Although cats can be fussy eaters, they are also curious creatures and may take a taste of human food when you aren’t looking. Experts say that even in small amounts certain foods can be harmful for your kitty so make sure you feed them a diet that’s feline friendly and avoid offering human treats. Cats need a formulation that meets their nutritional needs as they age, and that is designed to fulfill their protein and calorie requirements.
According to veterinarians, never feed your cat any of the following foods:
Canned tuna fish. While tuna is certainly tempting to cats, if they ingest more than 10% of this product as part of their daily diet, they could suffer severe nutritional deficiencies, says Reader’s Digest. Also, tuna can lead to thiamine deficiencies that may trigger neurological symptoms, including mental dullness, lack of coordination, blindness, and head tilt. Too much tuna can also cause pancreatitis and urinary tract disease.
Garlic and onions. Never give a cat anything that has been cooked with garlic and onions as these foods can trigger hemolytic anemia, says Dr. Michelle Burch D.V.M., from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance. Hemolytic anemia is a disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made, leading to fatigue, dizziness, confusion and other symptoms.
Grapes and raisins. These two foods are 100% off limits say Dr. Burch, adding that there is no safe minimum. Experts believe it may be the tartaric acid in grapes that can lead to toxicity and rapid kidney failure. Symptoms of vomiting, increased drinking, and painful belly may occur within 24 hours of ingestion.
Milk and dairy products. Cats become lactose intolerant after they have been weaned from their mother, says Travis Arndt, doctor of veterinary medicine, and director of Animal Medical Center of Mid-America. They should not be fed milk, cheese, yogurt of any other dairy products including “cat milk” treats.
Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine. According to the ASPCA, these products contain substances called methylxanthines which are found in cacao seeds. When consumed by cats and dogs, the methylxanthines cause vomiting and diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and potentially death.
Alcohol. Beer, liquor, wine, or any food or drink that contains alcohol should never be given to cats. A mere two teaspoons can cause a coma in a 5-pound cat and one more teaspoon can kill it, says WebMD.
Fat trimmings and bones. These table scraps can be highly dangerous for your cat. Both cooked and uncooked fat may cause intestinal distress in felines and bones can splinter and cause a blockage in the digestive system.
Raw eggs. According to WebMD, eggs are a double threat to cats. The first is the chance they may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause poisoning. Secondly, the protein called avidin in raw egg whites can interfere with the absorption of biotin, causing skin and coat problems.
Symptoms of food poisoning in cats include lethargy, diarrhea, confusion, seizures, vomiting, change in urination, weakness, difficulty breathing and increased thirst, according to Reader’s Digest. If you do suspect your pet has eaten something toxic call your vet or local poison control. Do not force the cat to vomit or wait to see what happens.