Cats do want some human food. But there are human food that may cause stomach problems, and even illnesses in your cat.
Dog food is also not good for cats as they do not contain the nutrients that cat needs.
In “14 Human Foods You Shouldn’t Give to Your Cat” in preventivevet.com, veterinarian Jason Nicholas listed the human food some owners may have given or giving to their pets and the adverse effects of these food n cats.
Milk causes upset stomach and diarrhea.
“There are few images more quintessentially “cat” than a group of them gathered around a saucer of milk. If these pictures were a little more honest, they’d show the aftermath of upset stomachs and diarrhea. Because, despite the cliché, cats are not equipped to handle the lactose in dairy products.” Nicholas said.
Milk or dairy product from cows, sheep, goats, and even other cats (after they’ve been weaned as kittens) can cause digestive problems.
2. Onions and Garlic
Do not give food with onions, garlic, shallots, chives, or other food that contain thiosulphate, a compound that can cause serious problems.
“When enough is eaten, the thiosulphate causes destruction of their red blood cells, a devastating condition called hemolytic anemia,” Nicholas said.
You can give chicken broth to cats but make sure it does not contain onions and garlic.
Nicholas said even a small amount of alcohol can cause the following in cats:
Please do not leave drinks on the table, kitchen counter, or anywhere your cat has access to, Nicholas said.
Clean spills immediately. A lick or two can cause serious problems in your cat.
Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs. Ingesting chocolate can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, blood pressure drop, breathing problems, and even heart failure.
The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa it contains, the more toxic it is, said Nicholas.
5. Grapes, Raisins and Currants
These food can cause kidney failure in dogs. To be safe, it is wise to avoid giving these food to your cat because “acute kidney failure is just too great a risk,” said Nicholas
Nicholas said caffeine toxicity in cats can lead to:
Increased heart rate
Difficulty in breathing
“It’s unlikely that a quick taste of your coffee, energy drink, or soda will cause severe issues for your cat, but raw coffee grounds and tea bags could contain enough caffeine to quickly create a problem, should your cat be so inclined to eat some,” Nicholas added.
7. Raw Meat
Most owners are tempted to give their cats raw meat thinking wild cats eat raw meat. But your cat does not live in the wild and raw meat may contain harmful disease-causing bacteria like salmonella and e. coli (some of which can be resistant to antibitoics) , and parasites like toxoplasma and tapeworm, said Nicholas.
“If you want to home-prepare your cat’s food, or feed them a ‘less processed’ diet, at least freeze and properly cook the meat to minimize the risks of giving your cat (and yourself) food-poisoning or a parasitic infection. And also be sure to work with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that your cat’s diet has the correct nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other components — and that they’re in the proper amounts and balance, too,” Nicholas added.
8. Raw Dough
Nicholas explained that the yeast in even a small amount of raw bread or pizza dough “can quickly produce enough alcohol and carbon dioxide to cause serious problems for a cat.”
“And the dough itself can ‘rise’ (expand) within the cat’s stomach to a size that can require surgery to remove the digestive obstruction,” Nicholas added.
9. Cooked Tuna
Tuna is not enough to fulfill the complex dietary needs of cats. Too much of tuna can also put your cat at risk of mercury poisoning.
10. Raw Seafood
Raw seafood contain thiaminase enzymes which break down and cause thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is a very important Vitamin B, said Nicholas.
“Fortunately, the heat from cooking these foods is enough to change the thiaminase enzymes and render them harmless,” Nicholas said.
Thus, always cook tuna, anchovies, sardines, herring, carp, mussels, clams, and other seafood before giving them to your cat.
11. Liver (raw)
It is okay to give a little liver to cats but cook it first.
Nicholas said: “liver can be a great source of protein, iron, and several other nutrients. But you can have too much of a good thing! Liver is very high in vitamin A, and vitamin A is fat-soluble (builds up in fat cells within the body). So a cat eating too much liver for too long can build up a dangerous imbalance of vitamin A — a condition called hypervitaminosis A.”
12. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs can contain salmonella.
Also, the protein in egg whites called avidin can block the absorption of biotin, an important vitamin,B from the intestines, Nicholas said.
“However, cooking the egg whites changes the structure of avidin, rendering it harmless,” Nicholas said.
Bones- cooked or not, can cause serious problems in cats.
“Small, brittle bones — like those in chicken, turkey, and other birds — can splinter and cause serious damage to the mouth and digestive tract of cats,” Nicholas said.
14. Dog Food
Dog food does not contain all the nutrient a cat needs.
“Cats aren’t “small dogs” and therefore have different nutritional needs than dogs, such as a higher requirement for dietary taurine. This is an amino acid breakdown product that is critical in proper health and function of the heart, eyes, and other organs.,” Nicholas said.
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