Treating cats to snacks is a very common desire, but when snacking it’s important to know which foods are toxic to your cat. Because many popular foods for people are harmful to our cats.
Cats are delightful members of the family, as we often love to share everything with them, including food. But the food that is usually in your diet at meal times can harm his health. So you need to be sure which food is toxic to your cat and which is safe for him before serving him a snack.
Should you feed cats human food?
It is important for us to know that despite the repeated meowing calls of a hungry cat, human food should never be fed to it. Because we once visited the Department of Small Animal Nutrition Services at the University of Missouri in Columbia to find out what foods cats need for good health. There, we found out that the foods we feed cats often aren’t as safe for them as they seem.
According to an expert from the Department of Nutritional Services, cats need to be fed a nutritionally balanced diet to make up for their nutritional deficiencies. And the easiest and most effective way we can do this is if we feed cats according to a diet prescribed by a group of experts with PhDs in animal nutrition.
What human foods are safe for your cat?
After all, if you choose to feed your cat human foods, according to the Department of Animal Nutrition, many human foods are safe for them as long as they get 10 per cent of their daily food intake from unhealthy food sources. For example, if your cat consumes 250 calories per day, 25 of those 250 calories should not come from unhealthy food sources.
However, the Department of Animal Nutrition always cautions that cats must be fed according to their individual needs. Because while some cats in the cat class can easily digest a certain food, other cats may suffer from vomiting, diarrhoea and other physical problems if they eat the same food. So always keep in mind that before adding any new human foods to your cat’s diet, you should always introduce new foods as advised by an animal nutritionist. And doing so is good for your cat.
What human foods are toxic to cats?
According to the Department of Animal Nutrition, there are some foods in the human diet that are dangerous to cats and should never be fed to your cat. The ASPCA has a long list of foods that are safe to feed cats, determined largely by consulting nutritionists and other research.
Below are some of the ASPCA’s lists of human foods that cats should avoid:
Alcohol: Harmful food for cats
Any alcoholic beverage can cause serious problems for your beloved cat. Consuming alcoholic beverages can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death.
Yeast bread or dough:
Any bread or flour with yeast can cause gas problems in your cat’s digestive system. This can cause the cat to twist its lower abdomen with flatulence, which is a fatal condition for it to develop. Also, yeasted bread or flour produces alcohol as a byproduct, which can cause several other problems.
Chocolate commonly contains chemicals called methylxanthines (especially theobromine and caffeine) that are toxic to cats. So eating chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, convulsions and even death in cats. Methylxanthine levels vary between different types of chocolate. For example, chocolates with cocoa powder are the most dangerous and white chocolates are not so dangerous.
Coffee, like chocolate, contains methylxanthine caffeine, which can have similar effects as chocolate.
Fruits containing citric acid:
Fruits containing citric acid such as lemons, limes, oranges, clementines, and grapes can cause problems for your cat. Therefore, the stems, leaves, peels, fruits and seeds of these citric acid fruits should be kept away from cats. Eating even a small amount of these citric acid fruits can cause upset stomach, diarrhoea, vomiting or central nervous system problems in your cat.
Coconut flakes and coconut water:
Coconut flakes or coconut water can cause digestive problems in your cat. However, if coconut flakes and coconut water are consumed in small quantities, then there is no possibility of such a problem. This is because coconuts are very high in potassium, which is an ingredient that is very effective for some cat skin problems. But be sure to talk to your vet before including coconut in your cat’s diet.
Feeding cats dairy products can cause digestive problems, as many cats cannot digest the lactose in milk. So you should completely avoid dairy products (milk, cheese, curd). But in this case, you can consult your vet first.
Grapes and Raisins:
Although the exact answer as to whether grapes and raisins are toxic to cats is still unknown, several studies have found evidence that components in grapes and raisins are helpful in kidney failure in cats and dogs.
Macadamia nuts are just as toxic to cats as grapes, although the exact mechanism of toxicity is still unknown. Almonds, pecans, and other nuts, including walnuts, are generally high in oils and fats that can upset a cat’s digestive system and even lead to complications such as feline pancreatitis.
10. Raw Eggs:
Raw eggs usually contain the bacteria Salmonella, which causes symptoms in cats that eat raw eggs to include vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Raw eggs also contain an enzyme called avidin that prevents cats from absorbing biotin. Biotin is a vitamin very important for the health of the cat’s skin and coat.
11. Raw or undercooked meat:
Like raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat contains Salmonella and E. coli is a bacteria that is harmful to cats. According to the Department of Animal Nutrition, Salmonella and E. coli can cause gastrointestinal (usually diarrhoea) problems in cats.
12. Raw Fish:
Like raw meat or eggs, raw fish contains various bacteria that can cause poisoning.
Eating large amounts of salt and salty foods can cause diarrhoea, tremors, convulsions, and even death in your cat.
14. Some vegetables and herbs:
Although cats can eat many vegetables, some vegetables such as onions, garlic, leeks, scallions and shallots are harmful to cats. These can reduce the red blood cell count in cats with gastrointestinal problems. So foods containing these vegetables and herbs like garlic bread should be avoided as well.
Xylitol is a sweetener found in packaged products such as gum or candy that can cause vomiting, lethargy, and kidney failure in your cat.