What can’t cats eat?

Posted by Argos, 13 June 2023.

We know how much joy feeding human treats to our feline friends can bring us, but it is important to be aware of what foods cats can’t eat and the certain snacks that can cause damage to a cat’s health in the short term and long term. We have put together our list of the top most dangerous foods for cats and we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions to help you be aware of what to avoid putting in their food bowl.

Can cats eat fruit?

Yes, depending on the type of fruit and the quantity consumed, there are some fruits that are safe for cats to eat such as watermelon, mango and bananas. However, it is important to be aware of the fruits you should keep well away from your cat’s food bowl.

What fruit can cats not eat?

Below are some of the most poisonous fruits for cats:

  • Grapes and raisins – These are linked to causing kidney failure in cats and even just a small amount can make a cat fall ill.
  • Cherries – Contain cyanide which is toxic to cats and if eaten they can potentially cause organ failure.
  • Lemons and limes – The high toxicity and the substances within these fruits such as citrus lemon are toxic for your cat.
  • Grapefruit – This fruit contains psoralen which is toxic to your cat and can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Although there is a selection of fruits that can cause our cats to have an upset stomach, there are also some fruits that can be eaten in small amounts as part of a balanced diet, but it is important to always remember to remove any pips or seeds to avoid a choking hazard.

Can cats eat vegetables?

There is a wide range of vegetables that are safe to feed your cat such as broccoli, carrots and cucumber, however, they should only be fed as part of a balanced diet and it’s important to be wary of the vegetables to avoid.

What vegetables can cats not eat?

We have listed below some of the most toxic vegetables for cats:

  • Onions – Onions contain disulfides that can be toxic to cats causing damage to red blood cells.
  • Avocados – These feature a high-fat content that can cause inflammation of the pancreas and cause a cat a lot of pain.
  • Green tomatoes – Unripe tomatoes contain alpha-tomatine which is toxic and can cause stomach issues.
  • Garlic – Garlic is part of the allium family which means it contains thiosulphates that can be toxic for cats and cause damage to red blood cells.

Can cats eat dairy?

So, can cats eat cheese, eggs or drink milk? The simple answer is no. A lot of cats are lactose intolerant and cheese and other dairy foods can cause them an upset stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhoea.  

  • Eggs – Raw eggs or undercooked eggs can contain harmful bacteria that will cause cats to fall ill.
  • Milk – Cow’s milk is bad for cats as most cats are lactose intolerant so struggle to digest the sugar in milk which makes them ill.
  • Cheese – Similarly to milk, as most cats are lactose intolerant, cheese can disturb their delicate digestive system.

We hope you have a clearer idea of the foods that are best kept well away from your cat or kitten’s food bowl. For extra information, we have answered some of your most frequently asked questions below.

Cat food FAQs

Can cats eat nuts?

It’s best for your cat to avoid eating nuts, as they can be toxic when eaten in considerable amounts. Nuts can also cause cats to choke or block the stomach and intestines, therefore they should be kept out of reach from your feline friend.

Can cats eat strawberries and blueberries?

Blueberries and strawberries are safe fruits for cats to have, but they must be eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It’s also best to cut them up into bite-size portions before feeding them to your cat to avoid a choking hazard.

Is chocolate bad for cats?

It’s important to keep chocolate out of reach from cats as the caffeine in chocolate features theobromine which is dangerous for cats and can be fatal if consumed in large amounts.

Can cats eat dog food?

Dog food and cat food formulas contain different ingredients to ensure that your pets reach their nutritional needs, therefore cats cannot live off a diet of dog food. Cats need the nutrients found in meat in order to survive, therefore if you feed them dog food over a long period of time it will cause them to become malnourished.

Remember to keep your cat healthy and yourself protected from unexpected vet bills with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our cat insurance policies today.

Argos Limited is an Appointed Representative of Home Retail Group Insurance Services Limited (HIS). HIS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 314050). Registered office: 489-499 Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2NW (registered in England and Wales, no 04109436). HIS act as an introducer to Pinnacle Insurance plc, who sell, administer and underwrite the policy and who are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register number 110866). Registered office: Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 2XX (registered in England and Wales, no 01007798) . HIS and Pinnacle Insurance plc are not part of the same corporate group.

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