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7 Foods You Must Avoid Feeding to Cats

Updated on November 27, 2012

About a month ago, I wrote about some of the foods you must avoid feeding to your pet dog. This time, I am writing about some of the foods you must avoid feeding to cats. Just like a dog’s digestive system, your feline’s body and digestive system are designed to digest and assimilate only certain types of food. Feeding other types of food may put your cat’s health at risk or may even prove lethal. Following are some of the foods you must always avoid feeding to your cats.

1) Chocolates

Some of the foods that must be avoided are common to both dogs and cats. One of the food items is chocolate or any cocoa based food. Chocolates contain a substance known as theobromine which is extremely toxic to animals. It can easily cause a heart attack in your pooch or kitty. Even a light chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

2) Onion, Garlic and Chives

Cats are twice as sensitive as dogs to the effects of onions, garlic and chives. The allium component in these vegetables is considered toxic and even a trace amount can damage your cat’s red blood cells. You may be used to give garlic tablets for flea control. There is no evidence that a garlic tablet is an effective flea repellant. On the contrary, it can definitely destroy your kitty’s red blood cells.

3) Raw Tuna (fish)

There is no doubt that cats love fish. However, strictly avoid feeding your cat raw tuna or any other raw fish. Raw fish and meat can carry harmful bacteria that may lead to food poisoning. It also carries an enzyme called thiaminase that destroys the thiamine (a B vitamin) content in your pet’s body. Thiamine deficiency can lead to neurological problems such as seizures; can lead to convulsions and even coma or death.

4) Milk and Dairy Products

One of the mistakes I did long ago was to feed my kitten milk. Thankfully, I wasn’t too late. I learnt that once a cat has weaned (or grown up), its ability to digest lactose goes down and it starts becoming lactose intolerant. So, if you feed adult cat milk, it can lead to stomach upset, diarrhea and other digestive upsets. The same holds true for the effects of other dairy products on your cat’s digestive system.

5) Dog food

A typical dog food includes bones and meat. A dog can easily digest this food. However, your cat’s digestive system cannot handle this. A bone can easily splinter and choke your cat. It can also block the cat’s intestinal tract or perforate the intestines. A dog’s food does not contain the essential amount of proteins, amino acids (taurine), vitamins and fatty acids required by your cat. Naturally, it cannot be a good substitute for a cat’s food. Also, never feed your cat anything that is as hard as or harder than its teeth.

6) Uncooked Eggs

There are two problems with raw eggs. The first one is that they contain salmonella or other parasites which can easily cause food poisoning and lead to inflamed pancreas. The second problem is that raw egg white contains an enzyme avidin that reduces your kitty’s ability to absorb biotin (another B vitamin). This can cause skin problems and problems with its coat.

7) Caffeine

A cat may accidentally lap up some of the spilt coffee, tea or soda. But, too much caffeine can lead to increased heart rate and agitation in your cat. It may also prove to be fatal at times and unfortunately, there is no antidote to this. Some symptoms of caffeine poisoning include muscle tremors, heart palpitations, restlessness and fits. This is one reason why you should keep chocolate away from your kitty as that too contains caffeine.

Apart from these seven foods you must avoid feeding to your cat, some other foods you must avoid include candies and gum, raisins and grapes, and yeast dough. All of these food items are potentially harmful to your pet cat.

There are cat foods readily available in the shopping mall near your place. These are prepared keeping in mind the nutrients required by your kitty. You can also occasionally feed your cat small amounts of canned tuna, cooked boneless beef and brown rice.


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    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      thanks for liking my hub :)

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you for sharing this good information re. the safety and health of cats. This is so important to know! Fortunately my cat is picky: chicken pate and Iam's original kibble only!