Keep Your Cat Safe: Avoid These Human Foods

Cats are natural carnivores, and a good healthy diet based in quality protein is essential for their health. Unlike dogs, cats are less likely to scavenge scraps from the table, but some cats still enjoy the taste of human food, especially if that food has been cooked with meat. There are some human foods that are unhealthy or even poisonous for cats.

Keep your cat safe by making sure you cat doesn't eat any of these foods.

1. Chocolate

Even a small amount of chocolate can be poisonous to a cat. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate or unsweetened baking chocolate, gets its better taste from a chemical called theobromine. This compound is toxic to cats because it affects the nervous system. Cats can suffer seizures, heart problems, and muscle spasms. In cases where ingestion is not treated or where the cat eats too much, death can occur. 

2. Alcohol

While you might be able tolerate alcohol in moderate amounts, your can cannot. Even a spoonful of a mild alcoholic beverage like beer an result in permanent brain damage and liver failure. Cats livers are not able to process alcohol effectively. Many people are not aware and sometimes feed a cat alcohol to see what it would be like to have a "drunk" cat. Unfortunately, cats may not recover from exposure. 

3. Milk

It seem second nature to give cats milk as a treat or a reward. Cats enjoy it, and they lap it up. However, after weaning, cats cannot properly process lactose in cow's milk and they can suffer from stomach upset, including lose stools and vomiting. It's best to say no to all dairy products, including cheese and yogurt.

4. Onions and Garlic

Any member of the Allium family is toxic for pets. Onions and garlic are beneficial for humans, but they are not digestible for pets. In small amounts, onions and garlic may cause gastroenteritis where the cat suffers from inflammation of the digestive tracts and signs of an upset stomach. Constant exposure causes anemia. In higher doses, lethargy, appetite loss, and blood toxicity rise. Without treatment high doses of garlic and even cooked onions can be fatal. Many people use garlic as a homeopathic remedy for illness. Some may use it ward off fleas. Garlic should never be used for any sort of at-home natural treatment for a pet. Always follow the advice of your vet.

For more information on preventing pet poisoning, contact a local pet hospital, like Animal Emergency Clinic.