Although it can be aggravating to an owner, the fact that cats are often branded finicky could be a good thing, especially when it comes to certain dangerous foods.
Some “people food” is safe for cats in small amounts, but certain items — like onions and raw eggs — are definitely hazardous. Here are six no-no foods for kitties.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions contain chemicals that can damage red blood cells in cats and dogs. Cooking these foods does not reduce their potential toxicity, because they contain organosulfoxides. Make sure you carefully read food labels; fresh, cooked and/or powdered garlic and/or onions can be dangerous for pets even in small doses.
Cats need significantly more protein than dogs because of species differences in protein metabolism. However, raw eggs may expose them to salmonella or lead to an inflamed pancreas, known as pancreatitis. It's safe to serve your kitty cooked eggs — but only on occasion and only in small amounts.
Because bones can splinter, they can cause a cat to choke as well as block the intestinal tract. If a bone becomes an intestinal obstruction, it is a true emergency that may require surgery.
Although cats need certain essential amino acids found only in meat, feeding fat trimmings is not a safe way to try to provide them. Feeding your feline such fat can lead to gastrointestinal upset and even pancreatitis.
Caffeine can cause problems such as an increased heart rate and agitation in your kitty. So keep your cat away from coffee, soda and tea, as well as chocolate — especially bitter chocolate.
Although some cats love to lap milk, they can't always digest it without stomach upset. That's because a cat’s digestive tract becomes somewhat lactose intolerant once a cat reaches adulthood. Giving your cat milk may make him sick and could contribute to obesity.
Foods That Are OK to Offer Your Kitty
On occasion, it is OK give your cat a little canned tuna or a small bit of cheese. But keep in mind that a 10-pound cat usually needs only 180 to 200 calories each day, so limit treats to about 10 percent (18 to 20 calories) of his daily intake.
For more information on foods hazardous to cats, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website. And keep the organization’s phone number — 888-426-4435 — handy in the event of an emergency. The call center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More From Vetstreet: