What Human Foods Are Toxic To Cats, By Dr. Jan Bellows

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By Dr. Jan Bellows

As animal lovers, we naturally want our pets to enjoy all of the things that we enjoy. Many of us remember giving our dog a little bit of leftover food under the table, or wanting to cook a homemade meal for the family pet. However, unlike human beings, most animals are not able to eat any food that is given to them. Few animal stomachs are as adaptive to new foods as ours are, and so there are several foods that you must avoid in order to reduce the risk of your animals getting illness.

Toxic Foods to Cats

Cats are notorious for eating some particularly disgusting things from garbage cans and dumpsters. Yet cats have a variety of very common foods that they cannot eat without risking serious illness. Below are a variety of different foods that can be toxic to your cat.

  • Onions

Perhaps one of the most well known toxic foods, onions contain a chemical known as N-propyl disulphide, which can destroy your cat’s red blood cell count. This can cause serious health problems including causing your cat to become dangerously anemic. Keep your cat away from onions, as well as garlic and other types of root vegetables that contain the chemical.

  • Chocolate

We may love chocolate, but a cat’s stomach finds it highly toxic. Cats are very prone to the toxic effects of Theobromine, which is highly present in darker chocolate, moderately present in milk chocolate, and almost non-existent in white chocolate. Still, it is best to keep your cat away from all chocolate treats.

  • Raw Potatoes and Tomatoes

Many different types of cat foods contain ripened versions of both potatoes and tomatoes, and these are perfectly acceptable for your pet’s stomach. However, the unripened (green) versions of these vegetables can cause terrible gastrointestinal problems. The main toxin is known as Glycoalkaloid Solanine, and the effects of the toxic ingredient can be fairly devastating.

  • Macadamia Nuts

The toxins in macadamia nuts are not quite well known, but they have been known to cause harm to a cat’s digestive system. While research continues to be conducted, it is best to avoid these nuts altogether for safety.

  • Raw Meats (especially pork)

Your cat may eat raw meat in the wild, but in general you will want to avoid feeding them any type of raw foods, especially mean like pork. These meats are notorious for containing high levels of bacteria that may cause significant health problems for your cat. Cooked meats tend not to share this problem, so if you are going to make your cat a meaty dish, make sure it is cooked thoroughly as if you were feeding it to your own family.

All Foods Can Be Dangerous

One thing to note is that cats require a very balanced diet in order to enjoy greater health. All human foods – regardless of toxicity – are not going to be balanced for your cat’s specific dietary needs. While you may want to make food for your cat, the reality is that your pets do not need to enjoy the safe foods you enjoy to be happy, and the cat foods that are available on the market today have been specifically designed to be the most beneficial for your cat’s specific dietary needs.

However, if you would like to make your cat a treat on rare occasion, proceed with caution, and fully research all of the foods that may be toxic to your cat. Most foods should be able to pass through your cat’s stomach unharmed, but you would not want to cause your cat illness just because you wanted your cat to enjoy a special treat.

By Doctor Jan Bellows

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