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Human Food Watch-outs
"Bones are not a treat, they’re a potential threat to your cat’s health."

Human food watch outs

Everyone loves indulgent foods like chocolate, coffee, dairy products and spices and while these foods are relatively harmless for humans, they can potentially be extremely dangerous for cats.

As human digestive systems work differently to those of the feline family, foods that are considered healthy for your own consumption could actually be deadly for your cat. For example, those table scraps or that chocolate biscuit may seem harmless, but they could actually poison your cat.

Instead of treating your cat with food, spoil them with a new toy. Not only will you keep them healthy, you’ll also keep them entertained and away from any tempting foods.

Explore the most toxic food groups for your feline:


All alcohol contains ethanol, which is extremely deadly for cats. It can cause slowed respiratory rates, cardiac arrest, induced coma and even death. While you’re probably not intentionally feeding your cat alcohol, unattended drinks and minor spills can be common in the household. Alcoholic drinks with a high sugar content (e.g. mixer drinks) are particularly inviting to cats, so keep all drinks out of paws reach and clean up spillages as they happen.

Chocolate and caffeine

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which are both poisonous for cats. The chemicals are diuretics and can cause dramatic fluid loss (through vomiting and diarrhoea). Other serious symptoms include heart attacks, reduced blood flow to the brain, comas and in severe cases, death. Avoid feeding your cat any foods with a cocoa or caffeine content and ensure all crumbs and scraps are cleaned up immediately.

Animal bones

While bones are not toxic, their ability to splinter is extremely dangerous for your cat. They can cause cuts and lacerations inside your cat’s mouth as well as their stomach and digestive system. Bones can also cause obstruction in your cat’s throat and digestive system, which can result in choking or suffocation. Remember, bones are not a treat; they’re a potential threat to your cat’s health.


Cats are naturally attracted to the alluring smell of a ripe avocado. However, avocados contain persin which is a fatty acid that is extremely harmful to cats. Symptoms of avocado poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid build up around the heart and in severe cases, death. If you’re an avocado lover, make sure you keep them out of temptations way for your cat.

Onions and leeks

Even the smallest amounts of these substances can be toxic to your cat. And they’re also just as dangerous when cooked as they are when raw. They can cause anaemia, which results in the destruction of red blood cells. Symptoms to look out for include blood in the urine, a rapid heart rate and a pale mucous membrane.

There are also a host of other foods that can be harmful to your cat. These include grapes, raisins, currants, macadamia nuts, dairy products, raw eggs, mushrooms, raw fish, citrus fruit, green potatoes, tomatoes as well as salt when eaten in large quantities.

For more information about foods to watch out for, why not watch our video?

About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre

PetCare Advice Centre The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.

Last updated: 24 April 2015 at 05:48 PM
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