Do cats like grapes? Great question – and we’re glad that you’re checking into it before attempting to feed grapes to your kitty.
As it turns out, most cats will turn their noses up at grapes simply because cats are carnivores. Renowned veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein of Dr. Marty Pets mentions that our feline friends prefer meat – in fact, cats are obligate carnivores, thriving on diets that consist mainly of animal fat and animal protein. Furthermore, he mentions that cats don’t need carbohydrates. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) agrees, stating that cats have difficulty processing high-carbohydrate food like grapes even though they are capable of digesting plant matter.
With these unique feline nutrition concerns in mind, let’s take a closer look if cats can have grapes.
Can Cats Have Grapes?
According to PetMD veterinarians, the answer is no. Animal health experts explain that grapes are toxic to cats and go on to say that in case you’re wondering, this is a similarity shared with dogs. Furthermore, they warn that grapes aren’t a mild toxin; instead, they can cause kidney damage in felines and canines alike. Vets are clear with their warnings that even a small amount of this seemingly innocent fruit can lead to serious issues.
Because cats are curious, it’s important to store your grapes well out of reach. Even though most cats aren’t interested in fruit at all, helping them avoid temptation is key to accident prevention.
Can Cats Eat Raisins?
Absolutely not! Raisins are simply dried grapes. They contain the same compounds found in fresh grapes.
The Toxicity of Grapes to Cats and Dogs
In their guide to common pet toxins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center mentions that researchers have come up empty-handed when it comes to identifying specific compounds that make grapes poisonous to cats and dogs.
At the same time, veterinarians at DVM360 make it abundantly clear that grapes are inappropriate for both species, mentioning that renal failure can cause proximal tubular necrosis in dogs, usually within 72 hours of ingestion. Furthermore, they mention that toxicity can occur even at very low doses: Just 0.7 ounces of grape and 0.11 ounces of raisin can poison your pet.
MSD Veterinary Manual mentions that the development of grape-related kidney failure in cats, dogs, and ferrets has not been replicated experimentally, but that the application of raisin extract to canine kidney cells in vitro does cause damage to canine kidney cells.
What to Do If Your Cat Eats Grapes
Even though most cats are happy to stick with their natural diet, accidents can happen. If your cat ate grapes, you’ll need to be on the lookout for signs of poisoning. The experts at Vetinfo and MSD Veterinary manual offer a complete list of symptoms including:
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased urination
- Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
- Hyperactivity or agitation
- Excessive drooling
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Rapid, shallow breathing
Vetinfo warns that in some cases of cat poisoning, coma can occur during the final stages. In the event that this happens and your pet manages to survive, permanent brain damage could result.
Grape ingestion is an emergency and unless your vet states otherwise, this means your kitty needs treatment immediately. Call ahead to let them know that your cat ate grapes, so they’ll be prepared for your arrival.
Since Cats Can’t Eat Grapes, What Should You Feed Them Instead?
We all want to feed our cats meals that are as tasty as they are healthy. The ASPCA underscores the importance of an appropriate diet, mentioning that without the right food, cats can die of a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is caused by taurine deficiency.
Top pet food manufacturers offer expertise in formulating recipes designed to support your cat’s well-being with the nutrients they need. There’s no need to risk harming your cats by feeding them grapes when so many healthy options are available!