One of the best things about having a cat roaming about your home is having a constant companion by your side. Many cat owners love their animal more than a lot of other aspects of their life, and want to give them all the love and attention that they can muster up. Loving your cat and taking care of it is the best thing to do, but you want to make sure that you are not harming your cat by feeding it foods that could be harmful to its overall health and well being. Although your cat may cuddle up close to you and purr, there are some table scraps that you should avoid giving your cat at all costs if you want your feline friend to live a long and happy life.

1.) Milk

Yes, this may seem like an old item not to be able to give your cat. Movies always project images of cats drinking milk and enjoying it, but this is misleading as milk can harm your cat in many ways. Kittens have milk from their mother when they are young, which is perfectly healthy and normal. Once they are weaned, they lose the ability to digest lactose properly, and can lead to diarrhea, which unpleasant for both cat and owner. Also, if you are offering milk to your cat as a replacement for water, you are putting your cat a risk for dehydration.

2.) Raw Fish

Again, cartoons and other sources of media have shown images of cats eating raw fish, or following the goldfish around in his bowl for comic effect. However, raw fish can be extremely harmful to your cat. Cat foods that contain fish are perfectly safe, because it is cooked and is in harmony with other ingredients. Raw fish contains an enzyme called thiaminase and it destroys the body’s thiamine, which is a B vitamin. A thiamine deficiency that goes untreated can lead to severe seizures and even death.

3.) Chocolate

As humans, we turn to chocolate in times where we are sad or angry, or just need a pick-me-up. The same can not be said for our feline friends. A small amount of chocolate could be deadly to a cat. It causes vomiting and diarrhea, and contains a substance called theobromine, which is highly toxic to animals and can cause heart attacks. Although chocolate can be a positive thing for humans, chocolate can be deadly to cats.

4.) Onions

This may seem like an odd thing to feed your cat, but you should never feed them anything with even a trace of onion or onion powder, or let them get a hold of anything with onion in it. Onions destroy red blood cells, and can be toxic and deadly to cats. Raw onions, cooked onions and onion powder are toxic to cats, so be sure that they do not come in contact with any form of onion.

5.) Dog Food

There is a common misconception that all animal foods are the same, and that is simply not true. Cat food and dog food are made separately because these animals have separate needs for vitamins and nutrients. Dog food lacks a sufficient amount of protein and fat that cats require in their diet, as well as the amino acid taurine, which cats depend on. Cats must receive taurine through their diet, and dogs are able to produce this on their own, so their food lacks this, therefore it is unhelpful to cats.