When it comes to food, cats are very selective. When they put up their cute faces, it’s difficult to say no to them and not give them a treat. However, for their health, there are foods you shouldn’t give to your cat. To help you raise a healthy pet, here is a checklist of 24 things your cat can’t eat.
1. Wild Nuts
Nuts are a good source of fiber, healthy fats, and protein but not all nuts are healthy food for your cat. Some nuts like the macadamia nuts are poisonous and not suitable for cats.
Although nuts like Brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds are great chewy options, feeding your cat too much of these nuts could lead to digestive issues. Some of these nuts are high in fat content; too much fat is not cool for cats. Excessive nut consumption could lead to severe vomiting and diarrhea. It’s best you keep your nut bottles tightly covered when your cat is around the corner.
2. Bread Addictives
Bread is not bad for your cat unless it’s overly sweetened or contains too many artificial sweeteners. You can feed your cat with pieces of bread. Make sure it’s whole-grain or multi-grain bread free from fruits and additives.
3. Food Additives and Flavors
Never leave your shelves open when you have a cat around. They are snoopy animals and may want to have a taste of all your food items. Some of them may be bad for your cat, and when such food poisoning happens, it may be difficult to tell the substance responsible for it.
Keep your cupboards and pantry closed to prevent your cat from roaming and eating unhealthy substances.
4. Wild Mushrooms
Cats love mushrooms. They can smell it from afar and would do anything to get their little paws some mushroom. You can feed your cat mushrooms in small quantity, but that’s a risk if you can’t tell the varieties that contain toxic substances.
Some mushrooms like the wild mushrooms have a couple of harmful substances that may lead your cat to experience adverse symptoms like drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, and finally liver damage. Sadly, you may not notice these symptoms until after 6 to 24 hours after your cat ingested the mushroom.
These symptoms could go away after a while and come back even harder. Thus, leaving you with a short time to figure out the particular toxin responsible and commence treatment or lose your cat to liver damage.
Rather than take this significant risk, it’s safer if you don’t feed your cat with mushrooms.
5. Raw Tomatoes /Potatoes
Green tomatoes and potatoes Glycoalkaloid Solanine, a poisonous alkaloid that is very fatal when ingested by cats. This substance is very toxic and leads to lower gastrointestinal problems when a cat eats unripe tomatoes in large quantity. If you are going to feed your cat with vegetables and potatoes, you should make sure they are ripe and have your cat eat just a small quantity.
6. Wrong Drugs
One of the common poisonings in cats is the consumption of drugs designed for humans. Make sure all your medications are out of reach whenever you have a cat around. Seal and properly store them, so they don’t wander into it accidentally.
Also, never get over-the-counter prescriptions for your cat unless approved by a certified vet doctor. Substances like acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be useful for you, but could instantly kill your cat.
7. Onions, Garlic, Chives
Keep your cat away from your cloves of onions, garlic, and chives. Onions in all its form (cooked, dehydrated, powdered or raw) can break down the red blood cells in cats, which could result in anemia.
Cats can survive little bits of food with onions, but eating them in large quantity at once or in small portion regularly could cause them onion poisoning. Chives and garlic may lead to gastrointestinal disorder for cats.
Don’t be tempted to hand that bowl of milk over to your cat. Some cats have digestive systems that are lactose-intolerant. If your cat’s digestive system cannot handle dairy foods, your cat may suffer severe diarrhea.
9. Raw Liver
It’s harmless to treat your cat to a small amount of liver occasionally. However, when your cat overeats liver, it could lead to vitamin A toxicity. Vitamin A toxicity is a severe condition that damages the bones of cats. Symptoms are abnormal bone growths on the spine and elbow, deformed bones, osteoporosis, and finally, death.
My Cat loves canned fish and will always sniff them out no matter how hard I try to keep it away from him. I literally have to keep them locked up in the upper shelf of my kitchen counter to keep it safe from Richie (my 2 years old Scottish fold). I do treat him to some fish on occasions where he has been a good boy.
However, a regular diet of canned fish like tuna for humans will lead to malnutrition for cats as they do not contain all the essential nutrients that meet your cat’s need. Too much tuna can also lead to mercury poisoning. Your cat doesn’t need that.
11. Raw Eggs
Eggs are right for your cat, only when they are cooked. Raw eggs can harm your cat in a lot of ways. First, the raw egg may be infested with bacteria like E.coli or salmonella that may lead to food poisoning. If your cat survives that, then you should worry about a protein present in raw egg whites known as Avidin.
Although it’s infrequent, there is a possibility that Avidin could interfere with your cat’s absorption of vitamin B, which could lead to problems in the skin and coat of your cat.
12. Raw Meat and Fish
Just like raw eggs, raw fish and meat may be infested with bacteria that cause food poisoning. Raw fish contains enzymes that break down thiamine, an essential B vitamin in cats. When your cat continuously eats raw fish, it could result in a lack of thiamine that may cause fatal neurological conditions that leads to coma.
There are chances that the uncooked meat you wish to serve your cat is laced with disease-causing bacteria (Salmonella and E. coli) that have grown resistant to antibiotics. Raw meats can also be exposed to parasites like tapeworms and toxoplasma.
If you wish to feed your cat with raw meat, freeze and cook them properly to reduce the risk of parasitic infection and food poisoning. Strictly work with dietary instructions from a veterinary nutritionist or a veterinarian to ensure your cat’s meals contain the right nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential elements, in the right balance and proportion too.
Chocolates are lovely treats, for kids and not cats. Most cats may not even eat chocolates for that bitter ping, do not coax yours into eating a few bars as a treat. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to cats.
Theobromine is present in all kinds of chocolate. The most dangerous type of chocolate for cats is the unsweetened baking chocolate and the dark chocolate. Chocolate causes seizures, tremors, and ultimately, death.
Alcohol is not good for you and for your cat too. Just like humans, Alcohol of all kinds (wine, liquor, beer, and any food with Alcohol) is terrible for the brain and liver of cats.
But unlike the human, it takes a far lesser quantity of Alcohol to do bad damage in cats. A few spoons of whiskey could cause severe liver damage in cats. More could eventually kill it.
15. Fat Trimmings and Bones
Cats love meat, but fat trimmings are not right for them. Both cooked and uncooked fat may cause an intestinal upset that would lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Bones, on the other hand, is not safe for cats. Your cat may choke on a sharp bone. When they eventually get into your cat’s digestive system, they may splinter and cause obstructions. They may even cut the inside of your cat’s gut and cause internal bleeding.
16. Dog’s Food
If you also have a dog, then you shouldn’t allow your cat to always nibble at your dog’s meals. Cats like dominance and may want to bully its doggie companion, but it is unhealthy when a cat regularly eats dog’s food.
Cat and dog food may have similar ingredients, but they are designed to meet separate needs. Your cat may suffer severe malnutrition if it regularly feeds on dog’s diet.
Caffeine is not good for cats and could lead to extreme food poisoning when cats consume them in large quantity. There is no known cure for the fatal effects of caffeine on cats. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning in cats include muscle tremors, fast-paced breathing, restlessness, and heart palpitations.
Keep your cat away from food like colas, tea, and coffee, cocoa, and energy drinks like Red Bulls. Also, be sure of the drug you give to your cats as caffeine is present in some painkillers.
18. Processed Sugar
While it’s okay always spoiling your cat with too many treats, you should know that just like humans, cats suffer obesity. Obesity in cats leads to Diabetes, arthritis, and so many other diseases. Watch how you give your cats treats; most treats have excess salt or sugar. Rather than give your cat processed cat cookies, a piece of a cooked egg will just be excellent.
19. Dough with Yeast
No matter how much your cat loves pastry, you should always keep the yeast dough away from your pet. The dough will rise in your pet’s stomach and cause the dough to stretch, leading to severe abdominal pain. Fermentation will also continue, causing the dough to produce Alcohol, hence, alcohol poisoning.
20. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes are crunchy fruits you can snack on when you need to relax, but there are not suitable for your cats. Although there is no clear conclusion, grapes and raisins may contain substances that could lead to kidney failure in cats.
It’s not ideal to feed your cat with grapes even as a treat as a small amount can make your cat sick. Keep your grapes away from counter tops and places where your cat roams.
Xylitol is present in sweeteners used in foods and snacks free from sugar. Although there is no record of cat deaths or illness from ingesting this substance, Xylitol is known to cause a significant drop in the level of blood sugar, for dogs. This will ultimately lead to seizures and death caused by liver failure.
You don’t want to have your cats nibbling around foods and substance that contains Xylitol.
22. Vegan Diets
It is okay if you want to be a vegetarian, but your cat regularly needs high-quality protein from meat. They are obligate carnivores and will always have to eat meat to stay alive and healthy. There is nothing like a vegan cat, and it is considered cruelty for you not to feed your cats properly. So while you exercise your choice on dietary preference, your cat has no choice.
23. Apple Seed
While apples serve as a great source of dietary fiber and antioxidants, your cat can only eat apples in small portions under strict supervision. Keep apples away from tables as your cat may ingest the seeds which may contain toxic substances like arsenic.
You can feed your cat with small portions after you get the peel and the seeds off.
Cat’s, unlike dogs, are obligate carnivores. Balancing your cat’s diet with grains may not be a good thing. Dogs are semi carnivores and its okay to throw in grains for them to prevent constipation and kidney troubles, but cats are less tolerant to grains.
Thus, feeding your cats with a large portion of grains could lead to severe digestive troubles. When you feed your cat with grains for too long, your cat may suffer from severe malnutrition. You have to learn how to balance your cat’s meal.
Early Signs of Inappropriate Feline Nutrition
When your cat begins to feed on inappropriate meals, you may not notice the fatal effects of such mishap instantly. However, they are a few signs that would show up early. Here are early signs of inappropriate feline nutrition you should watch out for;
Obesity is the very first sign of poor nutrition in cats. Unfortunately, most pet owners do not seem to take it seriously. While it’s okay for your cat to add weight and look plump, you should be careful and do not allow your pet to get too fat.
Obesity will not only make it difficult for your cat to move around freely, it exposes your pet to other fatal health conditions. Obesity can lead to health conditions like joint disorders, Diabetes Mellitus, Osteoarthritis, and so many other risky diseases.
Obesity does not happen only when your cat overeats. It also happens when you feed your cat the wrong meal, when the food is not able to digest, or when it has too much of one nutrient and lack another vital nutrient.
All these factors could lead to cat obesity, and you have to carefully watch out for them when you feed your cat every day.
When your cat begins to develop strange allergies, then you should check what you feed him. A particular food could be responsible for such ill-fated development
Food allergies in cats usually start with severe skin issues. Thus, if you find a different skin issue on your cat, you should take it to the vet and test for allergies.
Cats can also be allergic to some food ingredient. It is advised you only try out something new in small amounts and see if your cat reacts badly to it so you can avoid feeding your cat such food.
Another Quick sign of poor nutrition in cats is gastrointestinal upsets like infection are diarrhea, vomiting, and severe discomfort. When you notice these symptoms, you should get your cat to your to the vet right away.
Cats too suffer from stomach upset when they eat the wrong food. Although these symptoms also point fingers to other alignments, they are the significant signs of poor quality cat diets you should watch out for every day.
Fatal Effects of Prolonged Inappropriate Nutrition in Cats
When you ignore the early signs of poor nutrition in cats due to ignorance or careless, your cat’s condition will deteriorate to fatal conditions that could lead to his demise. It’s essential you understand the effects of inadequate nutrition in cats to be well informed.
The following health conditions may suffice when a cat feeds on the wrong food for a prolonged period:
Prolonged poor diet in humans and animals leads to fatal outcomes, which includes immune-suppression. Immune-suppression happens when the immune system weakens from poor dietary choices and lifestyle.
Immune-suppression happens to cats too. Poorly fed cats stand high chances of developing immune-suppression. The only way to prevent this is to feed your cat with healthy food and carry out regular health check-up with the vet.
When a cat feeds on unhealthy food for a long time, he can be exposed to polygenic diseases like organ failures, diabetes mellitus, and heart diseases.
Just like in human, the cases of Feline Diabetes Mellitus is currently on the rise. Obsessed cats stand high chances of suffering Diabetes Mellitus, and it’s literally not easy to manage a cat with Diabetes Mellitus.
First, you need to have a vet carry out a thorough diagnosis and confirm your pet has a Diabetes Mellitus. Untreated and poorly managed cases of Diabetes Mellitus could lead to severe issues.
So if your cat has Diabetes Mellitus, work out the best dietary plan for your pet. Get rid of sugary carbohydrates like potatoes and grains from your pet’s food and seek for a more healthy option.
Urinary Tract Diseases
Although there are many other causes of the urinary crystals and stones in a cat, poor, and unhealthy diet plays a significant role in the development of this health issue. Urinary crystals and stones are not the same health issue nor related to the urinary tract infection. However, they could make your cat really uncomfortable.
There are different types of urinary stones and crystals, but the first way to get rid of them is by switching up your cat’s diet. They are special diets designed for cats suffering from reoccurring urinary diseases. This is done in the bid to regulate the acidity or alkalinity in the urine to curb the infection. These diets aim at balancing the ph level in cats to remedy the situation.
What to Do When Your Cat Eats Something Poisonous?
If you figure out that your cat may have ingested something toxic, you need to verify the actual substance and the quantity your cat ingested before you reach out to your vet for professional advice.
Most unhealthy food for cats are almost harmless when ingested in small quantities, but would require immediate treatment if eaten in large quantities.
How to Prevent Your Cat from Eating Something Unhealthy
Now you know what kind of food you should keep away from your cat. It’s crucial you always feed your cat with healthy meals, well balanced, and filled with the right nutrients for cats. However, when a cat suffers from poor nutrition, malnutrition or ingest something it shouldn’t eat, the following signs are what you should watch out for:
The best way of preventing your cat from eating something poisonous is to keep these foods out of reach. Learn how to give your cats healthy treats rather than indulge him with something unhealthy to avoid nutritional imbalances and gastrointestinal issues.
The key to feeding your cat is finding a balance in all vital nutrients. Cats require extra nutrients to stay alive and healthy. A rational balance of these nutrients is all you must feed your cat. Avoid the foods listed above, and your cat will be happy you did.