Food choices and your cat

Cats have an entirely different metabolism to both humans and dogs. This means the foods we enjoy, and even ones we can feed the dog, can often have a severe impact on your cat. Understanding which foods are dangerous for your cat can put your mind at ease and ensure your pet has a healthy and balanced diet. 

While cats are often able to instinctively walk away from foods that will cause them harm, there are foods that you should be aware can be dangerous for your cat. 

To help you make the right food choices for your cat, we’ve put together a list of common foods that we might love to eat but can be harmful to your pet. 

Canned tuna

Canned tuna is fine in moderation, and should be a treat rather than a regular meal. 

Tuna cans designed for humans can have additional preservatives which can be harmful to your cat. 

Artificial sweeteners

Foods containing artificial sweeteners should be avoided. 

Like dogs, artificial sweeteners and foods that contain them can be dangerous to your cat. Artificial sweeteners often contain Xylitol which triggers a sudden release of insulin in your cat which can bring on hyperglycaemia—high blood sugar levels. Symptoms can include vomiting, dizziness and, in extreme cases, seizures. 

Dinner leftovers and bones

Small, cooked bones often found in human foods can be a choking hazard for cats. 

It might seem like an easy option to scrape dinner leftovers into the cat’s bowl, but it’s not always a good idea. Human foods are often cooked in oil and contain high levels of fats which can cause digestive issues and stomach upsets for your cat. 

Dog food and cats

Dog food won’t harm your cat if eaten occasionally, but in general it should be avoided. 

If you have both a dog and cat it might be easy to sometimes feed your cat some dog food. Cats need different nutrients to dogs so it’s best to stick to a diet advised by your vet.

Yeast dough

All raw yeast dough should be avoided. 

Raw yeast and cats are a bad mix. When digested raw, yeast will rise similarly to how it does in the oven. This can cause abdominal discomfort for cats and can lead to organ damage. The toxins released during the process are also problematic and can lead to a stomach upset. 

Treats

We all love to treat our pets but these should be kept to a minimum for cats as it can easily cause them to put on weight or cause blood sugar issues. When you do give your cat a treat, ensure that it’s small and only occasionally. 

Immediate action if your cat is sick

Contact a vet if your cat is having a reaction to something it has eaten. 

It’s important to give your vet as much information as possible about what your cat has eaten, how much it has eaten, and when the reaction started. 

Treatment and prevention

The best treatment is often prevention. To avoid unnecessary trips to the vet and to keep you cat healthy, stick to a diet outlined by your vet to meet the nutrients your cat requires. 

An occasional treat here or there shouldn’t cause any harm but remember that cats have a very different digestive system to us and other animals.