What Foods/Herbs Must I Never Give My Cat?

Cats are surprisingly delicate creatures, as well as obligate carnivores. This means that a lot of the foods and herbs that you can enjoy on a daily basis could be extremely harmful to your cat. Making sure your pet only consumes high quality foods specifically designed for felines and properly balanced to meet his nutritional needs will ensure he gets all of the nutrients he needs to thrive. You should never have to supplement what your cat is being fed with table scraps from your own meals. Again, doing so can be dangerous.

Keep in mind, too, that many herbal remedies for a variety of feline ailments should only be prescribed by an experienced veterinarian, as giving them in the wrong doses or dilutions could result in more harm than good.

Onions, Chives, and Garlic

Onions and garlic in all forms can be detrimental to your cat’s health, so they should be strictly off-limits. Onions are especially dangerous because they can adversely affect the red blood cells, leading to anaemia.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins will cause kidney failure in felines who eat them. Typical symptoms associated with the ingestion of grapes and raisins include hyperactivity and recurrent vomiting. Large amounts can kill a cat, but even small amounts can be harmful to your cat and make him sick, so keep them away from your pet if you are planning on snacking on them yourself.

Dairy Products

Dairy products, from milk to ice cream, yogurt, whipped cream, and cheese, should be off-limits as well because cats are lactose-intolerant. Their digestive systems find it extremely difficult to digest lactose found in dairy products, and this results in discomfort and diarrhoea. So even though your cat may be attracted to the taste of dairy, keep it away.


Chocolate is a tasty treat for a human but a deadly one for a cat. It contains theobromine, which acts a lot like caffeine and can lead to an irregular heartbeat, seizures, tremors, and death. Even small amounts can be toxic, and every type of chocolate, from milk and white to dark chocolate and cocoa powder, are harmful.

Raw Fish

Even though some feline experts advise feeding your cat raw meat in order to meet his nutritional needs in the way he would if he were living in the wild, raw fish should never be on the menu. An enzyme found in raw fish actually destroys a B vitamin, known as thiamine, and can lead to deficiency. A thiamine deficiency will cause symptoms that include convulsions, weight loss, neurological problems, and coma.


Again, herbal remedies can work wonders at helping a sick cat, but they should only ever be administered under the guidance of a holistic vet who knows what herbs to prescribe and what dosages to go with. Herbs that you generally want to keep away from your cat because they can be toxic include comfrey, foxglove, Indian borage (also known as Spanish thyme), evening primrose, blue cohosh, black cohosh, and barberry. Other herbs that can be dangerous include eucalyptus, wild cherry, aloe vera, Oregon grape, chamomile, and pennyroyal.


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