Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information.

When it comes to our cats, we all want to provide them with healthy quality cat food. But there are some things you should look for and avoid when feeding your cat.

As their owner, you may love some of these foods and still not know they’re toxic for your cat. And if you do suspect your cat has eaten something toxic make sure to contact your vet immediately.

This is why we’ve put together a guide on seven things your cat should not eat.


While cat owners may love coffee, any products containing caffeine, coffee or coffee grounds are extremely toxic to cats. If your cat accidentally consumes any caffeine they may experience an increased heart rate, hyperactivity, restlessness, pacing or vocalising excessively.

Caffeine can dangerously raise your cat’s blood pressure, lead to loss of muscle control and tremors or seizures. Ingesting large amounts of caffeine can also cause vomiting and diarrhoea and can be fatal for cats, especially if no treatment is given.


Many pet-owners may know that chocolate is toxic for dogs but it’s also toxic for cats. Not only does chocolate contain caffeine, but it also contains a very toxic stimulant called theobromine. Theobromine can be found in dark, milk and white chocolate with the most dangerous types of chocolate being unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate.

Cats who eat any form of chocolate may experience an abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and sometimes death.

Grapes and sultanas

Grapes and sultanas have a moderate to high level of toxicity when fed to cats and even a small number of grapes or sultanas can make a cat unwell.

If your cat ingests a number of grapes or sultanas it can be subject to kidney failure, repeated vomiting, and hyperactivity. Remember even if your cat shows no side effects, you should recognise that the toxin in grapes and sultanas is harmful to cats and you should contact your vet immediately.


Lilies produce a chemical in all parts of the plant that is very toxic to cats. This chemical can severely damage your cat’s kidneys or lead to lily toxicity. Even having a lily in the same house as a cat can be harmful, as pollen from the flower can adhere to the cat’s fur, which can be ingested when grooming. Some cats may be more susceptible to lily toxicity and signs may include vomiting, lethargy, drooling, increased thirst, and loss of appetite.

Easter lilies, Stargazer lilies and Asiatic lilies seem to be the most dangerous to cats. Daylilies, calla lilies and peace lilies are also very harmful. Lily of the valley is a specific type of lily that can cause an irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure and lead to seizures or a coma in cats.

Milk or dairy products

While milk may not be considered toxic, did you know that cats can’t properly digest lactose? Giving your cat milk, even as a treat, can severely upset their digestive systems and result in gastrointestinal issues and/or diarrhoea. After checking with your vet, you may be able to offer yogurt or specially formulated cat milk to your cat as an alternative.

Onions and garlic

Both plants are incredibly toxic to cats; they can break down a cat’s red blood cells, which can cause anaemia. If enough of either plant is consumed this can lead to poisoning and a blood transfusion may also be required if necessary. These effects also apply to onion powder.

Garlic contains compounds that are even more toxic to cats than onions. Because of its potency, garlic can cause major health issues in cats and even contribute to death in some circumstances.


While string isn’t a type of plant or food, it is one of the most harmful objects that a cat can ingest. Unfortunately, string is a very common item in the home and if eaten this can be life-threatening for your cat.

String, also referred to as a “linear foreign body” can get stuck somewhere along the intestinal tract leading to gastrointestinal obstruction. If you can see that your cat has eaten string, don’t attempt to remove it yourself as this can be harmful. Instead, contact your vet immediately for advice

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can help you financially for certain illnesses or accidental injuries by reimbursing a percentage of eligible vet expenses, subject to the terms and conditions of the Insurer. You should always consider whether pet insurance is right for you and your furry family member.


Is canned tuna good for cats?

A piece of canned tuna every now and then may be okay as a treat but regularly feeding your cat tuna from a can (especially one that’s made for humans) can contribute to malnutrition.

What vegetables are bad for cats?

Onions, garlic, wild mushrooms, avocado, and rhubarb are all poisonous to pets and corn is also a common allergen. You should also avoid feeding your cat grapes or sultanas. It should be noted that this isn’t an exhaustive list.

What human foods can cats eat?

Your cat can eat fish, meat, bananas, berries, melon, carrots, rice, pumpkin, and oatmeal. It should be noted that all of these foods should be cut up into smaller pieces and fed to your cat in moderation.