Some foods that are harmless to humans are unfortunately dangerous for our feline friends. Some can even be fatal to them. As pet owners, we must be aware of the 26 dangerous foods for cats that should be avoided.
Foods that could be dangerous for your cat
Here is a list of some potentially harmful foods to ban from your cat’s diet.
Cocoa and its derivatives
These foods contain theobromine, an alkaloid that is very toxic to cats. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even seizures. Chocolate can cause kidney stones and coffee can poison your cat. Even in small amounts, cocoa-based foods can cause heart problems and even death.
A teaspoon of alcohol is enough to put a cat into a coma. Even in small doses, this substance damages the liver and brain. Other symptoms such as vomiting, bloating and general weakness may also be observed. More specifically, 3 teaspoons of whisky can lead to the death of the animal.
Be very careful because some foods such as pastries may also contain alcohol. You must therefore be extra vigilant to ensure that the food your cat eats does not contain traces of alcohol.
Treats made with fake sugar (xylitol)
Xylitol is a chemical compound quickly digested by cats. However, its presence in a cat’s body stimulates the production of a large quantity of insulin. In such a situation, the cat risks hypoglycemia, which can be fatal.
Marinades (mixtures of spices and herbs)
Salt, thyme, bay leaf, chives, garlic, onion, and nutmeg are all concerned. They can lead to severe anemia in felines. In addition, the consumption of these herbs exposes the cat to risks of intoxication and death.
Raw pork exposes cats to a life-threatening viral disease known as Aujeszky’s disease. It is also known as pseudorabies. Cats exposed to this disease can become restless, tireless and meow frequently. They may swallow excessively and lose a lot of saliva. The infection can sometimes worsen and even lead to paralysis and coordination problems.
Popcorn is often enjoyed during a good movie. It is important, however, to avoid sharing it with your pet, as it can lead to choking.
Pits and seeds
These contain a toxin (cyanogenic glycoside) that is released when they are ground. This toxin, once released, can cause a death in cats. Furthermore, if your pet swallows pits or seeds, he/she may suffer from digestive problems and even intestinal obstruction.
No matter the origin, mushrooms contain toxins that can cause seizures and death in cats.
The consumption of raw dough with yeast could lead to an accumulation of gas in the animal’s digestive system. The result is bloating accompanied by intense pain and a life-threatening digestive obstruction.
Dangerous foods for cats
Many unpleasant symptoms can occur in felines after consumption of certain foods. They are not necessarily fatal, but they can cause your pet discomfort and negatively affect his/her health. Here is a non-exhaustive list.
Cow’s milk and its derivatives
Some cats do not tolerate lactose. Milk can therefore cause allergies and digestive problems in these cats.
Cheese and charcuterie
These fatty foods can cause inflammation of the pancreas. In addition, as we have just seen, cheese contains milk to which some cats are intolerant.
Avidin present in egg whites disrupts the assimilation of nutrients essential to the proper functioning of a cat’s body. This molecule destroys vitamin B8, which plays a crucial role in the metabolism of proteins and lipids in cats.
This food can cause diarrhea in your pet. Also, if he/she eats to much of it, he/she are more likely to get pancreatitis, because butter is rich in fat.
In high quantities and over a long period of time, vegetables could lead to diabetes. In addition, these vegetables contain fermentable fiber. Eating vegetables could trigger stomachaches because of the accumulation of gas in the stomach.
Some plant-based foods such as green beans and spinach are rich in oxalic acid. Oxalic acid causes urinary problems such as kidney stones. This molecule is also found in tea leaves, sorrel and rhubarb.
Grapes and raisins
Grapes and raisins could lead to intoxication. This fruit could even cause kidney failure in cats, even if ingested in small quantities. The warning signs are a sudden hyperactivity followed by vomiting.
Potatoes contain calcium oxalate. This could cause kidney stones in felines.
Although avocadoes look harmless, it could affect the cat’s cardiac system. In addition, it contains pepsin, a molecule that causes shortness of breath and swelling in animals. Rich in fat, it could also cause stomachaches and pancreatitis.
Tomatoes and eggplants
Both of these foods contain atropine. This molecule causes heart rhythm disorders in cats.
Raw meat could contain salmonella. A cat that consumes it can then develop salmonellosis.
Onions contain allyl propyl disulfide. This substance is known to damage red blood cells in cats. The result is a severe anemia in the cat.
Bones and fish bones
Cats can easily break bones when they are cooked. The remains could tear their digestive tract. In addition, pieces of bone and fish bones can lead to gastric ulcers and perforations of the digestive tract.
Nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds)
Nuts can give cats indigestion. Because of their high salt and phosphorus content, they can also cause abdominal pain.
This fish, which we like to associate with our feline friend, has high fat and salt content when canned. It also does not contain a sufficient amount of taurine. If it is eaten too often by a cat, it can develop a vitamin E deficiency. It can also lead to constipation and addiction in the animal.
Rich in tannins, they could cause diarrhea and vomiting. They can also block digestive tracts and lead to intestinal obstruction in cats.
Moldy or expired food
Similar to humans, these foods can cause serious poisoning in your pet. They could cause diarrhea, vomiting and even seizures.
The different parts of citrus fruits (stems, leaves, seeds…) contain citric acid. Citrus acid can cause stomachaches if citrus fruits are eaten in small quantities. In high quantities, we observe irritations and damage to the central nervous system in cats.
We recommend that you list these dangerous foods on a sheet of paper and post it in your kitchen (on the fridge for example) so that you always have them in mind.
Recommended food for domestic felines
In addition to dry food and wet food, your cat can eat cooked meat, as long as it made without a marinade. Cats can also eat cooked fish without bones.
In addition, to make sure your hairball stays healthy, always choose fresh food. Make sure to store them in the refrigerator.
What to do in case of accidental ingestion of unsafe foods
If any of these dangerous foods have been consumed, call a veterinarian or veterinary emergency service immediately. Do not attempt to induce vomiting or provide care yourself. Keep a record of what was eaten, what it was made of and how much was ingested. This information will be very useful to veterinarians and emergency physicians.
To ensure your cat’s well-being, make safe and healthy food choices for your cat. Make sure that your children do not give their food to your pets. Make sure that kitchen cupboards are well closed and that leftovers are not lying around on the table. Also, if you have a pet sitter, don’t hesitate to remind him or her or print out the list of foods that are dangerous for cats.