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  • A Guide to Safe VS Toxic "Table Scraps" for Cats

    However, the main reason I'd discourage feeding cats "people food" is that there are a number of foods that are toxic to cats.
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    You may have forgotten that the gravy slathered over your Thanksgiving turkey used broth that was flavored with onion, among other things. While it is tasty and harmless to humans, onions are very toxic to cats. The following is a list of foods that cats should never eat:

    Onions, Garlic, & Related Root Vegetables

    Onions contain a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells in the cat, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Garlic contains a similar substance in a lesser amount.

    Tomatoes, Green (raw Potatoes)

    These foods are members of the Solanaceae family of plants, which includes the Deadly Nightshade, and contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower gastrointestinal symptoms. The Feline Future web site offers a rare description of a cat which was close to death from ingesting just one cherry tomato (See the link on the sidebar).

    Chocolate

    It's becoming more widely known that chocolate is very toxic to both cats and dogs. Theobromine is the offending substance here. Janet Tobiassen Crosby, D.V.M. has an excellent article on the symptoms, effects, and treatment of chocolate toxicity.

    Grapes and Raisins

    These foods' toxicity has mainly been found in dogs, in quantities of varying amounts. The ASPCA advises: "As there are still many unknowns with the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises not giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount." That's good enough for me.

    Milk

    Although milk is not toxic to cats, it may have adverse effects. Simply put, adult cats fed a nutritious diet don't need milk, and many cats are lactose-intolerant, which means that the lactose in milk and milk products produces stomach upset, cramps, and gassiness. If your cat loves milk, and begs for it, a small amount of cream may be okay, two or three times a week. (The more fat in the milk, the less lactose.) Another compromise is CatSip, a product made from skim milk with an enzyme added that helps the digestion of lactose. Catsip is available in supermarkets such as Safeway, Albertson's and A&P, as well as pet products chains, such as PetSmart and Petco.

    These are the most commonly seen "people foods" that are potentially harmful to cats. The bottom link is to feed your cat nutritious food developed with his needs in mind and choose treats designed for cats instead of table scraps.

    If You Think Your Cat Has Been Poisoned

    Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at one of the numbers below
    1-900-443-0000 ($45.00 per case. The charge is billed directly to caller's phone.)
    1-888-426-4435. $45.00 per case, credit card only.)
    Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

    February 9, 2008 at 6:37 p.m.

  • *looks up Gunsmoke* So THAT'S why everyone asks me if Chester has a gimp leg! That explains a few things.
    Thanks for all the info, SugarM! It's going to be interesting trying to keep him out of the food. This boy is impertinent! Last time I had him around when I was eating dessert, he kept trying to pull the plate down to his level. *shakes head* If I ever entertain, I'll have to lock this boy in a room so he can't eat off my guests' plates.

    December 10, 2007 at 9:58 a.m.

  • P.S. - May I speak for Mike, here? I am sure he meant Mr. Dillon as Matt Dillon, from Gunsmoke. I know, you are way too young to remember Gunsmoke, but Matt Dillon and Chester were a couple of the characters on the TV show, and also (pun intended?) Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty. No joke! Hope that clears it up for ya!

    December 10, 2007 at 1:45 a.m.

  • LA - I recommend Victoria Animal Hospital on Sam Houston, adjacent to the post office. Dr. Arthur Schomburg is my vet, and he is fantastic. Also practicing there are Dr. Froehlich, and Dr. Warren. They are a full-service clinic, hospital, grooming, etc. place, and I have always had professional, caring service from all employees there. Of course, I am sure there are other clinics and vets just as good in the area; just find one that suits you and a vet that you can build a rapport and trust with. Also, I subscribe to Cat Fancy magazine. You can find them online, I am sure, to subscribe. They always have worthwhile info. I love all animals, and my cats are my babies. I know what you mean about SPOILING them. Mine are spoiled sweet, and maybe a little rotten too. And since Chester is a cat, yes, you are all HIS, not the other way around! "I'm just a cat, and that's that, and we'll get along fine - as long as you know, I'm not yours, YOU'RE ALL MINE!"  Hahaha! Be sure not to feed your cat tuna except as an occasional treat ONLY, as too much can spur development of fatty liver, which can eventually result in death. Once in a while is fine, though, with an otherwise complete and balanced diet. Also obtainable at your vet's - Hill's Science diet, very good. Iams is good, and I also give mine Fancy Feast and Good Life treats. I had a cat who loved cat vitamins once a day, she was very good about eating them. She is now gone, and none of my other cats have ever cared for those chewable cat vitamins. Oh, well, can't win 'em all. Do not give cow milk straight from the carton to your kitty; there are special cat milks available on the market. Many cats are lactose intolerant, and regular milk is not good for them. Have I rambled enough yet? I think I have. Just a primer for ya, I hope you and Chester form a loving, lifelong bond. It sounds like yall are already on your way. Have a wonderful time with your new pet (er...master, I mean.....)      :)

    December 9, 2007 at 11:02 p.m.

  • Thanks for the tips, everyone! I'm looking for a vet for my adorable (shamelessly begging) kitty now. If anyone has suggestions, let me know. I'm typically a dog person, but this little boy kind of adopted me, so I guess he's mine now. Or I'm his.... I never could work out how this relationship works.
    Anyways, thanks to Mike for the 'just give him the can' suggestion. That's probably a better/safer thing to do. But I'm not sure who this Mr. Dillon is. Oh well!
    And thanks to everyone for the ingredient suggestions. I'll definately try the chopped pecan addition. *Insert cheesy "I'm nuts for pecans" comment here*
    And Jimmini, that is the cutest icon of my favorite Disney bug ever!

    December 9, 2007 at 9:22 p.m.

  • I agree with Rebecca, and would like to add that you can contact the Humane Society of the United States at www.hsus.org as well as the ASPCA at www.aspca.org to get a comprehensive listing of substances that are toxic to animals, especially cats. Other dangers to watch out for include anitfreeze, acetaminophen, and, especially this time of year, poinsettias and lilies. Many common houseplants can be toxic to cats, so be sure to check before you consider bringing certain plants inside the house. If you don't already have a regular veterinarian, I would encourage you to get one, and they can help you take the best care of your pet as possible. Congratulations on your new place, and your new companion! May you enjoy many happy and healthy years with your cat!

    December 9, 2007 at 8:47 p.m.

  • Yum! I basically use the same recipe, but I also add chopped celery and chopped red bell pepper. You get more vitamins and fiber that way, and it also makes it even more delicious. I prefer Miracle Whip to mayo, although both are good. Try throwing in a little mustard, also, to spice things up!

    December 8, 2007 at 10:34 p.m.