7 Foods your Cat Should NEVER Eat

Usually the cats themselves know quite well what they should and should not eat, but some things they eat even though they should not. Are you also wondering what cats are not allowed to eat? Read on to know the 7 most common things that cats should not eat.

Aren’t cats supposed to catch, kill and eat raw meat? Do they not love milk, cheese and cream? Unfortunately, some common “human food” can cause gastrointestinal problems in cats – or trigger a number of other health problems.

Our cats are family members, our companions and confidants. As their caregivers, it is natural that we want to pamper them. However, certain foods and treats can pose serious risks to their health. Here are seven foods you should avoid giving your cat.

What cats are not allowed to eat

1. Milk, cheese and other dairy products

Many of us grew up with the image of kittens drinking milk or cream in cartoons or picture books. But in reality, cats and dairy products do not go together. Most cats are naturally lactose intolerant, which means that cow’s milk and dairy products made from it – such as cheese or cream – can upset their stomachs and cause vomiting and diarrhea.

What about kittens? The same rule applies: cow’s milk and by-products should be avoided. For kittens that are too young to eat solid food and have no source of breast milk, veterinarians recommend giving kitten milk formulas that provide important nutrients for growing kittens and that are gentle on their stomachs.

2. Chocolate

Just as dogs should not eat chocolate, neither should cats. Although most people find chocolate delicious, this cocoa-based candy contains two ingredients that are toxic to cats: theobromine and caffeine. Both milk chocolate and dark chocolate can cause several dangerous symptoms, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Fast breathing or heart rate
  • Cramps

With high exposure to theobromine and caffeine, cats can also suffer from heart failure, weakness or coma.

3. Raw eggs, meat or fish

If your cat loves to hunt, you might assume that it is safe to feed it raw eggs, meat or fish – what could be more natural than raw after all? However, these raw foods can contain dangerous E. coli and salmonella bacteria that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy in cats. Exposing your cat to these pathogens can even be fatal.

Raw egg whites also contain a protein called avidin. If consumed, avidin can prevent your cat from properly absorbing the B vitamin biotin, which can cause skin problems and a dull coat.

4. Dog food

If you also have a dog, chances are your cat has tried their food from time to time. But even if a temporary bite is unlikely to harm your cat, a steady diet of dog food instead of cat food can cause malnutrition. Cats need vitamin A, taurine and arachidonic acid – all important nutrients not found in dog food.

If your cat only eats dog food, it is at risk of developing several diseases:

Vitamin A deficiency can cause skin problems, dull coat, muscle degeneration or night blindness.
Taurine deficiency can cause visual impairment, heart disease, unhealthy fur or skin and lethargy.
Lack of arachidonic acid can cause liver and kidney problems.

5. Bread and yeast

Cats can certainly eat bread on occasion, but note that bread contains no nutritional value for them (it has virtually no fat or protein), so it should not replace their normal cat food.

Yeast and raw bread dough are not safe for cats – after the dough has been eaten, it can rise in the cat’s stomach and cause dangerous digestive problems.

6. Tuna

What cat does not like tuna? This fish can serve as a temporary treat for your cat, but you should avoid giving them a tuna-heavy diet. Tuna lacks several nutrients that cats need to stay healthy, and too much tuna can lead to mercury poisoning. As mentioned above, never give your cat raw tuna.

7. Onions and garlic

Onions, garlic and other members of the allium family such as chives and leeks can cause anemia in cats. Whether raw, cooked, powdered or dried, garlic and onions can damage the cat’s red blood cells and also cause nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

Remember that most cats are curious creatures and love to examine food left on tables or sinks. If your cat can easily jump up on a table or bench, be sure to store dangerous or poisonous mar well out of reach – sealed behind a closed storage door or stored in a high-positioned cupboard.

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