Curiosity can indeed kill the cat if the feline gets into a food that can poison it. Symptoms of poisoning generally include vomiting, diarrhea, a rapid heart rate and even seizures. Because veterinarians are not always certain how much of a dose of these forbidden foods will kill a cat, your best bet is to avoid them altogether.
Cats can be addicted to tuna, whether it’s packed for cats or for humans. Some tuna now and then probably won’t hurt. But a steady diet of tuna prepared for humans can lead to malnutrition because it won’t have all the nutrients a cat needs. And, too much tuna can cause mercury poisoning. Remember the saying, “Honest as a cat when the meat’s out of reach.” Your cat will see an open can of tuna next to the sink as a dinner invitation.
While avocado is healthful for humans, it is mildly toxic to cats. The leaves, seed, tree bark, and the fruit itself contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats . Be especially aware if you have a bowl of guacamole out at a party. You do not want your cat eating any of this snack or licking a spoon or fork that was used to make it.
Onions, Garlic, Chives
Onion in all forms — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — can break down a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. That’s true even for the onion powder that’s found in some baby foods. Eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause onion poisoning. In addition to onions, garlic, which is 5 times as potent as onions, and chives can each cause major health and potentioanally life threatening problems.
All types of alcohol can be toxic to pet cats.2 While a small lick of an alcoholic beverage is not lethal, consuming a lot can be. If you are hosting a party and serving alcohol, be sure to thoroughly clean up the drinks and avoid leaving large punch bowls or open alcohol containers overnight, as your cat might be prone to consume more.
Grapes and Raisins
These foods’ toxicity has mainly been found in dogs, in quantities of varying amounts. The ASPCA advises: “As there are still many unknowns with the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises not givig graps or raisins to pets in any amount.” There is no reason to risk a dangerous situation, so it’s best to keep these fruits away from your cat.
Milk and Other Dairy Products
What could be wrong with offering your cat a saucer of milk or a piece of cheese? Most cats are lactose-intolerant. Their digestive system cannot process dairy foods, and the result can be digestive upset with diarrhea
Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a cat. And there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors. In addition to tea and coffee — including beans and grounds — caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It’s also in some cold medicines and painkillers.
If Your Cat Eats What It Shouldn’t
No matter how cautious you are, it’s possible your cat can find and swallow what it shouldn’t. It’s a smart idea to always keep the numbers of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435 — where you know you can find them in an emergency. And if you think your cat has consumed something that’s toxic, call for emergency help at once.
What Cats Can Eat
Cats are carnivores and need meat. Talking with your vet about the cat food you provide and following the directions on the label will help ensure your cat’s diet is balanced and your cat stays healthy. An occasional taste of cooked boneless beef or brown rice can be an OK treat. But it’s best to keep it small and infrequent.