Last Updated on: September 21, 2020
Can cats eat grapes? While a cat is never likely to scramble through some vine trees eating grapes or to be found having a nibble around the fruit bowl, they may still end up eating some of this delicious little fruit.
The reason? Well us of course. Humans very often give their cats a little bit of their own food. That’s one of the main reasons this website exists in the first place – to guide you on which of the foods that we like, is safe to give to our cats.
Well, I am afraid grapes cannot be included on that list. In fact, grapes can be harmfully toxic to cats so they really shouldn’t eat any at all.
Let’s take a look as to why grapes are so dangerous to our feline friends…
Cats Eating Grapes – The Dangers
Let’s go straight to one of the best sources of pet information in America, the ASPCA. In their view, grapes should not be given to any of our pets. The toxicity level of grapes to dogs is widely documented. Because of this, the ASPCA animal poison control center advises that cats should also avoid grapes too. The dangers are too great to risk feeding felines these tasty little morsels. There are too many health issues associated with it, with kidney failure being one of them.
Cat Kidney Failure Caused by Grapes
The toxicity of grapes can lead to kidney failure in cats. This is precisely why the ASPCA has placed grapes on the toxic food for pets list.
The reason grapes can cause renal failure in cats is still a bit of a mystery. Scientists have not got to the bottom of what is exactly happening in the cat’s kidneys after they have consumed grapes.
To confuse the researchers further, not all cats will react in the same way. Some felines will be able to eat a small amount of grape and suffer no adverse effects. Others meanwhile will show signs of kidney failure within just a few hours of eating grapes.
Studies have also shown that any cats that already have kidney issues, or prone to underlying kidney diseases do have a higher chance of being struck down with kidney failure as a result of eating grapes.
Therefore, the only way to avoid any risks is to make sure your cat does not eat any of the fruit at all.
Signs of Grape Toxicity in Cats
Of course, avoidance will only get you so far. It is impossible to watch your cat 24 / 7 and there may be circumstances where your cat eats grapes and there is nothing you could have done to prevent it.
So what are the signs of grape toxicity in cats? Basically, if you suspect that your cat has consumed some grape, and they start to exhibit any of the following signs, you should take them to the vets as soon as possible.
Extensive vomiting is a big indication that your cat is unwell. When a cat has eaten something that disagrees with them, vomiting is the first line of defense. In the simplest terms, it is their own body telling them something is wrong – your cat is attempting to eject the harmful substance.
If a cat has eaten grapes they are likely to begin vomiting within just a few hours of ingestion.
It is a good idea to check the vomit for any signs of grapefruit or seeds. Of course, if you see any you should be calling the vet straight away.
Other signs can follow the vomiting and may well occur within 24 hours of grape consumption include:
- Diarrhea – another way the body ejects the harmful substance. The problem here is that digestion has occurred meaning the harmful grape toxicity is already inside your cat’s kidneys
- Lethargy – a sign of the toxicity
- Lack of appetite – a sign of ill health
- Decreased urination – a sign of loss of kidney function
- Weakness – toxicity symptoms affecting the nervous system and energy levels
- Abdominal pain – ill health
- Possibly seizure or death – the extreme result of grape toxicity and kidney failure.
Treatment for Grape Toxicity in Cats
While all of this can sound very scary indeed, and under no circumstance would you want your cat to go through all of this, the important issue with grape toxicity in cats is that if treated fast enough, your cat should make a complete recovery.
If your cat is examined within the first few hours after consuming the grapes, your veterinarian will induce vomiting to rid them of the harmful substance.
Your vet might also use activated charcoal – this will help absorb any remaining toxins left inside your cat’s gastrointestinal system.
If the toxicity levels are high, and your cat requires further treatment, the vet may provide intravenous fluids and blood transfusion.
These procedures are very expensive however and are one reason why you should think about cat health insurance to help cover such issues.
Can Cats Eat Raisins?
You may be asking yourself – what about raisins? Can cats eat them instead?
Well, the fact is, raisins are merely a dried out grape. With most of their juices removed a raisin actually contains a higher concentration of the toxicity levels that can harm our pets in the first place. Under no circumstances should you feed your cat raisins. If you thought the results of grape consumption sounded bad, raisins are the turbo addition. They are highly toxic to cats.
Grapes (and raisins) are obviously toxic to cats and should be well avoided.
However, if your cat does eat some grape, take them to the vet as soon as you can. Watching the early toxicity warning signs and reacting fast enough could save your cat’s life.
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.