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Foods You Should Never, Ever Give Your Cat

Updated on March 5, 2014

Cats can get by very well with just cat food and water. That sure doesn't stop some people though from giving their pet an occasional treat. Some things are okay, like a small piece of meat, for instance, but others can be harmful to your cat, and even deadly. If you knew these, great, if not, well now you do and you can stop giving them to your pet, immediately!

Not many people would actually give their cat caffeine or alcohol, but the cat may try to steal a sip. Be sure to keep these types of drinks completely out of reach of your cat as they are extremely fatal. Caffeine can be found in pop, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and even cough medicine. Do not let your cat near any of these things. If you are worried your cat may have gotten into these things look for the following symptoms; rapid breathing, restlessness, fits, or muscle tremors. Take them to the vet if you find any of these symptoms as they may have caffeine poisoning. With alcohol, only a few teaspoons can be fatal to your cat. Even if it is some sort of food that contains alcohol, it could be a problem.

Eating onions in any form will do harm to a cat. It can cause anemia and even poisoning. Also, garlic and chives may cause an upset stomach, meaning they too should be avoided.

No one really knows the reason, but grapes and raisins can potentially cause kidney failure in cats. Vomiting and hyperactivity are early signs.

It was already said that chocolate is not good for a cat under the caffeine section, but it needs to be restated on its own. Chocolate can be lethal for cats! The most dangerous are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate, but even white chocolate is harmful to them. Eating chocolate could possibly cause tremors, seizures, and even death, so please, never attempt to give it to your cat.

Due to Xylitol..

Gum, candy, toothpaste, and even some baked goods and diet foods may contain something called Xylitol. Xylitol will increase the insulin in your cat's body which causes blood sugar to drop. If ingested, cats may almost immediately go into a seizure, and liver failure can occur within a couple days. Initial symptoms of liver failure may include vomiting and loss of coordination.

Eating too much liver may cause cats to get something called Vitamin A toxicity. It is a serious condition that affects your cat's bones. Symptoms include deformed bones, bone growths on elbows and spine, and osteoporosis. It may even cause death.

The ones meant for humans.

A vet may prescribe you to give some sort of medicine to your cat, but if they get into a medicine prescribed for a human, it can be deadly. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are two of the worst things a cat could get into, and they're found in most of your common pain relievers and cold medicines. Just like you would keep these away from your children, keep them away from your pets!

Before bread bakes, it needs to rise, and if your cat eats it, it will rise inside the cat's stomach. This will cause the stomach to stretch, which will create severe pain for your pet. Yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, meaning it produces alcohol. This will cause alcohol poisoning in your cat!

Some cats may like milk, cheese, or other dairy products, but just be careful. Dairy products can cause lactose intolerance in cats and may cause severe diarrhea and/or upset stomachs. If your cat seems to be okay with dairy, then try to at least either buy soy milk or a cheese that is low-lactose. Otherwise, simply buy cat milk from a pet store.

Please Note.

~If you are afraid your pet may have gotten into any of these items, be sure to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center -- (888) 426-4435 or even your local vet to find out what you need to do. If you're unsure if something is good for your pet or not, then either look it up, or simply don't give it to them. Cats will survive perfectly well on cat food and water. They really don't need anything else. Keep your pets safe!~

Which item are you most surprised to find out cats can't have?

See results

Click here for a list of human foods that cats ARE allowed to eat!


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    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Liver? I didn't know! I actually love liver and need to remember not to share it with my cats! Another great hub! Lots of votes!

    • urgurl_bri profile imageAUTHOR

      Brandi Swieter 

      6 years ago from Holland, MI

      Yes, it is sometimes found in cat food. The best recommended cat food to give your cat, (if it's canned at least) is one with chicken as the primary ingredient. But with liver, it did say TOO much. So if they only have that type once in a while, it wouldn't do much harm, but over a period of time it may became a problem. I personally will now stay away from liver at all after finding out about that, as well as all of the things on this list. I have another hub about Human Foods A Cat CAN Eat and there are only 4 main things on there. But basically it's best to just stick to cat food because it's specifically made for them. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I have heard of dairy and chocolate being harmful to dogs and cats but I was surprised at liver. Isn't this something that is put into some cat food brands? Wow, this is a good piece of information to have if you own a cat. Your content is well written and the photos enhance the article interest. Voted useful and up.

    • urgurl_bri profile imageAUTHOR

      Brandi Swieter 

      6 years ago from Holland, MI

      Thank you! :)

    • littlethespians profile image


      6 years ago from Farmville, Virginia

      well written

    • urgurl_bri profile imageAUTHOR

      Brandi Swieter 

      6 years ago from Holland, MI

      most cats** don't know why it typed gets. ha-ha. sorry.

    • urgurl_bri profile imageAUTHOR

      Brandi Swieter 

      6 years ago from Holland, MI

      Yeah, me either! I mean, it's not the worst thing on the list. And some cats actually do okay with it, it just depends on the cat. But most gets are either lactose intolerant already or become so after they drink too much milk. But basically it just makes cleaning their litter box even more disgusting. Ha-ha.

    • DearBandit profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow I would have not thought dairy


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