Food That Toxic For Your Cat



Food That Toxic For Your Cat
The main reason for not feeding cats "people food" is that there are a number of foods that are toxic to cats.

A sliver of turkey or chicken from your dinner plate certainly won't kill a cat, but you're helping him develop bad habits.

You may have forgotten that the gravy slathered over your Thanksgiving turkey used broth that was flavored with onion, among other things. While it is tasty and harmless to humans, onions are very toxic to cats.

The following is a list of foods that cats should never eat:

* Onions, Garlic, & Related Root Vegetables

Onions contain a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells in the cat, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Garlic contains a similar substance in a lesser amount.

* Tomatoes, Green (raw Potatoes)

These foods are members of the Solanaceae family of plants, which includes the Deadly Nightshade, and contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower gastrointestinal symptoms.

* Chocolate

It's becoming more widely known that chocolate is very toxic to both cats and dogs. Theobromine is the offending substance here.

* Milk

Although milk is not toxic to cats, it may have adverse effects. Simply put, adult cats fed a nutritious diet don't need milk, and many cats are lactose-intolerant, which means that the lactose in milk and milk products produces stomach upset, cramps, and gassiness. If your cat loves milk, and begs for it, a small amount of cream may be okay, two or three times a week. (The more fat in the milk, the less lactose.) Another compromise is a product made from skim milk with an enzyme added that helps the digestion of lactose.

These are the most commonly seen "people foods" that are potentially harmful to cats.

Eting too much rich or fatty food can trigger a potentially life-threatening inflammatory disease of the pancreas called pancreatitis. Signs of this disease include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and a loss of appetite.

Here are other foods you should avoid giving your cat:

Anything with raw or cooked onions or onion powder. Stews, soups, sauces and baby food prepared with onion can cause damage to red blood cells, which could result in anemia. If you give your cat baby food as a treat make sure it's onion free.

Raw or undercooked meat. It may contain bacteria like Salmonella or E. Coli, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Moldy foods can cause tremors, shaking or seizures.

Macadamia nuts have been shown to cause muscular weakness and tremors in dogs. Researchers believe it could also have the same effect on cats.

Unlike dogs, most cats aren't drawn to sweets but even so, take note: a chocolate snack can cause increased heart rate, tremors and hyperactivity. How serious the cat's reaction is depends on the type of chocolate and how much he eats. Dark baking chocolate will cause a more severe reaction than milk chocolate.

While cats don't normally eat fruit, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. There have been reports of the same effect in cats too. That means no more rousing games of grape hockey!

Milk can be a no-no too. Although every childhood book talks about giving kittens a saucer of milk, it's a recipe for a first class mess. Shortly after they're weaned, kittens loose the ability to digest milk. More than a few of licks could translate into stinky diarrhea.

SOME MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q. Can I give my cat people food?

A. Cats love the occasional human treat, including tuna (packed in spring water) and milk (but only if your cat is lactose-tolerant; some cats may get diarrhea). A small piece of boneless chicken also makes a tasty treat for your kitty. As with anything else, moderation is the key to feeding your cat human food.

Q. Should I give my cat extra vitamins and supplements?

A. If you are feeding your cat a high-quality, balanced diet, he may not need extra vitamins and supplements. Cats who are older or who have heath conditions (pregnancy, illness or loss of appetite) may need extra nutrients. Consult with your veterinarian about giving your cat vitamins and supplements.

Q. What kinds of foods should my cat avoid?

A. Chocolate, junk food, alcohol-should never be fed to cats. Onion may upset your cat's digestion or lead to blood problems, and spicy foods may cause indigestion. Toxic items include antifreeze, rat poison, garden chemicals, many plants, acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) and many other medications for humans. Consult your veterinarian if your cat ingests any of these items or becomes sick from specific foods.

Q. Should I give my overweight cat treats?

A. Feed your cat pieces of his regular food as a treat, subtracting this amount from his daily ration; or subtract other types of treats from his daily food take. Low-calorie treats are available for cats who need to watch their weight.