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What Can Cats Not Eat?
Cat Food

What Can Cats Not Eat?

We adore our feline family members and want only the best for them. Part of the best for them is a healthy, balanced diet that meets their nutritional requirements. Although we can share some of the human foods with our cats, some are toxic to them. In this comprehensive guide, we answer the question, “What can cats not eat?”

While cats should get their nutritional requirements from cat food, there’s no harm in them eating some of the human food. However, you should be careful to ensure that you don’t give them food that’s toxic to them. 

But, what are some of the foods that are toxic to cats?

Which Human Foods Are Toxic to Cats?

Food that’s toxic to cats affects their digestive system, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or even death in fatal cases. 

Human food for cats that’s toxic include the following:


Wine, beer, liquor, or any food that contains alcohol is dangerous for cats. Just like alcohol affects the human liver, consumption of alcohol does the same for cats. Also, alcohol affects their brain. However, for cats, it takes much less alcohol to cause severe damage. It only takes a teaspoon of alcohol to harm a cat’s nervous and digestive systems. 

Symptoms of alcohol ingestion include breathing problems, diarrhea, vomiting, a coma, and even death.

Yeast Dough

When your cat eats yeast dough, the yeast will ferment leading to alcohol poisoning. Signs of yeast dough consumption include severe abdominal pain, stomach bloating, and diarrhea. If your cat eats yeast dough, take them to the vet immediately.


Some cat owners think that giving their cats chocolate is a fancy treat. Chocolate contains a dangerous agent called theobromine. If your cat eats chocolate, the consequences can be fatal. It causes seizures, heart complications, tremors, and death.


Coffee contains caffeine that will harm your cat. Caffeine causes muscle tremors, breathing problems, tremors, and vomiting. 

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are acidic and will upset your cat’s stomach if they eat them. Oranges, lime, clementines, grapefruits, and lemons should be avoided. Also, the stems, peels, seeds, and leaves should be avoided.

Coconut Flesh and Coconut Water

Coconut flesh and water will cause digestive issues for your cat. Coconut water contains too much potassium that’s harmful to cats.


Can cats eat cheese? No. The majority of cats are lactose-intolerant. Since their digestive system can’t process dairy foods, consuming it will cause digestive problems with symptoms like diarrhea.

Grapes and Raisins

Can cats eat grapes? No. Consumption of grapes and raisins will lead to kidney failure in cats. 


Nuts have a high fat content that’s dangerous for cats. Eating nuts will lead to an upset digestive system with signs like vomiting, pancreatitis, and diarrhea.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs contain a protein called avidin that will affect your cat’s skin. Avidin stops the absorption of vitamin B biotin which helps with your cat’s skin health. Also, raw eggs contain bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella that will cause food poisoning in cats.

Raw or Undercooked Meat

Can cats eat ham? No. Since cats are carnivores, some cat owners think it’s safe for them to eat raw meat. But, raw meat or undercooked meat contains harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.

Raw Fish

Like raw meat, raw fish has dangerous bacteria that cause food poisoning in cats. Also, it destroys thiamine that’s necessary for your cat’s proper neurological functioning. Lack of thiamine will cause neurological issues and lead to seizures and coma. 


Excess salt is harmful to your cat. It causes diarrhea, tremors, vomiting, and convulsions.

Some Vegetables and Herbs

Can cats eat onions? No. Onions, whether cooked, raw, or powdered, are toxic for cats. It leads to onion poisoning and destroys the red blood cells. When the red blood cells are damaged, it causes anemia. 

Cats shouldn't eat vegetables like mushrooms, scallions, shallots, and garlic. Also, herbs like lavender and bitterroot should be avoided.


A lot of human foods use xylitol as a sugar alternative. If pets ingest xylitol, it causes lethargy, vomiting, and liver failure.

Dog Food

Although dog food is made with almost similar ingredients, it’s specifically designed for dogs. You can’t substitute a cat’s diet with dog food. Cats have unique nutritional requirements that are different from a dog’s.

Preventing Cats From Eating Dangerous Foods

By nature, cats are curious animals, and sometimes, even when we take precautions, they may still find and eat something they shouldn’t. To prevent cats from eating dangerous foods, practice the following:

  • Don’t feed your cat table scraps

  • When you cook, don’t let your cat sit on the counter

  • Keep toxic food items out of your cat’s reach

  • If you can’t eat the food raw or cooked, your cat also shouldn’t

  • When you have guests over, talk to them about food-enticing your cats

My Cat’s Eaten Poisonous Food, What Should I Do?

If your cat eats poisonous food, consult your veterinarian immediately. As the experts, they will give proper diagnosis and treatment.


Although there are foods that we can share with our feline friends, there are others that are toxic to them. These toxic foods can affect your cat’s digestive system and give a myriad of very unpleasant symptoms. Consumption of some of these foods has fatal results like death for your cat. We believe that our comprehensive guide has helped answer the question of what cats can't eat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What human food can cats eat?

Human foods cats can safely eat include cooked meat, scrambled eggs, carrots, apples, lettuce, cucumbers, and oats.

What does a cat eat?

Cats are obligate carnivores and their nutritional requirement is that their core diet should be meat.