Heather Ridge Pet Hospital

5901 S. Remington Place Suite 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

(605)371-1600

heatherridgepet.com

Ask any of the 38.9 million households that have cats in the United States, and they'll tell you that their feline friends are more than just pets, they're family. But unlike fellow humans, your cat shouldn't help themselves to everything on your plate. In fact, some foods can affect cats' digestive systems in negative ways, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If these conditions aren't treated, they can lead to serious complications down the line.

What foods are bad for cats?Generally speaking, you should talk to your veterinary technician at your local pet hospital before feeding your cat anything that isn't specially formulated for cats. However, here are a few specific items you should keep away from your cat:

Alcohol
Like people, cats get drunk. However, unlike people, their livers are not equipped to handle alcohol, and can cause severe liver and brain damage. Even a dose as small as a tablespoon can put an adult cat in a coma.

Chocolate
Like dogs, cats are intolerant to a compound called theobromine that is found in chocolate. It is found in its most concentrated form in dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Chocolate consumption can cause heart arrhythmia's, muscle tremors, and seizures.

Dairy
Despite the common misconception that kittens like milk, cats can easily become lactose intolerant when they become adults. When lactose intolerant, dairy products can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats.

Tuna
Contrary to popular belief, tuna sold for human consumption is not suitable for feline consumption. In fact, it may cause digestive upset and even a painful condition called steatitis, or inflammation of the body's fat.

These aren't the only foods that cause digestive upset in cats. Talk to your pet health care specialist about what specific diet your cat should have. And be sure to monitor how much your cat eats. Believe it or not, an average-sized cat needs only up to 350 calories per day to live happily. Through regular routine preventive care for pets at your local veterinary practice, you'll be able to figure out exactly which diet works for your cat.

And if you're one of the 46 million households who own dogs, be sure to check out our list of foods that should be avoided by canines. Again, routine preventive care for pets is the best medicine of all!