Foods That Are Poisonous to Your Cat: Unveiling the Silent Threats Lurking in Your Kitchen

Cats are some of the most common pets with over 46.5 million households having a feline friend at home. The furry creatures are notorious for having a mind of their own and easily becoming integrated into family life. They are known for their adventurous spirits and curious streaks, and these traits often make them all the more adorable. However, these distinct attitudes also lead to curiosity that can turn dangerous.

Cat poisonings are not uncommon, and their inquisitive nature means that cats often interact with or ingest things that are poisonous to them. Many owners may find themselves unaware of the hazardous foods and plants that pose a risk to their cat's health as this is not always emphasized when adopting or adding a cat to your household. In order to be best prepared, an owner can poison-proof their house and monitor their cat's behavior to prevent the death of a feline.

The Importance Of Knowing The Foods That Are Poisonous To Your Cat

Cats are known to be relatively picky eaters with ritualistic habits regarding when, where, and what they eat. However, cats are also naturally curious. This natural curiosity often leads them to munch on plants or food that can be extremely harmful to them, and there are a variety of common foods that are toxic to cats. This illustrates the importance of knowing what foods are poisonous to your cat. This knowledge can help you to assess your home and take the proper steps in order to ensure a healthy and safe environment for your pet. 

Cat owners do not always think about how cats and poison are related, and for many, the prospect of learning about all of the potential hazards and pet poisons to their cats can seem overwhelming. Simple internet searches often bring up lengthy lists of plants and foods that can pose a risk to your pet. While this topic can seem quite scary at first, arming yourself with the necessary information can help you to feel more confident in reducing the potential for feline poisoning.


One of the best resources you can utilize when looking to create a safety and health plan for your cat in regard to poison safety is your own personal vet. These professionals are trained to help you ensure the health and safety of your feline friends. If you feel lost in the search for information pertaining to top cat poisons, stop by to ask your vet for their opinion. They will be more than happy to talk you through a proper prevention plan and inform you of the most common dangers to your furry pal. 

Your vet will appreciate you taking the initiative in order to guarantee the health and well-being of your cat. Your vet can also chat with you about the best ways to handle accidental poisoning. Even for owners that are extremely safe and well-prepared, mistakes can always happen. Having a plan for a worst-case scenario can help you navigate potentially stressful situations with a level head.


The internet is another wonderful place to gather information regarding the potentially dangerous substances that can harm the health of cats. However, it is important to gain your information from reputable sources. 

It is advised that you gain your information from accredited veterinarian websites or animal hospitals, rescues, and educational organizations. These groups specialize in animal welfare and healthcare making them ideal sources of information. By reading articles written by these websites, you can assure yourself that you are gathering the best and most accurate information in regard to potential poisons. 

Why Is It Important To Gain This Knowledge As A Pet Owner?

You may now be wondering why it is important to go to such lengths as a pet owner if you have never dealt with accidental cat poisonings before. However, it is so important to be prepared for even the worst-case scenarios. This enables you to handle potentially stressful situations with a level head and this can increase your cat's chance of survival if the worst were ever to occur. 

Educating yourself on the potential hazards to your pet helps you to become a responsible pet owner. This in turn can often inspire and encourage other people to become even better pet owners that value the health of their furry friends. This positive ripple effect can truly impact the number of accidental cat poisonings we see every year due to a lack of knowledge on behalf of the owners. 

Your cat truly does become an integral part of your family unit and this means that special care should be paid to their health and well-being. Despite their extremely smart demeanor, cats do not always know what is best for themselves, and a loving owner that keeps a close eye on their pet can help ensure they live wonderfully long and healthy lives.


Another characteristic quality of cats is their independent nature. Cats are quite self-sufficient and often require less hands-on attention than dogs. This means that it is quite common for people to leave them alone at home while they attend work or school.

While this self-reliance can be an attractive quality to some people, this means that special care needs to be taken when ensuring that your home is safe before leaving your cat alone and unsupervised for any period of time.

Even a quick run to the store can be enough time for your furry friend to munch on a plant that may prove fatal. Their natural curiosity tends to lead them to investigate things that can be hazardous to their health. Arming yourself with valuable knowledge regarding the most common hazards to cats can help you to prevent the death of a cat while you are out of the house.


There are also many families that have children in the same home and space as their pet cats. Children are oftentimes unaware of the dangers that some foods and ingredients can pose to their beloved pets. Some children will feed their cats food from their own plates and in doing so can harm the cat's overall health and well-being.

Therefore, if you have children in the home, make sure to inform them of proper safety techniques when it comes to avoiding potentially poisoning your cat. This can help to promote cat poisoning awareness. If your child is extremely young, make sure to keep a close eye on them when they are interacting with the family cat. 

What Kinds Of Foods Are Poisonous To Cats?

When creating a poison prevention plan, owners need to be aware of the poisonous foods to cats that can be hazardous to their feline friends. This section of the article will cover the human foods that are poisonous to cats while also covering what cats can and can't eat.


Onions and other root vegetables can cause damage to a cat's red blood cells through a process called hemolytic anemia. This condition can prove fatal if too much of a toxic substance is ingested.


Seafood that is meant for human consumption can also be toxic to cats due to extremely high amounts of sodium that can disrupt the salt balance within a cat's body. These toxic foods to cats can lead to toxicity in cats and health concerns. Therefore, it should be avoided at all costs. 


Caffeine found in coffee, chocolate, and any other form can be extremely fatal to cats. Therefore these toxic hazards for cats can be very dangerous, and it is extremely important to avoid allowing your cat access to these products. 


These oil extracts can be very toxic to cats if ingested. Ingredients such as psoralens can be found in these oils and are known to be poisonous to cats. Make sure to check the ingredient list in any air fresheners or essential oils before bringing them into your home. 


The consumption of grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in cats making them one of the more dangerous foods on this list. Make sure to never feed them to your cat or leave grapes laying around your house, as they are among the leading household hazards for cats. 


Marijuana and other drugs can be harmful to a cat if ingested. This should never be left in an area that is accessible to cats. 


Mushrooms are also toxic to cats and should not be fed to your pets or left in areas where cats can easily eat them. This also means that you should keep a watchful eye on your cat if you ever let it outside where wild mushrooms can grow. 


Potatoes and rhubarb can also be harmful to cats especially when raw. If any part of the potato or rhubarb plant has been consumed by your cat, make sure to contact your vet immediately as this can be fatal. 


Tomatoes and their leaves and stems are also fatal to cats and should never be ingested. This means that you should be very careful when using tomatoes in your food. Make sure to keep your cat off the counters and never feed them from your plate. 


Zylitol is an artificial sweetener that has been shown to be quite toxic for dogs. While this ingredient has not proven to be as harmful to cats, it is still important to never feed this food to your cat. 


Raw eggs can be harmful to both humans and pets due to their potential to contain salmonella. Make sure to never feed your cat raw eggs as this can prove to be quite toxic and may harm their overall health. 

As you notice how common these foods are, you might begin to understand why poisoning in cats is not uncommon. If you keep any of these foods on hand, make sure to safely store them away from your cat. Simply putting them in a cupboard is not always sufficient to keep inquisitive kitties away. Many cats are also able to paw open cabinet doors, so any food that is potentially hazardous to them should be stored behind childproof locks or in a way that will not allow them to munch on dangerous items. 

This means you should not leave any of these items unattended while preparing food. Even turning away for the smallest amount of time can leave a window of opportunity for your cat to ingest hazardous food and fall ill. You should also make sure that your cat does not get too close when you are preparing any of these items. For instance, chopping onions can irritate human eyes, but can also irritate your cat companion's as well. 

Consider keeping them in a separate room while you prepare items that can be hazardous to their well-being. Also, make sure to communicate with children and guests that feeding your cat any of these prepared items is not allowed and can result in making your pet very sick. This reminder will hopefully prevent any accidental poisonings when it comes to ingesting human foods.

How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Poisonous Foods

Now that you understand some of the dangers of potential poisoning as well as some of the foods that can be harmful to your pet, it is important to learn how to prevent your cat from eating these foods. 


Making sure to store food out of your cat's reach is a great way to prevent potential cat poisoning. It is important to know your cat's behaviors when trying to find safe places to store food that is toxic to them. If you know that your cat likes to climb or paw open cupboards, you might want to store food behind a pantry door or inside a cupboard with a child-proof lock. If your cat does not have access to your kitchen or doesn't climb, storing food high up out of reach may be sufficient.


As mentioned before, cats love to climb. However, it is important to keep them off of counters and tables when you are eating or preparing food. This can help to prevent cats from eating food that is potentially dangerous. This can also discourage cats from trying to climb up onto surfaces where food is present even when you are not around. A simple spray bottle with water is usually enough to teach a cat that they are not allowed on counters when food is out. Make sure to clean up thoroughly after eating and preparing a meal in order to minimize the risk of exposing your pet to dangerous toxins.


Some kids and guests enjoy trying to feed other people's pets scraps from the table. Make sure to inform your guests that this is a potentially harmful habit that may seem innocent at first. Explaining that many foods are poisonous to cats can help educate more people about pet poison prevention. 

The Signs & Symptoms Of Cat Poisoning

However, accidents can happen no matter how careful you are. This section of the article will cover the warning signs that may hint your cat has been accidentally poisoned. If you notice any of the symptoms discussed in this section of the article, make sure to contact your local vet in order to determine the best way to handle the situation.

Sluggishness. If you begin to notice that your pet is acting very lethargic and sluggish, you may want to reach out to your vet to get their professional opinion. You know your pet best, and their behavior can indicate when they are not feeling their best. Our pets cannot communicate with us using words so it is important to pay close attention to their body cues. If you begin to notice uncharacteristic sluggishness make sure to reach out to a professional and try to determine if your pet ingested something harmful. 


Unsteady Gait. Another symptom of accidental cat poisoning is if they begin to move with a very unsteady gait. If you begin to notice that your pet seems off balance or they are staggering around your house, make sure to call your vet immediately. Staggering can be a symptom of many different ailments, however, it is a sign that your pet may have ingested something they should not have. Reaching out to your vet can help you to determine what is causing the concerning behavior. 


Drooling.   Drooling is somewhat common in dogs, however, it is less common in cats. If you notice that your cat is drooling excessively, you may want to reach out to your vet in order to determine the cause. This can often be a sign that something is not right within your cat's body and you should try to determine if your cat has ingested something that could be hazardous to their health. 


Heavy Breathing. Cats are generally not known to be heavy breathers. Labored breathing often indicates that your cat is not faring the best and may require additional medical attention. If you notice that your cat seems to be panting or struggling to catch their breath, make sure to seek medical assistance. Look around your surroundings to see if there are any potential hazards that your cat got into as this can help speed up a possible diagnosis. 


Diarrhea. Diarrhea is generally an indicator of poor health. This symptom is associated with a variety of cat-related illnesses, but it is a strong indicator of accidental poisoning as well. This is why it is important to check your cat's litter box on a regular basis. Knowing if and when your cat has diarrhea can help you to treat potential poisonings and better ensure the health of your kitty. 


Seizures. Seizures or intense tremors of the body often indicate a more serious health concern with cats. If you observe that your cat begins to shake uncontrollably, make sure to call your vet right away. This can indicate a serious potential poisoning and action should be taken immediately. It is smart to ensure that your cat is away from any objects that can potentially hurt it while experiencing a seizure. Your vet may offer some advice such as giving your cat space when dealing with a cat seizure. They will also be able to help you with the next steps of treating and diagnosing the situation. 


Sudden Bouts Of Vomiting. Cats that have eaten things that are poisonous may also exhibit signs of vomiting. While this can help to flush their system of the hazardous foods, it is very important that owners do not try to initiate vomiting as this can damage the tissues in your cat's throat and may pose a potential choking hazard. If you notice that your cat is vomiting in a concerning manner, make sure to contact your vet for further advice. This would also be a time to look around and try to determine what your cat may have ingested that would create this sort of reaction. 

How Long Does It Take A Cat To Show Signs Of Poisoning?

The symptoms of poisoning can last for a variable amount of time depending on the type of food that was eaten by the cat. It is always good to contact your vet for advice when dealing with a potential poisoning, but if symptoms last for longer than 24 or 48 hours, make sure to immediately take your pet in for treatment at your vet's office or at an emergency pet hospital. 

If only a small amount of toxic food was eaten, it is fairly typical for symptoms to fade after the first 24 hours. It is important to make sure your pet stays hydrated while the poison works its way through its system. It is also quite common for pets to lose their appetite after ingesting something harmful, so check with your vet to determine what foods you should be trying to feed your cat during this time. Some common options that are gentle on your cat's stomach are cooked pumpkin and rice.

What You Should Do If You Suspect Your Cat Has Eaten Something Poisonous And How To Treat A Poisoned Cat

With their natural curiosity, it can be difficult to keep a close eye on your cat at all times. This means that it is possible for your cat to eat or ingest harmful materials without you noticing. If you begin to suspect your cat has eaten something harmful, or you directly observe your cat ingesting a poisonous substance, make sure to call your vet right away. This proactive behavior can save the life of your pet. If you do not know what vet to call, you can also call the poison control center in order to determine the best plan of action to treat your beloved companion. 

Do not be afraid to take your pet to an emergency clinic if you think they may have been accidentally poisoned. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health and well-being of your pet. Animal healthcare professionals will always be happy to assist you in these situations as they too care for the health of your animal. No medical professional will be upset with you for bringing in your pet as a precaution. They might even offer helpful insight regarding a future poison prevention plan to implement in your home and yard. 

Other Helpful Resources Regarding Accidental Cat Poisonings

If you are still in search of more information regarding accidental cat poisonings, there are still a variety of helpful resources available to you. 


As mentioned previously, it is never a bad idea to contact your personal veterinarian to ask them questions regarding accidental pet poisoning. If you suspect your cat may have eaten something toxic or are just wondering about preventative actions, your local vet will be happy to offer insight and advice regarding this topic.


In more time-sensitive moments when the possibility of poisoning is high, make sure to call the pet poison hotline. This number is available 24-7 and they are happy to help you navigate this stressful situation. They can help you determine what your cat may have ingested and will be able to help you determine what steps need to be taken to maintain the health and well-being of your feline friend. 


There are also a variety of helpful websites that can help you to determine how to face any potential cat poisoning scenarios. For example, organizations such as the ASPCA have comprehensive websites that can offer useful advice when it comes to accidental cat poisoning. Make sure to supplement this information with the advice of medically trained professionals as well in the case of an accidental poisoning. 

Ways To Honor Your Cat's Memory If They Have Passed Away From An Accidental Poisoning

Accidental poisonings do contribute to the number of household cat deaths each year, and this experience can be extremely traumatizing for the family. If you or a loved one has dealt with this kind of loss, there are a variety of ways to navigate through the grief and honor the memory of the beloved pet. 


Rather than memory jewelry for cats, consider a memorial stone. If you love spending time outside or your cat enjoyed staring out at your garden from the window, you might consider getting a memorial stone created for your yard. You can personalize these stones with the name of your cat as well as a favorite quote. As you spend time in your garden or yard, this stone can act as a gentle reminder of your cherished cat. 


Jewelry made from cat ashes can help you to memorialize a beloved pet after losing them tragically to accidental poisoning. Cremation jewelry for cats created by Jewelry Keepsakes can come in a variety of metal finishes and stylistic designs. The ability to customize each piece ensures that the wearer will feel a strong connection to their beloved pet. These designs are most commonly crafted into necklaces or other jewelry in remembrance of your pet cat and can even be customized with colorful resins. Check out this helpful article in order to learn how to care for these specialty cremation pieces.


Another wonderful way to honor the memory of your beloved cat is to create a memory photo blanket or pillow. These blankets or pillows can be customized with your favorite picture of your cat, allowing you to be reminded of their playful spirit. These items can then be placed throughout your house in order to memorialize your lost pet. These items can also make wonderful gifts for others that may be struggling with the loss of a cat to an accidental poisoning.


Jewelry Keepsakes also creates stunning affordable photo-engraved cat jewelry pieces that can help you to cope with the loss of your pet. This jewelry in remembrance of cats--such as necklaces and bracelets can be personalized with your favorite picture of your feline friend. All you need to do is submit a photo of your cherished pet and select the specific design you would like it printed on.

You can then feel a special connection with your beloved pet as you wear or carry the photo-engraved keepsake with you. If you are not interested in gift jewelry for the death of a cat, you can have a rearview mirror pendant, money clips, or wallet cards all personalized and engraved with the photo of your choosing. Check out this article to decide which option is best for you. 


You can also create a piece of stunning jewelry using the ashes of your passed feline. There are a variety of beautiful designs and colored resins to choose from, and these high-quality keepsakes are hand-crafted to last a lifetime. This use of ashes to form a lifelong piece of cherished jewelry can help to ensure that the memory of your lost pet lives on in your heart. This ultimate guide can help you decide on which piece is best for you. 


You can also create a piece of stunning jewelry using the ashes of your passed feline. There are a variety of beautiful designs and colored resins to choose from, and these high-quality keepsakes are hand-crafted to last a lifetime. This use of ashes to form a lifelong piece of cherished jewelry can help to ensure that the memory of your lost pet lives on in your heart. This ultimate guide can help you decide on which piece is best for you. 


You can also create a piece of stunning jewelry using the ashes of your passed feline. There are a variety of beautiful designs and colored resins to choose from, and these high-quality keepsakes are hand-crafted to last a lifetime. This use of ashes to form a lifelong piece of cherished jewelry can help to ensure that the memory of your lost pet lives on in your heart. This ultimate guide can help you decide on which piece is best for you. 

Cat Poisoning Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most toxic foods for cats?

Some foods that are extremely toxic to cats are onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and grapes. These foods can cause serious damage to a cat's health and may even threaten their life. It is very important to keep these items out of your cat's reach in order to ensure their health and well-being. 

Can cats eat chocolate?

No cats cannot eat chocolate. This sweet can be very harmful to your feline friend. Chocolate is known to contain caffeine which can be deadly to cats if ingested in large enough amounts. This means that chocolate should always remain off-limits to cats. 

How can I tell if my cat has eaten something poisonous?

There are a few ways that you can tell if your cat has eaten something poisonous. If you begin to notice symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or unsteadiness make sure to contact your vet or pet poison control hotline. These symptoms may indicate that your cat's body is rejecting a poisonous substance they ingested. 

What are some healthy fruits and vegetables that cats can eat?

Some healthy foods for cats include apples, blueberries, and bananas. These fruits are tasty and quite nutritious for your feline friend. Some vegetables they can eat are broccoli and carrots. These veggies are also nutrient dense and safe for your kitty. However, make sure you are still prioritizing a carnivore-based diet for your feline friend as protein is essential to their well-being. 

What foods are cats allowed to eat?

Cats are allowed to eat a variety of fruits and veggies such as the ones listed above, but they are most well known for being meat eaters. Cats can enjoy various salmon, chicken, and beef. However, make sure to check with your vet before feeding your cat any new food. It is always important to verify that your cat is able to eat certain things before letting them try anything different. 

Taking Care Of Our Feline Friends

The loss of a cat can be devastating, and the loss of your cat to an accidental poisoning can conjure up feelings of guilt in addition to grief. Cats are important members of the family and their independent spirits can help their owners feel less alone. Therefore, when they pass away, the following weeks and months can be extremely difficult and challenging. The pain of losing a pet shows the importance of creating at-home poison prevention plans.

By educating yourself on toxic foods and poisonous plants, you can be better equipped to care for your cat and prioritize their well-being. Make sure to stay in contact with your local vet and pet poison hotline in the case of an emergency.

July 19, 2023 by Jeri K. Augustus