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Foods You Should Never, Ever Give Your Cat

Updated on April 28, 2022
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Brandi has been a content writer for the past 10 years. After owning several cats, she has become knowledgeable about their care.

Stick with cat food and water

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!

Absolutely no alcohol or caffeine

Say no to human beverages for your pet
Say no to human beverages for your pet

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 pet near any of these things. If you are worried your feline may have gotten into these substances, look for the following symptoms:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Fits
  • 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 the alcohol, it could be a serious problem.

Never offer your cat onions

Say no to feeding felines onions.
Say no to feeding felines onions.

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.

Do not offer grapes or raisins

Say no to feeding grapes or raisins to your cat.
Say no to feeding grapes or raisins to your cat.

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

Neither cats nor dogs should have chocolate

Say no to feeding your cat chocolate.
Say no to feeding your cat chocolate.

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 types are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. However, even white chocolate is harmful to felines. Eating chocolate could possibly cause tremors, seizures, and even death, so please, never attempt to give it to your cat.

Cats should not chew on gum or candy

Say no to candy for your cats.
Say no to candy for your cats.

It's 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.

Never feed your cats liver

Say no to liver for your cats.
Say no to liver for your cats.

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.

Do not let your cats get into your medicine cabinet

Say no to pills and medicines for your cat, unless prescribed to them by a vet.
Say no to pills and medicines for your cat, unless prescribed to them by a vet.

Medications meant for humans may cause death in animals.

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!

Bread and dough are a no for cats

Say no to giving your cats bread or dough of any kind.
Say no to giving your cats bread or dough of any kind.

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!

Dairy products are not intended for felines

Say no to milk and dairy for your cat.
Say no to milk and dairy for 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?

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

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2012 Brandi Goodman


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