Are you aware of the foods that are toxic to your feline friend? Whilst many people know that certain foods are toxic to dogs, there are many who are seemingly unaware that cats can also be poisoned by foods commonly found in our homes.
Whilst our canine friends have a tendency to eat anything they lay their paws on, cats can be rather particular when it comes to food, which is why severe poisoning from human foods in cats is rare. However, exposure to toxic human foods does still occasionally happen, and so it’s something to be aware of.
We all know cats are curious beings — and some many choose toeat things they shouldn’t through inquisitiveness or by being fed inappropriate food by owners. Food is readily available in the home and is often left unattended or improperly stored, and many cats like to investigate shopping bags, fruit bowls and waste bins.
As part of International Cat Care’s ‘Keeping Cats Safe’ campaign, the charity is highlighting the dangers that particular foods pose to cats.
Foods that are toxic to cats include:
- Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
- Allium species (onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions and chives)
- Grapes (including raisins, sultanas and currants)
- Gone-off or mouldy foods, including some dairy products, bread, rice, fruit and nuts.
Indirect exposure is the most likely way in which cats become poisoned by allium species. Onions and garlic may not be attractive to cats on their own, however they are frequently present in soups, baby foods, seasoning, stock cubes, sauces and marinades, chutneys and many ready meals, and poisonings have occurred following the ingestion of these foodstuffs particularly where meat and/or meat-flavourings are the main constituent. Effects of allium poisoning can occur from a single large dose or smaller repeated dosing and can even result in anaemia in the cat.
Signs from poisoning after ingesting toxic human foods include vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive drinking, lethargy, disorientation, rapid heart rate and breathing, depression or hyperactivity, and in severe cases convulsions. If you suspect your cat may have ingested a toxic food or drink, seek veterinary attention immediately. Treatment and outcome will depend on the type of poisoning and the severity of the toxicity. Thankfully, severe cases in cats are rare.
In the case of alcohol (ethanol), it is important to note that toxicity might not just occur from the ingestion of traditional alcoholic drinks — but also from products containing alcohol, including surgical spirit and alcohol hand gel.
This campaign is being run with the support of Agria Pet Insurance and the Veterinary Poisons Information Service. Full details about the campaign can be found here.