Your cat is an important part of your family so it is natural to want to include him in family festivities and celebrations. Food and drink are the focal point of many of our gatherings and parties, but try to avoid indulging your cat in table foods. It may seem harmless to share food with your cat, but many of our common foods can be dangerous for your cat.
The snack black list
- Fatty foods: Rich or fatty foods can cause digestive stress for your cat. For example, turkey, ham or other meats rich in fat will result in diarrhea. Excessive fat intake can also cause a life-threatening inflammatory disease called pancreatitis. Signs of this disease include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and a loss of appetite. If your cat is craving meats, satisfy his hunger by giving him turkey-flavored cat food.
- Bones: ones from meat, fish and poultry pose a potential danger to your kitty and should be avoided. If your cat manages to pull a bone from your trash, table or counter he could severely damage his digestive tract. A bone can result in laceration or obstruction within your kitty's digestive system.
- Onion and garlic: You may also be tempted to give your kitten baby food, which can contain onion powder — a highly toxic ingredient for your cat. Any type of onion or garlic — raw, cooked or in powder form — can damage your kitten's red blood cells and cause life-threatening anemia. Stews, soups and sauces are sometimes a hidden source of onion and garlic.
- Undercooked meat: Raw or undercooked meat may contain bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Likewise, keep your cat away from moldy or spoiled foods. They can contain toxins which can cause tremors, shaking, seizures, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Some nuts: Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin which can affect your cat’s digestive and nervous systems. They have also been known to cause muscular weakness and tremors in dogs. Researchers believe that macadamia nuts can have the same effect on your cat.
- Chocolate, raisins and grapes: Unlike dogs, most cats are not drawn to sweets. Even so, take note: a chocolate snack can cause increased heart rate, tremors and hyperactivity in your cat. The severity of the reaction depends on the type of chocolate and how much is eaten. Dark baking chocolate will cause a more severe reaction than milk chocolate. Also, raisins and grapes have been proven to induce kidney failure in dogs. There have been reports of similar effects on cats, so it is wise to avoid letting your cat ingest these fruits.
- Cow's milk: We all picture pouring our beloved kitten a fresh, cold saucer of milk. Unlikely as it may seem, milk is a no-no for your cat. Shortly after they’re weaned, kittens lose the ability to digest milk. More than a few of licks could translate into a very messy episode of diarrhea. If your kitten has a taste for milk, specially formulated lactose-free milk products are available for cats which should satisfy his craving.