It may have happened to you countless times — your cat pleading and begging for food, especially when they see you eat.
Allowing your cat to take tidbits or scraps of human food may have become a habit, but know that this is a dangerous practice and a habit that should not be encouraged.
Firstly, cats need the nutrients that are specifically provided for them in cat foods.
Extras given to them will only destroy their appetites. Sure, a tiny piece of chicken won’t hurt your cat, but what you’re doing only develops bad habits.
As a cat owner, it’s your responsibility to know the people foods that are dangerous, and even deadly, for your beloved companion.
People Food To Never Feed Your Cat
We have been told that chocolates are bad for dogs, but not a lot of people realize that it can also be dangerous to cats.
The substance called theobromine is what causes chocolate toxicity in cats, which are common in unsweetened and dark chocolate.
Raw green potatoes and green tomatoes
These foods contain a bitter and poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can disrupt a cat’s gastrointestinal system, especially in the stems and leaves of these plants.
Don’t worry about the ripe tomatoes included in the ingredient lists of cat foods since they only appear in small amounts.
Any type of alcohol is toxic for cats.
A small lick won’t definitely kill your cat, but when consumed in large amounts, it can be lethal.
If you are serving alcohol with friends and family around in your home, make sure to clean up every drop of drink and avoid leaving punch bowls or open containers overnight since cats can easily reach them.
Avocado is one type of food most healthy for human consumption, but to cats, part of it is mildly toxic.
The flesh, seed, tree bark, and leaves of the avocado fruit contain Persin, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting in cats.
If you’re hosting a party, never leave a bowl of guacamole out in the open. Cats often reach for things and a tiny lick could cause gastrointestinal symptoms.
Raisins and grapes
Raisins and grapes have been found to be dangerous to dogs, and through the dangers in cats are still being studied, the Animal Poison Control Center advises not to give these foods to any pets due to the fact that there still “many unknowns with the toxic potential” of such foods.
To be safe, never allow your pet cat to eat them.
Garlic, onions, and related root vegetables
Garlic and onions both have a substance that causes damage to cats’ blood cells, resulting in a form of feline anemia called Heinz body anemia.
While a small amount of cooked onion or garlic is relatively okay, large chunks of raw onion and a full clove of garlic will likely cause your cat to vomit.
Milk and dairy products
Perhaps the most surprising food on the list, but yes, grown-up cats actually become intolerant to lactose.
As kittens, cats can digest cow’s milk, but when they grow up, they can no longer break down most dairy products. Some cats are able to tolerate lactose, but others may be too sensitive to even the tiniest bit of cheese or a few laps of milk to cause diarrhea.
If you want to serve dairy treats to your cat but are not sure if her tummy can tolerate it, experts advise to try a small amount first, like a tablespoon or two and watch out for symptoms.
The vegan or vegetarian diet
While diet is a personal decision in human beings, cats should be fed according to their biological nutritional needs.
Yes, you may follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diet, but don’t force this kind of diet to your pets.
Unlike dogs, cats do not tolerate a vegetable diet well.
Your feline friend may be the sweetest thing in the world, but remember that she’s a predator, and always has been since time immemorial.
Respect your cat’s carnivorous ways and supply her with meat.
Vitamins and supplements for humans
Yes, so pills aren’t exactly food, but they are taken orally anyway, and there’s a possibility of cats swallowing them.
Many supplements have iron in them, which can be very damaging to the lining of the intestines. Metals are dangerous for cat kidneys and liver too.
Store your pills in a place where your cats can’t see them and seal them tight.
It is okay, however, to give your pet the appropriate vitamins and supplements intended for her species.
Plants Your Cat Should Never Eat
Food or not, there’s a pretty good chance your cat will eat it, including plants.
Unfortunately, many common plants are toxic to cats. So you might have gotten rid of the foods that are dangerous to your pet, but having some toxic plants around won’t do you any good as well.
Truth be told, there are so many kinds of plants that are dangerous for cats to eat, and some of them can be even deadly. Luckily, The Humane Society and ASPCA have put up some lists so that we’ll know what plants should not be kept around along with your cats, and we’ve included them in our infographic.
Some of the plants cause mild irritations, but others will make them too sick to function. We’ve compiled the list of toxic plants in the infographic below for your perusal.
What To Do If Your Cat May Have Swallowed Something Toxic
If you suspect or find out that your cat ate something from this list, the first thing you should do is stay calm no matter how hard it is. Panicking and freaking out will only stress your cat all the more, making things worse.
Check on your cat and identify the symptoms she’s displaying. The commons signs of poisoning in cats are the following:
- Anxiety, muscle spasms
- Stomach pain
- Yellow or pale gums
- Diarrhea, frequent urination
- Increased thirst, drooling
- Lethargy or restlessness
If you spot any of these signs, put your cat in a quiet and safe room and watch her until the vet arrives. If you can, take her to the vet immediately and tell the doctor everything your cat has displayed since the potential poisoning.
If it should happen that a vet is unavailable, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. Both lines are available 24/7.
This list may continue to grow, as new discoveries are being made when it comes to the health of cats and other household pets.
Always watch what your cat puts in her mouth and make sure to provide her with a happy and safe life beside their human family.