I’m just as guilty as any cat owner of occasionally sharing a bite of my steak or a lick of leftover gravy with one of my cats. But there are certain foods I won’t ever give them for the simple reason; it could kill them. Certain foods we eat are foods our cats should never eat no matter how much they beg for it. Avoid costly vet bills by just saying no.
Tuna. Cats love tuna and I give my cats canned tuna maybe twice a year, if they are lucky. I’ve used tuna to help stimulate a sick cat’s appetite, but feeding cats tuna on a regular basis is not a good idea. Tuna contains mercury and too much can give your cat mercury poisoning. It doesn’t contain all the nutrients cats need and can leave them malnourished. Cats who eat raw tuna or any oily fish can develop a disease called Yellow Fat Disease which is a painful inflammatory disease that is a result of a deficiency of Vitamin E in the cat’s system.
Onions, garlic or chives. In any form, cooked, raw, powered or dried, onions break down a cat’s red blood cells which can cause them to become anemic. Baby food is also a food cats should never eat. It contains a small amount of onion powder, but does have enough in it to be of concern to cat owners. Along with possible anemia, onion in any form can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Dairy products. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant. A little milk now and then won’t harm them, but an everyday bowl can upset their system and create digestive problems.
Alcohol. Alcohol poisoning kills more pets every year than most pet owners realize. An innocent lap or two from a mixed drink, wine or beer can send you rushing your cat to the vet in a panic. Alcohol affects cats just like it does us and since they are smaller, it only takes a couple teaspoons to put them in a coma or worse.
Grapes and raisins. It’s not completely understood why cats can’t handle grapes and raisins, but they are foods cats should never eat because just one or two can send a cat into kidney failure. Some cats have had no adverse results after eating grapes, but I prefer not to take a chance just in case my cat is the one that does have a problem.
Caffeine. Caffeine poisoning is real and deadly with no way to treat it. A cat who gets too much caffeine is in serious trouble. Chocolate, coffee, tea, coffee beans, coffee grounds, our cold medicines or pain medications, energy drinks or colas can be deadly for your cat. Never give them over the counter cold medications without consulting with your veterinarian first
Chocolate. Chocolate is a lethal food cats should never eat period. All forms of chocolate can send your cat into a seizure, followed by death. Too much chocolate depends on the cat’s health and age. A cat who is out of shape or one with underlying illnesses could be affected by a very small amount. It also depends on the type of chocolate. Dark chocolate is more deadly and dry cocoa powder is the worse kinds. White chocolate is less dangerous. Chocolate toxicity in pets is a serious health issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
Candy, gum, toothpaste and some diet foods. Xilitol is a new danger for cats vets have only become aware of recently. It’s a natural sweetener that comes from Birch trees and is used in diet foods, candies, gum, mints, kids vitamins, toothpaste and sugar free baked goods. It can increase the cat’s insulin which in turn causes their blood sugar to drop and will eventually lead to liver failure. This can take only two days to happen.
Fat Trimmings or bones of any kind. You would think fat trimmings from meat would not be on a list of food cats should never eat, but cooked or raw, the fat can lead to pancreatitis. Bones, especially fish bones, can get lodged in a cat’s throat or mouth and other bones can splinter and lacerate their digestive system.
Raw chicken, fish or eggs. Uncooked, they can give your cat food poisoning and destroy an essential B vitamin, thiamine. A lack of thiamine can cause neurological problems in cats.
Dog Food. Dog food is made for dogs, not cats. Dogs have different needs for proper diet and nutrition. Dog food is a food cats should never eat on a daily basis because they will become malnourished.
Liver. Like tuna, most people think liver is good for cats, but too much can give them vitamin A toxicity. This will affect their bones, can cause osteoporosis, deformities in unborn kittens and death.
Yeast Dough. Yeast dough needs to have heat and moisture to rise. As the dough rises, it will cause the cat’s abdomen to swell up, causing a lot of pain. The yeast will ferment in their gastrointestinal tract and turn into alcohol which can then lead to alcohol poisoning.
Aspirin. Cats should never be given aspirin or anything with aspirin in it. It depresses their central nervous system and can be extremely deadly for a cat.
It’s always best to feed pets their own food and keep our food and medications to ourselves. Unless your vet has given you the all clear, never feed your cat or dog anything from the above list. These are definitely foods cats should never eat. Baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and other spices, including salt are also not good for cats. If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, immediately call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.
Franny Syufy, Human Foods for Cats?, About.com: Cats
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cat, peteducation.com
Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat, WebMD