Chocolate contains 2 ingredients that are lethal to cats: theobromine, which is toxic to most animals, even in small amounts, and caffeine, which cats are far more sensitive to than we are. As much as we love chocolate, no amount is safe for cats and any chocolate related products (cocoa powder, pudding, even white chocolate) should be kept out of reach of little kitty paws. Most cats aren’t interested in chocolate and will stay away from it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Onions contain N-propyl disulphide which causes anemia and, thereby, jaundice (yellow discolouration in lips and eyelids, as well as skin in light-skinned cats). Onions cause the breakdown of red blood cells in cats, and as these are the cells that carry oxygen around the body, it can cause weakness and shortness of breath. A toxic dose for the average cat can be just a few slices. No onions whatsoever, whether fresh, dried, or powdered.
3. Uncooked potatoes & tomatoes
Both these plants come from the deadly nightshade family. Eaten raw, they are likely to cause cats gastrointestinal distress. Cooked tomatoes and potatoes, however, have no toxic effects. (Eating green potatoes, cooked or not, can cause cardiac issues, hallucinations and paralysis, but as they are bitter this is not likely to be an issue.)
4. Milk & milk products
As kittens, cats can drink cow’s milk, but as they grow up cats become intolerant to lactose, a sugar found in cow’s milk, and can no longer digest dairy products. Even a few laps of milk or a tidbit of cheese can cause gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea in adult cats. Lactose-free milk or live culture yogurt, however, can be given at any age.
5. Yeast dough
A cat’s warm, moist tummy is the perfect place for yeast to expand, which can cause a whole slew of issues.The ingestion of yeast dough can cause severe abdominal pain, intestinal rupture, and even alcohol poisoning as the dough rises and expands and the yeast ferments. If you’re worried about your cat jumping on the counter while you’re baking, keep her in a separate room until all the cleanup is done.
6. Grapes & raisins
We often think that what’s healthy for us must be healthy for our pets. But this is not always the case. While the exact reason behind their toxicity is still unknown, grapes and raisins may cause kidney failure, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats. Every cat is different, so the ingestion of a grape or raisin won’t definitively cause kidney failure, it’s better not to risk the possibility and to keep these foods out of reach of your cat.
7. Caffeine & alcohol
This one may seem obvious, and chances are these beverages would never end up in a cat dish, but if a curious cat were to lap the dregs out of a coffee cup or get into an open saucepan of penne vodka sauce, the consequences would likely be fatal as there is no cure for caffeine or alcohol poisoning in cats. Three tablespoons of 40 percent liquor is enough to prove deadly.
8. Garlic & chives
Like onions, garlic and chives can also cause anemia and gastrointestinal problems in cats. In small amounts, chives are sometimes included in commercial cat food. While this may not be enough to cause problems, don’t let your cat mistake your window box of chives for a planter of cat grass.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in candy, gum, and even some toothpastes. Xylitol will produce seizures in cats soon after ingestion and liver failure a day or so after, so keep your gum out of kitty’s grasp.
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