10 Foods to Never Feed Your Cat June 02 2017

There seem to be some misconceptions surrounding what is safe and not safe to feed your cat. While we are not vets or specialists, we have found 10 common foods that have been scientifically proven to be dangerous and even fatal in cats if consumed in larger amounts. 

Through a bit of research, we were alarmed to find out how many accidents, vet visits, and even deaths are associated each year with the consumption of these foods. A very sad fact which potentially could be avoided with the proper knowledge of what foods are dangerous for cats to consume.

Here are 10 foods that should never be given to cats:

1. Chocolate

Most pet owners know that chocolate can be lethal for both cats and dogs. Although most cats aren't drawn to the smell of chocolate, there is a chance your kitty may be curious and want to have a little taste. The toxic agent in chocolate is Theobromine, even in small amounts. Theobromine is in every type of chocolate, including white. However, dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate contain the highest amount of Theobromine. Eating chocolate can cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death in cats.

 2. Caffeine

Just like chocolate, caffeine is a big no no for cats. Some cats are quite drawn to the smell of coffee, and will lick surfaces or cups containing your leftover java. Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a cat, and there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits. In addition to tea and coffee (including beans and grounds) caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. 

3. Grapes and Raisins

Some pet owners think it's ok to give cut-up grapes or raisins to cats as a treat. It is not. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, vomiting, and excessive diarrhea in cats. Repeated vomiting and hyperactivity are early signs. Although some cats show no ill effects after eating grapes, it is still a risk and best not to allow your cat to consume any at all. Storing them in the fridge is a safe area away from cats.

 4. Onions, Garlic and Chives

Onions in all forms (powdered, raw, cooked or dehydrated) contain N-Propyl Disulphide which can break down a cat's red blood cells and cause anemia, and thereby, jaundice (yellow discolouration in lips and eyelids, as well as skin in light-skinned cats). While eating small amounts may be ok, one larger dose or several small doses over time can cause onion poisoning. Along with onions, garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal upset.

 5. Alcohol

This is a no-brainer. All types of alcohol including beer, wine, and liquor is a definite no go for your cat. Alcohol has the same effect on a cat's brain and liver as it does on a human. Because of their small bodies and internal organs, it takes far less to have a negative effect. Just two teaspoons of whisky can cause a coma in a 5-pound cat, and one more teaspoon could kill it. The higher the proof, the worse the symptoms.

 

 6. Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many diet products, candy, gum, and even some toothpastes. Xylitol will produce seizures in cats soon after ingestion and liver failure a day or so after. So keep your gum out of kitty’s reach!

7. Yeast Dough

The ingestion of yeast dough can cause severe abdominal pain, intestinal rupture, and even alcohol poisoning as the dough rises and expands and the yeast ferments inside your cats stomach. 

8. Milk and Milk Products

As kittens, cats can drink cow’s milk, but as they grow up cats become intolerant to lactose (a sugar found in cow’s milk) and can no longer digest dairy products. Even a few laps of milk or a tidbit of cheese can cause gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea in adult cats. Lactose-free milk or live culture yogurt, however, can be given at any age in small amounts. 

 9. Uncooked Potatoes and Tomatoes

Both these plants come from the deadly nightshade family. Eaten raw, they are likely to cause cats gastrointestinal distress. Cooked tomatoes and potatoes, however, have no toxic effects and can be added to homemade cat food as long as they are fully cooked.

 10. Raw Eggs

Many cat owners think it is ok, and even healthy to give their cat raw eggs. There are two reasons why this is a bad idea. One being that raw eggs can contain bacteria like salmonella or E. coli and cause food poisoning. The second is that raw egg whites contain a protein called Avidin, which could interfere with the absorption of the B vitamin Biotin. Vitamin B deficiency can also cause skin and coat problems.