Hazardous Foods for Cats
Cats are obligate carnivores which means they must eat meat. However, that doesn’t mean that all foods which include meat are OK for your feline baby. In addition, there are certain other foods you should not include in your kitty’s diet plan. Read on for our list of top 10 foods your cat should avoid.
Baby Food: Although baby food in small amounts can be used to ‘smuggle’ medications into your cat, large amounts of baby food should never be used or given as a replacement for a proper diet. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Also, make sure to read the labels: Some contain onion powder which, over time, can be toxic to cats.
Fish or Meat Containing Bones: Ingestion of bones can cause extensive damage and obstruction to your cat’s digestive system. Sometimes bones can also induce vomiting which can cause lacerations and further damage to the esophagus.
Dog Food: If you run out of cat food and need to give your feline fur baby some of your dog’s kibble, be sure you do so only on rare occasions. Note that over time feeding your cat dog food can cause malnutrition and worse, diseases affecting the heart.
Fat Trimmings: A big no-no. Although our cats love them, giving your cat fat trimmings can lead to pancreatitis which will be painful for your cat (and your dog) and can involve an arduous, time-consuming and expensive treatment process for your cat.
Milk and Other Dairy Products: We are all familiar with the classic image of a cute kitten lapping up a bowl of milk. However, most cats lose the ability to digest milk once they are weaned from their mother’s milk. Read here for all the details on feline lactose intolerance and the negative consequences dairy consumption can have for your cat, including diarrhea which, of course, could lead to dehydration and the need for subcutaneous or IV fluid replacement therapy.
Mushrooms: Although healthy for us, for cats mushrooms can adversely affect multiple systems in the body (including the nervous system) and can cause shock and result in death.
Onions and Garlic (Powder, Raw or Cooked): These contain sulfoxides and desulfides which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. As our own John Tegzes, DVM says: “Don’t yet your dog or cat eat any human food with onions.”
Lillies (Buds, Leaves and Bulbs): These are highly toxic to cats as they contain many dangerous and deadly toxins that attack the kidneys. Read here for a list of GOOD herbs for your feline fur baby.
Bread Dough: Raw dough that contains yeast rises in warm or heated conditions and is harmful to cats when ingested in even small amounts. The stomach provides an ideal environment for the yeast to expand, which will adversely affect your cat’s ability to breath and will decrease blood flow to the stomach. Yeast eventually metabolizes into alcohol which is another harmful and potentially deadly risk to your cat.
Chocolate: More commonly ingested by dogs (most cats don’t have a sweet tooth), chocolate contains compounds called methylxanthines. This compound is found in all forms of chocolate, from candy bars to cocoa powder. Although darker chocolate is more harmful, ingestion of any form of chocolate can all lead to vomiting, irregular heartbeat, seizures and even death.
If you find or suspect your cat has ingested any of these foods it is recommended to call your Veterinarian immediately. You can also call the ASPCA animal poison control line for further assistance at: 1-888-426-4435.
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