It’s that time of the year. Everyone is feeling the holiday spirit and indulging in delicious treats. We also understand if pet owners are filling carts full of extra supplies for their feline mates from your local pet stores.
After all, these stores luxuriate in all sorts of pet supplies that your pet can ever need. And cat owners are more than willing when it comes to spending on their cats. According to the Wall Street Journal, the cat business is booming post-pandemic, and the idea that cats are low-maintenance pets has long become outdated.
But as much as you would want to pamper them this winter, you don’t want to accidentally poison your cat. Before you dish out any extra treats this season, make sure they’re safe for felines. Here are some foods that can be dangerous if eaten by cats:
Milk, Chocolates, Gum, and Other Sweets
You love your cat and want them to be happy, but it’s important to remember that cats cannot digest milk. People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals explains that cats are lactose-intolerant because they lack the lactose-digesting enzymes in their intestines.
This includes chocolate milk, ice cream, and even a few candies you might be tempted to share with them. If you do give your cat something sweet, make sure it doesn’t have milk in it. Some sweets are also bad for cats because they contain sugar, which cats can’t absorb well, or artificial colors and flavors that could make their stomach upset.
If you do decide to give them some treats for their birthday or another special occasion, then you should get them from online stores like PetCareRx. Products sold on websites like PetCareRx are run through stringent quality checks before making it to the market. Moreover, they have a variety of options available, so you can have your cat taste different snacks and treats.
If your cat is a sushi lover, it’s important to remember that raw fish can contain parasites. Parasites also have the potential to live in your cat’s gut for up to two years. These parasites can be passed on to your cat and cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.
Bacteria are another common hazard when dealing with raw fish. Bacteria can cause infection in cats’ mouths, stomachs or intestines if they ingest it while eating the fish uncooked. In rare cases where bacteria become an issue inside an animal’s body, food poisoning could also occur.
Drinking alcohol is never a good idea for cats, but it’s especially dangerous during the winter season. Alcohol can cause liver damage and central nervous system depression, which will make your pet more likely to get sick.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, even ingesting 1 tablespoon of alcohol could cause your cat alcohol poisoning. Also, alcohol can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Finally, if your cat drinks too much alcohol, it might have seizures. In addition to these health risks, intoxication might also lead to respiratory depression, which means that they could stop breathing entirely.
Onions and Garlic
You might think that cats would enjoy a little bit of onion or garlic in their meals, but you’d be wrong. Fortunately, onions and garlic are not poisonous to cats. But they can cause some serious side effects if your cat eats them.
Onions and garlic contain chemicals called thiosulphate compounds, which are toxic to cats. These chemicals prevent hemoglobin from transporting oxygen around the body, leading to anemia and lethargy in cats that eat large amounts of onions or garlic. You may also notice your cat losing its appetite after eating these vegetables. Onions also cause stomach ulcers in some animals as well.
You may not have thought twice before giving your cat a piece of chicken, but raw garlic, onion, and chives are toxic to felines. Chives contain similar toxic chemicals as onions and garlic do. But they ahappen to be much more poisonous for your feline friend than either one of those things.
If you have chive plants in your garden or have recently purchased some from the grocery store, make sure that you don’t let your kitty get near them. Chives are known for causing vomiting when ingested by dogs or cats. This symptom alone should tell you how dangerous they really are.
Another food that you should avoid feeding your cats this winter is yeast dough. Yeast dough can cause aflatoxicosis, which is toxicity to cats from a fungus called Aspergillus Flavus. Aflatoxins are produced by this fungus, and they can be found in many foods.
Peanut butter, corn meal, soybean and cottonseed oils, sunflower seeds, and soya beans are a few examples. The symptoms of aflatoxicosis include vomiting, lethargy or depression, lack of appetite, and fever.
Caffeine is a drug that’s found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. It’s also what gives energy drinks their kick. In humans, caffeine can cause nervousness and other unpleasant side effects when consumed in excess.
And since cats metabolize it much slower than we do, they’re even more susceptible to its effects. The Veterinary Centers of America Animal Hospital claims that caffeine intake can raise blood pressure and cause cardiac arrhythmias in pets.
Nuts, like other foods high in fat, are best avoided. They’re not good for cats to eat as they can lead to obesity and diabetes. Nuts are also a choking hazard for pets due to the size of nuts and their seed-like appearance. It’s possible for a cat to have an allergic reaction after consuming nuts that cause vomiting, diarrhea, or hives.
If your cat does have an allergic reaction to nuts, keep them away from any other food items that could also be causing sensitivity issues, such as milk or eggs.
Grapes and Raisins
Raisins and grapes are toxic to cats. While raisins have been linked to kidney failure in cats, even the smallest amount of grapes is enough to cause them harm. That’s because the fruit contains a toxin called Myo-inositol Hexaphosphate InsP6, which your cat’s digestive system isn’t able to break down.
If you feed your kitty an excess of InsP6, it can lead to gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases of ingestion, InsP6 can even cause kidney failure in your feline companion. If you suspect that your cat has consumed grapes or raisins recently, contact your veterinarian immediately for treatment options.
We hope you found this list helpful. If you already knew the dangers of feeding your cats bad foods, then it was probably good to reaffirm those facts. If not, we’re glad that we could give you some insight into what not to feed your furry family members this holiday season.