Many people enjoy the holidays because of the variety of foods they get to enjoy. In a house with cats, where begging for food is the norm, it’s tempting to give your cats a little taste of whatever it is that you’re cooking. A number of foods that you enjoy are harmful to your cats. Learn which foods to never give your cats. But keep the number of your animal hospital handy in the case of an accidental food theft off of your kitchen counter.
Raw Bread Dough
You left a tray of homemade rolls on the counter to rise and notice that one is missing from the tray. Look at your cat to see if they are having trouble breathing or are staggering across the floor as they walk. Bread dough is dangerous for your cat for two reasons:
- The yeasty dough will continue to rise in the warm, moist environment of the cat’s stomach. As it rises, it puts pressure on the stomach walls, which then push against the lungs. The cat will struggle to breath as they gulp for air.
- The yeast in the dough changes the sugar into alcohol. The cat’s stomach absorbs the alcohol and they become intoxicated. Signs of drunkenness from your cat may prove that they were the roll thief.
A trip to the animal hospital is called for in this case. They may decompress the stomach so the cat can breath easier and monitor them as they sober up.
Garlic and Onions
Some of your favorite dishes to prepare for entertaining during the holidays may contain these two seasonings. While exposure to raw onions and garlic will do little to your cat, concentrated forms, such as dehydrated onions and garlic powder, can be dangerous. These foods contain a toxin that, in high amounts, damage the red blood cells of your cat. The toxin is not destroyed during cooking.
The damage to your cat is that the red blood cells will not develop correctly. They lose their ability to carry oxygen to the cat’s body. Anemia is the result and your cat may begin to seem weak and inactive. Their gums may become pale and their urine could become colored orange or dark red. The symptoms don’t appear until a few days after the cat eats the food with onion or garlic. If you spot these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately. Your cat may need a blood transfusion if the damage to the red blood cells is extensive.
A favorite item in candy and baked goods found during the holidays, chocolate can be deadly to your cat. The harmful toxins to your cat in chocolate are caffeine and theobromine. Dark chocolate has more of these chemicals than light, and white chocolate has very little. These substances affect the cat’s heart and nervous system.
Symptoms may appear in a few hours and can include irregular heart rhythm, vomiting, restlessness, muscle tremors, increased temperature, seizures and even death. If you suspect that your cat has eaten chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately. Depending on the age and weight of your cat, they may have you bring them in for observation. Your vet may try to get your cat to evacuate its stomach, give your cat activated charcoal to prevent the cat from absorbing more of the toxins, and monitor its heart.
Watch your cat during the holidays and keep them away from any food meant for people. They will continue to beg for a taste, but you’ll have a more pleasant, drama-free holiday if you resist the temptation to share your food with them.Read More