Cats are one of the oldest and most popular domesticated animals. Many house cats enjoy a life of luxury and eat just as well as their human owners. As with any animal it is important that cats receive a balanced diet and are not exposed to food which may cause them harm. Many common foods consumed by humans are potentially harmful to cats. Let’s find out which foods are dangerous for cats.
Which foods are dangerous for cats?
A cats liver is less effective at the detoxification of certain substances making them more prone to fatal poisoning from ingesting the wrong foods. The following foods should never be given to a cat under any circumstances:
Chocolate, coffee and tea – These substances contain theobromine and caffeine. The substance Theobromine is toxic to cats and can cause theorbromine poisoning if as little as 50grams (1.8 oz) is ingested.
Almonds, apple seeds, apricot, cherries – All of these foods or food products contain cyanogenic glycosides which will cause cyanide poisoning in a cat. This effects the ability of the blood to release oxygen into the tissues resulting in suffocation.
Avocado – Cats should not be fed any part of an avocado as it contains persin, which is toxic.
Grapes and raisins – Research has indicated that a toxin found in grapes and raisins causes kidney damage in cats.
Onions and garlic – Both of these foods contain sulfoxides and disulfides which can damage red blood cells in cats and cause haemolytc anaemia. However, onion is much more toxic to cats than garlic.
Potatoes and tomatoes- Both of these foods are part of the nightshade family and contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called glycoalkaloid solanine. This causes violent gastric upset including vomiting, diarrhea and in worst cases cardiac arrest.
There are also some foods that are not necessary dangerous, but are still a good idea to avoid. It is up to the discretion of the owner as to whether the following foods should be given to their cat:
Citrus – This may cause vomiting in cats, but it is rare that it will cause death.
Cooked bones – These can splinter, which may cause injury or obstruction of the mouth or throat.
Milk – Cats are actually lactose intolerant and should not be given too much milk. It will cause digestive upset, similar to that experienced by lactose intolerant humans.
Macadamia nuts – These have been shown to cause tremors and muscle weakness in dogs. It is best to avoid giving these to cats because they are are more sensitive.
It is always best to feed a cat a balanced diet that consists of specially formulated cat food. Try to avoid feeding human meals to a cat.