Human Foods Cats Can't Eat: 5 Things You Should Never Give To Your Feline Friend
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Your Handy List of Human Foods Cats Cannot Eat

One thing that you’re going to learn about cats is that no matter what, they are always hungry.

Even if you’ve just fed your cat, it will still come after your dinner as though they’ve never seen food before. And, of course, because you love them, it is hard to resist and not share.

While there are many human foods that are safe for dogs and cats to consume, there are also human foods cats cannot eat, because they can be bad for their health or even toxic.

Here is a quick guide to the foods that are toxic or dangerous to cats. Scroll down if you want to read in detail!

List of Foods That Cats Cannot Eat

  1. Alcohol or alcohol-infused food
  2. Bones (cooked)
  3. Candies
  4. Caffeine (coffee or tea)
  5. Canned fish for humans (canned tuna, salmon, etc due to too much salt or seasoning)
  6. Chives
  7. Chocolate
  8. Citrus oil
  9. Dairy products (milk, cheese, etc)
  10. Dog food (different nutrient needs)
  11. Garlic
  12. Grapes and raisins
  13. Human vitamins
  14. Macadamia nuts
  15. Mushrooms
  16. Onions
  17. Peanut Butter
  18. Rhubarb leaves
  19. Salt, sugar, and seasoning (too much is bad for cats)
  20. Xylitol
  21. Yeast dough
  22. Raw eggs (only raw food diet cat owners who are able to find fresh pasteurised eggs)
  23. Raw fish and meat (only raw food diet cat owners who are able to find a good source of meat)
human food for our cats and kittens
human food for our cats and kittens

Understanding More About the Human Foods Cats Can’t Eat

Now that you know the different human foods cats cannot eat, you should understand the reasons why.

Each of the human foods cats is not advised to consume is on the list for a reason. Let’s find out!

Canned Tuna

Cats like to eat tuna and we love giving cats these fishy treats. However, canned tuna should be left for humans.

This is one human food that cats love and can even be addicted to, and also something that people assume is fine to give to their furry felines.

A little tuna here and there shouldn’t do any harm, but giving canned tuna to your cat regularly can cause serious problems and there are a few reasons why.

cat in front of a store owner with a fish in its mouth
We Shouldn’t Give Canned Fish for Humans to Our Cats

First, the only food that contains all the nutrition a cat needs is cat food. A good product will contain all the nutrition, vitamins, and minerals that your feline needs.

Therefore, you should not replace cat food with canned tuna.

It’s not just because it consists of real fish, but also because canned tuna doesn’t contain all the nutrition for your cat and may also have mercury.

This is an element that’s dangerous to both humans and cats. If you often give canned tuna to your cat, it can lead to mercury poisoning which can be lethal.

Be careful and avoid canned tuna, particularly that of albatross, a type of tuna fish that has nearly 3 times as much mercury than chunk-light tuna.

Garlic and Onions

Cats can adore the weirdest of foods. Some of them will take a bite from just about anything, like garlic and onions.

Keep both of these human foods cats cannot eat away from your cat’s reach.

Eating onion and garlic can cause your cat’s red blood cells to be attacked by components of garlic and onions, ultimately leading to anemia. They also attack your pet’s intestines.

Symptoms of poisoning from garlic or onion may signal that other complications are most likely to occur. This is definitely not something you want to see your cat going through, so keep these pungent foods far away from your kitten.

Dairy Is Not for Grown-up Cats

We’ve been so often misled by cartoons of hungry cats slurping up milk that many of us assume that milk and cheese are ideal food to give to a cat.

You’ll also notice that many of them would enjoy this if given. However, just because they like it doesn’t mean that it’s good for them.

Even if it seems logical because they consumed milk as babies, it’s not. Although most cats have drunk their mothers’ milk as kittens, they also lose the ability to process it after they’re weaned off the liquid.

strawberry making a splash in milk
Dairy Products Are Not Suitable for Adult Cats and Dogs

Dairy products in general are human foods cats shouldn’t go near to because of lactose intolerance as their enzymes cannot deal with the lactose from dairy products. When ingested, it becomes hard for them to digest.

This can cause problems like a sick stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. Plus, dairy products don’t have any nutritional values important for cats. There is absolutely no reason to consider giving it to your cat or implementing it in its diet at all.

So, check them off the list.

Chocolate and Other Sweet Delights

Other human foods cats shouldn’t be anywhere near include chocolate and cake. This, of course, doesn’t mean that they know what they’re doing.

Chocolate can be deadly for your cat. Cocoa, which is what chocolate basically is (add milk to it and that makes two human foods cats should avoid in one product), contains something called theobromine. This is a compound that cats cannot process.

This means that by giving your cat chocolate, you let this compound build up in your cat’s system. Theobromine affects your cat’s cardiovascular system, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. It can inhibit your cat’s nervous system, make it horribly lethargic, and in the worst case – kill it.


Yes, cats are predators and can eat birds whole together with the bones, but we’re not talking about those kinds of bones. We’re talking about bigger bones.

Often, people think it is safe and okay to give cats bones because they can devour just about anything.

The truth is, if a bone is too big, your cat can choke on it. Not only that – bigger bones are hard and can cause dental fracturing as well. Once ingested, bones are hard to process and they can cause blocks in the intestines.

Avoid bones as they are also one of the human foods cats have no benefit from.

Can Cats Eat Bread?

Is bread part of the human foods cats cannot eat?

It depends on the amount of dairy. Like many other foods, eating bread in a small amount will not be fatal. Remember that while 2 slices of white bread isn’t usually enough to fill you up, it’s more than what a cat should eat.

Can Cats Eat Rice?

Even though rice is not a necessary part of cats’ diet, it doesn’t belong to the list of human foods cats cannot eat.

Eating it in small amounts may even be beneficial if your feline is experiencing digestive troubles.

What Are the Fruits That Cats Can’t Eat?

Fruits may seem healthy for many of us, but some of them are part of human foods cats cannot eat.

For example, cherries are toxic to cats and dogs, while grapes and raisins can lead to kidney damage.

Citrus foods can lead to an upset stomach, so watch out for these human foods cats cannot eat to discern them from those that they can consume.

What Happens If My Cat Ate These Human Foods?

First of all, don’t panic. Always check how much they have ingested, and understand that it can happen if you are a cat owner.

It will most likely happen more than you’d like to think it will. If it is a little bit of chocolate or tuna, it is fine with no harm done. But, feeding your cat these kinds of foods purposely is not.

kitten gazing up quizzically
Don’t Panic If Your Cat Has Eaten Small Amounts of Prohihited Foods

If your cat ate too much of any of the foods on the list of human foods cats cannot eat, it is definitely time to contact your vet. Some of the symptoms of food poisoning in your cat may not appear right away. React as fast as possible to make sure that your cat gets the help that they need.

Since prevention is the best cure, always keep human foods cats cannot eat far away from them. Cats don’t know what is good for them and what isn’t, so it’s up to you as a responsible cat owner to make sure that your cat doesn’t have access.

If you want to give your cat a treat, give it a treat that is made for cats, like something that has nutritional value and is safe for them to eat.

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