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Human Foods, Fruits, and Veggies that are Toxic to Cats

Renee Whitmore
Last Updated on
by Renee Whitmore

People love their pets, and the internet is rife with pictures of cats and dogs eating people’s food.

But some human foods, fruits, and veggies are toxic to cats. Here are foods to avoid feeding your cat.

What Foods Can Cats Not Eat?

What foods can cats not eat? Here are the human foods you must avoid giving your cat.

Chocolate

Chocolate
Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are harmful to cats.

Nuts

Nuts
Nuts

Many cats are naturally allergic to nuts. Cats are also more likely to choke or develop esophageal obstructions from nuts, making them not worth the risk.

Coconut Meat

Coconut Meat
Coconut Meat

Coconut meat isn’t necessarily unsafe, but too much of it can cause digestive problems for your cat.

Coconut Milk/Oil

Coconut MilkOil
Coconut Milk/Oil

Like coconut meat, the milk and oil in coconut milk are too fatty for cats to digest effectively and cause digestive upset.

Yeast

Yeast
Yeast

Yeast quickly metabolizes into alcohol, something the human digestive system has no problem with but a cat’s body can’t handle.

Bread With Yeast

Bread with yeast
Bread with Yeast

Bread dough contains yeast, and as discussed, a small amount of yeast quickly produces more alcohol than the feline system can handle. This may cause serious health issues for your cat.

Milk

Milk
Milk

Cats love milk, but they shouldn’t be allowed to drink it often. Cats are lactose intolerant and don’t have the enzyme to digest milk properly, and this can cause diarrhea.

Other dairy products to avoid include:

Soy Milk

Soy Milk
Soy Milk

Many people see soy milk as a safe alternative to milk. But soy milk contains sugars that can cause stomach upset. Additionally, too much soy milk may lead to feline obesity.

Almond Milk

Almond Milk
Almond Milk

Like soy milk, many people see almond milk as a safe alternative to milk. But the nuts and sugars in almond milk make it equally unhealthy for your cat.

Coffee

Coffee
Coffee

As with chocolate, the caffeine in coffee adversely affects your cat. If you add milk to your coffee, it’s doubly unsafe for your cat to drink.

Tea

Tea
Tea

Even though tea has less caffeine than coffee, it still has too much caffeine for cats. And it’s not just caffeinated tea your cat can’t drink. Herbal teas can also pose health risks.

Alcohol

Alcohol
Alcohol

Humans might enjoy the odd glass of wine, but a cat can’t digest alcohol properly. It can seriously damage the liver, leaving your cat with something worse than a hangover.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs
Raw eggs

It’s no secret that cats love eggs, cooked or uncooked. But you shouldn’t let your cat eat raw eggs for the same reason you wouldn’t eat them. There’s a risk of salmonella poisoning.

Uncooked Meat

Raw meat
Raw meat

Uncooked meat isn’t good for your cat, either. This is full of bacteria that may give your cat an upset stomach.

Salt

Salt
Salt

In small doses,salt is fine. Excessive amounts of salt, however, can cause your cat to experience an upset stomach and digestive problems.

Xylitol

Xylitol
Xylitol

Ever heard of xylitol? Look on the back of a peanut butter tin. It’s a staple ingredient in many foods and toxic to cats. It’s also found in ‘sugar-free’ products, so those are no-go too.

Raw Fish 

Raw fish
Raw fish

Like raw eggs and meat, the bacteria in uncooked fish put your cat at risk for food poisoning.

Liver

Liver
Liver

Liver sounds like it should be good for your cat. But too much may cause Vitamin A poisoning, and the damage to your cat’s bones and liver can be irreversible.

Canned Tuna (Especially in Olive Oil)

Canned Tuna
Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is another food cats love but shouldn’t eat excessively. A steady diet of it can result in a malnourished cat. And if it’s stored in olive oil, your cat may suffer diarrhea.

Olive Oil

Olive oil
Olive oil

 A tablespoon of olive oil can remedyfeline constipation. But you shouldn’t give your cat more than that and not regularly. Otherwise, they may experience diarrhea and dehydration.

What Fruits Can Cats Not Eat?

We think of fruit as healthy, but for cats, that isn’t always true. Avoid giving your cats these fruits.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes
Grapes and Raisins

Healthy for humans, grapes and raisins contain a toxin that causes kidney damage to cats. In extreme cases, it can cause kidney failure.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits
Citrus Fruits

Lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges, and clementines all contain essential oils that are harmful to cats. These can cause gastrointestinal problems and skin irritation.

Cherries

Cherries
Cherries

It’s not just that your cat may choke on the cherry pit, although that is also a problem. But cherry pits contain cyanide, which is toxic to whoever eats it.

Green Tomatoes 

Green Tomatoes
Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes are full of solanine, which can be toxic to cats. If you keep a cat and a garden, make sure any tomatoes are out of reach.

Avocado

Avocado
Avocado

Small amounts of avocado is fine for cats, but too much, and your cat can suffer vitamin overdose and gastrointestinal issues. Also, avoid giving your cat avocado skin, as this is harmful.

What Veggies Can Cats Not Eat?

Just as there are fruits that aren’t safe for cats, there are also vegetables you should keep your cat away from.

Spinach

Spinach
Spinach

This health food isn’t safe for cats with a history of bladder stones. If your cat has never suffered from these, then you can safely give them small amounts of cooked spinach.

Root Vegetables

Root Vegetables
Root Vegetables

As a rule of thumb, if it has a bulb you can’t give it to your cat. The following are all toxic to cats:

  •  Onions
  •  Garlic
  •  Leeks
  •  Shallots
  •  Scallions
  •  Chives

Cloves

Cloves
Cloves

Not a vegetable per se, but at best, ingesting cloves leads to a stoned cat. In the worst-case scenario, they suffer toxicity from the cloves and need to see a vet.

Raw Potato

Raw Potatoes
Raw Potatoes

Raw potato also contains toxins that can be fatal to cats. If your cat ingests even a small amount of raw potato, call the vet immediately. 

Spring/Green Onion

Spring Onion
Spring Onion

Like other root vegetables, spring or green onion can cause anemia and other health problems for your cat.

Chamomile

Chamomile
Chamomile

Chamomile contains tannic acid, anthemic acid, and volatile oil among other things. All of these are toxic, so keep them away from tea and don’t plant any chamomile in the garden.

About Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore is an American college professor and freelance writer from North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in English Education. When she is not driving her teenage son to wrestling practice or learning the ins and outs of Fortnite from her younger son, she is working on her first book to be published soon.
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