Happy Silly Cat

Feed Your Cat Right: Safe and Toxic Human Foods to Avoid

Feeding Cats Human Food

As pet owners, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to share everything with our furry companions, including our food. After all, who wouldn’t want to see their cat’s eyes light up with excitement as they gobble up a piece of steak or a spoonful of ice cream?

But before you start tossing table scraps to your cat, it’s essential to understand that cats have specific dietary needs that must be met for optimal health and wellbeing.

Importance of a Complete and Balanced Diet

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require a diet that is primarily made up of animal protein to thrive. Unlike dogs, they cannot survive on a vegetarian diet or subsist on table scraps alone.

A complete and balanced diet for cats should contain the appropriate levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to meet their specific nutritional needs. A properly formulated feline diet helps to maintain your cat’s body structure, regulate their metabolism, and support their immune system.

Without the proper nutrients, cats can develop a host of health issues such as obesity, dental problems, and urinary tract issues.

Safe Human Foods for Cats and Limitations

While it’s best to stick to a quality commercial cat food to fulfill your cat’s dietary needs, there are certain human foods that are safe for cats to consume in moderation. These include:


Cooked meat: Cats are carnivores, so cooked lean meats like chicken, turkey, and beef can provide a protein-rich treat. 2.

Cooked eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein and can be scrambled or cooked in various ways, but don’t overdo it. 3.

Fruits and vegetables: Some feline-friendly fruits and veggies include pumpkin, sweet potato, blueberries, and carrots. 4.

Plain yogurt: Some cats can tolerate a small amount of plain yogurt, which contains probiotics that keep their digestive system healthy. However, it’s vital to remember that these foods are treats and should not replace a complete and balanced diet.

Additionally, there are some limitations on what types of human foods should be given to cats. For example, avoid giving your cat food that is too high in fat, sugar or salt.

Also note that some human foods can be toxic to cats.

Toxic Human Foods for Cats

There are several human foods that are poisonous to cats and should be avoided at all costs. Some of these include:



Chocolate contains substances called methylxanthines which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death in cats. 2.

Onions and garlic: These foods contain compounds that can damage your cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. 3.

Grapes and raisins: These foods can cause kidney failure in cats. 4.

Alcohol: Even a small amount of alcohol can be toxic to cats, causing lethargy, decreased coordination, and even coma. Keep these toxic foods out of reach of your cats to prevent accidental exposure.

Nutrient Requirements for Cats

Cats require several specific nutrients to maintain their health. Here are just a few of the key nutrients your cat’s diet should contain.

1. Protein: Cats require high levels of quality animal protein to thrive.

Protein provides the amino acids that cats need to build healthy muscles, organs, and tissues. 2.

Fatty Acids: Cats need specific types of fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, to support their skin and coat health, immune system, and more. 3.

Minerals: Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals that help maintain feline bone health. Potassium supports heart function, while magnesium plays a role in nervous system function.

4. Vitamins: Vitamins like A, D, E, and K are essential for proper growth and organ function.

Vitamin B-complex is vital for maintaining healthy cells.

Importance of Commercial Diet Formulated by a Board-certified Veterinary Nutritionist

While it may be tempting to feed your cat a homemade diet or simply grab any brand of cat food off the shelf, its important that you choose a high-quality commercial diet that is formulated specifically for cats. These diets are formulated to meet all of your cat’s nutritional needs and are developed by animal nutritionists.

A diet that has been formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist is even better. These nutritionists have advanced training in animal nutrition and have passed a rigorous examination that demonstrates their expertise.

They base their diet recommendations on scientific research and years of experience working with animals.

In Closing

Feeding your cat a diet that is complete and balanced is vital to their health and wellbeing. While it’s okay to offer your cat human food treats from time to time, be sure to avoid toxic foods and to limit treats to a small portion of their diet.

To ensure your cat receives the best possible nutrition, consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to choose a high-quality commercial pet food. Remember, providing your feline friend with the appropriate nutrition can help them maintain a long and healthy life.

Safe Human Foods for Cats

Feeding cats human food is a contentious issue amongst pet owners, but certain human foods are safe for cats to consume in moderation. These human foods should not, however, be incorporated into their diet as it is essential to maintain a nutritionally complete and balanced cat food diet.

Below are some safe human foods for cats to consume:

Safe Human Foods as Long as They Don’t Account for More Than 10% of Daily Intake

While cats need a complete and balanced cat food diet, a small amount of certain human foods can provide cats with a tasty and nutritious treat. Small amounts of human food should not make up more than 10% of their daily food intake.

That being said, different cats may have individual needs that will affect their dietary requirements. For example, a cat with a health condition that requires a specific nutrient intake may not be suitable for a specific treat.

Individual Needs When Considering

Safe Human Foods for Cats

Cats, like humans, have individual dietary needs. That is why when considering safe human foods, pet owners must consider their cat’s individual needs.

If in doubt about a particular food item, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian as cats have unique dietary requirements compared to humans. A small portion of a healthy human food treat can provide cats with added nutrition variety.

To maintain a healthy diet, cat owners must understand the dangers of feeding their pets the wrong types of food.

Toxic Human Foods for Cats

Certain human foods, ingredients, or food groups may cause adverse health effects on a cat. These foods can cause adverse effects ranging from digestive problems to organ failure.

Below are some human foods that cats should avoid:

Human Foods Dangerous and Should Never Be Fed To Cats

Some human foods, such as chocolate, contain theobromine, which is toxic to cats, causing rapid heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death. Similarly, coffee and tea, which contain caffeine, can cause hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and increased heart and breathing rates.

Other foods on the list of “no-goes” for cats are items such as macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, alcohol, and products containing xylitol. No-Gos from the ASPCA’s List of Human Foods to Avoid

The ASPCA has compiled a comprehensive list of foods that cats should avoid at all costs.

The list includes onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, shallots, chives, grapes, raisins, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, avocado, nuts, seeds, and pips. The list continues with raw, undercooked, and processed meat, as well as fish that hasn’t been deboned, fat trimmings, bones, and small, round objects that may cause choking, such as grapes.

Importance of Contacting Vet if Cat Has Eaten Potentially Toxic Food

Accidents involving pets eating an unsuitable item can happen without warning. It is essential to seek veterinary advice immediately if a cat has eaten something they shouldn’t have.

The sooner the pet receives treatment, the better their chances of receiving appropriate treatment and recovery. In conclusion, human food can be used as a treat but should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily food intake and should not be considered as a substitute for a proper cat food diet.

The safest type of food is a complete and balanced cat food diet that is made up of safe and suitable ingredients. Pet owners should consider their cat’s individual needs when offering them human food.

On the other hand, certain human foods are dangerous and toxic when consumed by cats, and it is essential to keep them away from them and contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat has accidentally ingested one of these toxic human foods.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Cats

While cats are commonly known for their curiosity and willingness to try different types of food, there are certain foods that cats should avoid consuming. Some of these foods can cause digestive upset, and others can cause long-term health issues or even fatal toxicity.

In this article, we will discuss in detail some of the foods that cats should avoid eating and why.


Cats should never consume alcohol under any circumstances. As little as a teaspoon of alcohol can cause significant harm to a cat’s central nervous system, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, difficulty breathing, and even coma and death.

Bread Dough Containing Yeast

Cats should also avoid consuming bread dough that contains yeast. If ingested, the yeast in the dough can continue to ferment in the cat’s stomach, releasing alcohol and carbon dioxide and causing bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, and even life-threatening respiratory distress.


As previously mentioned, chocolate is toxic to cats.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death in cats.


Similar to chocolate, coffee contains caffeine, which can cause hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and increased heart and breathing rates in cats. It can also lead to severe dehydration, which can cause long-term health complications.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are high in citric acid, which can irritate a cat’s stomach and cause vomiting and diarrhea. They can also cause problems with the cat’s central nervous system.

Coconut Flesh and Coconut Water

Coconut flesh and coconut water are safe for cats to consume in moderation. However, cats should not consume large amounts of coconut flesh or water as the high fat content may cause gastrointestinal issues and lead to pancreatitis.


While cats love milk, most cats are lactose intolerant. Consuming dairy products can cause digestive upset in cats, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are toxic to cats and can lead to kidney failure. Even small amounts of grapes or raisins can cause severe harm to a cat’s kidneys, and it’s essential to contact a veterinarian immediately if your cat ingests any amount of these fruits.


Nuts are high in fat and can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. Macadamia nuts and walnuts, in particular, can cause symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, tremors, and muscle weakness.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs can cause food poisoning in cats, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Raw eggs can also contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E.

coli, which can cause severe illness in cats.

Raw or Undercooked Meat

Cats are obligate carnivores meaning they eat meat. While cats can safely consume cooked meat, raw or undercooked meat can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning in cats.

Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy.

Raw Fish

Raw fish can contain bacteria and parasites that can cause harm to cats. These bacteria and parasites can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues in cats.

Raw fish also contains an enzyme that destroys vitamin B1, leading to neurological problems.


Cats do not require high levels of salt in their diet. Consuming excessive amounts of salt can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even fatal toxicity in cats.

Some Vegetables and Herbs

Although often touted as healthy human foods, some vegetables and herbs can cause adverse effects on your cat. Onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, and shallots can damage a cat’s red blood cells and cause anemia.

Likewise, chives contain compounds that can cause digestive issues, lethargy, and even anemia in cats. Amaryllis, milkweed, rhubarb leaves, and tulips are all examples of toxic plants or herbs to avoid.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener often found in sugar-free gum and candy. This artificial sweetener can cause a significant increase in insulin in cats and lead to hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in cats include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and even death. In conclusion, feeding cats with specific foods can lead to digestive upset or even fatal toxicity.

It’s essential to avoid feeding cats alcohol, bread dough containing yeast, chocolate, coffee, citrus fruits, coconut flesh and coconut water, dairy, grapes and raisins, nuts, raw eggs or undercooked meat, raw fish, salt, some vegetables and herbs, and xylitol. Cats require a complete and balanced commercial cat food diet for optimal health and wellbeing.

However, it is essential to check with a veterinarian if you are considering introducing any new type of food into your cat’s diet as individual cat needs vary, and it’s important to consider them with each feeding decision. Feeding cats human food is a common practice among pet owners but certain foods can be harmful or even toxic to cats.

It’s essential to feed cats a complete and balanced cat food diet to meet their specific nutritional needs. Some foods, such as alcohol, bread dough, chocolate, coffee, citrus fruits, coconut flesh, and water can cause harm to cats.

Other foods, such as nuts, raw eggs, raw fish, and high salt contents can cause digestive problems. Even some vegetables and herbs like onions and garlic contain compounds that can cause anemia.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is also toxic to cats. Feeding cats safe human foods in moderation while avoiding toxic ones is vital.

Consult a veterinarian for advice on what human foods are safe to feed your cat.

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