15 toxic foods you should never feed your cat.

Cats have specific nutritional needs that must be met through their diet, toxic foods.

Toxic foods for cats! It’s important to note that despite your cat’s whining, human-friendly treats and snacks are not an essential part of her diet.

We’ve teamed up with the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO’s Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Service to find out what your cat needs to eat to be healthy. Turns out he doesn’t need much (apart from his usual food, of course).

Should you feed a cat with human food?

The easiest and most practical way to meet a cat’s nutrient needs is to provide a complete and balanced commercial diet formulated by a licensed veterinary nutritionist or someone with a doctorate in animal nutrition.

This means that all of the vitamins and minerals provided by the treats – even things like fruits and vegetables that we humans would consider healthy snacks – would exceed the needs of a cat eating a complete and balanced diet. . And when it comes to nutrients, more isn’t always better. In some cases, it can even be dangerous.

toxic cat food

A man gives a candy to his cat

What Types of Human Foods Can Cats Eat Safely?

If you still want to please your cat, the Clinical Nutrition Service indicates that several toxic human foods are generally considered safe for cats, as long as they make up no more than 10% of a cat’s daily ration. For example, explains the Clinical Nutrition Service, if a cat consumes 250 calories per day, no more than 25 of those calories should come from unbalanced food sources.

poisonous cats

However, the Clinical Nutrition Service also warns that cats should be considered on their individual needs, as some cats may consume a particular food without issue and another cat may consume the same food and develop vomiting, diarrhea or nausea. other undesirable signs. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian before adding any new toxic human foods to your pet’s diet, even those that are generally considered safe.

What human foods are poisonous foods for cats?

There are human foods that are dangerous and should never be given to cats, says the Clinical Nutrition Service. The ASPCA has a long list of human foods for your cat to avoid, but this list is likely not exhaustive, as many foods have not been peer-reviewed in studies to determine their degree of toxicity.

Here are some examples from the ASPCA’s list of toxic human foods for cats to avoid:

The alcohol. Toxic foods and beverages containing alcohol can cause serious problems in pets, including vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma, and death.

Bread dough containing yeast. Bread dough containing yeast can rise and cause a buildup of gas in your cat’s digestive system. This can lead to stomach bloating and even torsion, which is a potentially fatal condition. Additionally, yeast produces alcohol as a by-product, which has its own set of problems (see above). Baked bread, on the other hand, is considered safe for healthy cats.

Chocolate. Chocolate contains substances called methylxanthines (specifically theobromine and caffeine) which are poisonous foods for pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and death. The concentration of methylxanthines varies between different types of chocolate. Cocoa powder is the most dangerous, while white chocolate is less so.

Coffee. Like chocolate, coffee contains caffeine, a methylxanthine, and therefore may have the same effects listed above.

Citrus fruits. Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, clementines and grapefruit contain citric acid and essential oils which can cause problems for cats. Stems, leaves, peels, fruits and seeds should all be avoided. While small amounts are likely to cause only stomach upset, large amounts can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and central nervous system depression.

The flesh of the coconut and the water of the coconut. Milk and fresh coconut meat can cause digestive upset in pets, although small amounts are unlikely to cause serious harm. Coconut water is too high in potassium to be safe for pets, but coconut oil can be helpful for certain skin issues in cats. Consult your veterinarian before using it as a holistic remedy or including it in your cat’s diet.

Dairy products. Feeding your cat dairy products can cause digestive issues, as many cats are lactose intolerant and cannot properly process dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt). The safest approach is to avoid them altogether, but you can ask your vet if a lactose-free alternative is an acceptable treat.

Grapes and raisins. Although the exact reason why they are toxic food for pets remains unknown, there is evidence that feeding cats (and dogs!) grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure.

Nuts. Macadamia nuts are toxic pet foods and, like grapes, the exact mechanism of toxicity is unknown. Other types of nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, are high in oils and fats that can cause digestive upset or even pancreatitis in cats.

Raw eggs. Raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Signs of infection are vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Raw eggs also contain avidin, an enzyme that prevents cats from absorbing biotin, an important vitamin for skin and coat health.

Raw or undercooked meat. Just like raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat can be contaminated with Salmonella and E. coli bacteria. The Clinical Nutrition Service states that it often observes gastrointestinal signs (usually diarrhea) in pets that consume raw meat diets.

Raw fish. Like raw meat and eggs, raw fish can carry food poisoning bacteria.

Salt. In large amounts, salt and poisonous salty foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and death in pets.

Some vegetables and herbs. Although cats can eat certain vegetables, onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, shallots and chives are particularly harmful to cats as they can cause gastrointestinal problems and even damage red blood cells. . Toxic foods containing these vegetables and herbs, such as garlic bread, should also be avoided.

Xylitol is a common sweetener in packaged products such as chewing gum and candy that can cause vomiting, lethargy, and liver failure in pets.

What should you do if your cat eats something poisonous?

If you know or suspect that your cat has eaten a food on the toxic food list, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait for your cat to show signs of illness to seek help. The sooner you address issues or potential issues, the better.

Fortunately, the Clinical Nutrition Service says they rarely see cats with food toxicosis. This is rather the case with dogs, who are more adventurous and do not make distinctions in their diet.

toxic foods

And just like your cat, who is most likely apprehensive about trying new foods, you better be picky about what you give her.

Before making any changes to your cat’s diet, ask your veterinarian which ingredients are safe and how much your cat can taste. No question (or treat) is too small for you to discuss.

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