Cats love nothing more than a fresh can of tuna or a few scraps of lunchmeat. As much as your cat may enjoy it, however, it might not be a good idea to feed him people food. While there are some foods that are safe for cats to eat, many are not only dangerous, but also toxic to cats. Before you offer your cat anything other than cat food, make sure that what you are offering is not hazardous to their health.
Foods Harmful to Cats
Many of the foods that are toxic to cats are foods that your cat probably would not eat anyway. You never know, however, when your cat might get into something that he shouldn’t and it could become a dangerous situation. Some of the foods most toxic to cats include:
- Alcohol – All types of alcohol including beer, wine, and liquor are bad for cats because it can cause damage to the brain and liver. Even as little as a tablespoon of alcohol can put a full-grown cat into a coma – doses larger than that can be fatal.
- Caffeine – Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages are very dangerous for cats. Caffeine can cause distressing symptoms like rapid heartbeat, muscle tremors, and heart palpitations.
- Chocolate – The most dangerous component of chocolate is the chemical theobromine, which can cause seizures, muscle tremors, and heart problems. Dark chocolate has the highest theobromine content, followed by baking chocolate and then milk chocolate.
- Raw Meat/Eggs – While raw meat and eggs may seem like a natural food for cats to eat, they can easily be contaminated with bacteria that could make your cat sick.
- Onions/Garlic – All foods belonging to the onion family including garlic, leeks, and shallots are dangerous for cats. These foods can cause digestive upset and, if eaten regularly, can lead to anemia.
- Xylitol – Artificial sweeteners like xylitol are bad for pets in general – it can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar levels and symptoms of kidney failure.
- Grapes/Raisins – Grapes and Raisins can cause kidney failure in cats in sufficient amounts. Even small amounts will cause vomiting and hyperactivity, so please prevent your cat from getting access to them.
- Milk/Dairy Products – Did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant? Cheese and milk can easily cause diarrhea.
Before feeding your cat anything other than his regular cat food, make sure that the food is non-toxic to cats. You can find more information about foods dangerous to cats from your veterinarian, by calling a pet poison hotline or by asking a pet professional here on LovePets.com.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian