START A PETITION37,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Group Discussions
« Back to topics
CLOSED-Foods to avoid by Drs. Fosters and Smith
8 years ago
Q.Which foods could be dangerous to my pet?
 A.A photo of a number of foods cats should not eatSome foods which are edible for humans, and even dogs, can pose hazards for cats because of their different metabolism. Some may cause only mild digestive upsets, whereas, others can cause severe illness, and even death. The following common food items should not be fed (intentionally or unintentionally) to cats. This list is, of course, incomplete because we can not possibly list everything your cat should not eat.

Items to avoidReasons to avoidAlcoholic beveragesCan cause intoxication, coma, and death.Baby foodCan contain onion powder, which can be toxic to cats. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sourcesCan cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.Canned tuna (for human consumption)Large amounts can cause malnutrition, since it lacks proper levels of vitamins and minerals.Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeineContain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous system.Citrus oil extractsCan cause vomiting.Dog foodIf accidental ingestion, will not cause a problem; if fed repeatedly, may result in malnutrition and diseases affecting the heart.Fat trimmingsCan cause pancreatitis.Grapes and raisinsContain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.Human vitamin supplements containing ironCan damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.Large amounts of liverCan cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.Macadamia nutsContain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.MarijuanaCan depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.Milk and other dairy productsSome adult cats and dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for cats.Moldy or spoiled food, garbageCan contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.MushroomsCan 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.PersimmonsSeeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stemsContain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.Raw eggsContain 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 fishCan 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.SaltIf eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.StringCan become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."Sugary foodsCan lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.Table scraps (in large amounts)Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.TobaccoContains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.Yeast doughCan expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
8 years ago

Good post, Donna! I think we need to pin it. Too many people have no idea that cat's cannot eat what we eat or even what  dogs eat.  

8 years ago

Thanks for posting this info Donna; as it's good to know what we should avoid to protect our little furfriends.

foods and plants
8 years ago

Thanks for the information. They do think that anything we eat should be yummy! Does anyone know a source for which houseplants to avoid> Are aloe and jade plants OK?

8 years ago

Yes, blue pinning would be good, and we use to have a thread of what plants to avoid. There are so many, but the worst is the lilly.

8 years ago

I need to put up a new toxic plant thread. The last one vanished.

Jade Plant


Additional Common Names: Baby Jade, Dwarf rubber plant, Jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant

Scientific Name: Crassula argentea

Family: Crassulaceae

Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs

Toxic Principles: Unknown

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, depression, ataxia, slow heart rate (rare)

8 years ago



Scientific Name: Aloe vera

Family: Liliaceae

Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs

Toxic Principles: Saponins

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color.

This one here is listed as the medicine plant, and changes urine to red, and is toxic.
Medicine Plant


Additional Common Names: Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe

Scientific Name:

Family: Aloaceae

Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs

Toxic Principles: Anthraquinones, anthracene glycosides (aloin)

Clinical Signs: Vomiting, change in urine color (red)

8 years ago

thanks for posting what food can be dangerous for


I do know chocolate is not good for cats and dogs

and milk but so many orthers.

8 years ago

Here ia link to a video that explains the plants.

About Milk, it is actually the lactose that most cats cannot handle without getting diarrhea. They do have Lactaid milk in the supermarket, and I bottle fed 4 tiny kittens that never got diarrhea with a mixture of canned milk, and one can of water to it, with a table spoon of dark karo syrup, and one egg yolk.

This made them very healthy and strong, and occasionally I will make it up for the older cats now. The babies are now a couple of years old. They love this, and it does not affect their bowels. I think the corn syrup might help with that. You can make it up, and put it into a tall container, then shake it up when you want to give them some.

8 years ago

You people are fantastic! I went to my vet to find out what I had to make sure I avoided for my kitty. I had her on the BARF diet for a while, but it really didn't seem to make much of a difference, and her coat became lackluster. She's back to her usual shiney fured self again, thanks to some decent cat food and the occasional small helping of cooked rice and scrambled egg white.

8 years ago

Hi Tamera,

If you really want to scramble your brain, read the article in Kents Felizine on food this month.  Real cat food, as in raw Chicken, which I already give to a handful of cats that LOVE it. Dry food is something some of them like, and it is a convenience for us too, but it has too many carbs, which cats don't need, and no water, bad for kidneys, and the carbs rot teeth too. A big chunk of raw meat , deer or turkey or beef should clean the teeth. Mouse is also a good healthy diet for the cat too, provided it has not been fed poison by someone first. Then got caught by the cat who eats them. My cats don't eat mice, but they sure did eat the moth who lost his way home, and got in  here.

This post was modified from its original form on 19 Oct, 20:26
8 years ago

Great stuff, Donna.  These posts could save a lot of pain and heartache

This topic is closed

New to Care2? Start Here.