Those of us who own cats have probably all done it– given them a table scrap or two. While sometimes that’s all well and good, there are a number of foods that are harmful to cats. Next time you think of feeding your cat “people food”, be sure to avoid anything on this list.

Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine can cause your cat to become restless, have rapid breathing, muscle tremors, and heart palpitations.


Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally theobromine can be toxic to the heart and nervous system, causing muscle tremors, heart problems, and seizures. Chocolate also contains caffeine.

Alcoholic Beverages (this is a biggie)

With even as little as a tablespoon, alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage in your cat, leading to potential coma and death.

Raisins & Grapes 

Raisins and grapes contain a toxin that can damage the kidneys, which can lead to sudden kidney failure.

Fat Trimmings, Raw Meat & Raw Eggs (avoid anything raw altogether)

This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis. There is also a risk of salmonella and E.coli.

Onions and Garlic (Raw, Cooked or Powder – AKA all forms)

Onions and garlic contain disulfides and sulfoxides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Garlic is more toxic than onions as the toxins are more concentrated.

Dairy Products 

Many cats are lactose intolerant. Consuming dairy products can cause them to have vomiting and diarrhea, with the potential of leading to dehydration.


Avocados contain persin which is very toxic to animals. Depending on the amount ingested, it may cause respiratory problems or gastrointestinal issues in your cat. Consumption can even lead to fluid building up around the heart, and in severe cases, death.

Canned Tuna (For humans)

Canned tuna in large amounts can cause malnutrition as it lacks the proper levels of vitamins and minerals. Canned tuna for cats is perfectly fine.

Table Scraps in Large Amounts

A table scrap here and there is fine, but it should not be the main source of food for your cat. Table scraps should never be more than 10% of the diet. When feeding table scraps, be sure to trim the fat.

If your cat gets into any of these foods, try and determine how much was consumed, and contact your vet so they can advise you on a course of action. If you notice that your cat consumed alcohol or you notice signs of intoxication,  bring your cat to the vet immediately.