What Can’t Cats Eat?

Ensuring your cat gets a healthy, balanced diet is one way to ensure your feline feels at its best.

However, cats are naturally explorative creatures. It can be difficult to keep track of what your cat is doing all of the time, meaning that sometimes it will get its paws on something you didn’t intend.

Here’s a list of things that you really do need to keep away from your cat.

What cats shouldn’t eat or drink

  • Milk, cream, cheese

Adult cats are essentially lactose intolerant – they lack the necessary enzymes to digest these kinds of dairy produce.

  • Onions, garlic

Onions and garlic are both toxic to cats, regardless of whether they are cooked or raw. These foods damage a cat’s red blood cell production, which can result in anaemia.

  • Raw eggs

There are two major concerns if a cat eats raw eggs. The first is bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella. The second is that a protein contained within an egg white, called avidin, can cause problems with your cat’s ability to absorb vitamin B.

  • Alcohol

As you might expect, alcohol has the same kind of effects on cats as it does on humans – which is unpleasant enough for a cat. However, due to their smaller bodies a far smaller amount is required for it to become dangerously toxic.

  • Caffeine

Cats are also more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than humans, making them likely to suffer problems if they have accidentally taken in a very small amount. These include hyperactivity, vomiting, and more serious issues – up to and including death.

  • Fat trimmings

While your cat will happily eat fat trimmings, they’re unfortunately quite bad for your feline friend. Eating fat trimmings could possibly lead to your cat developing pancreatitis, which is both painful and potentially fatal. Fat trimmings are also very high in calories and could contribute to obesity, which leads to many health conditions in cats, including bladder problems and diabetes.

  • Lilies

All parts of a lily plant are toxic to cats. Ingesting even a single leaf can severely poison your cat – if you have a cat, we strongly advise not having lilies in the home. If you do have flowers in a vase at home, we would advise cutting the stamen out as if any of the pollen gets onto your cats coat and is then licked away, this can be enough to cause a fatal reaction.

  • Anti-freeze

During winter, there can be issues caused if your cat accidentally ingests anti-freeze. If you do spill any anti-freeze, make sure you clean it up immediately. If you believe your cat has come into contact with antifreeze then get them to a vet immediately. Symptoms of anti-freeze positioning include vomiting, seizures, breathing difficulties, appearing uncoordinated or drunk and becoming sleepy or appearing depressed.

  • Raw liver

Raw liver is very high in vitamin A and feeding this on a regular basis could lead to a skeletal disorder called Hypervitaminosis A, which causes the bones in a cats spine to fuse together and is irreversible.

  • Paracetamol

Even the smallest dose of paracetamol could kill your cat.  We strongly advise that you never give any human medication to your cat unless specifically directed to do so by your vet


This is by no means an exhaustive list of what your cat can’t eat – however these are some of the most common problem items.

If you’re ever unsure of whether to store something securely out of reach of your cat, or to bring something into your home, then we recommend you do some research and if possible speak to your vet.

Was this helpful?
Share: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest