What Cats Can And Cannot Eat?

As a proud cat parent, you want to ensure that your feline friend is getting the best nutrition possible. But with so many options available, it can be tough to know what foods are safe for your cat and what’s not. After all, not everything that’s fit for human consumption is suitable for our furry companions.

It’s crucial to understand that cats have specific nutritional needs that differ from ours. Their digestive system is also unique, which means some human foods can cause harm to their health and wellbeing. From vomiting and diarrhea to severe health complications, feeding your cat the wrong food can have dire consequences.

That’s why we’re here to help. This blog post aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on what cats can and cannot eat. We’ll cover everything from the best proteins and supplements to avoid toxic foods. So whether you’re a new cat owner or an experienced one, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through what foods are safe for your feline friend.

What Cats Can Eat

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require meat to survive. Their bodies have evolved to digest and absorb nutrients from animal protein, making it essential for their diet. So, what can cats eat?

First and foremost, high-quality commercial cat food is the best option for your feline friend. Look for food that contains meat as the primary ingredient, providing all the necessary nutrients they need. Cooked lean meats like chicken, turkey, and beef are also excellent sources of protein for cats.

Although cats are primarily meat-eaters, some vegetables can be included in their diet in small amounts. Cooked carrots, peas, and green beans are good options but should not make up a significant portion of their diet as they do not provide all the necessary nutrients.

Fish is another food that cats can eat but should be given in moderation. Tuna and salmon can be given as a treat but should not make up a significant part of their diet. Some fish contain high levels of mercury or thiamine deficiency which can lead to neurological problems.

While some human foods may be safe for cats to eat, it’s important to understand what they cannot eat. Chocolate, caffeine, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, and xylitol are all harmful to cats and should be avoided.

Meat-Based Products

For obligate carnivores like cats, meat-based products are essential in their diet. However, it’s important to be mindful of what types of meat-based products are safe and appropriate for your feline friend.

Safe and Appropriate Meat-Based Products for Cats

  • Cooked Chicken, Turkey, Beef, and Lamb: These high-quality meats provide essential protein and amino acids that cats require for optimal health. Make sure that the meat is cooked thoroughly without any additives or preservatives that could harm your cat’s health.
  • Organ Meats: Liver and kidney are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals for cats, but they should be fed in moderation due to their high levels of vitamin A and copper. Too much of these nutrients can lead to health problems.
  • Fish: Some types of fish like salmon and sardines can provide a great source of protein and omega-3s for your cat. However, it’s important to note that certain types of fish like tuna contain high levels of mercury and should only be given occasionally.

Meat-Based Products to Avoid

  • Raw or Undercooked Meat: Raw or undercooked meat may contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella or E.coli that can make your cat sick. Always cook meat thoroughly before serving it to your cat.
  • Processed Meats: Bacon or sausage may be tempting to share with your cat, but these processed meats contain high levels of salt and preservatives that can be detrimental to their health. Stay away from these products when feeding your cat.

Allergy Considerations

Our feline friends may seem invincible, but they can be just as vulnerable to allergies as we humans. In fact, certain foods can trigger allergic reactions in cats and it’s crucial to be aware of what they are. So, what should you know about allergy considerations for your cat?

First and foremost, cats are obligate carnivores, which means their diet should mainly consist of meat-based products. However, some meats like beef, dairy, fish, and chicken can cause allergic reactions in cats. To avoid any potential allergic reactions, it’s important to keep a close eye on your cat when introducing new foods into their diet.

What Cats Can And Cannot Eat-2

If your cat shows signs of an allergic reaction, such as vomiting, diarrhea, itching, skin rash, or difficulty breathing, it’s essential to take them to a veterinarian for an allergy test. Once the allergen is identified, it’s important to avoid feeding them that particular food. Your vet may recommend a hypoallergenic diet for your cat to prevent future allergic reactions.

In addition to being mindful of potential allergens in cat food, it’s also crucial to be aware of human foods that are toxic to cats. Chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, and avocado are just a few examples of foods that can be harmful and even fatal to cats. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods into your cat’s diet.

To ensure the health and wellbeing of your furry companion, it’s important to pay close attention to their diet and any signs of an allergic reaction. Seeking veterinary care immediately if you suspect an allergy is present is crucial.

Foods That Cats Cannot Eat

One of the most important ways to do this is by providing them with a balanced and appropriate diet. However, it’s essential to remember that some human foods can be harmful or even toxic to cats, so it’s crucial to be aware of the foods that cats cannot eat.

Firstly, let’s talk about dog food. While it may seem like an easy solution, feeding your cat dog food is not a good idea. Dog food does not meet the nutritional needs of cats and can lead to serious health issues such as urinary tract problems and malnutrition. So, let’s stick to cat food for your feline friends.

Next on the list are garlic and onions. These common ingredients in human food can cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. It’s essential to avoid feeding these ingredients to your cats in any form.

We all love chocolate, but this sweet treat is a big no-no for cats. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to cats and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death in severe cases. Similarly, caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided as they can cause serious health issues.

Avocado is a popular superfood for humans, but it’s harmful to cats. Avocado contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats. Grapes and raisins also fall into the category of harmful foods for cats as they can cause kidney failure.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many sugar-free products such as gum and candy. It’s toxic to cats and can cause insulin release leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It’s important to keep xylitol-containing products away from your feline friends.

Finally, let’s talk about fish. While it’s true that most cats love fish, not all types of fish are safe for them to eat. Raw salmon can contain a parasite called Neorickettsia helminthoeca which can cause salmon poisoning disease in cats. Tuna should also be fed in moderation as it can cause mercury poisoning if consumed in large amounts.


While this sweet treat is a well-known indulgence for humans, it’s toxic to cats. So why exactly is chocolate so harmful to our feline companions?

The answer lies in theobromine, a compound found in chocolate that cats and dogs cannot metabolize as efficiently as humans. When ingested, theobromine can build up in their system and lead to a host of health issues. The severity of these issues depends on the amount and type of chocolate consumed by your cat.

Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine compared to milk chocolate, making them more dangerous for cats. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, tremors, seizures, and in severe cases, death.

It is essential to keep all forms of chocolate away from your cat. This means being mindful of where you store your treats and keeping an eye on what your cat tries to sneakily nibble on. If you suspect your cat has eaten chocolate, seek veterinary care immediately. Your vet may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of theobromine in your cat’s system.


It’s crucial to understand the effects of caffeine on cats and how to protect your pet from consuming it.

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects a cat’s central nervous system. Unlike humans, cats cannot tolerate caffeine as their bodies cannot metabolize it effectively. Even small amounts of caffeine can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and in severe cases, even death.

To protect your cat from caffeine:

Keep all forms of caffeine away from your cat:

It’s essential to keep all forms of caffeine away from your cat, including coffee beans, tea bags, and chocolate. Many cat owners may not realize that chocolate contains caffeine and other compounds that are toxic to cats.

Educate yourself on safe foods for your cat:

Educating yourself on what foods and substances are safe for your feline friend to consume is crucial. Consulting with your veterinarian about your cat’s dietary needs is always a good idea.

Seek veterinary care immediately:

If you suspect that your cat has ingested caffeine or chocolate, do not wait for symptoms to appear. Contact your veterinarian immediately so they can help assess the severity of the situation and take appropriate measures to treat your cat’s symptoms.

Grapes and Raisins

It’s essential to remember that not all foods are safe for our pets. One food that poses a significant risk to cats is grapes and raisins.

The toxic effects of grapes and raisins on cats are well-documented. Even small amounts can cause kidney failure in felines, making it crucial to be aware of the symptoms. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased appetite. If you suspect that your cat has ingested grapes or raisins, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately.

The exact cause of grape and raisin toxicity in cats is still a mystery, although experts believe that tannins may play a significant role. Additionally, some studies have suggested that certain breeds may be more susceptible to grape and raisin toxicity than others.

To keep your cat safe from these harmful fruits, be vigilant about checking ingredient lists on packaged foods and keeping fresh produce out of reach. Instead, opt for safe treats like cooked chicken or turkey, small pieces of cheese, or freeze-dried meat treats specifically made for cats.

However, if you’re unsure about what foods are safe for your cat, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide valuable insights into your cat’s specific dietary needs and recommend safe treats that won’t put your pet’s health at risk.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, while flavorful and nutritious for humans, can cause serious health problems for our feline companions.

So, why are onions and garlic toxic to cats? These foods contain compounds that damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Even small amounts of these foods can be harmful to cats, whether they’re raw, cooked, powdered, or in any other form. Symptoms of onion and garlic toxicity in cats include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and pale gums.

To keep your cat safe, it’s best to avoid feeding them any foods that contain onions or garlic. This means checking ingredient lists on packaged foods like soups or stews before serving them to your cat. When cooking at home, be mindful of seasoning your dishes with these ingredients. Instead, opt for treats like cooked chicken or turkey, small pieces of cheese, or freeze-dried meat treats that won’t put your pet’s health at risk.

If you suspect that your cat has ingested onions or garlic, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care immediately. Treatment for onion and garlic toxicity in cats may include inducing vomiting, administering fluids and medications to support the cat’s red blood cells, and closely monitoring their condition.


As a responsible cat parent, it’s imperative to understand the dietary needs of your feline friend. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require meat to thrive. Therefore, high-quality commercial cat food with meat as the primary ingredient is the best option for your furry companion.

It’s essential to avoid feeding your cat certain human foods that can be toxic and even fatal. Foods like chocolate, caffeine, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, xylitol, processed meats like bacon or sausage should never be given to cats.

Furthermore, it’s important to be mindful of potential allergens in cat food and human foods that can cause severe health complications in felines. If you suspect that your cat has ingested harmful substances or is experiencing an allergic reaction, seeking veterinary care immediately is crucial.

In summary, providing a balanced and appropriate diet for your furry friend is one of the most significant ways to ensure their long-term health and wellbeing. By being aware of what cats can and cannot eat and taking preventative measures accordingly can help keep your feline friend happy and healthy for years to come.