Does your cat come running anytime you use a can opener? Does she try to sneak some snacks while you’re prepping dinner? If your cat is like most felines, chances are she’s got a love (or simple curiosity) for any type of tasty treat.
While it may be tempting to share your food with your furry family member, it’s important to know which foods are safe for cats, and which could be dangerous or toxic. Cats are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to portion control, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they always know what’s best for themselves. As a pet owner, what better way to show love to your pet than by prioritizing her health?
Foods to Keep Away from Your Cat
While there are plenty of safe, pet-friendly foods to share with your furry friend, it’s important to be aware of which foods are toxic to cats. No one wants their cat to experience discomfort, whether it’s mild tummy troubles or something more serious.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 human foods to avoid feeding your cat. (Please note that this is not a comprehensive list—if something wasn’t mentioned here, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for your kitty.)
10 common kitchen items to keep away from your kitty include:
Alliums—such as onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, leeks, and chives—may be a flavorful addition to your food, but they should stay away from your kitty. Otherwise, she risks damage to her red blood cells (not to mention an upset stomach).
This also means avoiding food made with these ingredients, such as soups and garlic bread; it also means avoiding onion in all forms, whether raw, cooked, or powdered.
Chocolate isn’t just toxic for dogs; it can also be incredibly dangerous for cats. Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for your pet (although you should still avoid sharing milk and white chocolates with your pet).
One of the reasons chocolate is toxic for cats is because of its caffeine content; it’s only logical that you should also keep coffee (including beans and grounds) and other caffeinated drinks away from your kitty, as large quantities can be fatal.
We’re aware of the effects that alcohol can have on humans; if your cat ingests alcohol, her liver and brain will take a similar toll (but it’ll take a lot less alcohol to do some significant damage).
To be safe, keep any foods and drinks containing alcohol out of reach from your feline friend.
While plain baked bread can be fine for healthy cats, the raw dough can have serious consequences. Because yeast dough rises, it can lead to serious stomach bloating and twisting.
Plus, yeast produces alcohol, which is also problematic for cats as mentioned above.
Grapes & Raisins
It’s unclear exactly why, but grapes and raisins—even in small amounts—can do serious damage to your kitty’s kidneys. If you’ve got a countertop climber, it’s best to keep your grapes out of reach from your curious kitty and avoid feeding her any foods containing these ingredients.
While some fruits can be safe for cats (though not always appetizing), the peels and seeds of many citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits contain oils that can be toxic. Plus, the citric acid can lead to an upset stomach for your kitty.
Fortunately, many cats are deterred by citrusy scents (pro tip to keep in mind if you need your kitty to stay away from a certain counter or tabletop!), so citrus fruits rarely pose a problem.
Okay, so a taste of dog food here and there isn’t necessarily problematic for your kitty… but she certainly shouldn’t be sharing food with Fido on a regular basis.
Cats and dogs have entirely different nutritional requirements, so it’s important that your cat gets her own food bowl, packed with meat-based protein.
Eggs are considered a superfood, but raw eggs are an entirely different story. Like humans, cats can contract food poisoning from the bacteria in raw eggs. Plus, if your cat consumes raw eggs, she won’t be able to absorb the B vitamin biotin as well, leading to skin and coat issues.
Some pet owners choose to feed their furry friends a raw diet. If you’re considering switching your cat’s diet, please consult with your vet before making any changes.
Milk & Dairy Products
While a kitten and a saucer of warm milk may seem like a perfect pair, this is actually a common misconception. The reality is that milk can do more harm to your cat than good, as many cats are lactose intolerant.
Some cats don’t have any trouble digesting milk. If this is the case and is confirmed by your vet, you can allow her a tablespoon of milk or so as an occasional treat. Keep in mind that milk doesn’t offer nutritional benefits to your kitty, and too much could lead to weight gain and other issues.
If your cat ate something she shouldn’t have or shows signs of sickness contact your vet as soon as possible. Even if you haven’t confirmed whether she ingested something toxic, it’s always better to be cautious—especially if you notices changes in your cat’s appearance or behavior.
Promote your pet’s overall health with PetHonesty’s Wellness Cat Pack, which contains Digestive Probiotics+ Powder for Cats and Lysine-Immune Health+ Powder for Cats. These tasty meal toppers are a great way to enhance your cat’s meal and health at the same time.