Five Human Foods That Can Kill Your Cat



We as humans have evolved drastically from our primate ancestors. We can consume a large variety of food, most of which are lethal to other animals. So we have a tendency to forget that our pets cannot eat the same food as us. The next time you want to sneak your feline companion a morsel from your table, remember to think twice about what you are giving them. Here is a list of five foods you should not be feeding your cats.

  1. Alcohol: Humans can consume alcohol up to a limit before it destroys our liver. The same cannot be said about your cats. Even a small teaspoon of alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage that will kill your cat. And really, if you are considering feeding your cat alcohol, you have no right to take care of him or her. You can help your cat enjoy life in other ways, like by providing them with cat supplies such as cat toys, a cat scratching post, or something else by KONG toys.
  2. Chocolate: Chocolate is a decadent treat for humans. It is not only sweet, but cocoa also contains a cocktail of enzymes that can act as an aphrodisiac in the right quantities. Is it a wonder that we give them as Valentine’s gifts? However, chocolate also contains theobromine that can cause heart problems, muscle tremors, and even seizures in cats. So please, find another way to show your cat that you love him or her. If you want to treat your dog, give them cat treats like the Temptations Cat Treats.
  3. Coffee, tea, and energy drinks: Coffees, teas, and energy drinks are strong wake-me-ups for those dull days. However, ensure to keep your cat away from those half-full mugs on your counter or table. These beverages contain caffeine which is a strong stimulant. While it works wonders in energizing a human’s muscles, it will cause hyperventilation, respiratory problems, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors in cats. 
  4. Fat trimmings, raw meat, raw eggs, and raw fish: Domesticated cats have very sensitive digestive systems due to years of breeding. Most hard foods tend to put a severe strain on the cats and cause severe problems. Foods like fat trimmings, raw meat, raw eggs, and raw fish can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis in cats. These foods also carry with them a risk of carrying Salmonella or E. coli bacteria that can cause severe food poisoning. You could, however, try feeding them the Wellness Cat Food (raw grain-free dry cat food). 
  5. Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic are very minute quantities that may not carry many risks to your cat. However, if your cat happens to consume an entire clove of garlic or green onion, it can lead to digestive problems and food poisoning. Regular consumption can even cause anemia. Just add a few drops of sauces containing onion or garlic to your cat food. However, it is better if you are on the safer side and just got rid of onion and garlic from your cat’s diet.

Read About the Foods That Can Kill Your Cat

Many cat parents feed their cats the same food that they eat. Some cat parents also have the habit of feeding their cat scraps from their plates. Although this may seem like an act of love, you may be slowly killing your cat by poisoning them. Is human food toxic for cats? Can food that is considered healthy for you actually make your cat sick? Are there human health foods that must never be given to your cat?

Foods you should avoid feeding your cat

Because cats are much smaller than humans, they are also more sensitive to various substances contained in foods. It also means that everyday foods that are healthy for you can be toxic and even lethal for your cat.

  • Chocolate: Yes, your favorite treat might actually make your cat very sick. Theobromine, a chemical found in chocolate, can cause cats to have seizures, muscle tremors, and cardiac problems. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which is very bad for cats.
  • Alcohol: Even a single tablespoon can cause serious health problems in your cat. It can affect your cat’s liver and even lead to brain damage and prove fatal. That is because a cat’s liver is extremely small and sensitive and reacts violently to alcohol even in small amounts.
  • Dairy products: Although not toxic, most cats are lactose-intolerant and cannot digest milk and its derivatives. Feeding your cat milk or other dairy products could lead to indigestion, bloating, and nausea.
  • Garlic and onions: Both garlic and onions contain chemicals that can cause adverse reactions in your cat. These chemicals cause red blood cells to be destroyed, leading to a kind of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks: Your cat can have extreme reactions to caffeine that may cause temporary or long-lasting damage to the body. Your cat may experience muscle tremors, heart palpitations, and rapid breathing after caffeine ingestion.

Some other foods that are considered toxic or unhealthy for your cat are seeds of all kinds (fresh and dried), avocados, grapes and raisins, raw meat and fish, and the sweetener xylitol. 

Healthy alternatives for cat treats

Catnip in small amounts, cat grass, and a few other plants that many cats love commercial cat treats that contain tuna flakes, mixed seafood, or catnip and some kind of eat homemade treats that are simple and easy to prepare and healthy for your cat. If you are unsure about any particular foods that you wish to feed your cat, it is best to have a chat with a qualified online vet, or find one in-person using Vets First Choice, and understand what is and isn’t good for your cat. That will ensure you do not accidentally make your cat sick and you always feed your cat the right foods.

What Are 4 Human Foods Safe for Cats?

In this article, we looked at some of the human foods that you want to avoid giving your cat. However, what about safe foods? Well, your cat is in luck, because many items that you eat can be safely eaten by cats as well. Take eggs, for example. They make for excellent treats that are highly nutritious. Each egg is packed with amino acids like taurine, healthy fats, and a range of vitamins and minerals. Cooked lean meats like chicken breast are also much loved by cats. Likewise, carrots and white rice are perfectly fine for cats to eat. With carrots, just ensure they are cooked and sliced into small pieces so your cat doesn’t choke on them. According to Dr. Ricky Walther, DVM and small animal general practitioner from Sacramento, it’s important to remember that human food should only serve as treats. It shouldn’t account for more than 10% of a cat’s daily calorie intake. 

What Spices Are Bad for Cats?

There are a number of spices that you want to avoid giving your cat. Nutmeg is one you will want to avoid. It contains myristicin, a compound that can be toxic when taken in large quantities. The side effects include disorientation and hallucinations, as well as seizures. Cinnamon isn’t too dangerous, but it does contain oils that can irritate the digestive tract. Similarly, be careful with any type of spice blend that mixes multiple ingredients. This is because some spice mixes include salt. When consumed in excess, there’s a chance of sodium ion poisoning, which results in symptoms as severe as seizures, tremors, vomiting, and diarrhea. As you can tell, spices are mainly a problem when your cat consumes them in large doses. So unless you are feeding them food that’s mixed with a lot of spices, your cat should be fine.

Can Too Many Treats Kill a Cat?

Treats are much loved by cats, but feeding them too many can lead to a number of health conditions that, in some cases, lead to death. For instance, obesity in cats carries serious consequences, and many pet owners underestimate the dangers of bad feeding habits. According to Dr. Malcolm Weir, DVM, even moderately obese cats run the risk of reduced life expectancy, with a 2.8-fold increase when compared to lean cats. Likewise, overfeeding your cats with too many treats can trigger a host of gastrointestinal problems that escalate to life-threatening conditions. For instance, conditions like pancreatitis can develop as a result of dietary indiscretion. Gastrointestinal tumors can also occur in the form of lymphomas and adenocarcinomas. They can block the digestive passage, cause bleeding, and, in some cases, metastasize and lead to systemic illness. 

Can I Feed My Cat Chicken Every Day?

Technically, yes, you can. There is nothing wrong with feeding chicken to your cat daily. However, it needs to be prepared properly. Avoid adding too much seasoning, as plain, boiled chicken is the safest option. Since onions and garlic are toxic to cats, ensure that you avoid feeding your pet chicken that’s been prepared with them. As far as daily portions are concerned, chicken shouldn’t account for more than 15% of your cat’s diet. Your cat’s daily food intake needs to be balanced, and chicken is highly nutritious. Thus, feeding your cat chicken, even in moderate portions, can take them over their daily calorie limits. Indoor cats need about 20 calories per pound to maintain weight. So if your cat weighs eight pounds, they require about 160 calories per day. If you were to feed your cat just 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked chicken, it would amount to 165 calories.  As you can see, it’s going to be important to carefully check daily portion sizes or risk weight gain. 

Why Is Milk Bad for Cats?

Milk is an oddball for cats. On the one hand, we see so many cats that love to drink it, but on the other, many vets recommend against it. Why is this so? It’s primarily because several cats tend to be lactose intolerant but will continue to drink milk. As Dr. Sandra Mitchell, DVM, states, when cats get older, they lose the enzyme needed to break down milk. When these cats drink milk, they end up experiencing a range of gastrointestinal problems, which include vomiting, flatulence, diarrhea, and pain in the abdomen. If these symptoms continue, it warrants a trip to the vet along with medication. Thus, if you notice these symptoms and have also been feeding your cat milk, it’s a sign to stop. Cow’s milk alternatives are also not a good idea. Milk from oats, soy, almonds, or coconuts tends to be high in fat, sugars, oils, and preservatives. It’s simply safer not to get your cat used to milk. 

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like