10 Most Dangerous People Foods for Cats

Feb 23, 2014

Any cat owner can tell you that cats prefer people food to their own meals. It’s not surprising to see a cat stealing bites from someone’s plate. While this practice may be cute, it can also be dangerous. There are several foods that have unpleasant side effects or can even be deadly to cat’s health. Check out the list of 10 most dangerous people foods for cats and make sure you consult a veterinarian about your cat’s nutritional needs.

1 Raisins

While raisins are delicious and healthy snack for people, they can be poisonous to cats. A handful of raisins can cause sudden kidney failure in your cat. You should avoid giving your pet raisins as well as grapes and watch for signs of toxicity if your cat accidently eats them. Signs that usually occur within 24 hours are diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, weakness, abdominal pain and decreased urination.

2 Onions

Giving food with onions is not a good idea for your feline friend. The sulfoxides and disulfides in onions destroy red blood cells and can cause serious blood problems including anemia. Onion powder is often a hidden spice, so be careful. It can be found in baby food and other packaged meals. Read the ingredient list before offering anything new to your pet.

3 Garlic

Garlic is a member of the onion family and it is dangerous to cats as well. It is considered to be more dangerous than onions since the toxins are more concentrated. However, most foods contain less garlic than onion, so the effect may be lessened. In any case, it is best to completely avoid giving anything that contains garlic to your cat.

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4 Raw Eggs

No one should eat raw eggs unless they are sure there is no bacterial risk. Your cat shouldn’t eat raw eggs, either. The risk of salmonella or E.coli is too high and both can cause serious problems for a pet. Even if you have eggs that are bacteria free, be careful. The egg whites contain avidin, which can stop Vitamin B absorption.

5 Alcohol

It should go without saying that your pets should not be given alcohol, but in some cases, cats may sneak up on your unattended drink. As with humans, alcohol can cause intoxication and alcohol poisoning. Unfortunately, a cat is much smaller than a human and doesn’t require much to suffer ill effects.

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6 Caffeine

Never share your tea or coffee with your cat. Drinks and foods that contain caffeine could be dangerous to your feline. Caffeine works as a diuretic causing dehydration. It also stimulates the heart and nervous system. Chocolate is particularly bad since it contains both caffeine and theobromine, a chemical that could kill your cat.

7 Fat Trimmings

Fat may be good in small quantities, but feeding your cat a bunch of fat trimmed from that steak you cooked isn’t a great idea. It could cause stomach problems, including vomiting and diarrhea. It’s best to stick to foods that have been approved for cats.

8 Bones

Bones are one of the most dangerous foods on this list. While they are not toxic in any way, bones can fragment when cooked and cause internal lacerations or bowel obstructions. Even raw bones can be a choking hazard, though they will not splinter like cooked ones. You should also avoid giving poultry bones. In addition to intestinal problems, bones covered with fat or gristle can also cause digestive problems and your cat may end up vomiting or having diarrhea.

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9 Milk or Cream

Cats are lactose intolerant once they become adults. The inability to break down lactose in milk products means your cat can end up having diarrhea. Being sick can lead to dehydration and may require a stay with the vet if not treated quickly. Avoid giving cream or milk to your cat unless you choose lactose free options.

10 Avocado

The seemingly innocent avocado contains persin, which is very toxic to animals, including cats. The entire avocado tree is toxic, so never let your cat play with the shell or pit. Depending on the amount of persin ingested, your cat may have gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems or even fluid building up around the heart. In some cases, these issues can even lead to death.

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To be safe, your cat should be given a properly formulated cat food instead of table scraps. Even if you do this, it is not unusual for cats to help themselves to people food. You will need to be particularly vigilant about keeping toxic foods out of reach of your feline and preventing any access to things like avocado peelings which may end up in the garbage. Remember that the garbage can is easy for your cat to get into. It may be worth investing in a can with a top.

If you suspect your cat has eaten something toxic, call your vet. However, if you see signs of intoxication, rush your pet to the vet immediately. It’s not worth the risk of a more serious problem.