7 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Cat
How to Avoid Feeding Your Cat Harmful People Foods
As a cat owner, you may like to feed your cat people foods from time to time. Cats are usually picky eaters so they may not respond to every item of people food you put down in front of them. When choosing people foods to give your cat, make sure you choose items that are not harmful or toxic to your cat and give your cat safe people foods instead. If your cat ingests harmful people foods, make sure you bring them to the vet right away to minimize the risk of a serious illness or a medical condition.
Avoiding Harmful Vegetables, Fruits, and Dairy Products
Do not give your cat onions, garlic, or chives.Onions, garlic, and chives contain properties that can cause anemia if consumed by your cat. This can also lead to jaundice and damage your cat’s red blood cells. Even a few slices of onions, garlic, or chives can be toxic for cats.
- This applies to uncooked and cooked onions, garlic, and chives.
Never give your cat grapes, raisins, or avocados.You may be tempted to give grapes, raisins, or slices of avocado to your cat as healthy treats. Avoid the temptation. These foods can all cause adverse effects in your cat like vomiting, kidney failure, and diarrhea.
Do not feed your cat uncooked potatoes or tomatoes.Uncooked potatoes and tomatoes are from the nightshade family, which can be deadly for cats when eaten raw. Giving your cat uncooked potatoes and unripe tomatoes can cause gastrointestinal distress for your cat.
- When cooked, however, brown potatoes are safe for cats to eat. Green potatoes should not be given to cats, raw or cooked.
- All the green parts of a tomato plant, including the stem and leaves, are unsafe for cats to eat. Red ripe tomatoes are fine, but avoid green unripe ones.
Never give your cat dairy products.Though kittens can have cow’s milk, adult cats are often lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy products properly. Dairy products like cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt, or butter can be harmful to cats.
- Consuming dairy products can cause diarrhea, upset stomach, and vomiting in cats since cats do not have the enzyme lactose that would break down the milk sugar for them.
- You can give your cat lactose-free milk or live culture yogurt, as they do not contain lactose and are safe for cats to eat at any age.
Avoiding Other Harmful People Foods for Your Cat
Do not feed your cat caffeine or alcohol.Coffee, soda, caffeinated tea and other sources of caffeine are toxic to cats. Alcohol is also toxic, as three tablespoons of 40 percent liquor can prove deadly to cats. Keep your cat away from cups of coffee or open alcohol, as well as people food that contains alcohol, like penne vodka sauce or tomato red wine sauce.
Do not give your cat chocolate.You should also avoid giving your cat chocolate, as it can be harmful to cats even in small amounts. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate are all no-nos for cats.
Never give your cat raw bread dough.Bread dough that is raw and has not been baked is highly toxic to cats. The warm, moist environment of your cat’s stomach can cause the dough to expand, leading to bloating and a condition called “twisted stomach,” which can be painful for cats.
Do not give your cat foods that contain xylitol.Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in gum, candy, and some toothpastes. This additive can cause seizures and liver failure in cats. Though it may be tempting, do not give your cat gum, candy, or access to your toothpaste.
Avoid giving your cat raw meat, fish, and eggs.Diets containing raw beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs increase the cat's risk of getting parasites and bacterial infections such as salmonella. Avoid feeding your cat raw meats. Raw diets for cats are controversial, and they are not supported by many vets.
- Some cats may carry salmonella without getting sick themselves. They can, however, pass it onto humans. If the owners are very young, elderly or have weak immune systems, it is especially important not to feed the cat raw foods.
- Avoid giving your cat the bones from raw meat, such as chicken bones or fish bones, as they can get caught your cat’s throat and cause choking.
- It is not recommended that you put your cat on a raw food diet, as this can put your cat at risk of health issues like salmonella poisoning.
Do not give your cat macadamia nuts or salty snacks.Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin that is bad for cats. It can negatively affect your cat’s nervous system and digestive system. Other types of nuts like walnuts are also considered toxic for cats.
- People foods high in salt like potato or corn chips are also a no-no for cats. Salty snacks like pretzels, chips, and popcorn can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures in cats.
Giving Your Cat Safe People Foods
Feed your cat cooked salmon or chicken.If you want to give your cat people foods that they will enjoy and can eat safely, start with cooked foods like salmon or chicken. Remove the skin from the chicken before you serve it to your cat to reduce the fat content. Cats are carnivores and require meat in their diet. Cooked chicken is a good protein source for cats. Cooked salmon also provides omega-3 fatty acids for your cat.
- You can also give your cat other cooked meats like beef or pork. Cooked fish like cod or tilapia are also good for cats.
Prepare apples, bananas, and cantaloupe for your cat.These fruits are considered safe for consumption for cats. Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C for your cat. Remove the skin before giving apples to your cat. Bananas contain potassium and are easy to digest for cats. Cantaloupe, skin removed, contains nutrients that are beneficial for your cat’s skin and eyes.
Give your cat spinach and pumpkin as a healthy treat.Spinach is full of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy treat for cats. Cooked pumpkin is low on calories and high on nutrients. It’s a good option for a special treat for your cat, whether canned or fresh.
- If your cat is at risk of bladder stones, do not give them spinach.
Feed your cat cooked eggs.Cooked eggs are a good source of protein and vitamin B for cats. Many cat foods already contain cooked eggs and are safe for consumption. Always cook the eggs well before feeding them to your cat.
Introduce safe people foods slowly to your cat’s diet.No matter which safe people foods you give your cat, always do so in moderation and slowly. Give your cat a small amount of the people foods to try, along with their regular food. They may experience a bit of gastrointestinal upset when they try new foods, which is to be expected. Give them new people foods slowly over time so they can get used to it and decide if they like it.
- If your cat has an adverse reaction to certain safe people foods, or doesn’t seem to like them, do not try to force them to eat the people foods.
- If you are unsure whether your cat can eat certain people foods, check with your vet first.
QuestionWhat foods are cats not allowed to eat?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerMost importantly, cats should not eat dog food. It isn't toxic to cats but is deficient in vital nutrients. However, there are many human foods that are toxic to cats, such as grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and artificial sweeteners. The list is a long one, so always check that a new food is safe for cats before feeding.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of human food can cats eat?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerCats require a high protein diet, so a good quality meat that is fit for human consumption should be fine. Cats especially like chicken, cod, ham, and tuna.Thanks!
QuestionWhat things are poisonous to cats?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerIt's safest to assume a food is not safe, and check before feeding. Many foods that are fine for people can cause problems for cats. For example onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, chocolate, coffee, milk, and artificial sweeteners.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best cat food to feed my cat?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerExperts currently recommend canned or moist food over dry kibble. The higher water content makes bladder problems less likely. Look for a good quality food that has named meats listed as the first few ingredients. Avoid foods where the ingredients sound more like a like a list of chemicals than food stuffs.Thanks!
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