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Cat Food Hazards

Cats appear to be picky eaters and sometimes pet owners will try anything to please them. Trying to give them human food is not the way to go and could be detrimental to their health. Foods like tuna, onions, milk and chocolate are some safe examples for humans, but can be toxic to cats. Learn about the dangers from human food that could potentially harm your feline friend.

Canned Tuna

Most cats love fish especially tuna. However, a steady diet of canned tuna prepared for humans can lead to malnutrition because it does not have all the vitamins and minerals a cat specifically needs. Too much tuna can also cause mercury poisoning and a thiamine deficiency. A deficiency in the B vitamin thiamine in cats can lead to loss of appetite, seizures and even death.


Onions can be raw, cooked, powdered or dehydrated and they will damage a cat's red blood cells, leading to anemia. This is true even for onion powder found in some baby foods. A small dose won't hurt but eating large quantities once or eating smaller amounts regularly can be toxic.

Milk & Dairy Products

Although kittens are able to tolerate milk with their undeveloped digestive system, most adult cats cannot. Their digestive system is simply not designed to process rich dairy foods and they may develop diarrhea. Upsetting their digestive system can also lead to food allergies, such as, itchiness which is the most common.

Kitchen Pantry

Many items commonly found on kitchen shelves can drastically harm your cat. Baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and other spices are highly toxic. Keep food items out of your cat's reach to help protect your cat from serious food-related illness.


Liver is healthy for cats if eaten in moderation. Eating too much liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity, a serious condition that can affect your cat's bones. Symptoms include deformed bones, elbow and spine bone growths, and osteoporosis. Vitamin A toxicity can also be deadly.

Yeast Dough

Before bread dough is baked it needs to rise. If your cat ate this food, this is exactly what it would do in their stomach. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the abdomen and produce gas in a cat's digestive system causing them severe pain. Their stomach or intestines could possibly rupture. In addition, while the yeast is fermenting it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Raw Fish & Meat

Raw fish or meat may contain bacteria, such as, Salmonella or E. Coli that can cause food poisoning. An enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine, an essential B vitamin in your cat. A lack of thiamine can cause serious neurological problems, leading to convulsions, coma or death.

Raw Eggs

The first problem of giving your cat raw eggs is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is an enzyme in raw eggs, avidin, that interferes with the absorption of the B vitamin, biotin. This can cause problems for your cat's skin and coat.


Avocados contain persin, an oily toxin that causes cats to vomit and have diarrhea. All parts of the avocado are toxic to animals as the persin originates in the pit but its oil spreads to the fruit and skin of the food.


Chocolate can be lethal for cats. Most cats won't eat it on their own, but can be coaxed into eating it by owners and others who think they are feeding cats treats. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine, found in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate can cause abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and death.


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