25 Foods That Are Harmful For Your Kitty

Posted by , Updated on November 28, 2022

When it comes to eating harmful foods, cats are usually more sensible than dogs, but there are still several things you should make sure your kitty will never get to eat. Cats have their own digestive system that is very different from ours, which is why foods that are absolutely safe for you might be actually very dangerous or even deadly for your cat. Therefore, it is important to know what foods should never be fed (whether intentionally or unintentionally) to cats. From raw eggs and grapes to bones and livers, here are 25 Foods That Are Harmful For Your Kitty.

Feature Image: Mathias Erhart via Flickr



OnionSource: petinsurance.com, image: pixabay.com

No matter how much you love onion, this popular vegetable can be very harmful for your cat. All onions — whether cooked or raw — are a big danger to cats as it takes a very small amount of onions to poison them. Onion toxicosis is consistently noted in animals that ingest more than just 0.5% of their body weight in onions at one time. Onion contains sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia.



RhubarbSource: peteducation.com, image: pixabay.com

A herbaceous perennial plant, rhubarb has delicious juicy stalks that are used in culinary, but its leaves are poisonous. They contain oxalic acids and corrosive acids that can negatively affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems of your cat.



CoffeeSource: petpoisonhelpline.com, image: pixabay.com

Cats appear to be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. While 1-2 laps of coffee will not contain enough caffeine to cause poisoning in most pets, the ingestion of moderate amounts of coffee grounds can easily cause death in small cats. When ingested, signs of hyperactivity, vomiting, an elevated heart rate, hypertension, tremors, hyperthermia, seizures, and other difficulties can occur.


Vitamin supplements

Vitamin supplementsSource: peteducation.com, image: pixabay.com

Cats should not be fed human vitamin supplements, particularly those that contain iron as it can damage the lining of their digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.


Chewing gum

Chewing gumSource: dailymail.co.uk, image: pixabay.com

The odds are quite low that your cat will polish off a piece of chewing gum, but if it does, it is likely to end up in a serious trouble. Sugarless gums are actually one of the most dangerous foods for cats and dogs as they contain a natural sweetener, xylitol, that is deadly to most animals. It causes a rush of insulin, blood sugar levels to plummet, possible coma, and even death.


Canned tuna

Canned tunaSource: http://pets.webmd.com

Cats love to eat canned tuna, and this food is not as dangerous as some other things on the list, but large amounts of canned tuna can cause malnutrition as it lacks proper levels of vitamins and minerals you cat needs. A steady diet of canned tuna can also lead to thiamine deficiency and even mercury poisoning.



AlcoholSource: vets-now.com, image: pixabay.com

Alcohol is bad for humans, so it is not surprising that is harmful for poor pets, too. However, a cat’s tolerance to alcohol is much lower, and just a very little amount of alcohol (such as one tablespoon) can lead to serious problems for your cat including diarrhea, depression, problems with coordination, breathing difficulties etc.


Raw eggs

Raw eggsSource: vetstreet.com

Raw eggs are rich in vitamins, proteins, and nutrients, but they should not be given to cats as they may expose them to salmonella and other parasites that could lead to an inflamed pancreas known as pancreatitis. Some enzymes in raw eggs might also interfere with the absorption of certain B vitamins.



CandiesSource: wikipedia.org

No matter if candies are sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners, they are always dangerous to cats. If they contain sugar, they are bad for their teeth and might cause obesity or even diabetes mellitus, while artificially sweetened treats often contain xylitol, which can be deadly to them (see No. 21).



MilkSource: vetstreet.com

Naturally, kittens drink milk after they are born, but it does not mean milk is okay for them later in life. Milk contains some good stuff such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals, but it also contains lactose that many cats are intolerant to once they reach adulthood. Feeding your adult cat milk might cause diarrhea and other stomach upsets.


If this surprises you, wait until you see number 6!



GarlicSource: hillset.com

Similarly to onions, shallots, and scallions, garlic can cause damage to your cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. These foods are typically poisonous when eaten in large quantities, but exposure to concentrated forms of garlic – such as garlic powder – can also be toxic.


Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nutsSource: wikipedia.org

Native to Australia, macadamia nuts are rich in numerous essential nutrients including thiamin, vitamin B6, manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorus etc. Despite these healthy essentials, it has recently been discovered that these nuts are toxic to pets. Ingestion may result in macadamia toxicity marked by weakness and hind limb paralysis with the inability to stand. The symptoms may also include muscle tremors, joint pain, and severe abdominal pain.


Grapes and raisins

GrapesSource: http://pets.webmd.com, image: pixabay.com

Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for pets, but in fact, it is not a good idea at all. Although it is not clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in some cats. Just a small amount of grapes or raisins can make your cat ill.



SaltSource: petpoisonhelpline.com, image: pixabay.com

Salt, while commonly used for cooking in the kitchen, is quite poisonous to our pets. Salt poisoning in cats results in clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abnormal fluid accumulation within the body, excessive thirst or urination, potential injury to the kidneys, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death when untreated.



ApricotSource: petpoisonhelpline.com, image: pixabay.com

The seeds, leaves, and stems of the apricot tree contain cyanide. This toxin inhibits cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme necessary for cellular oxygen transport, preventing appropriate oxygen uptake by cells. When ingested in toxic amounts, clinical signs of dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, inadequate oxygen levels, bright red gums, shock, and death can be seen.



TobaccoSource: peteducation.com

No cat owner would ever give his or her cat tobacco, but it is also important to make sure you kitty will not get to it without your knowledge. Tobacco contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Consumption of tobacco can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and even death.



AppleSource: dogsupplies.com, image:pixabay.com

Apple flesh is harmless to cats in moderation, but apple seeds are poisonous not to just cats but to every living thing. The seeds contain amygdalin, a form of cyanide which prevents the blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body. Eating just a few apple seeds should not be a big problem, but if your kitty happens to eat too many of them, it might experience breathing problems, seizures, collapse, and even coma.



ChocolateSource: hillspet.com

Unlike many dogs who love chocolate, cats usually will not eat it on their own, but if they do, they might experience serious health problems. Chocolate contains a toxic component called theobromine that is easily metabolized by humans, but cats process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system. It can cause them dehydration, abdominal pains, severe agitation, muscle tremors, seizures, and even death.


Bread dough

Bread doughSource: petpoisonhelpline.com, image: pixabay.com

Unbaked bread dough can be poisonous to cats. When ingested, the unbaked bread dough expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach and can result in a bloated stomach which can later progress to a gastric-dilatation volvulus, known as the twisted stomach. Secondly, when the yeast in the unbaked dough is fermented, it results in the production of carbon dioxide and alcohol that get absorbed into the bloodstream and result in alcohol poisoning quickly.


Dog food

Dog foodSource: hillspet.com, image: pixabay.com

Although dog food is not toxic to cats, your cat needs a very different set of nutrients than a dog. Cat food should contain plenty of vitamin A, taurine, arachidonic acid, and protein, and dog food has much lower levels of these nutrients. Dogs can survive with lower levels of vitamin A and proteins, but cats cannot.


Fat trimmings

meatSource: womanitely.com, image: en.wikipedia.org (Public Domain)

Fat may be harmless in small quantities, but feeding your cat a bunch of fat trimmed from a steak is not a good idea. It could cause stomach problems including vomiting, diarrhea and – when fed to your cat regularly – even pancreatitis.



AvocadoSource: oola.com, image: pixabay.com

Avocado is known to be very healthy for humans, and it can be also delicious when prepared correctly, but your cat should avoid this fruit. Avocados contain a toxin called persin. Cats can develop an upset stomach, breathing difficulties, and fluid buildup in the chest after eating an avocado. They can also swallow the big slippery pit that can cause serious problems in their stomach.



BonesSource: womanitely.com, image: pixabay.com

Although they are not toxic in any way, bones are one of the most dangerous foods on the list. The problem with bones (especially cooked bones) is that they might fragment once ingested and cause internal lacerations or bowl obstructions. Bones are also a significant choking hazard for cats.



liverSource: http://pets.webmd.com, image: pixabay.com

When fed in small amounts, liver does not pose a serious problem to your cat’s health, but eating too much liver can cause vitamin A toxicity. This is a serious condition that can affect your cat’s bones. Symptoms include deformed bones, bone growths on the elbows and spine, and osteoporosis.


What about dogs? Check out 25 Harmful Foods Your Puppy Shouldn’t Eat.



lemonsSource: aspca.org

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants such as lemons and oranges contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts.


Photos: 20. Pavel Ševela / Wikimedia Commons, 18. miya/wikimedia commons, 17. Luca Florio via Flickr, 16. S Sepp/Wikimedia Commons, 15. Jonathunder/wikimedia commons, 14. Carl Davies via wikimedia commons via www.scienceimage.csiro, 10. Jaymz Campbell/wikimedia commons, 8. Stu_Spivack via Flickr, 1. André Karwath/wikimedia commons

SEE ALSO: 25 Of The World's Most Venomous Snakes »


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