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April 3, 2021

7 Foods You Should Avoid Feeding Your Cats

How many times have you heard people say, “Cats love milk!”. This is the biggest misconception we have all grown up with. Just like dogs, cats also cannot consume & digest everything. Don’t fall for their purrs & meows when they see you eating chocolate or cheese.

Here is a list of 7 food items that you should avoid feeding your cats –

  • Dairy products

We grew up watching cats relishing milk in a bowl. That’s what we were taught throughout these years! It’s okay if you have also believed that cats enjoy dairy & dairy products. But sometimes they cannot, due to lactose intolerance. So the question is, what is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a state where the body cannot digest milk & milk products. It is important to know that not every cat is lactose intolerant but of course, the capacity of breaking down the lactose sugar reduces as their age increases.

Since they can’t digest it, milk products end up causing –

  1. Upset stomach
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea

But how come kittens digest their mother’s milk? Growing up, kittens produce the enzyme lactase which aids the digestion of milk. But if a kitten is motherless, vets will always suggest feeding kitten formulated milk from the market.

  • Chocolate

We love chocolates! In the human world, it is a treat that none of us can say no to. We also use it in multiple recipes but chocolates should be avoided when it comes to cats. Ever wondered why?

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Chocolates contain ingredients that are toxic for cats. Theobromine & caffeine are easily absorbed by the human body. But it isn’t the same with cats. These ingredients cannot be digested by a cat. Prolonged exposure will lead to a toxic buildup in their body. This will lead to symptoms like –

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Fever
  4. Rapid breathing or
  5. Rapid heart rate
  6. Seizures

In extreme cases, chocolate consumption can also prove fatal. It can lead to liver or heart failure.

  • Raw chicken, meat, fish & eggs

Another common belief amongst cat parents is that their feline will prefer raw chicken, meat grilled in a gas grill & eggs. But not everything natural is safe. Raw food contains bacterias like E. coli and salmonella. They are dangerous for your cat’s health as these pathogens can cause issues like diarrhea, vomiting & lethargy.

Even raw eggs are not recommended for cats. Uncooked eggs have an antinutritional factor called “Avidin” that prevents absorption of biotin in their body. This can lead to skin issues & a dull coat.

7 Foods You Should Avoid Feeding Your Cats

  • Grapes & raisins

Grapes & raisins are poisonous to cats. Although there are not enough studies to highlight the reasons but consumption of grapes & raisins leads to ailments like –

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Lethargy
  4. Kidney failure
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If your cat ever consumes any of these items, please approach your nearest vet as soon as possible. And if you have these at home, make sure your kitten is at a safe distance from them.

  • Dog food

We often see cats munching on dog food. If you have both, a cat & a dog, let us tell you, your cat must have tasted your dog’s food. While an occasional bite is fine, have you ever wondered if it is safe for your cat in the long run?

No, it’s not.

Dog food is another food item that is unsafe for your cats. It is formulated keeping a dog’s physical health & needs. One might feel that the ingredients are similar in cat & dog food but that isn’t true. Yes, some ingredients will be the same as there are some common nutritional requirements. But cats need vitamin A, taurine, and arachidonic acid.

Cats synthesize taurine but it’s in a lesser amount. If we talk about commercial dog food, it is also filled with Vit A, Taurine, and arachidonic acid but their quantity is added as per the dog’s requirement. The requirement of Vitamin A, Taurine, and arachidonic acid is more in cats as compared to dogs.

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If your cat consumes dog food regularly, it will be deprived of these essential nutrients. This will lead to weakness & eventually malnourishment. So if your cat is habitual of feeding on your dog’s food, stop immediately & switch to healthy cat food.

  • Garlic & onion

We frequently use garlic & onion in cooking. It enhances the taste & is also healthy. But is it equally healthy for your cat? The answer is no!

Onion & garlic belong to the allium family of plants which is considered to be toxic for cats. Onion should not be fed to cats in any form (powdered, cooked, baked, or dehydrated).

They are harmful to cats because it damages red blood cells which can lead to anemia.

  • Tuna

Many commercial cat foods contain tuna as an ingredient. Tuna is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It also provides omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which contribute to overall skin and coat health and may also help improve inflammatory conditions like allergies, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and skin disease.

Tuna also contains mercury and the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) recommended maximum tolerable limits for non-reproducing cats is 267 nanograms of mercury per gram of food and reproducing cats is 67 nanograms per gram. So while feeding tuna, care should be taken that mercury levels should not exceed the above-mentioned values. Overfeeding tuna can lead to mercury poisoning. Remember to always feed tuna in moderation.

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Cats are curious by nature. They will jump, climb & explore each & every corner of your house. If you have any of these food items lying around, please keep them away or out of their reach. Happy cat parenting!


Author Bio:

Esha Sinha is a seasoned writer who has over the years contributed quality content on various high-profile websites. She has particularly excelled in niches like Fashion, Business, Entrepreneurship, Education, Pet Healthcare, etc. Her professionalism, four year’s experience, and expertise make her one of the most sought-after content writers in the field.


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