20 Human Foods That are Deadly To Cats

Cats are cute and adorable and when they beg for something it’s hard to turn them down. Some owners give in and share their snacks with their kitties, but the real truth is that some of the foods that we eat can be poisonous for cats. There are some foods that will cause immediate illness while others build up and cause physical damage over time. Pet owners wouldn’t deliberately make their beloved pets sick, and most of these poisonings are because the owner didn’t realize that cats cannot eat the same things that we do. The best diet for a cat is a nutritious blend of food that is made specifically for the health of felines. Here are 20 human foods that you should never feed your cat.


Chocolate is a human food that contains a compound that is poisonous for cats. Theobromine is a stimulant that is the strongest in dark chocolate and foods that include this ingredient. It can cause muscle tremors, seizures and cardiac problems. If your cat eats enough at one setting, the results could be tragic. He could experience siezures or heart palpitations that cause permanent damage or even death. It’s important to keep all candies and confections that contain chocolate well out of the reach of your cat because these curious pets love to investigate and if the chocolate is sweetened, your kitty may enjoy it so much that he eats the entire bar. The same goes for chocolate milk and hot cocoa. Keep all beverage cups up and out of your cat’s reach to avoid this potentially lethal issue. In a side note, chocolate also contains caffeine which also carries a threat for your pets well being. Signs of chocolate poisoning in cats can set in between 2 and 5 hours from the time it is ingested. They may include urinary incontinence, vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat develops these symptoms call the vet immediately as he may need treatment which includes IV drip therapy.


Alcohol is a beverage that many adults enjoy consuming, but it can be deadly for a cat. It only takes a tablespoon to cause serious problems. Cats can get drunk, just like humans, but the effects of just one drink can lead to extreme brain and liver damage. If a cat consumes alcohol and passes out, it’s not the same as when a person does. There is a high likelihood that the cat has slipped into a coma and is very close to death. Alcohol is the equivalent of poison so it’s vital to keep all alcoholic beverages up high so there is no chance that your kitty will sneak a sip or two. It’s particularly attractive when the alcohol is combined with other tasty or sweet ingredients in a cocktail or in candies, such as rum balls and liquor filled truffles.


While people are encouraged to eat onions because of the health benefits, the same does not hold true for felines. Onions, shallots and chives can cause serious health problems for your cat if they eat enough. It can lead to an upset stomach or other digestive problems. Prolonged ingestion of onions can lead to anemia, which over time could become serious and even life threatening.There are complex sulfur compounds that are found in all plants in the onion family that cause the red blood cells in animals to break down. This is what causes the anemia to develop. There are many human foods that contain onions which may be finely ground up into a powder or in a chunkier form. This is just one more reason why it’s not a good idea to feed your cat table scraps.


Garlic is a member of the onion family. For many years, people have given their pets crushed garlic in the food dish to ward off fleas. It is also commonly believed that a clove of garlic ground up in the food dish can rid cats of intestinal parasites. It’s far better to go with standard treatments that are recommended by your local vet. Garlic has the same effect on cats that onions do. After eating a clove, your cat may have stomach pain, gas, diarrhea or may even throw up. When eaten regularly, in cats, garlic leads to anemia because of the breakdown of your cat’s red blood cells from compounds which are found in garlic.

Coffee and tea

Coffee and tea contain caffeine. While studies show that a few cups a day could be beneficial for humans, it can be deadly for cats. Caffeine can cause restlessness and an inability to wind down or sleep. It can also cause heart palpitations, rapid breathing and tremors in the muscles. Whether sweetened or not, some cats love drinking coffee or tea and if you leave your cup within reach, your cat could drink the whole beverage before you discover what he’s up to. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep all caffeinated beverages well out of the reach of kitty, and don’t leave him alone and unsupervised when there are coffee cups on the table.

Dairy products

Before people knew that dairy products are unhealthy for some cats, it was standard to warm a dish of milk and set on the floor for kittens and cats. Some cats do perfectly fine with it, but just as people, cats can also become lactose intolerant. If your cat experiences excessive gas, diarrhea and/or vomiting after drinking milk or eating dairly products, it’s a strong indicator that he is lactose intolerant. A gassy or sick kitty is a bad situation for both the cat and the inhabitants of the house. The smell is enough to make you leave the room until the air clears. Dairy products include any real butter, cheese, cream, sour cream, milk and ice cream. If your cat is particularly sensitive, he may become ill if you feed him scraps of foods that contain dairy products as an ingredient.

Fat trimmings

Another food that can be deadly for your cat is the fat that is trimmed from meat. There are a few different ways that fat is bad for your kitty. While there are some good fats that all cats need, animal fat is not one of them. It can lead to a rapid weight gain or even obesity. In addition to this, excessive amounts of fat in the diet can lead to cardiovascular and liver problems. It can also cause pancreatitis, which is the greatest health risk. This is a painful condition that can be lethal. It’s best to avoid giving your cat fat scraps altogether. The kinds of fat that cats need in their diet are healthy Omega-3 amino acids and you can find this additive in higher quality cat foods that include fish meal and fish oils.

Raw meat

It’s not a good idea to feed your cat raw meat because when this is included in the diet, the cat can develop pancreatitis from any fats that are left on the meat scraps. In addition to this, there is a higher risk that raw meats can contain parasites or bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. These can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea or at a minimum gastric upsets and discomfort. Lean meats that are fully cooked represent less of a threat.

Raw eggs

Feeding your cat raw eggs puts them at risk for getting sick from Salmonella or E. coli bacteria. Vomiting, diarrhea and stomach upset are possible when cats ingest raw eggs. Many pet owners routinely give their animals raw eggs to make their coats sleek and shiny. It is believed that when eggs are in a raw state, they contribute a healthy dose of protein, but it isn’t worth the risk of making your cat or dog ill. Cooked eggs do not present a problem. While a hard boiled egg won’t present a health risk, it’s not the best diet alternative. It’s better to stick with a nutritios cat food formula and forego the table scraps altogether.

Raisins and Grapes

These are not foods that a cat is likely to eat, but if they are present in baked goods, they might be tempted to give it a try. Although there have not been any formal studies to show that these foods are toxic to cats, they are known to cause acute kidney failure in dogs. Until further studies are conducted, it’s best not to take the chance and make sure that your cat doesn’t eat any foods that contain grapes or raisins. Sultanas and currants are also foods that produce similar results in dogs, so they shouldn’t be trusted for your cat either.

Artificial sweeteners

There is one artificial sweetener in particular that should be kept out of the reach of cats. Xylitol is a substance that is found in sugar substitutes and a variety of sugar-free foods. It is widely used to sweeten chewing gums. Xylitol can also be found in a variety of different baked goods and beverages. It’s one of the more commonly used artificial sweeteners. There are no records of it harming cats, but in dogs, it leads to drops in blood sugar, seizures, convulsions and in some severe cases, liver failure and death. This is another food product that not enough is yet known. It’s a good practice to avoid the risk until more information is available.

Canned tuna

We all know that tuna is a big ingredient in many popular cat foods and this is perfectly healthy for them. The tuna that is canned and sold for human consumption is different. While it may seem like a special treat for your cat, it can actually make him sick. Canned tuna has bee known to cause digestive issues as well as steatitis, which is an extremely painful condition. If your cat develops steatitis, all of the fat in his body becomes inflamed. The risk goes up when you feed your cat canned tuna large amounts or on a regular basis. This isn’t a fact that is widely known and there are many pet owners who like to give their kitties a special treat, but it isn’t any fun for your kitty to be in pain.

Energy drinks

Energy drinks such Red Bull, Rock Star and Monster contain high amounts of caffeine. While they may give people an extra lift during the day, not even all humans can tolerate them well. These are extremely dangerous for cats. It’s like drinking a cup of coffee on steroids and the damage that can result may come swiftly. If your cat consumes an energy drink, he may experience restlessness, have muscle tremors, heart palpitations and rapid breathing. Drinking large amounts can result in seizures or even death so it’s never a good idea to leave an energy drink sitting around within the reach of your cat.


Spaghetti with red sauce is a dish that should always be kept out of the reach of your cat. It is never a good option for table scraps. The sauce contains large amounts of both onion and garlic in most cases. Repeated consumption can lead to anemia which can rob your cat of stamina, energy and drive. In severe cases, anemia can reduce the immune system and leave your kitty open to developing other illnesses and diseases. Spaghetti is just one example of how human foods can contain dangerous ingredients for cats. Owners do not always think about this when they feed the scraps to their pets. This is one of the reasons why feeding pets anything other than cat food or kitty treats is not recommended.

Ham and bacon

Ham and bacon are high in fats. In addition to this, all cured meats are usually high in sodium which in unhealthy for cats in high doses. While your kitty may love the smoky and salty taste of this type of meat, in the long run, it has a high potential for causing pancreatitis because of the high fat cotent. These are foods that humans dearly love as well, but we’re only supposed to eat them in moderate amounts because of the potential risk for increasing blood pressure from the high amounts of sodium and cardiovascular disease because of the fat content.

Raw fish

Raw fish is another food that is frequently fed to cats because it owners have believed that there is a higher nutritional value in the meat when it hasn’t been cooked. Fish that are caught in the wild or even those which are raised in fish farms have a high potential for being infected with parasites. These organisms can get into your cat’s digestive system and make him very sick. This could result in a trip to the veterinarian clinic for treatment to rid your cat of dangerous parasites that he ingests. There is a second danger involved with feeding your cat raw fish. He could also get sick from Salmonella or Ecoli bacteria. The fish that is used to make cat food has been thoroughly processed to offer your kitty its highest nutritional value without the risks that come with eating raw meat, so if you want to get that extra fish in your cats diet, buy a premium cat food that lists it as an ingredient. This is the safest and healthiest way.

Unbaked yeast dough

When you’re making your favorite breads, rolls or pastries, you should keep any leftover bread dough out of the reach of your cat. We’ve all seen how raw rough rises so quickly when it’s left in a pan in a warm room. Uncooked yeast dough will do the same thing in your cat’s tummy. It’s not good for him to eat even small amounts. It’s very possible for any yeast dough that is ingested to swell inside of the stomach and intestines and cause a serious blockage. It could require expensive medical intervention to remove. In addition to this, raw yeast dough can give your cat a very upset stomach and make him feel very sick. It’s no fun when you can’t process foods you’ve eaten through your system very well. It’s not that common for a cat to jump on the table and tear into your rising dough, but it has happened, so on baking day, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the cat and keep him out of the room so he doesn’t give in to temptation.

Baked goods

Children are famous for sharing their cookies, cakes, pies and other goodies with the cat or dog. It’s never a good idea to encourage this behavior because so often, the goodies that we enjoy so much contain ingredients that are not good for cats. There are so many human foods that can make your cat sick at a minimum or may even possibly be deadly for him, that it isn’t worth taking the risk. Baked goods that contain any amounts of chocolate are a definite taboo for cats. In addition to this, the fats, salt and sugar that are often used in baking aren’t healthy for him either. There are quite a few humans who are trying to cut down on the amount of bakery goodies that they consume because they are fattening and too much indulgence can lead to a weight gain in people, and in cats just as quickly. Do your cat a favor and pass on sharing your bakery goodies with him. Instead, when you’re having your snack, you could offer him a kitty treat that has been formulated to be safe and healthy for him to eat. They have some amazing flavors out there, so this may help you to feel less guilty when you’re snacking in front of your kitty.


Hops are another human food product that can be deadly to cats. They are often used for hobbyists in beer brewing. There is a complex array of compounds found in hops, that are poisonous to cats. These include tannins, essential oils and resins. When your cat ingests them, these ingredients can cause a high fever to develop. If your cat eats hops or any product that contain hops, they could develop symptoms within just a few hours. These include panting, anxiety and restlessness, a fast heart rate, abdominal pain, vomiting and seizures. There is a high risk of death if your cat eats hops in any form and even after treatment for the high fever, the risk of death remains. This is one of the human foods that has the highest potential for causing harm and death to your cat and it should never be left in an area where your can can have access. Products containing hops should be stored in an airtight container and placed in an area that wis well out of your cats reach.


It’s long been a practice to save the bones to give to both cats and dogs from roasted or fried meats. It’s not such a good idea though, because feeding your cat bones can have serious consequences. Because of the hardness and texture of most bones, there is a serious risk of fracturing and splintering as your cat chews on this treat. The splintered bone fragments have been known to become lodged in the windpipe or in other areas and cause choking and in some cases, death. The splinters are sharp and can cut on their way down, causing lacerations in the mouth, throat and even in the digestive system. They have also been known to cause blockages in the digestive system. There are really no bones that are safe for your cat to eat without some risk. Fish bones for example, are long and sharp and they are among the most dangerous as choking hazards or for cutting the insides of a cat’s digestive tract. The costs for removing bones or for repairing the damage that they can cost is very high, and this is not to mention the pain and misery that your cat could experience while going through the process.

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