Food Cautions

Certain human foods and household plants can be harmful to your pet. Keep these items out of your cat's reach.

By Kathy Swanwick

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1. The stimulants contained in chocolate and caffeine can cause vomiting and diarrhea, says Rebecca Remillard, DVM, Ph.D, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at Angell Animal Medical Center.

2. Human-grade canned tuna is high in fat and magnesium and, if eaten in excess, can cause yellow fat disease. A lack of antioxidants causes this fatal disease, which breaks down body fat, says Daniel Carey, DVM, of IAMS Co., Dayton, Ohio.

3. Chopped liver contains large amounts of vitamins A and D, which in excess can result in painfully malformed bones. "But cats would have to eat it almost exclusively for weeks," Dr. Remillard says.

4. Some houseplants - such as poinsettias dieffenbachia, azaleas, Christmas cherry and ivy - may be harmful to cats if ingested in large quantities, says Rolan Tripp, DVM, an affiliate professor of applied animal behavior at Colorado State University Veterinary School, Ft. Collins, Colo. "It is a dose per pound of cat issue." A small kitten playing with and consuming many leaves is a problem. A good-sized cat merely nibbling any of these is not cause for panic."

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Reader Comments

The Big Apple Gang®    Staten Island, NY

8/5/2013 8:31:14 PM

Great Information

M    Lake City, FL

5/3/2013 11:56:36 PM

Thanks for the very important info!

Connie    Kingston, ON

3/20/2013 3:57:50 PM

Easter lilies are VERY toxic and can quickly kill a cat who eats any part of them. Sometimes if a cat just rubs against them and then licks its fur, the cat can also die. Avoid any lilies as it is extremely hard to treat a cat who is sick because of the p[ants and they die very quickly.

C    Kingston, ON

6/22/2012 11:03:19 AM

Both of my cats love to eat grass. They go out on leash and "pick" their own. So now I know what type of grass they like. (It helps them tgo get hairballs up and helps them if they have a tummy upset. In the hot summer days when they don't go out, I pick some grass for them and keep it fresh in a glass of water. Kitty Grumbles loves it when I hold a piece of grass for her to chew. She can then pull off the part that she wants. She closes one eye when eating grass which gives her a funny cat expression of pure joy. She is happy that her "Mum" helps her out this way.

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