Dangerous Foods for Cats

Cat Under Checkup — Pet Care in Fresno, CA
Given the opportunity, your cat would completely chow down on that tuna steak you grilled for your dinner. At least, Fluffy would happily eat whatever is left over. But, are table scraps okay for your furry friend to have for her dinner? And what else is questionable when it comes to your pet's diet?
Understanding the difference between what your cat should and shouldn't eat is absolutely essential. Even though something may seem harmless or may be fit for human consumption, that doesn't mean it will go over well when your cat nibbles on it. Proper nutrition is a major concern, and can make the difference between a healthy pet and an animal that has major issues. Before you toss last night's dinner or a meaty treat into your cat's bowl, take a look at what your cat should not eat.

Any Form of Alcohol

You spill your beer on the carpet. Your feline friend is on it. Immediately. She's delicately lapping up the spill and you think it's kind of cute. Wait! This is not okay.
It is never healthy to give your pet alcohol. Alcohol can cause severe and serious health issues for your cat. These include tremors, breathing problems, vomiting (and other gastrointestinal issues) or coma. Along with these major ill-effects, alcohol can also kill your pet.
Consider alcohol a poison to your pet. If your cat accidentally ingests any type of alcohol, whether it's a beer, wine, hard liquor or anything else, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency situation that needs to be treated right away.

Sweet Treats

To start with, your cat does not need the added sugar that candy, cookies and cupcakes have in them. Then there's the chocolate issue. You've probably already heard that chocolate can be toxic for dogs, but what about cats? Like their canine friends, cats can also fall prey to poisoning after eating too much chocolate.
Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rigid muscles, increased breathing or heart rate, seizures or a drop in blood pressure. Keep in mind, the severity of the symptoms depends on how much chocolate your cat eats, what type of chocolate it is and your cat's size. That said, chocolate is never good for your pet. Keep the sweet stuff all for yourself. It isn't selfish – it's safe.
Along with sweets that contain real sugar, artificial sweetener is also unsafe. Desserts and drinks that are made with the chemical xylitol are toxic to your cat.


Plants aren't exactly something that you would ever intentionally feed to your cat. It's not like you're going to chop up a bouquet and put it into your pet's bowl. While plants and flowers aren't healthy in general for cats, some are worse than others. Lilies are one of the types of flowers that you want to avoid at all costs.
These plants are extremely toxic to cats. Nibbling on the leaves or flowers can cause problems ranging from vomiting to kidney failure.
If your cat tends to chew on plants that you put around the house, skip the lilies. Even if you think the flowers are out of reach, your cat could easily jump up to the high shelf or tall cabinet that they're sitting on.
Garlic and Onions Garlic and onions may not seem like foods that could cause potential problems. But, these items can make your cat seriously sick. At best, these cause stomach and gastrointestinal tract agitation. At worst, they can cause red blood cell damage.

Other Foods and Plants

This list is by no means exhaustive. Bacteria-containing foods such as raw meats and fish can make you cat sick, as can uncooked eggs. And yes, it's totally tempting to give kitty a bowl of milk to lap up. Your cat was never meant to drink cow's milk. Her body doesn't have the ability to properly break down dairy products (made from the milk of other animals). Giving your cat cheese, milk or ice cream can result in some serious stomach upset. It's best to avoid these foods entirely.
If you still have questions about what you cat can and can't eat, talk to a professional. Call the veterinarians at Fresno Pet Emergency & Referral Center, Inc. at 559-437-3766 for more information.