20 Foods That are Deadly to Cats

Cat lovers have a tendency to pamper and spoil their beloved pets. Although you may take your pet for regular health checkups and do all of the right things, there is still a danger that many devout kitty parents are not aware of. Everyday foods that humans enjoy can be deadly for cats. Nobody would purposely bring harm to their pet, but many cats are unintentionally poisoned when fed dinner scraps. Here is everything that you need to know about the twenty foods that are deadly to cats and why you should take measures to protect your pet from having access to them.

How cats are poisoned by food

Even owners who only feed approved cat food formulas to their cats should have concerns about poisoning. Cats are inquisitive animals by nature and they are likely to investigate any food that is left on a counter. Since they are agile, it isn’t difficult for them to jump on a table or countertop and feast on leftovers. In addition to this, their sharp teeth and claws make it easy for them to tear through garbage bags and get to food that has been placed in the trash. The best way to avoid accidental poisoning is to ensure that all garbage bags are secured in covered trash receptacles. Keep scraps and leftover foods in places that your cat cannot get to. Taking a few precautionary measures can help keep your pet safer and healthy for years to come. For your reference, here are 20 foods that you should never allow your cats to eat.

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is a goodie that can be lethal for cats and dogs. It contains a compound called theobromine which leads to rapid heartbeat, constriction of blood vessels and stimulation of the central nervous system. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include excitability, restlessness, diarrhea and vomiting. It can take as little as four to six hours for symptoms to appear. Siezures, cardiac failure and death may occur. The potential for harm goes up with the amount of chocolate that is ingested. An ounce of chocolate for every pound of the animal is the ratio that determines a lethal dosage.

2. Bones

Bones are commonly fed to cats and dogs but these are very dangerous. There is a choking hazard if the bones get stuck in the throat. In addition, they may splinter forming sharp edges. They may become lodges in the intestinal track which can lead to the need for surgical intervention or death. Synthetic bones or bone shaped treats are a safe solution if your cat enjoys chewing on bones.

3. Milk and Dairy products

Dairy products should never be given to adult cats. Animals are as likely to have an intolerance to lactose as humans are. Many develop vomiting and diarrhea after ingesting dairy products as well as other gastrointestinal issues. A continued diet of dairy products can lead to an inflammation of the pancreas known as pancreatitis, which can be fatal.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can be deadly for cats. It doesn’t take much to intoxicate them. Symptoms include staggering and inability to control their muscles. Alcohol in higher dose suppresses the cardiac, nervous and respiratory systems which can lead to death. Care should be taken to keep all alcoholic beverages out of the reach of cats because they have been known to topple the drink and lick up the spilled liquid.

5. Ham

The danger of giving your cat ham is that it is a very fatty meat that is also heavily cured with salt. Excessive amounts of fat in a cat’s diet makes them vulnerable to the development of pancreatitis. In addition, the salt can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and bloating. Any type of super fatty or salty meat should be avoided. It is possible for extreme bloating followed by twisting of the intestines to lead to extreme illness or even death.

6. Onions

While onions are good for people they are deadly for cats. They contain compounds that are toxic to cats and cause damage to red blood cells. Symptoms of onion poisoning are diarrhea and vomiting. This can cause weaness, anemia and difficulty breathing. This can eventually lead to death if repeated. Chives fall under the same category as onions. If you have a window garden that contains chives, there is a risk of accidental poisoning. Keep all herbal window gardens out of the reach of your cats.

7. Garlic

While garlic is not quite as toxic as onions it is still poisonous for cats. It contains the same compounds which are toxic, but in a lower amount. Small amounts of garlic are not harmful, but larger doses can lead to illness.

8. Avocados

The high fat content in avocados can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Repeated ingestion can lead to potentially fatal pancreatitis. In addition, the pit of the avocado is toxic. Ingestion of the pit can lead to an intestinal blockage that requires surgery. Symptoms of poisoning include labored breathing, enlargement of the abdominal area or the development of abdominal or chest fluid accumulation.

9. Tuna Fish

Canned tuna fish is actually dangerous for your cat. I can cause heart problems. The canned version does not contain a necessary amino acid called taurine. This is necessary for heart muscle strength and functioning. Cat foods that contain tuna have had this amino acid added so they are okay but feeding your cat a constant diet of regular canned tuna can lead to poor cardiac health and an early death.

10. Grapes and raisins

Raisins are dried grapes so they fall under the same category. It is unknown which part of the grape is toxic to cats but studies have shown that eating them can cause gastrointestinal problems which include diarrhea and vomiting. It can also lead to kidney failure which is life threatening. Symptoms of toxicity usually appear within 24 hours of ingestion.

11. Caffeine

Caffeine contains the compound Methylated xanthine which is also found in chocolate. It stimulates the cardiac and central nervous system. Within hours, your cat may develop heart palpitations restlessness and/or vomiting. These symptoms may also be followed by death. Keep all caffeinated beverages out of the reach of your cat.

12. Raw Eggs

Many pet owners believe raw eggs can improve the appearance of their animals’ coat. Ingestion of raw eggs has been linked to skin problems in cats. It can also cause food poisoning from salmonella bacteria. Symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and changes in behavior such as lower energy levels and a depressed demeanor.

13. Yeast Dough

Uncooked or undercooked yeast dough is dangerous for cats. When ingested, it expands in the stomach and causes the development of large amounts of gas. Eating even small amounts can cause extreme pain, bloating and a rupturing of the stomach and/or intestines. Another problem with yeast dough is that it ferments. This can cause alcohol to form which is another toxin for cats. The symptoms of yeast dough toxicity include abdominal discomfort, depression, lethargy or vomiting.

14. Leaves from Rhubarb and tomato plants

Cats are famous for chewing on practically anything that they can get their paws wrapped around. The leaves from rhubarb and tomato plants are poisonous. They both contain oxalates which are the toxic compounds. They have a negative effect on a cat’s nervous, digestive and urinary tract systems. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, muscle twitching, weakness, seizures and convulsions. While these may seem like harmless garden plants, they could make your cat violently ill if ingested and in severe cases, may lead to death.

15. Mushrooms

Mushrooms have toxic compounds that may be fatal for your cat. They affect several systems of the body with can cause shock, and ultimately lead to death. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, depression, abdominal discomfort, hallucination and seizures.

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