Everyone wants to protect their kitty from potential harm. Everyday items that seem harmless to humans can be extremely dangerous for your pet. Here’s a list of 8 common foods that are poisonous to cats:
1. Alcohol: This one might be obvious, but as little as a tablespoon of alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage.
2. Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. It is most concentrated in dark and unsweetened chocolate and can cause heart problems or seizures.
3. Raw meat or fish: Raw meat or fish could carry Salmonella or E. coli in addition to vomiting or diarrhea.
4. Coffee and tea: Coffee and tea contain caffeine which can cause your cat to become restless, cause rapid breathing, or heart palpitations.
5. Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure.
6. Xylitol: Xylitol is a sweetener found in many sugar-free foods such as chewing gum. Xylitol can cause a sudden release of insulin in cats, causing low blood sugar. This condition is called hypoglycemia, which can result in liver failure and in worse cases death.
7. Onions and garlic: Onions in all forms can break down a cat’s red blood cells leading to anemia. Eating large quantities of garlic or onions at once can cause gastrointestinal upset.
8. Dog food: Cats have very different nutritional needs from dogs, especially a higher requirement for dietary taurine. Taurine breaks down amino acids which is critical in proper health and function of the heart, eyes, and other organs. Small nibbles are okay but it should not be a staple in your cat’s diet.
Keeping "people” food away from cats is important. Certain safe foods could be considered a treat for your pet but only on special occasions. If your cat ends up ingesting food that is poisonous to them, try to determine how much has been ingested and contact your vet immediately. Let’s keep our kitties healthy and happy for years to come!