Cats | Pets | Animals

15 Common Things You Should Never Let Your Cat Eat

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Queen Time

Cats, as any cat owner will tell you, are hard to discipline. No matter how much you scold your kitty for jumping onto the counter and eating your dinner they're bound to do it again.

But there's reason to be cautious: lots of common foods can be seriously harmful to your pet. Most owners don't realize that these 15 things can make your cat sick.

And if you're a dog owner, check out our companion list of things they shouldn't eat.

If your pet has eaten something dangerous, contact your vet right away or phone the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 (there is a fee for calling).

1. Liver

A little bit of meat now and again is a tasty treat for your cat, but liver is an exception. This meat is high in Vitamin A, which can be toxic to your cat. In high doses, eating liver will even cause a variety of bone defects in your cat, including spurs, deformities and osteoporosis.

2. Flea and tick products

These days lots of owners keep both dogs and cats, and may think of applying medicines like tick repellents on both kinds of pets. This is not advisable, since these products are only safe for one type of animal each.

In fact, flea and tick products for dogs often include pyrethins or pyrethoids, which are made from a chrysanthemum flower that's toxic to cats. Make sure your pet medicines are cat-safe before using them.

3. Xylitol

Like dogs, cats cannot digest this artificial sweetener used in products like candies, sugarless gum, diet sodas and energy drinks. Be careful not to leave products like these lying around near your pet.

4. Raw Fish

Heathcliff might chow down on raw fish all the time, but it's not safe for your cat. Compounds in the raw meat can cause thiamine deficiency in your pet, which leads to convulsions and neurological problems.

Canned tuna or salmon should also be used in moderation. It's a nice treat for your cat, but eating too much can lead to mercury poisoning, just like in humans.

5. Chocolate

Like dogs, cats have trouble digesting the compound called theobromine, which gives chocolate its bitter taste. This means dark chocolate is especially harmful to cats. Even a small quantity will cause vomiting and diarrhea. In large amounts it can cause a coma or even death.

6. Raw Eggs and Meat

Cooked meat is fine for your pet, but avoid letting them snack on uncooked protein. Cats are sensitive to parasites and viruses like salmonella that lurk in these products, and they can pass them on to you.

7. Milk

Another example of classic cartoon cat food that's just not true. Cats, like dogs, are basically lactose intolerant. Leaving Kitty a saucer of milk will only cause diarrhea and other uncomfortable stomach problems.

Keep reading, because most pet owners have no clue about this next one...

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