As you plan your cat’s menu and learn to create meals that are both to his or her liking and health, you will need to keep in mind that there is a long list of foods a cat should never eat. They include:
The cat liver is not able to detoxify alcohol; repeated ingestion can cause liver damage, comas, and lead to death.
Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that is harmless to humans but dangerous for cats. Avocados will really upset your cat’s stomach, making him or her vomit and suffer from diarrhea. The toxin will also cause respiratory and heart issues in your cat that can eventually lead to death.
For some reason, there are cat parents who misguidedly feed their cats human baby foods, believing that because they are safe for babies they must be harmless to cats. Unfortunately, many baby foods have high carbohydrate content and are filled with wheat and soy, which your cat cannot tolerate well. Also, meat-based baby foods often contain onion powder, which is toxic to cats.
As mentioned earlier in this chapter, cooked bones become brittle. If a cat should eat one, it can lacerate an intestine or become lodged inside him or her.
Fresh tuna is fine to feed your cat every once in a while, but canned tuna often contains high levels of mercury, which can cause neurological problems in your cat.
6-Chocolate and cocoa:
Theobromine is a substance in chocolate that will make a cat’s heart have an irregular heartbeat and will also cause frequent urination. A cat that eats chocolate or cocoa may suffer initially with hyperactivity and excessive thirst. If your cat ingests a large enough amount, he or she may further suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and even from a heart attack.
7-Coffee and tea:
As with humans, caffeine will make your cat hyperactive and speed up his or her heart rate. Coffee and tea contain theobromine, which can cause vomiting and even be toxic to the heart.
8-Citrus and citrus oil extracts:
Citrus is extremely upsetting to a cat’s stomach and may induce vomiting.
Only feed your cat milk and other dairy products if you are absolutely certain he or she is not lactose intolerant. If your cat truly loves milk, you can offer lactose-free milk, goat’s milk, and evaporated milk.
Canine treats and kibble may not cause a problem for your cat initially, but fed repeatedly may result in malnutrition and heart complications.
Cats need fat for energy and essential fatty acids, but fat trimmings served alone can cause pancreatitis.
It is believed that most cats can tolerate garlic in small amounts that are less than an ounce a day, but larger amounts can be toxic. However, there are no studies to date specifying exactly how much is too much. There are few benefits to feeding your cat garlic, so unless your veterinarian suggests giving it to your cat for pest control or heart conditions, you may just want to leave it out of his or her food.
13-Grapes and raisins:
Cats cannot ingest grapes, raisins, or other grape products because even in tiny amounts, they can cause damage to a cat’s kidneys.
14-Green tomatoes and tomato leaves:
Tomatoes, along with potatoes, are in the same plant family as the deadly nightshade. They contain a poisonous alkaloid, glycoalkaloid solanine, which a cat’s sensitive stomach just cannot handle. Cooking ripe tomatoes will deplete all the glycoalkaloid solanine from them, but not from green tomatoes or the tomato plant.
15-Human vitamin supplements:
Cats’ vitamin and mineral needs are very different from their owners’. Human vitamin supplements are toxic for a cat because they are geared toward an animal with different nutrient needs. Also, many human supplements contain wheat and soy products in them as filler.
Though small amounts of the liver are perfectly fine for a cat and are even a great source of the essential amino acid, taurine, large amounts of it will create vitamin A toxicity. If you want to serve your cat liver, you can mix it in with the other meat he or she is eating that day; feed tiny, teaspoon-sized amounts as a special treat, or just do not feed your cat liver every day.
Macadamia nuts, in particular, seem to be toxic to cats, but you should refrain from feeding your cat any kind of nuts. Most contain high levels of phosphorous, which although it is a needed mineral, can be toxic if a cat ingests too much.
Onions were just not made for dogs and cats. Onions and all onion products contain disulfides that damage and destroy red blood cells and cause anemia.
The seeds in persimmons can create blockages in your cat’s intestines and cause the gastrointestinal infection enteritis.
Most cats do not handle pork well; it seems to upset their stomachs.
Although cooked, skinless white potatoes are fine for your cat, raw potatoes contain a poisonous substance called glycoalkaloid solanine that can create a serious gastrointestinal upset. The uncooked peelings and green potatoes contain that substance as well and are equally toxic to your cat.
The leaves of rhubarb contain oxalates, which can be toxic and cause a condition called oxalic poisoning that will result in kidney failure. A cooked rhubarb stem is relatively safe for a cat to eat, but its fiber content is much too high to tolerate well.
Raw eggs not only carry a risk of salmonella poisoning, but they also contain avidin, an enzyme that will inhibit the cat’s ability to absorb vitamins if eaten too often.
Feeding your cat raw fish on a regular basis can lead to a vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency. Some fish also contain parasites and such environmental pollutants as PCGs or mercury, which can weaken a cat’s immune system.
Depending on your cat’s particular state of health, he or she may be able to have salt added to his food but consult your veterinarian first, because too much salt will lead to an electrolyte imbalance.
A cat’s body was not meant to ingest sugar. As in humans, sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, and dental problems.