Kitten chewing green leaf

Food and plants that are toxic for your cat

Cats are extremely agile and can easily reach most places in your home, so it is essential to understand what shelved plants or foods lying on the counter can harm your cat, especially if your cat is known to munch on potted plants or scavenge food scraps. While this is not a thorough list, it may give an idea of what to be wary of when purchasing items your cat could be exposed to.

  • Azalea flowers: Although beautiful and vibrant, these flowers can cause vomiting and weakness, and in a worst-case scenario, cardiac arrest.
  • Tulips: Tulips can cause vomiting and stomach issues
  • Chrysanthemums: These popular garden flowers can cause vomiting, stomach issues, and incoordination
  • Eucalyptus: More often used as an essential oil rather than the plant itself, eucalyptus can cause vomiting, stomach issues, weakness, and lethargic behavior.
  • Chocolate: More commonly known for its toxicity in dogs, chocolate can also be fatal for cats to ingest.
  • Dairy Products: Most cats are actually lactose-intolerant, and dairy can lead to stomach issues and discomfort. 
  • Raw Fish and meat: If your cat enjoys a seafood treat, make sure it is thoroughly cooked. Similar to humans, they can get food poisoning from undercooked meat.
  • Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, clementines, and grapefruits contain citric acid and essential oils that can cause problems in cats
  • Dairy: Feeding your cat dairy products can cause digestive problems, since many cats are lactose intolerant and can’t process dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) appropriately
  • Some vegetables and herbs: Though cats can eat some vegetables, onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, shallots, and chives are particularly harmful to cats, causing gastrointestinal problems and even damage to red blood cells.

While some cats may mind their own business and may even be picky eaters, some are not. Learning what they can and can’t eat is extremely important, and if you have any doubts, a simple internet search could save you and your pet discomfort and time!