What Cats Can and Cannot Eat: What Can Cats Eat Guide

Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world and for good reason! They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and they can be very entertaining. If you’ve ever had a cat or been around them enough to know what they like to eat, then you also know that there is nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out what exactly your furry friend can eat.

To make things easier on everyone involved (including cats), we have compiled this list of foods that cats cannot eat to answer the question: “what can cats eat”.

What cats can’t eat

1. Dairy products.

One thing cats should not have is milk

This includes cheese, milk, and yogurt. Even if your cat isn’t lactose intolerant (which most cats are), they won’t gain anything from eating this food and there is a chance of them getting an upset stomach or vomiting it back up later on in the day.

Dairy products like chocolate contain a natural chemical called theobromine, which can be fatal to cats. So if you give your cat a bite of your cheesecake and they seem to be acting strange or sick afterward, this is why.

Related: Can cats Eat Chocolate? A Straight-up Answer

2. Liver:

While liver is rich in several nutrients that cats need, it also contains high levels of vitamin A which can cause severe poisoning when consumed by felines in large quantities. The most common symptom of having too much vitamin is a loss of appetite. Liver might be a good source of proteins and vitamins, but it is not the healthiest option for cats to include in their diet.

3. Alcohol

Cat cannot have alcohol

Alcoholic beverages should be off limits as well since they can cause several negative effects on your cat’s behavior such as dizziness and vomiting. Plus, there are many human foods that contain trace amounts of alcohol which can be dangerous to animals. Imagine having a high cat after it has eaten a few pieces of bread with alcohol in them.

4. Dried or uncooked beans:

Beans are high in proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber which make them an excellent ingredient when cooking for your cat (or dog). However, raw or undercooked beans contain hemagglutinin toxin which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea once ingested. So make sure to keep dried beans, peas, and lentils away from your cat when you are cooking for them.

5. Sugarless sweeteners like aspartame and Splenda.

These products are not unhealthy for humans in small doses, but they will upset your cat’s stomach if ingested in large quantities. Cats don’t have a taste preference when it comes to artificial sweeteners, so it’s best to keep them away from your cats. Just give them the real thing!

6. Fat trimmings

This one might be hard to believe, but cats can’t digest fat very well and it will make them sick if they eat too much of it. Fat is a necessary dietary component for our pets because their bodies need some in order to absorb certain vitamins like A and D. However, cats gain more energy from protein and carbohydrates than they do from fats, so it’s advisable not to give your cat too much of this food.

7. Citrus fruits:

Cats can't have citric fruits

Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons contain high levels of citric acid which is toxic for cats in large quantities. Citric acid can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea, but cats can usually recover from this type of poisoning with no lasting effects. Just keep your cat away from any citrus fruits that you may be eating and you should be okay.

8. Onions, garlic, and chives.

What can your cat eat? Well, its not onion

These are all foods that can cause damage to your cat’s red blood cells which will lead them into a state of anemia (which is very dangerous). If you and your cat enjoy cooking with onions, make sure to keep these away from your pets. Its not like your cat will cry and beg for them anyway.

9. Grapes and raisins.

These are foods that can cause kidney damage in cats, which is another reason they should not be fed to them under any circumstance. They don’t contain enough nutrients to be worth the risk.

10. Candy:

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll go ahead and say it anyway. If you want your cat to live a long and healthy life, keep them away from any type of candy because it will make them sick. Make sure to teach your kids about this too, since they might take a liking to feed candy to their cat.

11. Tomatoes (as well as raw potatoes).

There is some debate about this particular fruit but either way it’s still best to avoid feeding your cat anything with tomatoes in it. In small doses, tomatoes can be a good source of vitamins and minerals just not for your kitty. If your cat consumes a large number of tomatoes, it can lead to digestive and kidney problems.

12. Caffeine:

Caffeine is not a food, but it is a drug, and it’s poisonous for cats. That’s why they should avoid coffee as much as possible because of the high caffeine content in it. Cat doesn’t need coffee to stay awake.

What can cats eat?

We have gone over what cats can’t eat, what about what cats can eat? If you are wondering what you should feed your cat, here are some suggestions.

1. Chicken:

Cats can have chicken

Cooked chicken is a great source of protein that most cats can digest without any problems. Just keep in mind that it’s not the healthiest option for your cat, since you probably don’t want to feed them too much meat if they are on a strict diet. You should also make sure to remove any bones from the chicken before you serve it to your kitty, since these can splinter and cause damage if swallowed.

2. Pork:

Pork is also meat that cats will enjoy eating because of its high protein content. However, pork does contain more fat than some other meats which means you should feed this to your cat sparingly. Pork is also a good source of B vitamins which is essential for your cat’s metabolism.

3. Beef:

cats can eat beef

If you want to give your cat a meat option that is similar to chicken, beef would be the best choice since it has a similar nutritional profile. Just make sure to avoid any fatty cuts of beef and opt for leaner, skinless options instead. Your cat will thank you for it.

4. Fish:

Cats love to have fish

Cats love fish, and it’s a great source of protein as well as omega fatty acids which can be essential to your cat’s health. Just remember that the bones in fish are sharp and easily splintered so if you give this to your cat make sure they have been deboned or cut into tiny pieces. Just like it is depicted in cartoons, cats love fish.

5. Eggs:

Eggs are high in protein and can provide your cat with much-needed nutrients like B12, riboflavin, selenium, and phosphorus. However, eggs also contain a lot of cholesterol which means you should only feed this to your cat occasionally as part of their balanced diet plan.

Cats love eggs, and it’s a great source of protein for them too. It also contains essential amino acids that your cat needs to stay healthy which is why you should give this food to them on occasion as well since it won’t hurt them in small doses. Just make sure not to feed your kitty raw eggs because they can contain salmonella which is very dangerous for your cat.

6. Rice:

Cats can eat rice

Rice is one of the healthiest grains that you can feed your cat, and it is very easy for them to digest. Just make sure that you don’t give them any type of seasoned rice or anything with too much salt in it since this can lead to kidney problems in cats like humans. It’s best not to mix different types of grains when feeding your kitty because they might be picky eaters and will refuse to eat it.

7. Tuna:

Tuna is high in protein so this makes it a good food for cats, but if you give your cat too much tuna or feed them the wrong kind of tuna then they can become deficient in other nutrients their body needs.

It’s best not to overfeed your kitty with tuna because it can cause a lot of health problems for them. If you give your kitty the wrong kind of tuna then they could become ill from mercury poisoning or other contaminants that might be found in some types of tuna fish.

8. Lamb:

Lamb is a type of meat that can be fed to your cat but it should not make up the bulk of what you give them. Cats do enjoy eating lamb, and it’s very easy for their body to digest which makes it safe in small doses. If you feed your kitty too much then they will put on extra weight because lamb has fat in it too, so just keep that in mind.

9. Bananas:

Bananas are high in potassium and vitamin B which makes them a great choice of food for your cat. However, bananas also contain lots of sugar as well as fiber that can upset the stomach if given too much to kitty. If you give your cat too many bananas then they will probably get an upset stomach because it contains so much sugar and fiber.

10. Beans:

Beans are a good choice of food for cats because they have many essential nutrients that are great to give them, but remember that your cat cannot digest beans properly so it is important not to feed too much or you could end up with some type of stomach issue . Just make sure to cut the pieces small enough so your kitty can digest them properly.

11. Broccoli:

Broccoli is a good choice of food for your cat to eat since it has lots of fiber and calcium which makes it great for their digestive system. Just remember that there’s also lots of phosphorus in broccoli so you should only give this once or twice per week. You shouldn’t feed your kitty too much broccoli since it has a lot of phosphorus in it which can cause some health problems.

12. Berries:

Berries are a good source of nutrients for your cat, but it’s best not to feed them too many berries because they can get an upset stomach. Remember that there is lots of sugar in fruit so you should only give this once or twice per week. If you overfeed your kitty with fruit then they will probably have some type of digestive problem or get an upset stomach.

13. Melon:

Melon is a healthy choice of fruit that can be given to your cat, but it’s best not to feed them too much since there is lots of sugar in this fruit which could cause some health problems. Just make sure you don’t give your kitty more than one or two slices per week.

14. Carrots:

Carrots are good for your cat to eat because they contain lots of fiber and vitamins such as vitamin A. Just keep in mind that you should not give your kitty too many carrots at one time since it could cause some stomach problems. If you feed your kitty too much raw carrots then they will probably get an upset stomach or other digestion issues, so just cut the slices into smaller pieces.

15. Lettuce:

Lettuce is a healthy choice of food for your cat since it has lots of vitamins and nutrients but make sure you don’t give them too much because lettuce can cause some stomach issues . Just cut the lettuce up small enough so they can digest it better.

16. Mango:

Mango is a good choice of food for your cat because it contains lots of fiber and vitamin A. Just remember that mango also has lots of sugar in it so you shouldn’t feed them too much at one time. If you give your kitty too many slices then they will probably get an upset stomach, but if not then just cut the pieces up small enough for them to digest.

17. Nuts:

Cats love to eat nuts

Nuts are a popular choice of food because they contain lots of nutrients and healthy fats that make them great for your cat, but you should not give too many nuts at one time since there is also fat in this. If you overfeed your kitty with nuts then their digestive system might get upset and they could get sick, but if you give them a few then their health should stay strong.


So as you can see there are many different types of food that your cat should and shouldn’t eat. Just make sure to take note of what they do or don’t like to eat, their health issues, and how much they need so you can stay away from any problems with the foods that cats cannot have.

If your cat mistakenly eats something that it shouldn’t, then you should try to induce vomiting as quickly as possible. If the food hasn’t been in your cat’s system for too long then this might help save them from any serious health problems. Try not to worry if your kitty eats something they aren’t supposed to since most of the time it isn’t a big deal and is usually just an accident!

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