Cats are much like us, in that they seem to enjoy the good things in life. They will often take a small taste of our dinner, and sometimes eat more than we might expect. It is important to know what foods are safe and healthy for our cats, and which ones can be harmful.
Some foods should never be given to your cat:
Chocolate and Caffeine:
Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to cats. Cats metabolize theobromine much more slowly than people, so it builds up in their system over time until eventually, it causes heart problems. Caffeine is also dangerous because cats are very sensitive to stimulants. This includes not only coffee and tea but chocolate as well as some soft drinks. Caffeine may cause a very high heart rate, quickened breathing, restlessness, and even death depending on the amount of caffeine ingested.
Onion and Garlic:
Both of these vegetables can be extremely toxic to cats. Onions contain a substance that causes red blood cells to break down and inhibits the body's ability to carry oxygen. Garlic contains similar dangerous substances which can cause anemia in cats. These two vegetables should be avoided in all forms when feeding your cat.
You may give your cat leftover chicken bones to chew on for their teeth. However, it is dangerous to feed your cat cooked pork, beef, or fish bones. Cooked bones may splinter and cause damage to your cat's gums, teeth, and throat.
Grapes and Raisins:
These fruits contain a toxin that has not been identified in cats. However, reports from all over the world have linked grape consumption to kidney failure in cats. Not only should you not feed your cat grapes, but you should avoid them as well if possible.
Milk: and dairy goods
Milk is a poor nutritional choice for your cat. Cats are lactose intolerant, and cannot properly digest the milk sugar in the small intestine. It can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Although raw eggs contain some nutritional value, they also contain a chemical called avidin which binds to biotin in the intestinal tract and inhibits its absorption. Cooking the egg overcomes this problem, so it is safe to give your cat eggs cooked in any form.
Although many cats enjoy a bit of tuna, it is important to never overfeed your cat on tuna. Tuna has some essential nutrients for cats, but too much will cause malnutrition. It can also lead to mercury poisoning if given in large quantities over time.
Raw meats, including beef, pork, and poultry contain bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. This is not only dangerous for your cat but also for you and your family. If you want to feed your cat with meat, always cook it first. You can also feed them cat-friendly food like dry cat food, mealworms, etc.
Alcohol and uncooked yeast dough:
The alcohol in beverages is extremely toxic to cats and can cause death. While uncooked dough also contains yeast which can expand in the stomach and cause problems. If you ever give uncooked dough to your cat, they must vomit as soon as possible. This will help in preventing the dough from expanding in the stomach.
A large amount of salt:
Cats are very sensitive to salt, and too much of it can lead to kidney problems. If you want your cat to eat something salty, make sure to use a very small amount. This way, your cat will not suffer from any side effects.
In large amounts of raw fish, an enzyme called Thiaminase is dangerous because it can lead to vitamin B1 deficiency. If the fish is cooked, then this enzyme is destroyed by heat and there is no longer any risk.
Xylitol is the artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free products. This can be dangerous because it causes a sudden drop in the blood sugar in your cat. Signs of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination.
Coconuts and macadamia nuts contain a substance that can cause the same problems as grapes and raisins. Although all other types of nuts are safe to feed your cat, it is recommended that you avoid giving them macadamia and coconut.
Although some cats love liver, it has almost no nutritional value. It contains high amounts of vitamin A, which can be dangerous in large quantities because it can lead to vitamin A toxicity.
Chips, Crackers, and popcorn:
Although these are all tasty snacks for you, they contain high amounts of salt and can be dangerous to your cat. Certain ingredients in these snacks such as the artificial coloring tartrazine can cause hyperactivity in some cats.
Although dog food may look appetizing to your cat, you mustn't feed your cat any dog food. Dog food has many essential nutrients which are not included in cat food. This can cause serious health problems with your cat if eaten over an extended period.
Strawberries contain a substance called ursolic acid which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite in cats. In large amounts, it can cause tremors, seizures, and even death.
Raw bread dough:
Bread dough expands in the stomach of your cat after it is ingested, which can cause pain and even death for your cat.
The leaves, fruit, bark, and pit of avocados contain a toxin called persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats. In large amounts, it can even lead to the death of your cat.
Although many cats enjoy a bit of cheese, you mustn't feed your cat too much cheese. Cats have problems digesting the lactose in milk and cheese, which can lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea.
Of course, many other foods are harmful to your cat. It is best to know what they are and avoid giving them any of these things. For the most part, the things you put in your own body are safe for your cat to eat. But it is important to be aware of certain exceptions.