Warning! 7 Human Foods Best Kept Away From Your Cat

Your cat’s on your lap, and your plate of food is balanced in your hand. Of course you want to share, but before you do, check out this list. Some of your favorite foods may be dangerous or even deadly for your feline friend.

Dark Chocolate

Photo: Gail, Flickr

The caffeine in chocolate is problematic enough for cats. It causes rapid breathing, heart palpitations and tremors, but that’s not the only issue lurking inside this delectable treat. Dark chocolate and unsweetened bakers chocolate also contain theobromine. Even scarier than caffeine, this ingredient can cause heart arrhythmias and seizures.  Keep chocolate away from your healthy kitty!

Dairy Foods

Photo: Mike Mozart, Flickr

A cup of milk for a kitten may seem like a sweet gesture, but once they’re weaned from their mothers, kittens don’t need to start drinking cow’s milk. In fact, most cats are likely to be lactose intolerant. When a lactose-intolerant cat consumes milk, cheese or other dairy products, you can look forward to cleaning and caring for a sick cat, as these foods bring on vomiting and diarrhea.

Raw Meat

Photo: cookbookman17, Flickr

If your little tiger was in the wild, it would likely be hunting and eating raw meat all day long. Based on that logic, it makes sense to sneak your cat a few bites of raw chicken or a bit of a T-bone as you cook, but unfortunately, it’s not a safe idea.

According to the ASPCA, raw meat can contain salmonella and E. coli, which can make kitties (and humans) very sick indeed. Additionally, cats may choke on bone fragments or get splinters lodged in their digestive tract.  Some plain cooked meat (avoid salt & spices) is probably just as delightful – and a great deal safer – for kitty.

Onions and Garlic

Photo: Karyn Christner, Flickr

Onions, leeks, chives, shallots and their relatives as well as garlic are not good for cats. If your cat sneaks a bit of sauce containing these aromatics, there’s no need to worry unless you see symptoms.  But a chunk of onion, or worse, garlic (which is more potent), can cause serious harm due to toxicity. These foods cause digestive problems in cats, including messy diarrhea. Eating onions can also give cats anemia or low iron levels, causing lethargy, discomfort, and worse.


Photo: Didriks, Flickr

Stay away. As little as a tablespoon of liquor is harmful to a feline; a small amount more is toxic. Even a few splashes that may spill from a glass can cause harm. Alcohol has been reported to cause gastrointestinal issues, tremors, and brain damage in cats.  Cats and booze do not mix well, for a healthy kitty and a lighter vet bill, always keep them apart.

Grapes and Raisins

Photo: Christian Schnettelker, Flickr

Scientists have yet to identify the exact toxins in raisins and grapes, but these foods can cause acute kidney failure in cats and dogs. Luckily, cats aren’t innately drawn to either of these foods, and there are no reports of any cats dying after an encounter with raisins, but it’s best to avoid them at all costs.

Canned Tuna

A can of tuna may seem like the easiest thing to grab if you’ve run out of cat food, but unfortunately, a diet of tuna canned for humans can make cats ill. In most cases, it causes digestive issues, but in severe cases, it can cause inflammation of all of your cat’s fat, a painful condition called steatitis.  A tiny piece for a treat isn’t likely to cause any harm, but this is not a regular food item for kitty, with one clear exception.


Tuna canned specifically for cats is both safe and delicious!

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