Cats are quite possibly the most curious creatures on earth. If it's small, shiny and fits in their mouth, you can bet your kitty will want to take a bite. Unfortunately for them, many of the human foods we love are actually toxic for cats. To keep your cats safe, here is a list of the top 10 human foods that cats should avoid at all costs!
Beware the Chocolate!
This one seems like a no-brainer - chocolate is toxic to cats! It contains caffeine and theobromine which can cause vomiting, seizures, and even death if ingested in large quantities. Chocolate also has ingredients called methylxanthines, which are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, elevated temperature, and muscle tremors among other serious side effects. So make sure to keep any chocolate treats out of reach of your feline friend.
Onions & Garlic
This one was a surprise when I found out about it. What could seem more innocent that fresh onions and garlic? Unfortunately, onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia if eaten by cats in large amounts.
That being said, some pet owners believe that small amounts of onion or garlic powder sprinkled over their cat’s wet food are okay in moderation for flavoring. Just be aware that too much is not good for your cat!
Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and raisins are two fruits that you should never feed your cat as they can cause acute kidney failure if ingested in large enough amounts. Within 12 hours of ingestion, vomiting is common, and within 24 hours your pet might experience lethargy, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and decreased urination. Other less frequent signs may include fever and depression.
If these symptoms show up after possibly ingesting grapes or raisins, take your pet to the vet immediately for a professional assessment and appropriate treatment. Even just a few grapes or raisins could be potentially deadly so it’s best to just avoid giving them altogether!
Caffeinated beverages such as coffee or energy drinks can have serious effects on cats including restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, seizures and even death! Methylxanthines, which are present in chocolate, are also found in caffeinated beverages and should be avoided. See your vet if your cat experiences any of these symptoms.
Be sure to keep those mugs of coffee well away from the kitty’s reach! I don't know about your cats, but ours LOVE to take a taste of anything left out in an open glass or cup.
Just like humans, alcohol has a severe effect on cats when consumed in any amount. Even just a lick off of your glass can cause intoxication which could lead to coma or death if left untreated. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, disorientation, trouble breathing, coma, and even death.
Avocado contains persin, a fungicidal toxin, which can be deadly for cats if eaten in large amounts. Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea so it’s best to avoid feeding this fruit altogether!
Raw Eggs & Meat
Feeding your cat raw proteins like eggs and meat carries potential risks for your pet. Common illnesses such as salmonella and E. coli can be transmitted to cats, causing them to experience vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
To prevent any harm coming to your cat, it’s important to wash your hands properly after cooking and keep the food away from your cat until completely cooked. Raw eggs contain an enzyme that can also lead to skin and coat problems, so emphasizing cooked proteins is essential.
As an added precaution, make sure not to feed raw bones as these can put your cat in a dangerous situation - the bone pieces could choke her or cause damage to her digestive tract or teeth. Feeding raw proteins requires caution in order to ensure optimal health for your precious pet!
It is generally not recommended to give cats nuts as snacks as they can pose serious health concerns. Nuts can be especially hazardous to cats, causing choking and obstruction of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines more so than dogs.
Besides being a potential choking hazard, they also have a high-fat content and dense calorie count which can severely affect a cat's diet if they are digested. Additionally, some kinds of nuts may contain toxic compounds that can cause harm both internally and externally. For these reasons, it is best to err on the side of caution and keep cats away from nuts altogether.
Many cats love the taste of milk and won't hesitate to drink a bowl of it when offered, yet they often do not have the necessary digestive enzymes to break down lactose. This means that no matter how much your cat enjoys their milk treat, it could lead to stomach woes such as an upset stomach or diarrhea.
Kittens only consume their mother's milk for up to six weeks which equips them with enough lactase enzymes for the short term. As such, reintroducing them to lactose can be difficult for their stomachs, although some cats do not have any issues drinking milk ranging from cow, goat, and other sources.
To avoid digestive problems, cats should only take in a mother's milk while still in kittenhood and all other dairy products are likely something better avoided due to the hard-to-digest lactose content.
This one might seem surprising but bread dough contains yeast which expands when exposed to heat (such as inside a cat’s stomach) resulting in a gas buildup and potential rupture of the stomach lining leading to a life-threatening emergency situation - so definitely keep this one away from kitty at all costs!
Keeping an eye on what kind of food your cat eats is essential for their health and well-being. Not only does it help prevent them from getting sick but also ensures they get all the nutrients they need each day without overdoing it on unhealthy snacks like the human foods mentioned above!
As an additional precaution, here are some tips:
- Keep all foods well out of your cat’s reach. This can be challenging, because cats are very resourceful, but do your best!
- Keep your cat away from the kitchen counter while you are handling food.
- Never feed your cat table scraps!
- Be extra cautious around holiday time, when there are likely to be lots of tempting foods around.
Always check with your veterinarian before introducing any new food items into your cat's diet – even something seemingly harmless like bread dough – because you never know what could happen if the kitty tries something they shouldn't have been eating in the first place!