Human Foods That Cats Can't Eat

Woman giving two cats a treat

Especially if they witness you eating, some cats may beg and whine for human food. Giving your cat any table scraps or little portions of human food is risky and shouldn't be promoted for a variety of reasons. The first reason is because cats require the nutrients that are particularly included in high-quality cat diets, and any "extras" they eat will make them less hungry for their regular meals. While a piece of chicken or turkey from your dinner plate won't necessarily harm a cat, you are encouraging unhealthy behaviors in it.

Human Foods Are Not Meant for Cats

There are some foods that are poisonous to cats, which is the major justification for not recommending feeding cats "human food." Although it is sweet and unharmful to humans, giving your cat even a small bite might be fatal. It's critical to educate yourself on common foods that might be harmful or even fatal to cats if you own one.

Foods That Are Toxic to Cats

Green Tomatoes and Raw Green Potatoes 

These foods are from the Solanaceae plant family, which also contains the deadly nightshade. They include the bitter, toxic alkaloid glucoalkaloid solanine, which can have severe effects on the lower gastrointestinal tract. The stems and leaves in especially are poisonous. If you notice tomatoes in prepared pet meals, don't be alarmed. They are created using ripe tomatoes and since they are only sometimes present, there is no need to be concerned.


Chocolate is harmful to cats as well as dogs, which is a well-known fact. Theobromine is the harmful component that may make chocolate hazardous for cats. Dark, unsweetened chocolate contains the highest proportion of this chemical.

Grapes and Raisins

The toxicity of these meals has primarily been observed in dogs, but in varied levels. The ASPCA warns against providing grapes or raisins to dogs in any amount since there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding their potential for toxicity. It is preferable to keep these fruits out of your cat's reach because there is no reason to take a chance on a hazardous scenario.


Although avocados are healthy for humans, cats can be somewhat poisoned by them. Persin, which can make cats throw up and have diarrhea, is present in the fruit itself, the leaves, the seed, the tree bark, and the seed. Due to their extreme richness and high fat content, avocados can cause pancreatitis or gastroenteritis. When serving guacamole at a gathering, take extra care. You do not want your cat licking the spoon or fork that was used to prepare this snack or to consume any of it.


Alcohol of any kind can be hazardous to cats kept as pets. A tiny sip of alcohol won't kill you, but drinking a lot of it can. Large punch bowls or open alcohol containers should not be left out overnight if you are holding a party and providing alcohol; otherwise, your cat could be more likely to ingest more. There are other potential causes of alcohol toxicity in cats than alcoholic beverages. Ingesting mouthwash, hand sanitizer, fermenting fruits, and yeast-containing bread dough can also expose one to alcohol.

Onions, Garlic, & Related Root Vegetables

The chemical N-propyl disulfide, found in onions, causes a kind of anemia known as Heinz body anemia in cats by destroying their red blood cells. Similar to onions, garlic can harm red blood cells and result in anemia. A whole clove of garlic or any sizable parts of raw onion pose risks to cats. Garlic and onion powder, which is used in chips, soups, and spices, can potentially expose cats to these ingredients.

Other Foods to Avoid

Even while certain foods are safe for cats, some should be avoided. Pet cats shouldn't eat or drink caffeinated beverages, uncooked eggs, or meat trimmings. Milk may not be poisonous to cats, but it still has some drawbacks. Milk is not necessary for adult cats who are provided a balanced diet. Additionally, a lot of cats have a lactose intolerance, which causes flatulence, cramps, and stomach discomfort when they consume milk and other dairy products. The sweetener xylitol can result in hypoglycemia in dogs and even liver failure. Although its toxicity to cats has not been reported by the Pet Poison Helpline, the risk does not appear to be worth it. Make careful not to give your cat any food containing this chemical if you notice it in any food products.

If You Think Your Cat Has Been Poisoned

Call the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 very away, or your veterinarian. Describe any details you know, such as possible diet and the symptoms you are observing. The poison control service may charge you to call them.

  • What human food is good for cats?

    The following "human" foods are safe for your cat, even though it's recommended for them to eat cat food: properly cooked lean meats without onion or garlic seasoning, without bones, hard-boiled eggs, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

  • How do you stop cats from eating human food?

    Keep human food out of reach at all times in your kitchen (this includes covering it on the countertop while you're eating) and never give it to your cats, even only to "lick the plate."

  • Why do cats like human food?

    Cats will eat human food because it tastes good, and because it offers more variety than the food that is good for them.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.


"Chocolate ToxicityWashington Veterinary Emergency and Specialty", "Alcohols - Toxicology - Veterinary ManualVeterinary Manual, 2020", "Why Cats And Cow's Milk Don't MixPrestige Animal Hospital, 2020", "Xylitol Is Toxic To DogsPet Poison Helpline, 2020" ;