Cats

Foods To Avoid

Below is a list of foods that should not be fed to cats. The list includes many common household foods but is by no means exhaustive.

Quick Tip

Play is an essential part of your cat's life and will encourage a bond between you as well as keeping your cat fit and healthy.

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Alcoholic beverages

Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.

Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources

Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.

Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine

Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.

Fat trimmings

Can cause pancreatitis.

Grapes and raisins

Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.

Large amounts of liver

Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.

Did you know?

Cats can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49km) over a short distance.

Did you know?

The most popular pedigreed cat is the Persian cat, followed by the Main Coon cat and then the Siamese cat.

Macadamia nuts

Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.

Milk and other dairy products

Some adult cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhoea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.

Mouldy or spoiled food

Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhoea and can also affect other organs.

Mushrooms

Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.

Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)

Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.

Pits from peaches and plums

Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.

Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems

Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

Raw eggs

Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw fish

Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.

Salt

If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.

Sugary foods

Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Table scraps (in large amounts)

Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced and if excessively fed can lead to obesity. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.

Antifreeze

Sweet tasting, animals can often consume due to licking paws after walking through a spill. Sadly this is relatively commonly seen. It can cause rapid onset renal failure. Although not a food, antifreeze is a deadly poison. Antifreeze should be kept well away from pets.

Poisonous plants

There are many plants and flowers which can be poisonous to cats if eaten. If you like to have cut flowers in the house the following list, which is not exhaustive, includes some of the more dangerous ones. NB – All Lilies are particularly poisonous to cats.

Amaryllis

Stomach and intestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhoea)

Azalea

Incoordination, trembling, collapse

Cactus

Punctures skin, infection

Caladium

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking head, difficulty breathing

Creeping Charlie

Vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, cramps

Easter Lily

All parts can cause kidney failure

Dieffenbachia

Affects central nervous system

Ivy

Vomiting, diarrhoea, excitable behaviour

Mistletoe

Ingesting berries can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, blistering in the mouth, difficulty breathing

Quick Tip

Introducing cats to other household residents should be done gradually, gently and over time.

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Have a question?

If you have a question, please email us or call us on 0800 413 969. Our dedicated consumer care team are available to answer any questions you may have. If you are concerned about the immediate health of your pet, please seek the advice of your vet as soon as possible.

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