Often, your cat will hover around you when you have your meals and plead for your food. Most of us will be tempted to pass the cat whatever it is we are eating. However, this habit is dangerous and should not be encouraged.
Why you should avoid feeding the cat human food
First, it takes away the cat’s appetite for their specially manufactured food. Cats will only benefit from the nutrients their body requires when they eat their own food.
Second, cats have sensitive stomachs. Certain human foods may be distressing to their digestive system.
Third, you will be better placed to monitor your cat’s feeding habits if you let them eat their food. This way, you can avoid conditions such as obesity in cats.
Most importantly, human food is likely to be toxic for cats.
5 types of human food that are toxic for cats
Green tomatoes and raw green potatoes
These belong to a family of poisonous plants known as Solanaceae. The leaves and the stems are particularly toxic and may cause your cat gastrointestinal distress.
Grapes and raisins
The Animal Poison Control Centre has advised pet owners to avoid feeding cats grapes and raisins. These fruits have been shown to cause kidney failure in some cats.
Avocados contain toxins at their stem, in their bark and their seed. The fruit itself contains a toxic substance that may cause your cat to suffer from diarrhea, vomiting and kidney failure.
Onions and garlic
Almost all fried food contains onions, garlic or other related root vegetables. Both garlic and onion contain a toxic substance that destroys a cat’s red blood cells, which causes a form of anemia called the Heinz body anemia.
Gum, candy, chocolate
These goodies may be very sweet to you, but they are not ideal for your cat’s consumption. Gum and candy contain an artificial sweetener, xylitol, that can cause seizures and liver failure in cats. Chocolate contains a highly toxic substance that may cause your cat a heart attack.
Symptoms for cat poisoning
Cat poisoning is always an emergency situation. Pet owners are advised to seek medical attention immediately after they detect cat poisoning. At a mild level, the symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, coughs and sneezes, gastric irritation and excessive salivation.
However, if the poisoning is chronic, the symptoms are difficulty in breathing, dilated pupils, weakness and unconsciousness.
First aid for cat poisoning
It is a fact that the majority of cat poisoning comes from the food they eat. When this is the case, the immediate treatment should be to induce vomiting. If the poisoning happened more than two hours ago, then inducing vomiting will not be helpful. Also, only induce the cat to vomit after consulting a vet.
Next, use activated alcohol to absorb any toxin in the gut. This is done orally. The purpose is to reduce the amount of poison that has passed through the gut into the intestine.
Once the cat has recuperated, you should take her to the vet for a professional checkup.