A List of Plants and Foods Cats Can and Can't Eat

by Ledan Seja, Demand Media

    Your kitty is naturally a carnivore, surviving off meat in the wild. She may, however, try to sneak a few plants occasionally, and a few people foods are OK to share with her every now and then. To be safe, keep people foods to a minimum.

    Safe People Foods

    Sometimes it's hard to resist those big, loving eyes staring at your plate of food. If you feel the need to share your dinner with your kitty or cook her treats, keep your options limited. Meat is an ideal source of protein and makes an excellent treat for your furry friend. Cooked poultry is ideal, as well as cooked fish. If you're feeding fish, keep it limited to cod, halibut and flounder, as well as fish with vegetarian diets. Cooked eggs also serve your feline a lot of protein. Dairy products almost always make the "toxic foods" lists, but a small amount should be OK, and many people have found that dairy products are ideal for hiding cat medication in. As cats (and other animals) reach adulthood, they become more and more lactose-intolerant. Cooked vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, squash or green beans can fill your kitty's belly as well.

    Toxic Foods

    Raw eggs, fish and meats are unsafe for your feline, even though they would naturally eat these things in the wild. In modern times, these uncooked foods are likely to carry dangerous organisms such as E. coli and salmonella, along with parasites. Candy is another no-no, especially darker chocolates and anything containing the sweetener xylitol. Grapes, raisins and almost all seeds and pits from fruits can be highly toxic. While breads are typically OK, stay away from uncooked yeast dough, as the yeast can continue to rise in your kitty's stomach.

    Safe Plants

    Grasses and catnip are two favorites of frisky felines. Some cats simply enjoy chewing on these, while others use them for roughage or to help them empty their stomachs if they get a tummyache. Many plants are safe for your kitty to play with, but just as many are toxic to her. Maples, alyssum, squash, African violets, rubber plants and orchids are fine for your feline to play with and chomp on—though you may not be delighted if she does.

    Toxic Plants

    Around the house, beware of lilies. Lilies are particularly toxic to cats and can cause kidney—and other organ—failure or complications. The entire rhododendron family, including azaleas, are neurological toxins. Chrysanthemum plants are a natural source of pyrethrins—potent pesticides. Green parts of tomatoes and potatoes can cause neurological side effects, while morning glory, bleeding hearts, lupines, and unripe berries have the potential to cause gastrointestinal upset.

    About the Author

    Ledan Seja has been writing since 2009, specializing in natural ecosystems, gardening and landscape design, the environment, wildlife, insects, pet rescue and childcare. Her work has appeared in various online publications.