What Can’T Cats Eat?

Cats are beloved pets, but it’s important to know what they can and can’t eat. In this article, we’ll answer the question: What can’t cats eat? The answer is that there are many foods that cats should not consume, as they can be toxic and even deadly. We’ll discuss the most common foods that cats should avoid and why.

Human Food

Humans enjoy a wide variety of food, but not all of it is safe for cats to consume. Dairy products, chocolate, and caffeinated beverages are all foods that cats should avoid.

Dairy Products

Cats are lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Eating dairy can cause digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea in cats.


Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to cats. Eating chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death in cats.

Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea contain caffeine which can be toxic to cats if consumed in large amounts. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and seizures.

Toxic Foods

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet that is rich in animal proteins. Therefore, cats should not eat any human foods that are not specifically designed for them. Some of the most common toxic foods for cats include onions and garlic, grapes and raisins, and avocado.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic contain compounds called thiosulphates which can cause anemia in cats if ingested. These compounds can be found in raw, cooked, or powdered forms of onions and garlic. Even small amounts of these foods can be dangerous to cats so it is best to keep them away from your pet.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have been known to cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Even small amounts of these fruits can be dangerous so it is best to keep them away from your pet. If you suspect your cat has eaten grapes or raisins, contact a veterinarian immediately as this could be life-threatening.


Avocado contains a toxin called persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats if ingested. This toxin is found in all parts of the avocado plant including the leaves, fruit, seed, bark, and skin so it is important to keep your cat away from any part of the plant. Additionally, the ASPCA recommends avoiding avocados altogether.

Raw Meat and Fish

Cats are carnivores and need a diet that is rich in protein. As such, raw meat and fish can be a great source of nutrition for cats. However, it is important to note that cats should not eat raw eggs, raw fish, raw meat or poultry as these foods can contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can make cats very sick.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin which can interfere with the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and coat problems in cats. Additionally, raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria which can cause food poisoning in cats.

Raw Fish

Raw fish may contain parasites which can cause serious health problems in cats. Additionally, some types of fish such as salmon, trout, shad or sturgeon may contain a parasite called Neorickettsia helminthoeca which is deadly to cats if ingested.

Raw Meat and Poultry

Raw meat and poultry may contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella which can cause food poisoning in cats. Additionally, raw meat and poultry may also contain parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii which can be very dangerous for cats if ingested. It is best to avoid feeding your cat any type of raw meat or poultry.


Household Items

Cats are curious by nature and can get into all sorts of trouble. It is important to be aware of the household items that cats should not eat.

Household Cleaners and Chemicals

Cleaning chemicals can be very dangerous for cats if ingested. Common household cleaners such as bleach, detergents, and drain cleaners should be kept out of reach of cats. Additionally, some plants may have been treated with pesticides or fertilizers that can be toxic to cats.

Plants and Flowers

Many common houseplants are toxic to cats if ingested. Some examples include lilies, aloe vera, azaleas, and poinsettias. It is best to research any plants before bringing them into the home to make sure they are safe for cats.

Medications for Humans

Human medications can also be dangerous for cats if ingested. This includes over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen as well as prescription medications like antidepressants or birth control pills. It is important to keep all medications in a secure location away from cats at all times.

Other Foods to Avoid

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet that is mainly composed of meat and animal-based proteins. While there are some human foods that cats can eat, there are many that should be avoided. Here are some other foods to avoid feeding your cat:

Sugary Foods and Drinks

Cats should not consume sugary foods or drinks as they have no nutritional value for cats and can lead to obesity and dental issues. Some examples of sugary foods and drinks to avoid include:

  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit juices

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough is also something cats should not eat as it can expand in the stomach leading to bloating, vomiting, and even death. If you bake with yeast dough, make sure your cat does not have access to it.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided as they can cause intoxication, coma, and even death in cats. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous for cats.


It’s important to be aware of the foods that cats should not eat, as some can be toxic and even deadly. While cats are curious creatures, it’s best to keep them away from foods such as onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes and raisins, alcohol, and caffeine. If you’re ever unsure about what your cat can or cannot eat, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for advice. For more information on pet care and nutrition, visit apetshome.com. What can’t cats eat? The answer is that there are many foods that cats should not consume in order to stay safe and healthy.

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