Grapes make a tasty and nutritious snack for humans, which we can enjoy at any time of the day. Still, the same is not true for your feline.
Grapes are toxic to cats and can cause fatal kidney failure. If you know or suspect that your cat has eaten a grape, you should immediately call the Pet Poisons helpline to seek advice. With any poisoning, time is crucial; if you act quickly, your cat can make a full recovery.
In the meantime, read these tips on keeping your cat safe from the harmful effects of grapes; learn why they’re toxic to cats and what the next steps are should your cat eat one.
Table of Contents
- Can Cats Eat Grapes?
- Why Are Grapes Toxic To Cats?
- What Are The Signs Of Grape Poisoning In Cats?
- What Should I Do If My Cat Ate A Grape?
- How Will My Vet Treat Grape Toxicity?
- How Many Grapes Does It Take To Poison A Cat?
- Why Are Grapes Bad For Cats?
- How Can I Stop My Cat From Eating Grapes?
- Final Thoughts.
Can Cats Eat Grapes?
No, cats cannot eat grapes (or raisins) because they are toxic and can lead to severe kidney problems.
While one or two grapes might be okay and pose little threat to your feline, there are too many unknowns to keep them completely safe. For this reason, it’s best to avoid the consumption of grapes and grape products altogether.
Why Are Grapes Toxic To Cats?
Experts are not 100% sure why grapes are so toxic to cats. One theory is that cats cannot process the tannins this food contains. Therefore, the tannins build up in the kidneys and create toxic effects.
Other possible causes of grape toxicity include toxins or pesticides on the grape’s skin or chemicals in the fruit that could be harmful to your cat.
Removing the skin, seeds, or stems won’t help either. Until vets can determine the cause of grape toxicity, you must keep these fruits away from your cat altogether.
Most of the research to date has involved dogs rather than cats, and scientists are still trying to figure out why our fluffy friends have this reaction. We may not know precisely why grapes are toxic, but we know that they can severely impact our pet’s health.
What Are The Signs Of Grape Poisoning In Cats?
If your cat consumes grapes, it will likely begin to show symptoms within 12-24 hours. The most common effect of grape toxicity is vomiting, though several other symptoms may appear, including:
- Weakness or lethargy
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid breathing
If these symptoms go untreated, your feline can start to experience kidney failure in just 36 to 48 hours. You’ll see increased nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, and excessive thirst when this happens. In addition, you may be able to smell ammonia on your cat’s breath.
A feline experiencing the early stages of kidney failure will urinate excessively, but as the condition develops, it will cease to urinate. Ultimately, these symptoms can lead to coma.
That’s why getting help immediately is so important. With proper care and attention in the early stages of toxicity, your cat can make a full recovery. Still, if you ignore the symptoms, it could lead to irreparable kidney damage in your feline.
What Should I Do If My Cat Ate A Grape?
If your cat ate a grape, it’s unlikely to be a cause for concern. Monitor them for the next 72 hours and check for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy. If they display any of these symptoms, contact your vet for advice.
If your cat consumed a large number of grapes, you’d need to call the pet poisons helpline, who can give you the best advice on treating your feline for the symptoms of toxicity.
Never induce vomiting yourself, as it could do more harm than good. Instead, seek the help of a professional and only act on their direct advice.
How Will My Vet Treat Grape Toxicity?
When you take your cat to the vet, they will likely induce vomiting using activated charcoal. This attracts any toxic particles lurking in your cat’s body and carries them through the gastrointestinal tract for excretion.
Sometimes, your cat may require IV fluids, which will require a hospital stay. The important thing is that a veterinarian can adequately assess your cat by checking their blood work and monitoring the kidneys to work out the best course of treatment.
How Many Grapes Does It Take To Poison A Cat?
There’s no definitive answer to the number of grapes required to poison a cat. This is because there are still many unknowns about the cause and consequences of grape toxicity in our cats.
Researchers have completed some studies into the effects of grapes on dogs. For example, the Merck Veterinary Manual states that kidney damage is the most common effect of grape consumption for dogs, but evidence of grape toxicity in cats remains anecdotal.
Until there is a better understanding of what causes grape toxicity in our pets, keeping this food away from them is best.
Why Are Grapes Bad For Cats?
It’s not just the toxicity that makes grapes a bad food source for our feline friends; sweet fruits, in general, are not particularly nutritious.
Remember that cats are obligate carnivores, which means most of their nutrition should come from meat sources and protein. Adding grapes to your cat’s dinner is an unnecessary risk that provides little to no health benefits to your cat.
They won’t even be able to taste this fruit in the same way as we do because they lack sweet receptors.
How Can I Stop My Cat From Eating Grapes?
The only way to protect your cat from grape toxicity is to protect them from grapes and grape products (raisins, grape juice, wine, etc.). Due to the direct causes of grape toxicity remaining unknown, cats mustn’t consume any part or any quantity of this fruit.
While it’s unknown why grapes are toxic to cats, the fact remains that this fruit can severely impact your cat’s health and lead to irreversible damage.
If your cat consumes one or two grapes, this small quantity is unlikely to harm them. Monitor them for symptoms; if they appear healthy in the 72 hours following consumption, they should be fine.
However, if your cat consumes a substantial amount of grapes, consult a professional who can guide you on the next steps.