Because most cats are such picky eaters, we often think they know what’s best for them to eat. But some foods and treats can pose risks to their health or are dangerous for them. Cats are curious and love to investigate food that’s been left out on the counter or that falls to the floor, so make sure to keep dangerous or toxic foods out of reach. If your cat does ingest any toxic foods, or if you’re unsure, contact a veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline.

Find out which human foods your cat shouldn’t eat and remember to always choose a quality cat food, such as our Stella & Chewy’s Kibble, as your cat’s main diet.

Foods That Are Dangerous for Cats to Eat


You may know that chocolate can be fatal to dogs, the same is true for cats. Luckily, most cats won’t eat chocolate on their own. The most dangerous types are dark chocolate and baking chocolate. If your cat eats chocolate, it could cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, or death.


It only takes a small amount of alcohol to be poisonous to cats. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, disorientation, trouble breathing, coma, and even death.

Onions & Garlic

Anything in the onion family, including shallots, scallions and chives–is toxic to cats if eaten in large quantities, especially in concentrated forms such as powders or mixes. Ingestion can cause damage to your cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.


Caffeine in large quantities can be fatal for your cat, such as may be found in coffee grounds or tea bags. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.

Raw Dough

The yeast contained in even a small amount of raw dough, such as bread or pizza dough, can cause expansion in your cat’s stomach, stretching the abdomen and causing severe pain that could possibly require surgery.


Even a small amount of grapes or raisins could cause your cat to become ill or even lead to kidney failure. Currently, the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, so it is best to avoid allowing your cats to eat them.

Foods That Aren’t Good for Your Cat

Milk & Dairy Products

Some cats may enjoy drinking milk, but it’s not necessarily good for them. Cats can have trouble digesting the lactose in milk, which may cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Dog Food

While dog food is not toxic to cats, your cat needs a different set of nutrients than your dog. For example, cats need more protein and certain vitamins and fatty acids that dogs do not. Feeding only dog food to your cat could lead to malnutrition

What About Raw Meat?

If you’re buying and feeding your cat raw meat straight from the store or butcher (not a raw diet specifically formulated for cats), there may be potential risks. But it is possible to safely feed your cat a raw diet. Purchasing pre-made, raw cat food is not only convenient for you, but means your cat is getting complete and balanced nutrition.