What Can Cats Not Eat? (2023)
As cat owners, we want to provide our feline companions with the best care and nutrition. However, it’s about more than just feeding them the right foods, but also avoiding the wrong ones. Certain foods can be toxic or even fatal to cats, and cat owners must be aware of these to keep their pets safe and healthy. We may wish our cats could eat the same things we do. But, sometimes, sharing human food with your furry friends is not a good idea.
Some cats can eat certain human foods, but others can be dangerous. So what is it that cats cannot eat? Here, we’ll discuss the different types of food cats should never have and tips on keeping your kitty safe from potentially harmful items. We’ll also discuss why some foods are dangerous and how to ensure your cat stays healthy and happy. We will cover everything from common household foods and plants to medications and chemicals so that you can understand what to avoid to keep your cat healthy and happy.
Overview of What Cats Can Eat:
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet primarily made up of meat. They have specific nutritional requirements that can only be met by consuming animal proteins and fats. Cat owners must provide their pets with a balanced and complete diet that meets these requirements.
Some of the types of foods that are generally safe for cats to consume include:
- High-quality commercial cat food: This food is specifically developed to meet a cat’s nutritional needs and is available in dry and wet forms.
- Cooked meat: Cooked chicken, beef, turkey, and fish can be a good source of protein for cats. It’s important to remove bones and fat and avoid seasoning the meat with salt or other seasonings.
- Vegetables: Cats are mainly carnivorous, but some vegetables can provide additional nutrients and fiber. Some examples include cooked carrots, green beans, and squash.
- Fruits: Small amounts of certain fruits, such as bananas and apples, can be given as a treat. However, avoiding fruits that are toxic to cats, such as grapes and raisins, is important.
- Water: Access to fresh water is essential for a cat’s health and hydration.
By providing a balanced and complete diet that meets their nutritional requirements, cat owners can help ensure that their pets stay healthy and happy.
Why is It Important to Know What Cats Can’t Eat?
Most cats belong to Carnivora, requiring animal protein to survive. Cats cannot properly digest plant-based proteins and nutrients. So it’s important to avoid feeding them foods that contain these ingredients. While some cats may be able to eat small amounts of certain fruits and vegetables without getting sick, it’s generally best to stick to a diet specifically designed for cats. Several common household and food items can be dangerous for cats, even in tiny quantities.
What Human Food Can Cats Not Eat?
In the wild, cats eat mainly small prey, a diet high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. Domestic cats, however, are not limited to such a restricted diet and have access to various human and animal foods. While many foods are safe for cats, some are harmful or even deadly. The following is a list of common foods and drinks that you should avoid giving your cat:
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and other dairy products can cause stomach upset and cat diarrhea. Cats are lactose-intolerant and consuming dairy can lead to vomiting, Diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Chocolate: They contain theobromine, which is toxic to cats. It also contains theobromine, a toxic compound to cats (and dogs). Signs of chocolate poisoning include Diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, strokes, and death.
- Coffee and tea: Like chocolate, coffee and tea contain caffeine, which is toxic to cats. Signs of caffeine poisoning contain restlessness, rapid breathing, an increased heart rate, and death.
- Onions contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia in cats.
- Garlic: These plants contain thiosulfate, which can cause cat anemia. Symptoms of anemia include pale gums, weakness, and boredom.
- Grapes and raisins: These fruits contain toxins that can cause cat kidney failure. Symptoms of kidney failure include increased thirst.
- Alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage in cats; even a small amount can be dangerous. Symptoms of alcohol toxicity in cats may include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, and seizures. If your cat has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Raw meat and fish can contain bacteria and parasites that can harm cats. It’s important to cook all meat and fish before feeding it to your cat.
There are several human foods that cats should not eat. These include chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, raw eggs, raw meat and fish, and milk. While some of these foods may not harm cats in small amounts, they can cause serious health problems if consumed in large quantities.
Why Can’t you Eat Chocolate?
They hold theobromine, a substance that is toxic to cats. Theobromine affects cats’ hearts and nervous systems and can be fatal if ingested in large quantities. Chocolate also contains caffeine, another thing that is harmful to cats. Caffeine can cause vomiting, Diarrhea, and restlessness in cats.
Why Can’t Cats eat Dairy Products?
Cats’ bodies are designed to digest and use only animal-based proteins. Dairy products contain milk sugars and casein proteins that cats cannot break down or digest properly. In addition, dairy products can cause gastrointestinal upset in some cats, including Diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
What Spices Can Cats Not Eat?
There are certain spices that cats cannot eat, as they can be toxic to them. These include:
If your cat eats any of these spices, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately, as they can cause serious health problems.
What Fruits Can Cats Not Eat?
There are a few fruits that cats should not eat. These include grapes, raisins, and currants, which can cause cat kidney failure. Other fruits like citrus, pineapple, and avocado can also harm cats.
Why Can’t Cats eat Grapes?
Their ability is shorter than other animals, and they cannot properly break down plant-based material. For this reason, grapes can cause digestive upset in cats and should be avoided. Besides, grapes contain a combination called resveratrol, which can be toxic to cats in large quantities.
Why Can’t Cats eat Raisins?
There are a few reasons why cats shouldn’t eat raisins:
- Raisins are high in sugar and can cause stomach upset in cats.
- Raisins contain oxalic acid, which can damage cats’ kidneys.
- They can also cause anemia in cats due to their high iron content.
So, it’s best to avoid giving your cat raisins altogether.
What Veggies Can Cats Not Eat?
There are a few veggies that cats should avoid, as they can cause digestive upset or other problems. These include onions, garlic, green beans, and mushrooms. While some believe that raw carrots are good for cats, cooked carrots are easier to digest.
Why Can’t Cats eat Onions?
Cats’ bodies are designed to digest and use only animal-based proteins. In contrast, dogs and humans are omnivores, able to extract nutrients from plant and animal sources. Cats don’t have enough amount of the specific enzymes needed to break down complex carbohydrates and vegetables. Feeding your cat a diet that includes plants can lead to malnutrition because they cannot properly digest it.
Additionally, onions and other Allium family members contain compounds that can be toxic to cats in large quantities. These combinations can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Symptoms of onion toxicity in cats include tiredness, weakness, and breathlessness. If you suspect your cat has eaten onions, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What Plants Can Cats Not Eat?
Though cats are mostly carnivores, they like to have some plants from time to time. While some plants are safe for cats, others can be toxic. Here is a list of plants that cats should avoid:
- Lilies: All parts of the lily plant are toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.
- Aloe Vera: The juice from this plant can cause vomiting and Diarrhea in cats.
- Chrysanthemums: These flowers contain a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats.
- Sago palms: The seeds of this plant are especially poisonous to cats and can cause liver failure.
If you suspect your cat has eaten any of these plants, it is important to see veterinary care immediately.
What Flowers Can Cats not Eat?
A surprising number of flowers can be toxic to cats if ingested. Some of the cats’ most common poisonous flowers include lilies, hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, and azaleas. While these flowers may add a touch of beauty to your home, it’s important to keep them out of reach of curious kitties. If you suspect your cat has eaten any flower, it’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Other Substances To Avoid:
In addition to certain foods, other substances can be harmful to cats if ingested. Here are some of the substances that cat owners should be aware of:
- Medications: Many human medications, including over-the-counter and prescription medications, can be toxic to cats. Common medications to avoid include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and aspirin. Symptoms of medication toxicity in cats may include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your cat has ingested medication.
- Chemicals: Many common household chemicals, such as cleaning products and pesticides, can be toxic to cats if ingested or inhaled. It’s important to keep all chemicals out of reach of your cat.
- Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly found in sugar-free gum, candy, and other products. It can cause a rapid insulin release in cats, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of xylitol toxicity in cats may include vomiting, loss of coordination, and seizures. If you suspect your cat has ingested xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Tobacco products, including cigarettes and chewing tobacco, can be toxic to cats if ingested. Symptoms of tobacco toxicity in cats may include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even death. It’s important to keep all tobacco products out of reach of your cat.
If your cat has ingested any of these substances or shows any symptoms of toxicity or poisoning, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatment may include inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal, or providing verifying care such as IV fluids and medications.
We all know that cats are picky eaters, but there are also some foods cats cannot eat. knowing what cats should not eat is vital for cat owners to keep their feline friends healthy and safe. While there are many foods that cats can enjoy, there are also many that can be toxic or even fatal. It’s important to avoid feeding your cat any foods on the “do not eat” list and to keep them away from other harmful substances like medications, plants, and chemicals.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your cat has ingested something harmful. The symptoms of toxicity can progress quickly, so it’s important to act fast. In addition to this article, many other resources are available for cat owners who want to learn more about what their cats should and should not eat. Your veterinarian can provide more information, and many reputed online resources are available. By learning about what cats should not eat and being alert about what your cat has access to, you can help ensure that your catty lives a long and healthy life. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common foods that cats should avoid:
- Chocolate: It contains a compound called theobromine which is toxic to cats. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting and Diarrhea in cats.
- Coffee, tea, and energy drinks include caffeine, which is also toxic to cats. Caffeine can cause tremors, abnormal heart rate, and even death in cats.
- Grapes and raisins: These fruits contain compounds that can cause cat kidney failure. Even a small amount can make your cat very ill, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
- Onions and garlic: These vegetables contain compounds that can damage cat red blood cells. This can lead to anemia or even death, so it’s best to keep them away from your feline friend.
- Alcohol: Like humans, alcohol is toxic to cats and can cause serious health problems. Even a small amount can lead to vomiting, Diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, it can even be fatal.
Before feeding your cat any new food items, please check and explore if that food is good or bad for cats. It can prevent any sad ending!
Dr. Jenifer Miona is a highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian based in Ireland. With a passion for animal health and wellbeing, she has dedicated her career to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to pets and their families.
After completing her veterinary degree at the University of Dublin, Dr. Miona went on to specialize in small animal medicine. She has since gained extensive experience in all areas of veterinary care, including routine check-ups, surgical procedures, and emergency treatments.
In her clinic, Dr. Miona is known for her gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. She takes the time to listen to the concerns of pet owners and develops personalized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each animal.
Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Miona is active in the veterinary community and stays up-to-date with the latest advances in veterinary medicine through ongoing education and professional development. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Irish Veterinary Association and the European College of Small Animal Medicine.
Outside of her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Miona is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her own pets. She also volunteers at local animal shelters and is committed to promoting animal welfare through community outreach and education.