Toxic food for cats

Toxic food for cats


 Some of us have cats that are as good at begging for treats as dogs are, so how do we know the treat they want is safe for them?

My cat, Wilbur, is a British Shorthair cross and thinks he’s a dog. He loves to play chase, follows us around the house, says thank you when you let him in or out, and loves a treat! He’s particularly good at sitting prettily next to the cupboard where his treats are kept with his big eyes pleading, and a little meow if you’re not paying attention. I know the treats I buy are safe (if liable to make him a bit chubby) but I wanted to know which human food cats can eat safely and which foods are dangerous.

Human food that is toxic for cats   


We love chocolate treats but don’t be tempted to share with your kitty. Chocolate contains theobromine with the largest concentration in dark chocolate, which is toxic to cats.    

Grapes and Raisins

These are a real no-no for dogs and although toxicity for cats is not absolutely confirmed it’s best your cat avoids them.

Onions, garlic, chives

Onions and other vegetables from the same family are not great for cats to eat as they can cause problems if enough is eaten. Keep them out of your kitty’s reach, to be safe.


As little as a teaspoon can harm your cat. It causes liver and brain damage so always keep any alcoholic drinks out of your cat’s reach. 

Caffeine, coffee, tea and energy drinks

Caffeine can cause restlessness, increase breathing rate and cause heart palpitations. This one we have to watch at home as Wilbur loves lapping up cold tea dregs left in cups! Luckily, we drink it weak but it’s best he doesn’t have any.

Cheese, cream and milk

Despite the cliché that cats love a saucer of milk, dairy products are actually bad for them as they can’t digest the dairy proteins. To avoid an upset stomach, only give them milk specially developed for cats.  

Raw meat, fatty meat trimmings, fish and eggs

Cats can suffer from E. coli or Salmonella infections as we can, so always make sure you give them fresh cooked meat, fish or eggs. Don’t feed them fatty trimmings as this can cause pancreatitis caused by consuming excess fat.

Human food safe for cats

Lean meat

A little lean, cooked chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, duck is fine. Make sure there are no bones. Don’t feed your cat raw meat or fish, or meat that has gone off. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t give it to your pet!

Whole grains

Cooked whole grains such as oats, corn, brown rice, barley and millet are all safe. Brown rice with a little cooked chicken is good if your cat has had an upset stomach and needs a bland diet for a while.


Canned or cooked fish is a special treat but don’t share raw fish and remove all bones first.


Another good source of protein, but make sure they are cooked.


Some cats like Wilbur, like veg and he’s been known to pinch raw broccoli when I’m not looking! Cats can also eat cucumber or asparagus, but definitely no onions or garlic – they are toxic to cats.

Try not to encourage bad habits!

Although it’s nice to treat our pets try not to indulge them to often as you are teaching them bad habits. Wilbur has definitely learnt who to target for treats in our house, so try not to be too easy to manipulate! Being overweight is a real danger to any pet’s health so sometimes we have to avoid those pleading eyes for the sake of their health.

Insuring your kitten from a young age is the best way to make sure you can cover the vet fees if an accident does happen and your lovely kitty eats something they shouldn't. Take a look at your pet insurance options and read insurers reviews to make the right choice for you and your cat.