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Can Cats Eat Grapes? Facts & Advice

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

grapes_Jill Wellington_Pixabay

Grapes are sweet, delicious, nutritious fruit that many humans love. However, if you’ve ever been tempted to share your grapes with your feline companion, don’t. The question of whether cats can eat grapes is answered with a resounding no. Though they’re great for humans, this delicious fruit is toxic to cats.

While it may be tempting to share because, after all, grapes are sweet, nutritious, and perfectly sized for cats, feeding your cat grapes could lead to a host of issues, some of which could be fatal. In this article, we’ll answer your questions about cats and grapes and tell you what you need to know about feeding them to your beloved pet.

Grape Toxicity in Cats

You likely already know that grapes are toxic to dogs, but why are they toxic to cats as well? There is no blanket dose level to determine just how many grapes you can feed your cat before it becomes fatal, so it’s best to just feed them no grapes at all. One cat may be fine after ingesting a few grapes, while another cat in your household might get really sick and possibly die.

We know that poisoning is more likely the more grapes you feed your cat, but as with humans, every cat reacts in a unique way when it comes to different foods, so why take that chance? However, if you find your cat eating just one grape, you don’t have to be as concerned as if you find him chowing down on a bunch. But if you have found that your cat has ingested grapes at all, keep a close eye on your feline pal and look for symptoms of poisoning. If you spot any of the symptoms we’ll talk about in a later section, you need to get your cat to the vet right away.

Image Credit: Pixabay

What Are the Dangers of Feeding Grapes to Cats?

While there isn’t much known about what toxic agent in grapes can cause catastrophic effects on cats’ vital organs, the reasons for the fruit being toxic to dogs are well-known. This is why the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and other reputable sources advise against feeding this particular food to your cats as well.

It becomes a bit confusing when researching grapes and cats because some cats will get sick if they eat grapes, and others won’t. The most significant danger of cats eating grapes is the chance of kidney failure. It is possible that a toxic substance that can be found in both grapes and raisins can lead to sudden kidney failure in cats.

While scientists haven’t figured out precisely what agent in grapes causes toxicity in cats, it’s thought that the substance might be in the flesh of the grapes. So, it isn’t safe to feed your cat peeled grapes either.

Symptoms of Grape Poisoning in Cats

While you may do everything you can to keep your feline pal from getting into the grapes, cats are curious and often find even those things you’re hiding from them. If you walk into the kitchen and find your cat gnawing on a grape, There are symptoms of grape poisoning to look out for in cats. These symptoms usually present themselves in a matter of hours, so it’s essential to contact your vet right away if you see any of the following signs.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of thirst
  • Lack of or excessive urination
  • Shivering

If you aren’t sure exactly how many grapes your cat ingested, it’s best to go ahead and take him to the emergency vet so he can be given the all-clear by a trained professional.

Cat vomiting_Nils Jacobi_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

How Is Grape Poisoning in Cats Treated?

The earlier your cat can be treated, the better his chances of a full recovery are. If your cat is experiencing any symptoms of grape poisoning, it’s best not to delay. The treatment will be determined according to how much time has passed since your cat ingested the grapes.

In most cases, the vet will induce vomiting to get as much of the grapes out of your cat’s system as possible. Never try to induce vomiting yourself, as it could do your cat more harm than good. However, if your cat has ingested too many grapes or a lot of time has passed, more extensive measures will be called for. These measures can include intravenous fluids and, in extreme cases, blood transfusions.

That is why it’s so important to watch your cat for signs and symptoms that the grapes he ingested are making him sick. If in doubt, take him to the vet anyway because it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the life and health of your feline friend.

What Fruits Are Safe for Cats?

While you shouldn’t feed your cat grapes, there are fruits out there that can safely be fed to your feline companion. A list of those foods can be found below.

While it’s okay to feed your cat these fruits, it’s still better to offer them in moderation, as cats don’t reap much nutritional benefit from fruit. Many cats aren’t interested in the sweetness of the fruits above, but every cat is different. Make sure to cut the fruits into tiny pieces and remove the banana peel before giving your cat these tasty treats to avoid them becoming a choking hazard and an upset stomach later on.

Banana Peels
Image credit: t_watanabe, Pixabay

Are There Other Foods That Are Dangerous to Cats?

It’s important to note that there are other foods out there that you shouldn’t feed your cats also. Food such as chocolate, most dairy products, and garlic and onions can be dangerous to your cat’s health. It’s best to give your cat meat-based treats instead of any of these foods.

The answer to the question of whether it’s safe for cats to eat grapes is a resounding no. While it’s still unclear what the toxic substance is in grapes that gets cats sick, it’s just best to err on the side of caution and keep the delicious fruit away from the pet you love. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from, so why take the chance?

For more information on what cats can eat, check out:

Featured Image Credit: Jill Wellington, Pixabay

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