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Human Foods That Can Harm Your Cat

Cats are curious creatures, always on the lookout for something new and exciting to explore. This curiosity often extends to their food choices as well. As cat owners, we want to provide our feline friends with a balanced and nutritious diet. However, some human foods can be harmful or even toxic to cats. While it may seem harmless to share a bite of your meal with your furry companion, it's important to know which human foods can potentially harm your cat.

In this blog post, we will discuss some common human foods that you should avoid feeding your cat to keep them healthy and safe.


Milk and cats go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Not necessarily. While kittens may benefit from drinking milk from their mother, adult cats are actually lactose intolerant. Feeding your cat cow's milk can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and even dehydration. This is because cats do not have enough of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk.

If your cat loves dairy products, you can still treat them with cheese as an alternative. Cheese contains lower levels of lactose compared to milk and can be a tasty occasional snack for your feline friend. You can read more about cats eating cheese and how you can safely incorporate it into their diet. Just make sure to choose a type of cheese that is lower in fat and sodium, as too much of these can also be harmful to your cat's health.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are common ingredients found in many human dishes. However, these foods contain compounds that are toxic to cats. These compounds can damage a cat's red blood cells, causing anemia. The level of toxicity depends on the amount consumed and the size of your cat. Even small amounts of onions or garlic can be harmful to cats, so it's best to avoid feeding these foods altogether.

Symptoms of onion and garlic toxicity in cats include weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect your cat has ingested either of these foods, seek immediate veterinary attention as it can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are popular fruits enjoyed by humans, but they should never be given to cats. These fruits contain an unknown toxin that can cause kidney failure in cats. The exact mechanism of toxicity is still unknown, and the severity of symptoms can vary depending on the amount ingested.

Some common signs of grape and raisin toxicity in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and decreased appetite. If you suspect your cat has consumed these fruits, take them to a veterinarian immediately for treatment. It's always best to err on the side of caution and keep grapes and raisins out of reach from your furry friend.


Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other beverages. While it may give humans an energy boost, caffeine can have serious effects on cats. Cats are much more sensitive to caffeine than humans as they cannot metabolize it as efficiently.

Ingesting even small amounts of caffeine can cause restlessness, increased heart rate, tremors, and muscle spasms in cats. In severe cases, it can lead to seizures or even death. It's crucial to keep all caffeinated beverages and foods out of your cat's reach to prevent accidental ingestion.


Alcohol is a substance that should never be given to cats. As with caffeine, cats are more sensitive to alcohol than humans and can experience harmful effects even from small amounts. Alcohol consumption can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, and in severe cases, coma or death.

It's important to remember that alcohol can be found not just in beverages but also in foods such as desserts or sauces that may be tempting for cats. Keep all alcoholic substances away from your cat to ensure their safety.

Raw Meat and Eggs

While raw meat and eggs may seem like a natural diet for carnivorous animals like cats, these foods can also pose health risks. Raw meat and eggs can contain bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning in cats. These bacteria can also be harmful to humans, so it's important to handle and store these foods properly.

If you want to feed your cat a raw diet, consult with your veterinarian first, as they can guide you on proper preparation techniques and potential risks. Otherwise, stick to feeding your cat cooked meat and eggs as a safer alternative.

While it may be tempting to share your food with your cat, it's important to be mindful of their dietary needs and potential health risks. Avoid feeding your cat chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, caffeine, alcohol, and raw meat or eggs. Instead, opt for cat-friendly treats or stick to a balanced and nutritious diet specifically designed for cats. If you suspect your cat has consumed any of these harmful foods, seek immediate veterinary attention to ensure their well-being. Remember, a healthy and happy cat is a well-fed cat! So, be cautious and keep your feline friend safe by avoiding these human foods that can harm them.