Sharing a snack is one of the many ways we can bond with our pets. While we can safely offer a variety of our favorite foods to our cats, it’s important to know which ones are risky. It’s predictable that alcohol and caffeine are off-limits, but other “no-no’s” might surprise you.
Here are five foods you should definitely not share with your cat.
It probably comes as no big shock that cats should not eat sweets like chocolate or candy. Besides being inflammatory, they lack any nutritional benefits. Plus, since cats can’t taste sweet things in the same way we can, they won’t miss a chocolate bar in the same way we would.
Cats should also avoid sweeteners, especially xylitol, which is toxic. Xylitol is an increasingly popular ingredient in human foods, so double check any new product your cat consumes.
- Raw Foods
Whether it’s meat, fish, eggs, or potatoes – don’t feed it raw. Some people feed their cat a raw diet, but it’s a controversial topic. If you’re simply looking to share a snack with your pal, skip the complexity attached to raw food. Cooking eliminates the danger of pathogens that could lead to fatal infections.
If baking bread, don’t give your cat a piece of the dough. Yeast inflates once in the stomach. Should your curious cat express interest in your piece of wholegrain toast, on the other hand, feel free to offer a bite.
Cats, like many other animals, cannot properly digest onions and garlic. A cat who consumes onions is at risk of developing anemia. If your cat accidentally eats something with a sprinkle of garlic or onion, don’t panic, as it’s unlikely to cause more than a brief spell of digestive upset.
Sometimes we offer snacks to our pets without realizing they contain garlic or onion. If you ever give your cat broth, baby food, or bread, scan the ingredients list beforehand.
When something is healthy for humans, it’s easy to assume it’s safe for pets, too. For example, many people don’t know grapes are unhealthy for cats. In fact, if consumed in high quantities, grapes can cause fatal kidney failure.
A cat suffering from grape toxicity will have digestive upset, vomiting, abdominal sensitivity, and decreased appetite. If you suspect your cat has eaten grapes, get prompt medical help. Your vet will be able to induce vomiting and treat with activated charcoal.
A cat lapping up a bowl of warm milk seems like a lovely treat. In reality, cats are largely lactose-intolerant, particularly as they get older. As cats mature, their production of lactase–the enzyme capable of digesting lactose–decreases.
A pinch of dairy probably won’t lead to anything more than some stomach upset, but it’s still best to avoid a product we know is not doing our pet any favors. Similarly, alternative milks like almond or coconut do not sit well with most cats.