10 Common Foods to Never Feed Your Cat — It Could Be Deadly

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Although some cats can be finicky eaters, pet owners overfeeding their feline friends is at epidemic proportions.

Cats like to nibble. Leaving food out all day can lead to some cats overeating. Although some cats can regulate themselves, many cats just aren’t very good at judging how much they should consume. And I mean, if you had an endless supply of snacks, wouldn’t you keep eating, too?

However, another big issue has to do with feeding our cats with people food.

Remember, cats are carnivores and need meat — but not just any meat. Cat foods (and no, not dog foods) are specially formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of cats, giving them a balanced diet.

In this article, we’ll look at 10 foods you should never feed to your cat. Some of these may actually surprise you.


A little bit of tuna occasionally won’t hurt. After all, some cats love seafood! But the problem is, some people feed their cat a steady diet of tuna, and too much of it isn’t a good thing. Tuna doesn’t contain all the nutrition cats need. Plus, too much tuna can lead to mercury poisoning.

Milk and Dairy Products

Feeding cats milk is a time-worn cliché on television and in advertising. But as it turns out, most adult cats — like other animals — are lactose intolerant.

Chocolate, Candy, and Gum

All chocolate can be deadly for cats. Dark chocolates and unsweetened baking chocolates are the most dangerous, but milk chocolate and white chocolate varieties can be dangerous, too.

Candy, gum, some diet foods, baked goods, and toothpaste for humans often use xylitol as a sweetener. Xylitol can cause a number of conditions in cats including: loss of coordination, lethargy, vomiting, seizures, hypoglycemia, and liver failure.

Anything in the Onion Family

People food can be particularly dangerous for cats because our foods often contain onion and garlic. Onions, garlic, chives, and other members of the allium family are a big danger for cats. These foods in any form — raw, cooked, powdered, dehydrated, etc. — will break down a cat’s red blood cells and cause anemia.

Grapes or Raisins

Just like with dogs, grapes and raisins can lead to kidney issues and even kidney failure in cats.

Raw Meats, Raw Fish, and Raw Eggs

There are two problems with all of these. First, all have the possibility of containing bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. Second, they can interfere with B vitamin absorption, which is an essential nutritional need for your cat.


This really should be a no-brainer. 2 teaspoons of whiskey can put a 5-pound cat in a coma. Because cats are so much smaller, even just a tiny bit of booze can be deadly.

Anything Containing Caffeine

All those side effects of caffeine that we experience as humans, like those familiar caffeine jitters, will also affect cats. But because cats are much smaller than us, the effects are much more dangerous. Caffeine in cats can cause heart palpitations, hyperventilation, muscle tremors, and more.


Small amounts of liver is okay for cats, but consuming too much liver leads to vitamin A toxicity, resulting in death.

Human Medications

The most common cause of poisoning for cats is the ingestion of medication prescribed for humans. Keep the medicine cabinet locked and out of paw’s reach.

What to do if you think your cat has ingested something toxic or has been poisoned:

Make sure you always keep the telephone numbers handy of your local vet and the closest pet emergency clinic.

You can also call the ASPCA animal Poison Control Center at: (888) 426-4435