What Food Items Are Poisonous For Cats?

September 19, 2022 6 min read

Food Items Poisonous For Cats

When it comes to our beloved feline friends, we all want them to have the best of everything. Cats are full-fledged members of our families; therefore, it is understandable to like to share everything with them, including our snacks and food. However, despite seeming picky eaters who know what is best for them, cats have a delicate balance of nutritional needs and requirements.

Here is a list of food items that may be poisonous to your cat.

Milk and other dairy products

Milk may taste wonderful to them, but it may not be the best food for cats. Lactose in milk is difficult for cats to digest, which might end up upsetting their stomachs or causing diarrhoea. Kittens only drink milk from their moms for a brief time, so their digestive systems are typically unprepared when reintroduced to lactose. Even if some cats may not have difficulty digesting milk, it is not recommended due to the possibility of stomach disorders.

cat drinking milk

Raw Eggs, Meat, and Fish

Your pet can also get the same E. coli poisoning caused in humans by consuming raw eggs, meat, or fish, and thus, these three can be very poisonous for cats. Raw eggs can cause problems in your cat’s skin and coat. Raw fish contains an enzyme that harms essential Vitamin B and can cause neurological problems and convulsions. A few of the illness’ symptoms are lethargy, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

Grapes and Raisins

Although the toxic substance is unknown, there is evidence that even little consumption of grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats. It is best to keep grapes off of your list of food for cats and places where your cat can access them, as symptoms like vomiting can occur in under 12 hours of ingestion.

Coffee, Caffeine, and Chocolate

The seeds of the cacao plant, the fruit of the plant used to create coffee, and the nuts of an extract used in some sodas all include compounds known as methylxanthines, which are also present in these foods. Keep in mind that dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk or white chocolate and is one of the most hazardous human food for cats. When cats ingest it, they might experience abnormal heart rhythm, hyperactivity, tremors, convulsions, vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, excessive thirst, excessive urination, and even death.

Alcohol and Yeast Dough

Alcoholic foods and beverages may be detrimental and poisonous to cats. Coma, death, tremors, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and other symptoms might arise after ingestion. It's also critical to keep your cat away from undercooked bread. When they consume uncooked bread or drink wine, their stomach expands. Dough with yeast has the ability to rise and cause gas in your pet's digestive tract. It can be unpleasant, cause severe bloating, and even twist the stomach, creating a life-threatening situation. If you believe your cat has ingested any amount of alcohol, immediately take her to the vet.


Many products, including gum, candies, baked goods, and toothpaste, use xylitol as a sweetener and thus come under the category of ‘to be avoided’ human food for cats. It can cause insulin secretion in most animals, leading to liver failure. An increase in insulin causes hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Some early signs of toxicosis include vomiting, sleepiness, and a loss of coordination. Symptoms can lead to seizures. Liver failure and increased liver enzyme levels may be noticed within a few days.

Also read: Plants That Are Toxic For Cats To Eat

Salt and Salty Snacks

High salt intake may result in increased urine and thirst, or even sodium ion poisoning in animals. Symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, trembling, sadness, high body temperature, convulsions, and even death are indications that your pet may have consumed high salty foods. As a result, it is advised to avoid giving your pets salty treats like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn as they are toxic for cats.

Onions and Garlic

garlic and cats

Your cat's red blood cells can become damaged by food like onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions, which can result in anaemia. When consumed in significant quantities, these items are usually dangerous. Also, exposure to concentrated versions, such as onion soup or garlic powder, can be harmful. Lethargy, weakness, decreased appetite, pale gums, and orange/dark crimson urine are all signs that cats need to be sent to the doctor immediately.


Almonds, pecans, and walnuts are just a few of the nuts rich in oils and fats. In pets, the fats may result in pancreatitis, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Macadamia nuts also can lead to tremors, heat, vomiting, weakness, and depression in animals. Symptoms often appear 12 hours after intake and might linger for 24 to 48 hours.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

Coconut and coconut-based items may not cause significant harm to your pet if consumed in lesser amounts. Fresh coconut and milk have oils that may induce nausea, diarrhoea, or loose stools. As a result, we urge that you exercise caution while giving these things to your cats. Coconut water should not be given to your pet since it includes a lot of potassium.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits containing citric acid and essential oils, such as lemons, clementines, oranges, limes, and grapefruits, may be toxic for cats. It is best to avoid all of the stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds. Large dosages can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and central nervous system depression, although smaller amounts are likely to cause only an unsettled stomach.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Table leftovers/scraps frequently have fat that has been removed from bones and meat. Fat, whether cooked or raw, can irritate the stomach and cause vomiting and diarrhoea. A cat may also choke on a bone. Furthermore, bones might splinter, obstruct, or sever your cat's digestive tract.

Dog Food and Liver

Despite the similarities, dog food cannot substitute for cat food even though it won’t harm your cat on occasional consumption. Cats require extra protein and specific vitamins, and fatty acids. Thus, cat food is specially formulated to suit these requirements. If your cat consumes dog food regularly, it may become very malnourished. As for the liver, small amounts are safe, but large amounts may cause Vitamin A toxicity. The signs include deformed bones, bone growths on the spine and elbows, osteoporosis, and can also cause death.

dog food and cats

Preventing Cats from Eating Dangerous Foods

Your cat's quality of life and survival is determined by the food she consumes. You are aiding her in preserving her health by ensuring she does not have access to unsafe or toxic goods and that she has a well-balanced diet.

Here are some easy tips for avoiding potentially toxic and hazardous meals for your cat:

  • Don't feed them table leftovers.
  • Food should be kept out and inaccessible to your cat. Installing cat-proof locks on cupboards may be necessary for a curious cat.
  • Keep your cat off the counter when you're cooking or eating.
  • It is essential to practise mindfulness during the holidays, as more appealing human food is available, many of which may harm or disturb your cat's stomach.

If you observe or suspect your cat has eaten one of these items, take her to the clinic immediately. Some of these foods may cause a little discomfort in your cat, while others may be significantly more damaging to her health. Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats Something Toxic?

If you know or suspect your cat ate a dangerous food item, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. It is preferable to deal with any problem immediately. You need not wait until your cat develops illness signs before seeking treatment.

It also pays to be picky about what you feed them, similar to how your cat is likely reluctant to try new foods. Before making any food changes for your cat, consult your veterinarian to understand which ingredients are safe and what amounts are appropriate. You can discuss any and every topic, no matter how insignificant they seem, as they will only safeguard your cat’s future.

Your cat deserves the best care and lifestyle in every aspect, not just food and diet. You can check out innovative and chic new designs for litter box enclosures for your kitty by clicking here. You can even get them cat scratcher pads and ramps for leisure and amusement and optimise their happiness.

You may also want to know: What Human Foods are Suitable for Cats?

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