It’s hard to say ‘no’ to your cat when they want something. Your furry feline friend is always making your day brighter and so it’s only natural to want to share your food with them – but it’s not always a good idea. So, what are cats not allowed to eat?
As it turns out, many human foods can be quite toxic to cats, though they might seem harmless. Examples include foodstuffs such as bread dough, coconut milk, and garlic being enough to make them very sick, while seemingly-harmless chocolate and raisins could actually kill them!
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the foods which we’ve mentioned so that you may better understand why they are fine for us, but not so good for kitties. Let’s take a look at foods which felines find toxic!
Table of Contents
Chocolate is definitely out
Chocolate is definitely toxic to both cats and dogs. It contains caffeine, which is bad enough for pets, but the real danger is chocolate is a chemical called theobromine. Theobromine in small amounts can cause diarrhea and vomiting, but this can also work up to seizures and even a coma if enough is ingested.
by way of example, here are the amounts which would be dangerously toxic for an 8-pound cat:
- Baking chocolate – .2 oz/less than ¼ of an ounce
- Dark chocolate – .5 oz/half an ounce
- Semi-sweet chocolate – .5oz/half an ounce
White chocolate has the lowest amount of theobromine, but while your cat might safely eat it, we don’t’ really recommend it. Cats can’t metabolize theobromine very efficiently, so it will be in their system from 24 to 72 hours, and they could still get sick if they manage to eat enough.
If your cat has ingested ANY chocolate, it is recommended that you contact your vet immediately to determine your next steps.
Grapes and raisins can be lethal
While they are harmless to humans, grapes are highly toxic to both cats and dogs, and even in small amounts they can damage the kidneys and even kill your cat. It extends to all forms of grape, included the dried varieties such as raisins and currants.
How toxic is it? Well, potentially as few as 12 raisins may prove lethal for a 10 pound cat. While we didn’t know for years what the chemical was in grapes that was so toxic, recent studies have indicated that it may be the presence of tartaric acid in the sweet fruits that make it so dangerous for many animals.
As such, you will need to make sure that your cat never has access to grapes or raisins, not even for batting around in innocent play – the chances of ingestion are simply too high and it could be fatal for your feline friend.
Bread dough can rise in your cat’s belly
While your cat might want a bit of that sweet and yummy dough when you are baking something up, it’s best not to let them have it. The problem with dough is the same thing that makes it rise into bread – the yeast.
When your cat eats a little dough, the process of fermentation is still going to take place with the yeast, but it will be inside your cat’s belly. Aside from the bloated feeling your cat will get when the dough rises, the fermentation also produces alcohol in the form of ethanol, making it even more dangerous for your cat.
Stay away from alliums (onion and garlic)
Alliums are highly toxic for your cat and should definitely be avoided. While this species of plant encompasses a wide range, the chief concern is going to be members of the Allium family such as leeks, garlic, chives, and onions.
Even cooked, they aren’t good for your cat, and the ingestion of 5 grams per every 2.2 pounds of your kitty’s weight can be quite dangerous.
Garlic is the worst of the lot, being about 5 times more toxic than onions where cats and dogs are concerned, so you’ll want to keep these items off the menu when it comes to your cat.
Coconut milk looks like milk and it’s great for humans, but not so much for your cat. For one thing, it has way too much potassium in it, but the biggest problem with coconut milk is going to be the oils present in the flesh and the milk itself.
Thankfully, this toxicity is not likely to be fatal, but it can cause severe stomach distress and diarrhea if your cat ingests it.
While most cats can’t stand the smell of it, some cats actually like playing with orange or lemon peels and might even take a bite of them or even some small pieces of citrus fruit that you’ve left on the table. They’re curious creatures, after all, and when they see you eating it then they often can’t help themselves.
While it’s unlikely that will ingest enough to damage their central nervous system (which can happen!), even in small amounts your cat may experience stomach distress, diarrhea, or vomiting — which are bad enough on their own. As such, don’t let them play with seeds or peels and hide your citrus just in case your kitty gets curious.
Some final words on forbidden foods
Today we’ve endeavored to answer the question ‘what are cats not allowed to eat?’ and as you can see, there are definitely some foods which seem innocent that could definitely harm your kitty. Chocolate and raisins are the worst on the list, though even foods like bread dough, coconut milk, and especially garlic can be quite toxic.
If your cat has ingested any of the foods that we’ve listed today, then be sure to contact your vet or you can call the ASPCA poison line at (888)426-4435 in order to determine the next steps, unless it is chocolate or raisins, in which case you should bring your pet to the vet immediately.
When it comes to your furry friend, it’s always best to err on the safe side, so if you aren’t certain about something which your cat has ingested and they appear to be dizzy, in distress, or especially if you see drooling, then it’s best to get some help for them right away!