Whenever you sit down for a meal, your cat may sit down with you in the hope of getting a bite or two from your plate.
While in some cases, it may seem harmless to give your cat a small tidbit, there are other times when letting your cat eat certain foods can be life-threatening. Therefore, no matter how sad kitty looks when waiting for a morsel of food, you are doing your cat a favor by sending them back to their own food bowl.
Here are some of the most dangerous foods and common houseplants that you should never let your cat eat.
Foods that are Dangerous for Cats
While this may sound crazy to most responsible pet owners, the fact is that there are people who are quite willing to give their cats an occasional taste of beer or wine.
However, unlike us humans, cats cannot tolerate alcohol. According to research, a single sip of beer for a cat is the equivalent of a human consuming a 12-pack.
As a result, a single tablespoon could put your cat into a coma very quickly.
Fruit Pits and Seeds
If you are eating peaches, apples, cherries, or apricots, it is never a good idea to let your cat have a taste of these fruits.
Not only do cats generally not have a taste for fruit anyway, the pits and seeds of these fruits contain various toxins that can lead to cyanide poisoning. The toxins will prevent oxygen in your cat’s blood from reaching cells, resulting in Hypoxia which can lead to brain damage, coma, and death from cardiac arrest.
While we may need that morning cup of coffee, energy drink, or soda filled with caffeine to get us started each day, your cat should stay as far away from caffeine as possible.
Since caffeine’s primary job is to increase heart rate and blood pressure, this can put your cat in serious peril, due to them being much more sensitive to its effects. As a result, seizures and death can be quite common in these situations.
While cats do not have a taste for chocolate, that may not stop them from letting their curiosity get the best of them.
If you are enjoying your favorite candy bar, do not under any circumstances give your cat a bite as a treat. If you do, chances are the alkaloid theobromine will cause severe stomach pain, seizures, and perhaps even a heart attack.
Grapes and Raisins
A healthy snack of grapes or raisins is anything but a healthy snack for your cat.
It’s not known exactly which toxin is the active agent, but feeding these to your cat leads to liver damage and eventual liver failure, resulting in your cat becoming lethargic, vomiting, and in all likelihood dying unless veterinary treatment is sought immediately.
If you bake bread, you probably have yeast nearby. If so, make sure the kitty that is helping you with your baking duties does not ingest the yeast nor the unleavened dough. While yeast will make a loaf of bread light and fluffy, it will do considerable damage to your cat’s stomach.
Eating bread dough before it’s had a chance to rise may cause it to expand dangerously in your cat’s stomach, leading to severe abdominal pain and possibly a ruptured stomach. Additionally, as yeast ferments by breaking down sugars in the dough, it produces alcohol, which rapidly enters the cat’s bloodstream and can lead to alcohol poisoning.
However, yeast itself can also be quite toxic to cats. Some are allergic to it, but many times the negative reactions to the ingestion of yeast are due to toxicosis.
Common Household Plants that are Dangerous for Cats
When you are bringing your new cat home to be a member of your family, houseplants are often overlooked as being potentially dangerous to your cat. However, to many people’s surprise, there are well over 400 different plants that are quite toxic to cats. To make sure you don’t have a tragic accident with your cat, here are some of the most common houseplants that are very dangerous to your kitty.
Having a mild to moderate toxic effect on cats, aloe leads to increased fluid within a cat’s intestines. As a result, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in the color of the cat’s urine.
If your cat ingests part of a Peace Lily, the signs of intoxication will include swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue, which can lead to difficulty swallowing and breathing.
In most cases, only a mild toxic reaction will result from your cat consuming part of a snake plant.
If it does, look for such signs as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms are the result of the plant’s toxic saponins, which act as natural insecticides and fungicides for the plant.
Considered one of the deadliest houseplants to cats, dieffenbachia should never be part of your home if a kitty is living with you.
Toxic if ingested or even touched due to the cell sap that oozes from the plant’s leaves, the result for a cat can be vomiting and swelling of the airway, often leading to a quick death.
Like many other houseplants, Chinese evergreen can lead to drooling and vomiting, along with swelling of the lips, mouth, and throat, making it difficult for a cat to breathe due to the toxic chemical calcium oxalate, which is released into the cat’s system upon biting or chewing the plant’s leaves.
Mildly toxic to cats, dracaena produces drooling, loss of appetite, pupil dilation, and increased heart rate.
However, if veterinary treatment is sought soon after symptoms appear, fluids and medications can be given to offset the effects of the plant. In most cases, the prognosis for a quick recovery is very good.
Extremely dangerous to cats, English Ivy can lead to acute kidney failure.
In fact, not only are the pollen, leaves, and stems from English ivy dangerous to your cat, but so is the water from the vase as well.
Causing irritation to a cat’s tongue, mouth, and lips, biting into a philodendron will generally only produce mild to moderate unpleasant effects.
However, in rare cases, it can lead to swelling of the airway, which can result in death.
Like the philodendron and other plants previously mentioned, the arrowhead vine will lead to a tongue, mouth, and lips that are painful and irritated. However, these symptoms will often wear off in a matter of hours.
But like other plants as well, the arrowhead vine can sometimes lead to swollen airways, so any cat chewing this plant bears close watching to ensure a life-threatening event does not occur.
Guest Author, Emily Parker
Emily is a cat parent to two black cats, Gus and Louis. When she’s not out exploring her neighborhood for outdoor cats and the coolest new cafes, she helps cat parents love their kitties better on her website, Catological.com.