Cats aren’t generally as prone as dogs to get excited about human food, but they are curious creatures by nature and one of the ways they explore their environments is through their tastebuds. Never underestimate what cats will put in their mouths. Not only do cats have very sensitive stomachs that can get upset by unfamiliar foods, but many human foods can be toxic.
Keep the ASPCA’s Poison Control Hotline on hand in case of an emergency.
#1 – Chocolate
Chocolate contains caffeine and Theobromine, both of which can be highly toxic to cats, even in small amounts. Chocolate can immediately cause vomiting and diarrhea, and may cause long term problems for your cat’s heart and nervous system.
#2 – Onions, garlic, and chives
The sulfoxides and disulfides in onions and garlic can cause damage to your cat’s red blood cells, ultimately causing her to become anemic.
Image: Andy McLemore via Flickr
#3 – Xylitol
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that sneaks its way into a lot of foods you’d never suspect. It’s most commonly found in gums, candies, and toothpaste. Keep everything that contains xylitol far away from your kitty, since it can cause seizures and liver failure.
Image: Luci Correia via Flickr
#4 – Grapes and raisins
Grapes (and their shriveled up counterparts, raisins) contain a toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney damage.
#5 – Milk and milk products
Kittens can tolerate dairy while they’re nursing or soon after they are weened, but adult cats are often intolerant to it. Even small amounts of dairy can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal pain. Take this into consideration when choosing canned food that contains cheese bits.
Image: Dustin Gaffke via Flickr
#6 – Salt
Salty foods can cause your cat to have an electrolyte imbalance, which can lead to dehydration.
Image: Manu via Flickr
#7 – Dog Food
If you live with both dogs and cats, your cat probably nibbles the dog kibble every now and then. That’s fine; a bit of kibble won’t hurt her. However, cats and dogs have entirely different nutritional needs, and a cat can’t thrive long term on a diet of dog food. Make sure she is primarily being fed a food designed for cats.