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Keep Your Cat Healthy and Happy! Avoid Dangerous Foods and Treats!

Updated on September 28, 2009

My cat Norman LOVES cat treats. What pet doesn't love a treat now and again!? Unfortunately, I often show love with food, therefore, my dog is now a round hound and Norman is a bit on the plump side. Don't get me wrong, treats are wonderful…as long as they are low in fat, contain little to no sugar and are only given to your kitten or cat occasionally ( I should listen to my own advice!). Two of the best cat treats on the market today include Kitty Kaviar (which kittens LOVE) and Halo Liv-A-Littles (both are great to use when training…yes, cats can be trained!). If you love to bake, why not make your own home-made pet treats!? Just a suggestion!

When it comes to kitten care one of the best things you can do in order to have a happy and healthy pet is to feed them a well-balanced diet full of protein and other nutrients (lay-off the treats and avoid table scraps!). Did you know that there are several common foods that can cause serious health implications if ingested by your feline? Take note of the list below. Knowledge is power and the more you know about what is good for your kitten and what is not…the better off your kitten will be!

Say NO To Milk!

First up, milk! Ok, you probably don't throw milk from the dinner table…after all, milk doesn't count as a table scrap, however, milk is a big NO-NO! In the past, I would give my cat Norman a small bowl of cold, delicious milk every few weeks (I thought I was rewarding him for being the best cat in the world…little did I know!). You see, once kittens are weaned they lose the ability to properly digest milk products. Milk will, in fact, wreak havoc on your cat's digestive system and cause major diarrhea. So unless you enjoy cleaning a litter box that smells worse than the local garbage dump, do not give milk to your feline. If you really, really, really want your puss to enjoy milk every now and again, you can buy "cat safe milk" from your local pet supply store or on-line. Fair warning…it is expensive!

Grapes are bad for cats and kittens!
Grapes are bad for cats and kittens!

No Grapes for Kitty!

Next time you are snacking on raisins or grapes while watching television, think twice before tossing one to your cat. While delicious, the juice from both grapes and raisins can cause your cat's kidneys to fail…which my fur-loving friends, is NOT a good thing. Grapes and raisins are so bad for your cat…the ASPCA actually put out a warning to cat owners advising them to keep both of these yummy snacks out of your cat's reach. Another food item that can cause kidney failure and or damage is onions (or onion powder). While most cats and kittens will not go out of their way to get their paws on raw onions, they will in fact eat foods that may have onions mixed in (Norman has been known to enjoy a piece of meatloaf in the past). Play it safe and keep all onions and food with onions mixed stored properly and out your cat's paws!

Tuna is addictive!
Tuna is addictive!

Sorry, No Tuna for You!

You are going to think I'm crazy when I mention the next item that is bad for your feline……tuna. Yes, unfortunately, you must add tuna to the list of food items that are not good for kitty. Why is tuna bad? Well tuna is like crack for cats….they LOVE it and will eat it day in and day out…if you allow them to. Unfortunately, a cat that becomes addicted to tuna will eventually refuse to eat regular cat chow (no matter whether it is wet or dry).  Though tuna is good for humans it does not contain the proper nutrients that your cat or kitten needs to be happy and healthy. If all your cat eats is tuna, eventually, he or she will begin to suffer serious nutrition deficiencies which could lead to serious health problems. Keep your cat healthy….feed him regular cat food and NOT tuna!

Cats are NOT Dogs!

Most, if not all of my friends and family know that I love animals. Therefore, I get a lot of dog and cat questions…which is fine by me! I'm happy to help and share my knowledge when I am able. Over the years I have been asked by several people if it is ok to feed dog food to cats. My answer is always the same…"Would you feed fish food to a hamster?" Obviously not! Cats and dogs are very different. First of all, dogs eat both meat and vegetables while cats are strictly meat eaters. The bottom line is that dog food does not contain the nutrition that cats need in order to thrive and be healthy. Cat food has more protein then dog food does and protein is a very important part of your cat's diet. So even though your cat and dog get along like best friends, they must each have their own food.

Proper diet is at the top of the list when it comes to caring for your kitten or cat. Knowing what foods are good and which may cause health problems is the first step. It is very important that your cat is on a steady diet of food that contains the proper amount of protein and other nutrients. Avoid feeding your feline table scraps (an occasional cat treat is ok…as long as you reach for treats that are low in sugar and fat!). There are MANY different types of cat and kitten foods on the market today. If you are unsure as to what is best for your pet, do not hesitate to ask the veterinarian…they will be happy to help and will provide you with some yummy recommendations.


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