For many of us, our cats are far more than mere animal companions; they are an essential part of our family. It is natural to think that what is safe for the family is safe for your feline pal. This usually happens when you give your cat food to eat.
But some foods are harmful and dangerous to cats’ health. To help keep your feline pal safe, you must know which foods to avoid.
The following are the eight foods that your cat should never eat:
1. Canned Tuna
Cats can be addicted to tuna, and feeding your cat a constant diet of canned tuna can lead to malnutrition as it does not contain the necessary nutrients. Tuna can serve as an occasional treat for your feline pal, but you should avoid feeding them a steady diet of tuna.
Excessive consumption of tuna can also increase the risk of mercury poisoning. Cat foods designed for regular feeding must contain the vitamins and minerals that cats require, ensuring that they get the nutrients they need while satisfying their cravings.
2. Candy and Gum
Sugar-free candy and gum are often sweetened with a substance called Xylitol, which is a known toxin to cats. This can include candy, gum, baked goods, and even some diet foods.
Xylitol can cause the body to increase the amount of insulin circulating in the body, which can cause a cat’s blood sugar level to drop too low, which can lead to liver failure.
Keep all items that contain Xylitol away from your cats. And if you suspect your feline pal has ingested candy, consult your veterinarian immediately.
3. Grapes and Raisins
Though the exact reason these are toxic to cats is still unknown, there is proof that feeding your cats grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure.
According to the ASPCA Poison Control Center, pets that eat large amounts of grapes and raisins have suffered kidney failure. The best advice is not to give grapes or raisins to cats in any quantity.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat has consumed grapes or raisins. You don’t need to wait until you see clinical signs to ask for help. This is because grape toxicosis is a progressive disorder. The sooner you get it treated, the better.
4. Raw Eggs
If you wonder whether it is a good idea to feed your cats raw eggs, the short answer is, no, you should not feed your cats raw eggs.
Giving your cats raw eggs poses the risk of food poisoning caused by bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli. . Raw eggs also contain avidin. This enzyme prevents cats from absorbing biotin, an essential vitamin for healthy skin and coat.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), this can lead to skin and coat problems in cats and other pets.
In cats and other pets, alcohol and any food containing alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, decreased coordination, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and even death.
Alcohol has the same effect on a cat’s liver and brain as it has on humans. It takes very little to do the damage, only two teaspoons of whiskey can lead to a coma in a 5-pound cat, and another teaspoon can kill it. The higher the quantity, the worse the symptoms. Under no circumstances should you give your cat alcohol.
Like humans, Cats can become intoxicated when they ingest alcohol. As mentioned before, even a little quantity of alcohol can be harmful to your cat.
If you suspect your cat has consumed alcohol, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Chocolate can be harmful to cats. It contains theobromine, a chemical compound found in chocolate safe for people to consume. But not for cats. Even little doses can lead to theobromine poisoning, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing, agitation, irregular heart rhythms, seizures, tremors, and even death. It also contains methylxanthine.
Keep in mind that black chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest methylxanthine level, whereas baking chocolate has the most.
7. Coffee and Tea
Cats seem to be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. It is unlikely that one or two licks of coffee, soda, or tea can cause poison in most cats. But, ingesting tea bags, unused coffee grounds, or supplements can lead to severe toxicity in cats.
According to research, it only takes about eight teaspoons of coffee to poison a cat that weighs 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds.) Symptoms of caffeine toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, irregular heartbeat, increased or decreased heart rate, and increased body temperature.
However, even more, frightening is that caffeine poisoning can cause seizures, coma, and death.
Cats should not eat garlic; it is five times stronger than onion and is toxic to cats. The Toxic doses of garlic can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia.
Cats that eat garlic may experience drooling, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Garlic poisoning symptoms might take several days to appear. Most cats won’t go looking for garlic, but if ingested enough, the thiosulphate in garlic can destroy cats’ red blood cells, a devastating condition called hemolytic anemia.
Like other Allium family members, garlic also contains disulfides, which can be poisonous to cats if consumed. Garlic ingestion can also cause Heinz body anemia, a condition where it damages red blood cells.
Before giving your cat any human foods, it is always good to discuss it with your veterinarian. Keep in mind that most cats are curious creatures who enjoy investigating food left on countertops.
Keep dangerous or toxic foods out of your cat’s reach if they can quickly jump on a table or counter. And if your cat ingests any of these items, contact your veterinarian immediately.