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Dangerous Food for Cats

Dangerous Food for Cats

What you will learn in the article

For most cats, their favourite place is the kitchen. When you’re cooking or eating, you might find yourself with your cat under your feet. We all know that some human food is toxic to cats, but it’s easy to find yourself letting your cat steal a cheeky snack or two. Harmful food for cats includes everything from chocolate to grapes and citrus fruits – all the food you’re likely to have sitting around your kitchen.

Our list of dangerous food for cats helps you identify what food you want to keep away from your four-legged friend. We’re also sharing what symptoms to look out for if you find that your cat has eaten an avocado or other human food that is toxic for cats.

Dangerous Food for Cats


Chocolate is toxic for cats as it contains a substance called methylxanthines – otherwise known as caffeine and theobromine. Unlike humans, cats can’t digest these substances the same way we do. Chocolate is bad for cats as it can lead to a variety of symptoms that include diarrhoea, vomiting, tremors, seizures and even death.

While cocoa powder in baking chocolate and dark chocolate is the most toxic, milk and white chocolate are also harmful to cats.

Garlic and onions

While we think of vegetables as being healthy food, they can be toxic food for cats. Allium vegetables, including garlic and onions, often lead to gastrointestinal issues for cats and can even result in red blood cell damage.

You also want to keep your cat away from food that contains these vegetables, such as garlic bread. If you use store bought broth for your cats, you should check the ingredients and make sure there are no onions, leeks or scallions used. If you find that your cat has eaten garlic, you want to call your vet and start giving your pet liquids to help their digestive system.


If your cat has eaten an avocado, you want to call the vet straight away. The issue with avocados is that it contains Persin in their skin, a compound that is toxic for cats but not for humans. It’s not just the skin that you need to worry about. The pit of the avocado also contains this compound, as well as being a choking hazard.

While some vets suggest that cats can have a small amount of the flesh of an avocado, you want to avoid it at all costs for a cat that has had pancreatitis or gastritis. Look out for signs of gastrointestinal distress in your cat, including vomiting and diarrhoea.

Grapes and raisins

Grapes are poisonous to cats, but the exact reason is unknown. This harmful food for cats can result in kidney failure and is one of the foods that people don’t know is toxic for their pets. Not every cat will have a severe reaction to grapes and raisins, but if they do, it can be life-threatening.

The issue with grapes and raisins is that they can contain toxins and pesticides, as well as chemicals, that are known to lead to kidney failure in cats.

Milk and dairy products

It’s a common misconception that your cat should be drinking dairy. This human food is harmful to cats as it may leads to digestive problems. Most cats are lactose intolerant and can become sick if given dairy products, including cheese and milk.


One type of human food that is harmful to cats is nuts. You want to avoid some of them, like macadamia nuts, pecans and almonds. Nuts are rich in fats and oils that can lead to digestive issues and run the risk of pancreatitis in your pet. While some nuts are believed to be safe for cats to eat, it’s best to keep them away from your pet. Larger amounts of nuts – particularly brazil nuts – can lead to digestive issues due to their high fat concentration. Peanuts may cause an allergic reaction (although rare).


The issue with coffee for cats is that it contains the methylxanthine caffeine which is just as harmful as chocolate. It can lead to vomiting, seizures, and tremors in extreme cases. While you might enjoy a morning cup of coffee, you want to keep it as far away from your cat as possible. Even a small amount of coffee can lead to fatal consequences for your furry friend.

Dangerous Food for Cats

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits – such as clementine, lemons, and grapefruits – are rich in essential oils and citric acid that is toxic for cats. Everything from the seeds to the stems and the fruit itself should be avoided. You’ll want to keep your cat away from any citrus fruits that may be planted around your garden or home.

Small amounts of citrus fruits can give your cat an upset stomach, but large amounts of citrus fruits can prove harmful for cats. You want to look out for signs of vomiting and diarrhoea.  


One food you might not expect to be harmful to cats is coconut. Both coconut milk and coconut flesh can lead to digestive issues as they are high in potassium. While you might be using coconut oil for your cat’s skin, it’s best to completely avoid it from their diet.

Raw eggs, meat, and fish

Many types of food that are toxic for humans are also harmful to cats. The issue with raw eggs, meat, and fish is that they can contain bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella that lead to gastrointestinal issues in your pet. The problem with raw fish is the possibility of parasites, therefore fish should always be frozen for at least 3 weeks before feeding raw.

While raw eggs, meat and fish are possible sources of e. coli and salmonella, most cats do well on it. Do not avoid them but be cautious and keep an eye out for gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and freeze fresh fish for at least 3 weeks before giving it raw. Slightly cooked is the safest way.

Salt and Sweeteners

Toxic food for cats also includes salt and sweeteners. If your cat has too much of these in its diet, it can cause them to suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting, and tremors. In extreme cases, your cat could have seizures that can prove fatal. Most sweets contain xylitol which can lead to liver failure and lethargy in cats. If you think that your cat has eaten any of the foods on this list of toxic food for cats, you want to call your vet straight away.

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