It is common for cats to turn their nose up at cat food because of their fussy eating habits. Unfortunately, when it comes to eating human or dog food, they may not always make the best choices. Consequently, when sharing your plate with your cat, perhaps while you're watching TV, it's always wise to practice some caution since many foods we humans love are toxic to cats. Here are five foods that your cat should generally not eat.
Making bread with yeast is a popular recipe, but if your cat samples some of your bread dough when you’re making fresh homemade bread, it can cause gas to build up in your cat's digestive system, causing bloating. What’s more, as alcohol is a byproduct of yeast, it can also cause other health problems for your cat like digestive upset or trouble breathing.
Store-Bought Raw Meat
While cats are indeed carnivores, feeding them raw store-bought meat can be risky. For instance, it can risk exposing them to dangerous bacteria, parasites, or food-borne illnesses like Salmonella and E. coli. When giving your cat meat products, it’s safest to cook it first. Some cats are even allergic to seafood, chicken, or meat byproducts, so be sure to watch for signs of an allergic reaction.
If you have a dog and buy natural dog food, make sure your cat isn’t making their way to the dog bowl on a regular basis. Cats require taurine, vitamin A, and arachidonic acid to stay healthy, but dog food lacks these three nutrients. Dog food is not toxic to cats, but if your cat eats it often, they may suffer nutritional deficiencies.
Many people love chocolate, and dark chocolate is particularly beneficial for blood pressure and heart health. Since it’s a rich source of antioxidants, low in sugar, high in healthy fats, and with a low glycemic index, it is considered excellent for human health. Chocolate, however, is not healthy for cats because they contain methylxanthines like caffeine and theobromine, which cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures in cats. Sometimes, eating chocolates can be fatal for cats. Keep any chocolate in a safe place out of your cat’s reach.
Dairy products include milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, sour cream, and other high fat items. Despite the stereotype of giving cats milk, cats are actually lactose intolerant (they cannot process milk sugar). A small amount every so often isn’t the end of the world, but if fed dairy foods frequently, your cat may develop digestive problems.
Prevent Your Cat from Eating Dangerous Foods
Cats are incredibly curious creatures, and they will go to extraordinary lengths to find great food. While they are often discriminating about what they eat, this instinct is driven by taste. You shouldn't assume that your cat intuitively knows how to eat a healthy, balanced diet. So, when you're away from home, make it difficult for your cat to access human or dog food on their own.