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A List Of Toxic Food For Cats

cat with food bowl

“Onion / Spring Onion / Garlic”

There are many kinds of onions: ground, raw, boiled, and dehydrated. All varieties can cause anemia in cats due to their effects on red blood cells, dried onion powder has the same effect. Onion powder may be more common than you may think and is even found in baby food.

 onion and garlic

If your cat ingests a small doe of onion or garlic, there shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but large amounts can be problematic. Garlic and shallots which are in the same family will cause undesirable symptoms including stomach cramping vomiting.

“Milk / Other dairy products”

Do you feed your cat a small dish of milk or a piece of cheese as a treat? Contrary to popular assumption, most cats suffer from lactose intolerance, and their digestive system can't handle dairy products. If given to them, they will be unable to digest dairy, resulting in diarrhea.


Beer, spirits, wine, and alcohol in your food are not good for your cat. Like humans, alcohol can affect the liver and brain of a cat, it could even be lethal. 2 teaspoons of whiskey will stun a 5-pound cat. An extra teaspoon is enough to cause fatality.


“Grape / Raisin”

Grapes and raisins are often used to feed pets, without consideration of the damages it can cause. These foods will cause their kidneys to weaken. Even a small amount will make them sick, causing repetitive vomiting. While some cats may not show symptoms of illness, it is best to avoid giving these foods altogether.


Copious amounts of coffee ingested by a cat can be fatal without any remedy. Various signs will present themselves when caffeine poisoning occurs, including; shortness of breath, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and paralysis. Caffeine is commonly found in tea and coffee, including coffee beans and coffee powder.


Chocolate is another food that can be deadly in large amount. While cats will not normally choose to feed on any type of chocolate, misguided owners or visitors may mistakenly feed. The poisonous agent in chocolate is theobromine. This chemical is included in all chocolate types. Sugar-free, unbaked chocolate or dark chocolates are potent and fast acting. Cats will experience abnormal heart rhythm, trembles, epilepsy and even death.


“Chewing gum/candy”

Candy, chewing gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some weight loss foods have xylitol. Xylitol causes an increase of insulin flow in the cat's body, causing a cat's blood sugar to drop. Xylitol also causes liver damage. Symptoms include vomiting, somnolence, and inconsistency. Some cats will suffer from epileptic symptoms after ingestion, liver damage will occur within a few days.


Leftovers on the table often contain high fat and brittle bones. Fats and bones can be dangerous foods for felines. Cooked food and raw fat can cause intestinal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea. Brittle and broken bones can cause a cat's digestive system to become blocked or damaged.

“Raw eggs”

Eggs can be a healthy source of protein but uncooked raw eggs carry a level of risk. Possible presence salmonella or E. coli will poison a cat. Raw eggs carry a white protein called avidin, which interferes with the absorption of B vitamin biotin. This can cause skin problems as well as cat hair problems.

“Raw fish / raw meat”

Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Raw fish also contain an enzyme that destroys thiamine, which is important for your cat’s health. Lack of thiamine can cause serious neurological problems and lead to convulsions and coma.

raw fish+sushi

“Dog food”

Occasionally some dog food will not hurt your cat when supplied in emergency. However, dog food is not a substitute for cat food. They have many of the same ingredients, but cat food is specially formulated for feline dietary requirements, including more protein, certain vitamins and fatty acids. Continuous feeding of inappropriate food to your cat can cause weight loss and other consequences.


A small amount of liver given to a cat should pose no problem, but excessive amounts may cause vitamin A poisoning. This can seriously affect your cat's bones. Symptoms include skeletal deformities, growth of the elbow and spine, and osteoporosis. Vitamin A poisoning can also cause death.

“Human medicine”

Human drugs are one of the most common sources of erroneous ingestion leading to cat poisoning. As one would treat a child, putting all the medicine in a place that can’t be reached by a cat is important. Never let your cat eat any OTC medicine unless specific drugs have been prescribed by a vet. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen is a common analgesic and cold medicine ingredient, but it can also be fatal.

“Kitchen: cats and dogs can't enter”

There are many common foods on the kitchen shelf that can damage your cat’s health. Keep food in a place that cats can't reach, and lock all kitchen cabinet doors, which will help protect your pet from dangerous food.

orange cat+kitchen+chair


What should I do if a cat eats a dangerous food?

No matter how cautious you are, accidents can happen. Immediate medical help from your vet should be sought after, a call to your local veterinarian followed by an immediate emergency visit. If you think your cat has consumed anything toxic, seek emergency help.


What should a cat eat?

Cats are carnivores and need to eat meat. Your veterinarian understands the biology of your cat and the foods that can provide ample nutrition. Following your vet’s advice and consulting food labels will help to ensure that your cat's diet is balanced. Occasionally serving cooked boneless beef or brown rice can also be a good snack for cats with a modest serving size.

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