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Dangerous Foods for Cats - Common Foods That Can Be Fatal

Updated on July 16, 2011
This looks a lot like my cats, and I wouldn't want to hurt them by feeding them something dangerous. photo: Tambako the Jaguar @flickr
This looks a lot like my cats, and I wouldn't want to hurt them by feeding them something dangerous. photo: Tambako the Jaguar @flickr

Everyday Foods Can Be Dangerous to Cats

Most of us enjoy spoiling our cats. We will feed them treats of leftovers from our kitchen table, and occasionally buy them some special sort of food as a reward for just being their adorable selves. However, some everyday foods, even some foods commonly fed to cats, can be harmful, even dangerous if fed to cats.

Here are some of the dangerous foods for cats  to eat:

List of Dangerous Foods for Cats

Most people are aware that chocolate is fatal to dogs. The same is true for cats. If a cat eats even a little bit of chocolate, it can cause tremors, heart irregularities, seizures, and even death. Symptoms that your cat may have eaten chocolate include panting, diarrhea, vomiting, and/or tremors. Keep all chocolate well out of reach of both cats and dogs.

Dog food is just that- food for dogs. It is not suitable for cats. Cats and dogs are different animal species, and they have different nutritional requirements. Because the food is specifically designed for a particular type of animal, you can't interchange dog food with cat food. Cat food contains taurine, an amino acid that cats require for a healthy heart. Dogs don't need taurine, so it's not included in dog food. If a cat eats just dog food for an extended time period, it will become malnourished, and may develop heart problems.

Grapes and Raisins
They seem completely safe, but don't feed grapes or raisins to cats. It may cause kidney damage. It can even cause kidney failuire, which leads to death. Symptoms of kidney disease in cats are being hyper and vomiting.

Liver and cod liver oil are also to be avoided. They both can cause a vitamin A overdose. They are fine as occasional treats, but don't feed these to your cat regularly.

If a cat eats onions, it can cause anemia. This is because the ingested garlic will damage red blood cells. At the very least, they will cause stomach upset and distress for your cat.

Raw Eggs
Don't allow your cats to eat raw eggs. Many eggs have salmonella bacteria, which is destroyed by cooking. If your cat gets salmonella in their system, they can get food poisoning.

Many cat owners feed their cats tuna. While feeding cats canned tuna occasionally is fine, don't feed tuna to cats as a substitute for cat food. Tuna doesn't contain all of the nutrition that cats need to stay healthy. Also, since cats are so small, regular consumption of tuna can cause mercury poisoning.

Keep Your Cat Safe and Healthy

This is by no means an exhaustive list of dangerous foods for cats. There are many common items in the house and yard which can be dangerous to cats of which we may be unaware.

Keep the vet number handy somewhere. Also, keep an emergency number for a vet during after hours just in case your beloved cat ever eats a dangerous food, either intentionally or accidentally.

Raw Food Diet for Cats? Video

Dangerous Foods for Cats Comments - Added Suggestions?

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    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      8 years ago from South of France

      Thanks for this interesting hub - I've been guilty of giving my cat both liver and tuna, but only occasionally, so it's great to know to do so with caution in future. Thanks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What about giving cats milk?

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      What about giving just the scraps of the plate as they used too. I am sure they alos were healthier.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I never knew tuna was bad though my cats rarely get any. Great info - thanks.


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