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Dangerous Foods for Cats: What Every Owner Needs to Know

Dangerous Foods for Cats

As a cat owner, it’s important to ensure that your feline friend is getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. However, it’s just as important to know which foods are potentially dangerous for cats, as the wrong diet can have serious consequences for your pet’s health.

Here are five foods that you should avoid feeding your cat, and what could happen if they consume them. 1.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are commonly used in human food, but they are toxic to cats and dogs. These foods contain compounds called organosulfur compounds which can cause anemia in cats, a condition where red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be replenished.

Symptoms of onion and garlic toxicity in cats include lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can even lead to collapse and death.

2. Raw Eggs

Raw eggs can contain bacteria such as salmonella, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in cats.

Consuming raw eggs can also interfere with the absorption of biotin in the body, leading to skin and coat problems, as well as decreased growth rates in kittens. To avoid these problems, it’s best to cook eggs thoroughly before feeding them to your cat.

3. Alcohol

Consuming alcohol can be very dangerous for cats.

Even small amounts of alcohol can lead to toxicity, which can cause symptoms such as coordination problems, seizures, and respiratory distress. Common sources of alcohol toxicity include milk or cream-based drinks, as well as yeast dough, which can ferment in the stomach and release alcohol into the bloodstream.

4. Raw Fish

Raw fish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites, which can cause food poisoning in cats.

Additionally, raw fish contains an enzyme that breaks down thiamine in the body. A lack of thiamine can lead to neurological problems in cats, including seizures and loss of coordination.

To ensure your cat stays safe, it’s best to feed them cooked fish instead. 5.


Many cats love tuna, but it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet. Tuna can be a source of mercury poisoning, as well as lead to malnourishment when fed in excess.

Moreover, tuna should not be relied on as the main dietary source for cats, as it is high in unsaturated fatty acids that can cause health problems in the long term.

Effects on Cats

In addition to knowing which foods are dangerous for cats to consume, it’s also important to understand how cats metabolize nutrients and what dietary requirements they need to stay healthy. 1.

Dietary Requirements

Cats have specific dietary requirements that are different from dogs and humans. They require higher amounts of protein and amino acids than dogs, as they have an absolute requirement for them.

They also have a higher requirement for certain vitamins, including vitamin A and niacin. Additionally, cats have a low thirst drive, which means they need to consume water through their food or obtain it through drinking water.

2. Toxicity Symptoms

If you suspect that your cat has consumed something toxic, it’s important to watch for symptoms and seek veterinary care immediately if necessary.

Symptoms of toxicity can vary depending on the substance, but may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and seizures. It’s also important to note that cats can be more sensitive to certain substances than dogs or humans.

For example, even small amounts of chocolate can cause toxicity in cats, whereas dogs can tolerate larger amounts.

Final Thoughts

Ensuring that your cat is eating a balanced and safe diet is crucial for their overall health and wellbeing. By avoiding dangerous foods and understanding their dietary requirements, you can help your cat live a long and healthy life.

Additionally, in case of any symptoms of toxicity, it’s best to seek veterinary care immediately to ensure your feline friend receives the necessary treatment.

Call to Action

As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to know what to do in case your cat ingests something toxic. Whether it’s a dangerous food, a poisonous plant, or a household chemical, timely action can often mean the difference between life and death for your feline friend.

Fortunately, there are a few resources that can help you in case of a pet poisoning emergency. Two main hotlines you can turn to for help are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and the Pet Poison Hotline.

Here’s what you need to know about each:

1. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is a 24-hour phone hotline staffed by veterinarians and trained toxicologists.

The center provides expert advice on preventing and responding to toxic exposures in pets, including cats. Some of the toxic substances that APCC can help with include:

– Foods such as chocolate, onions, garlic, and grapes

– Medications including over-the-counter and prescription drugs

– Household items like cleaners, fertilizers, and insecticides

– Plants that are toxic to cats, such as lilies.

If you suspect that your cat has consumed something toxic, calling APCC can be a lifesaver. The hotline staff will ask questions about your cat’s symptoms and the type and amount of substance ingested, and provide personalized guidance on the next steps.

Depending on the severity of the case, they may recommend that you seek veterinary care or provide at-home treatment options. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at (888) 426-4435.

Keep this number saved in a prominent place, such as on your fridge or in your phone contacts, in case of an emergency. 2.

Pet Poison Hotline

The Pet Poison Hotline is another 24-hour phone hotline that provides emergency support for pet owners dealing with toxic ingestion. The hotline is staffed by veterinary toxicologists who are experts in identifying and treating pet poisonings.

Some of the features of the Pet Poison Hotline include:

– 24/7 availability: The hotline is open 365 days a year, including holidays. – Rapid response: When you call the hotline, you will be connected to a veterinary toxicologist within seconds.

– Customized care: The toxicologists will ask you questions about your cat’s symptoms and the toxic substance ingested, and provide tailored recommendations on the next steps, which may include at-home treatment or emergency vet care. Additionally, the Pet Poison Hotline offers online resources such as a list of the most common toxic substances for pets and a symptom checker tool.

These can be helpful for quickly determining whether your cat is in danger and what steps to take next. The Pet Poison Hotline can be reached at (855) 764-7661.

Keep this number saved in a prominent place, such as on your fridge or in your phone contacts, in case of an emergency.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that time is of the essence when dealing with pet poisonings. If you suspect that your cat has consumed something toxic, don’t delay in seeking help.

Calling the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or the Pet Poison Hotline can be a crucial first step in getting your feline friend the care they need. Be sure to keep these hotlines saved in a prominent place, and always take precautions to keep toxic substances out of reach of cats.

With the right knowledge and resources, you can help keep your pet safe from harm. As cat owners, we have a great responsibility to ensure our cats are healthy and safe.

Knowing which foods are dangerous, as well as understanding cats’ dietary requirements and how to deal with toxic ingestion, can help keep our pet felines out of harm’s way. It’s essential to avoid feeding our cats onions and garlic, raw eggs, alcohol, raw fish, and too much tuna.

Cats have specific dietary requirements that require higher protein and amino acid intake, as well as certain vitamins. Toxicity symptoms should not be taken lightly, and seeking immediate veterinary care is critical.

It’s vital to have emergency hotlines like the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and the Pet Poison Hotline readily available for assistance. By following these guidelines, we can keep our beloved cats safe and lead healthy, happy lives together.

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