Toxic to Cats: Plants, Food and Animal Feed

Cats have a reputation for being very picky about food. Rightly so! Because there are actually some things that are toxic to cats. PetReader explains to you which plants, foods, and which animal feed your kitty is not allowed to eat.

Most foods and plants don’t look particularly threatening at first glance. However, cat owners should be aware that some of them can be really dangerous for their cats if they eat them.

So that you know which foods, plants, and which animal feed your kitty should not eat (regularly) under any circumstances, you can find a detailed overview here:

These Plants are Poisonous to Cats

We, humans, see indoor plants and cut flowers simply as beautiful decorations. However, if cats nibble on it or ingest its pollen, it can have serious health consequences. You should therefore not have these plants at home:

  • Aloe vera
  • Cyclamen
  • Amaryllis
  • Calla
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Ivy
  • Fern
  • Hyacinths
  • Lilies
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Christmas star
  • Yucca palm

Foods That are Toxic to Cats

  • Alcohol: Alcohol causes serious liver and brain damage in kitties. Just a teaspoon of it can send an adult cat into a coma – more can be fatal.
  • Chocolate: Like dogs, cats shouldn’t eat chocolate either. The reason for this is the substance theobromine, which is particularly concentrated in dark chocolate and baking cocoa. In cats, it can cause cardiac arrhythmias and seizures.
  • Coffee, tea, and energy drinks: These drinks contain caffeine. The substance can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, palpitations, and muscle tremors in cats.
  • Dairy products: Cats can become lactose intolerant as adults, so consuming dairy products can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Grapes and raisins: can cause kidney failure (for reasons that are not yet clear).
  • Nuts: Macadamias are poisonous to cats. Other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, because of their high-fat content, can cause stomach problems and even pancreatitis.
  • Onions and garlic: a little onion or garlic in a sauce is no problem. A whole clove of garlic or (spring) onion can lead to digestive problems. And with regular consumption, there is a risk of anemia. Caution: Baby food can also contain onions and garlic.
  • Tuna: As part of commercial cat food, tuna is not a problem. However, your kitty shouldn’t eat human-processed tuna regularly: this can cause painful adipose tissue inflammation.
  • Medication: Ibuprofen can cause severe irritation to the lining of the stomach in cats and lead to bloody diarrhea and vomiting. In the worst case, paracetamol triggers liver failure.
  • Salt: Large amounts of salt and salty foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death in cats.
  • Bread dough: Baking bread yourself seems to be one of the new favorite pastimes in lockdown. Be careful not to let your cat nibble on the batter: Any batter that contains yeast is bad because it can rise in the stomach and form alcohol.
  • Citrus fruits: Lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins – all citrus fruits can cause problems due to the citric acid and essential oils. In addition to the fruits, this also applies to the leaves, peel, and seeds.

Here, Too, Caution is Advised:

With raw meat, eggs, and fish there is a risk of salmonella or E. coli bacteria. Before feeding your cat these foods, you should consult a veterinarian or a nutritionist. The liver is okay in small amounts, but large amounts can cause vitamin A poisoning, which attacks cats’ bones.

Unlike dogs, cats don’t like to gnaw on bones. There is also the risk that these can splinter and thereby injure the roof of the mouth, get stuck in the throat or pierce the intestinal wall.
Legumes, cabbage, and other flatulent foods are also indigestible for cats.

Your Cat Should Not Eat This Pet Food

If you give your cat dog food out of necessity, it won’t be a problem. However, she shouldn’t eat dog food regularly. Because: Dogs and cats need different nutrient compositions. In the long term, your cat will be undersupplied.

What to Do When Your Cat Has Eaten Something Poisonous

First of all, you should try to find out how much of it your cat has eaten. Contact your vet for advice. In many cases, small amounts are not a problem – but with larger amounts, you should have your kitty examined. Especially if your cat shows symptoms such as tremors, staggering, or repeated vomiting, you shouldn’t waste any time and go to the nearest vet or clinic straight away.

There, fluids can be administered intravenously, for example, for treatment. The veterinarians can also monitor organ function and perform regular blood tests. Depending on the incident, the treatment of poisoning in your cat can be different.

It is Best to Avoid Poisoning Your Cat Entirely

If possible, you should of course prevent your kitty from eating foods or plants that are poisonous to them. The best way to do this is to store all food in such a way that your cat cannot reach it. While you are eating or cooking, you should not let the animal jump on the countertop or table. And: feeding leftovers is taboo.

Before buying a plant, you should also always find out whether the flower in question is poisonous for cats.

And in order to spoil your cat with a treat, you should definitely use special cat food – and not snacks for humans. The offer on this market is large, you are sure to find a treat that your cat loves.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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