The holidays are stressful enough without having to make a trip to the emergency vet. With Thanksgiving approaching, the ASPCA has published info on what holiday foods you should avoid feeding your cat. Sure, a little well-cooked, boneless turkey is okay as a treat, but other common foods are poisonous to your pet. Here’s the list:
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.
Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.
Pie Filling and Cake Batter
If you’re baking Thanksgiving pies and cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Other forbidden foods:
- Macadamia nuts (can cause weakness and tremors)
- Raisins and grapes (can cause kidney failure)
- Onions and garlic (can cause anemia)
- Chocolate (contains caffeine and theobromine, two different types of stimulants that affect the central nervous system and the heart muscle, as well as increasing the frequency of urination)
Of course, the safest route is to avoid feeding Fluffy table scraps entirely. For the ASPCA’s safe Thanksgiving guidelines, go to ASPCA.org.
More Safety Tips
- Make sure that if you truss your turkey, the string is disposed of where your cat can’t find it. Turkey-flavored string is appealing to cats. If ingested, it may need to be removed via surgery.
- Having holiday guests? Keep your cats sequestered in a quiet room so that they don’t escape to the outdoors when Uncle Fred leaves the door open for the eightieth time (despite being told eighty times to keep in closed).
- If young children are visiting you, spend a few minutes educating them about proper cat-handling (No tail-pulling. No loud noises. No sudden movements. Let the cat come to you.) If your cats are not accustomed to having children around, supervise the interactions until you’re comfortable that neither the kids nor the kits will harm one another. A good experience could turn the child into a lifelong cat lover.
The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center
The ASPCA is an excellent resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A $60 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.