Foods You Should Never Feed Your Cat

Cats are fastidious. Famously discerning in culinary matters. Remember that really expensive dinner in a can, that it trained you to buy, because it wouldn't eat anything else you gave it, and you didn't want it to starve to death? The day will come, without warning, when that doesn't cut the mustard, either, and it'll be crying for help. Cats. Go figure. Maybe, just maybe, they're the ones in charge of the household, not us. George Will has said that the term 'domestic cat' is an oxymoron, and the jury's out on whether they are playful cuddle buddies, tyrants, or some combination of both.

Whatever your relationship with your purring feline, odds are you're the one doing the grocery shopping. And while there are some foods that some cats most certainly refuse to eat, there are a few things out there which are essentially poisonous to Mr. Whiskers. You might think you're offering a treat. Possibly not. Either way, the consequences could be dire, indeed.

Be picky on behalf of your cat

PetMD starts its list with alcohol. Under no circumstances should you try to amuse yourself by getting kitty hammered. Possible side effects include severe damage to the brain and liver. Even a tablespoon "can put an adult cat in a coma; more than that can kill them." The chemistry in chocolate, meanwhile, might bring most people to their happy place, but can cause seizures in a cat. Similar chemistry in caffeine can cause heart palpitations and even seizures. As cats age, like most humans, they can become lactose intolerant. Watch for the signs, particularly in terms of ingesting milk from cows. Also, avoid foods from the onion family — onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots — as long-term consumption can cause anemia in cats.

There's even a red flag on giving your cat tuna — as in, tuna meant for humans. What's processed for actual cat food is fine, but that which is meant for human consumption can cause an inflammation of the cat's body fat, called steatitis. This condition, as explained by veterinarian Alex German, is identified by a lump under the skin surface, caused by fatty tissue inflammation, which can easily be mistaken for a tumor. Similarly, according to the Guardian, raw meat just isn't a good idea, for the same reasons raw meat is a bad idea of humans: danger of parasites, salmonella, E. coli.

Love your cat, but here's a simple rule: Cat food is for cats, and people food is for people. Who's in charge? (Don't answer that.)