which can be very dangerous for cats. You should never feed your cat coffee to see how they react. Further, you should ensure that you store your coffee beans and mixes in a place where your cat is unable to reach.
This is because caffeine can cause mild symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting and can even lead to more serious complications such as tremors and seizures. This harmless and common drink can even cause death in cats and should be avoided at all costs.
The concentration of methylxanthines is quite high in coffee, hence do not try feeding your cat coffee to see whether it will perk them up. Your ignorance could be placing their lives at risk.
This has to be one of the most common snacks on this list that you are most likely to unknowingly offer your cat. How many times have you been eating chocolate and have offered your cat a piece or a nibble?
Much like coffee, chocolate contains substances called methylxanthines and is in higher concentrations than coffee. Further to caffeine, chocolate also contains theobromine. These compounds are considered toxic for cats can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizure and even death.
The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are the most dangerous with the highest concentration of theobromine, with white chocolate having the least concentration. This does not mean that you should feed them white chocolate either.
Make sure to store your chocolate in a place that your cat cannot reach and by all means, avoid treating your cat chocolate treats.
23. Bread Dough Containing Yeast
Yeast in dough rises and this is exactly what will happen in your cat’s stomach if they eat bread dough containing yeast. The dough will rise and cause the stomach to swell.
The dough can also cause gas to build up in the digestive tract and can lead to bloating and twisting which is considered potentially fatal. Further to this, yeast also produces alcohol as a by-product which can cause various gastrointestinal complications such as vomiting and diarrhoea.
Though baked bread is considered safe for cats, you should for certain ensure you keep bread dough away from your cat’s reach.
Some people may have thought to feed their cats alcohol as a fun experiment, sure to give them a few laughs. Hence, we had to include this in our list to ensure that you never feed your cat alcohol.
Drinks and food that contains alcohol can cause serious health complications in cats. Though you may not be aware, certain foods actually contain trace amounts of alcohol. Hence, be sure to check the list of ingredients to ensure that it doesn’t contain anything that you shouldn’t be feeding your cat.
Alcohol can cause mild symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea and can cause more serious complications such as trouble breathing, coma and even death.
Be sure to keep your alcohol away from your feline friend’s reach. Your cat doesn’t care to get drunk, so don’t run experiments that will put their lives at risk.
Though small amounts of the liver are considered ok for cats, eating too much liver can lead to vitamin A toxicity. This is a serious condition that can affect the health of your cat’s bones.
Long term consumption of liver can cause bone deformation and bone growth on the elbows and spine. It can also cause osteoporosis.
Excess vitamin A can reach such toxic levels to even cause death. Hence, though you may be inclined to think of liver being a safe meal choice for your cat, avoid feeding them liver in large quantities.
Though this fruit is considered safe and healthy for humans, it is considered mildly toxic for cats. The leaves, seed, tree bark and the fruit itself all contain Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in cats.
Hence, if you have an avocado tree, you should be very careful that your cat doesn’t consume any component of the fruit or tree that could lead to your cat falling ill.
Though the levels of toxicity are mild, you don’t want your cat eating any of this fruit or even licking a spoon or fork that you used to make guacamole. DO NOT feed your cat guacamole.
27. Green Tomatoes and Raw Green Potatoes
Green tomatoes and raw green potatoes contain a bitter and poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine which can lead to violent lower gastrointestinal complications.
The leaves and stem are similarly toxic, hence you should be very careful if you are growing tomatoes or potatoes at home. Tomatoes that are included in pre-made pet foods are no reason to worry. They are made with ripe tomatoes that are no reason for concern.
It is the unripe and raw tomatoes and potatoes that you should be on the lookout for. So be extra careful if you have a home garden with a tomato or potato patch.
What To Do If Your Cat Eats Something Toxic?
If your cat eats anything on this list, do not wait around for signs and symptoms to appear, consult a vet at the earliest. They may be able to induce vomiting to remove the swollen food which can only be done if you act fast.
A vet would be able to best diagnose the issue so don’t sit around searching the internet for answers. If you have realised that you have fed your cat anything on this list by accident, consult a vet at the earliest for a proper diagnosis.
Though there is no real need for people food when it comes to cats, you almost can’t not share what you eat with them. After all, they are basically part of the family and you want to share your snacks with them.
However, now that you know, you may want to think twice before you offer them a piece of chocolate or even some of that sushi that you brought home for dinner.
The wellbeing of your cat is in your hands and regardless of how much they whine and beg, you really shouldn’t be feeding them anything that makes them ill, in the short or the term. You should also keep all those things on this list away from their reach, including avocado leaves and unripe tomatoes.
We hope after reading this word to word, you have a good grasp of the types of food that you should be avoiding. We aimed to provide you with an informative list that contains the information that is required to prevent your cat from unexpectedly falling ill due to what you may have fed them or what they may have accidentally eaten.
Remember, it is you as the cat owner who should be aware and informed. So aren’t you glad that you came across this article?