Anything that is good for you is not good for your cat. This principle is particularly true when it comes to food. As felines have a different metabolism than ours, some of our foods can be dangerous to them and cause them digestive problems or even severe intoxication. So be careful, whether it’s about possible “treats” to give your cat or food that might be lying around in the kitchen or on the table at the end of the meal. Here are the main foods you should be wary of.
Chocolate or coffee: poisons for your cat
If you have a cat be very careful during the holiday season, especially at Christmas or Easter, to keep the chocolate out of reach. This food, however delicious for us, can indeed prove deadly for the cat if it is ingested in large quantities (200 mg per kilo) and dangerous in lower doses. Chocolate, especially the cocoa it contains (more present in dark chocolate), is rich in theobromine: a molecule that can affect your pet’s heart and nervous system.
Caffeine can also poison felines very quickly, causing their heart rate to accelerate. Make sure that kitty doesn’t approach your cup of coffee, but also your tea or soda. Finally, be as careful as you have your glasses of alcohol, as these drinks can quickly intoxicate your cat and cause digestive, nervous or heart problems.
Beware of onions or avocado
You may have a very greedy cat, who asks for a little food as soon as he sees you eating. Pay attention to the foods you may give it, especially if they contain onion. Even cooked it contains organosulfoxides, such as (to a lesser extent) garlic and chives: molecules that cause oxidative stress in cats and can attack their red blood cells (causing a risk of poisoning or anemia).
Other foods can also be poisonous for felines, such as avocado that contains persin: a fatty acid that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, or heart problems. Grapes, fresh, dry or cooked, are also dangerous because they contain a toxin that is not well known to be harmful to your pet’s kidneys. Potatoes, especially when raw, can also be dangerous because of the calcium oxalate and solanine in them, which can cause kidney and digestive problems.
Avoid inappropriate diets
Some foods, although less harmful to your cat, may also in the long run or in too much of it affect his health. Surprisingly, for example, milk contains lactose, which can be poorly digested or cause allergies in adult felines. Raw fish, if consumed by your cat in too much, can also be bad: most fish species contain significant amounts of thiaminase, an enzyme that damages vitamin B that can lead to deficiencies in cats.
Some treats that your cat loves can also harm her: a diet that is too fatty (pieces of ham, cold cuts…) can cause inflammation of the pancreas, while excess sugar can lead to diabetes or obesity. Over-salted food (such as canned tuna) can also lead to kidney or heart problems. And, in general, the industrial food provided for humans is often not adapted to the diet of felines.
Food poisoning in cats most often results in diarrhea or vomiting, which occurs immediately after or within hours of ingestion of the problem food. But some conditions may appear more slowly (for example, in cases of deficiencies). If you notice digestive problems, but also a change in your cat’s behavior, contact your veterinarian who can tell you how to react.