Toxic Foods To Never EVER Feed Your Cat


Pet insurance provider Trupanion paid over $1.3 million in claims for toxicity and poisoning in dogs and cats over the past two years. It is important to understand which toxic foods to never feed your cat to avoid accidental poisoning. Never leave these things out, because cats get into everything.  “The best option is to keep these toxins out of your pet’s reach. If you think your pet has been exposed to any of these toxins, it is important to stay calm and act quickly. Keep your veterinarian’s contact information and a pet first aid kit readily accessible in case of an incident. For more information on pet poison prevention, visit Trupanion’s Guide to Poison Prevention, advises Dr. Kerri Marshall, Chief Veterinary Officer at Trupanion, a medical insurance provider for cats and dogs.

toxic foods cats

Print up this list and keep it posted where you can always see it.

Toxic Foods For Cats:

Most of us will be surprised by some of the foods on this list, not the least of which is the first one.

Tuna: It is not that tuna is dangerous in and of itself. It’s that tuna is addictive for cats and they would eat it to the exclusion of all else if they could. They might become very picky and refuse to eat anything else. Tuna alone does not contain all the nutrients a normal cat needs and there is always the danger of mercury poisoning. Feed in moderation.

Alcohol: Alcohol can cause coma and death in cats. Be careful if you have social gatherings where you will be serving alcohol.

Raw Fish: Sounds like a good choice for a cat doesn’t it? But raw fish breaks down the thiamine and can cause neurological issues and convulsions.

Onion/Chives/Garlic: These can cause anemia (a blood disease) in cats.

Bones: Avoid bones of any kind. We used to think cats could eat bones, especially fish bones, but all kinds of bones can cause obstructions or internal cuts. This can be deadly.

Uncooked Eggs: Cook any eggs you want to give your cats. Uncooked eggs present potential salmonella poisoning and possible pancreatitis.

Dairy: Many cats love milk. We associate cats with drinking milk but it is very difficult for cats to digest. Diarrhea is often the result due to lactose intolerance. Most humans and cats become lactose intolerant after the initial nursing period as a newborn. Once the cats are off mom’s milk there should be no more dairy.

Caffeine: Caffeine is in coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and more. Caffeine can cause diarrhea and vomiting in cats. It affects the nervous system and heart.

Animal Fat: This can also cause pancreatitis.

Grapes and Raisins: They cause kidney failure in cats as well as digestive issues.

Commercial Dog Food: If this is what you feed every day, your cat will be malnourished and could have heart disease.

Xylitol found in Gum and Candy: Can cause an insulin reaction and liver failure.

Macadamia Nuts: They can cause issues with muscles, nervous system, and the digestive system.

Liver: It is ok to feed in small portions occasionally. If fed on a daily basis or in larger portions it can cause Vitamin A toxicity.

Kristen Hammett, D.V.M., is President-Elect, North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) adds the following to the list:

Acetaminophen: The active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, is very toxic to cats.

Bread Dough: Bread dough can be toxic since it rises in the stomach causing gas distension and pain.

This is a good sample of what your cat should never be fed. There are others but if you just follow this list you will be on the right path to a healthier cat.

Remember, keep this list of toxic foods where you can see it!

Nicky LaMarco has been a freelance writer since 2001. Nicky is an experienced ghostwriter and copywriter. She also writes for a variety of magazines. Nicky lives in Maine with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. Learn more about her at