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Can Cats Eat Raisins? What You Need to Know!

Raisins are a delightful, bite-sized treat for us. But what about for cats?

While they may seem like a nice nibble for your furball, you need to think twice before tossing a few over. And that’s because raisins are toxic for cats as are their plump counterpart – grapes.

If you’re a raisin lover, be sure to keep these away from your cats at all costs. Now, if you happen to drop one and your little rascal runs over and snatches it up, chances are there’s zero need to worry. However, a handful can actually cause some real damage.


Why Are Raisins Harmful to Cats?

So, what is it that makes grapes and raisins harmful to your cat?

When consumed in large quantities, they can cause severe kidney damage or complete renal failure.

In fact, raisins are much more harmful, as they are a concentrated form of grapes. While it would take a large number of grapes to poison your cat (probably more than she would care to eat anyway), raisins can start causing harm much sooner.

Image Credit: Pixabay

What to Do If You Suspect Raisin Poisoning

The number one thing you need to do is call your veterinarian. Like with any emergency action or procedure, damage can be minimized if caught early. Your vet will probably induce vomiting to try and purge your cat of what it ate in an effort to reduce the number of toxins that enter the bloodstream.

Under no circumstance should you try to induce vomiting at home. This can be a very tricky procedure — and you’re likely to cause more harm than good.

If induced vomiting by a vet doesn’t minimize the situation enough, your cat may be placed on IV fluids and other supportive care.

The best way to deal with raisin poisoning is to prevent it in the first place.

Signs of High Toxicity in Cats

By being able to identify the signs of high toxicity in cats, you’ll be able to act more presently.

Here are some key symptoms you should look out for:

  • Yowling from abdominal pain
  • General weakness
  • Lack of movement and lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Little to no urination
  • Excessive urination
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea

If left untreated, these symptoms can ultimately lead to kidney failure and death. Do not gamble with your cat’s life. If you suspect high toxicity or just feel something’s off, call your vet immediately.

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Prevention Measures to Keep Cats from Eating Raisins

While we covered some pretty severe consequences if your cat does eat raisins, the good news is your cat is highly unlikely to want to eat them in the first place.

Cats are obligate carnivores and need only to rely on meat and meat byproducts to survive. They don’t typically go after fruits and vegetables. But just in case, here are some measures to take.

dried fruits raisins
Image Credit: Pixabay

Store Your Raisins Out of Your Cat’s Reach

Cats can get into just about anything with the right motivation. However, if you tightly seal your raisins in an appropriate storage container or keep them in the fridge, they’re more likely to stay out of them.

Minimize the Number of Raisins You Eat Around Your Cat

This sounds silly, but raisins are small and easily dropped. Such an action could induce a treat reaction in some gluttonous cats, causing them to pounce over and snag it. By limiting your raisin consumption around your little rascal, you minimize accidental ingestion.

Give Your Cat an Alternative Snack While You Munch

When you give your cat her own food while you eat, she’ll tend to focus more on her share—particularly if it’s meat or a favorite treat. This leaves you to snack in peace.

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Cat-Friendly Alternatives to Raisins

Now, if you’re looking to provide your cat with some healthier snack options, you’re in luck. There are some fruits and veggies that are perfectly safe for your cat to eat. But given how picky cats are, they might not care for them too much.

  • Green bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Zucchini

Just remember, none of these should ever be used as a complete meal replacement for your cat. Felines have a pretty strict diet they need to follow in order to get their full intake of vitamins and minerals. This balance can be maintained by choosing high-quality cat food.

But these can make for a unique snack or treat!

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In summary, don’t feed your cats raisins (or grapes). Although they’ll typically avoid them, there may a case in which your cat ingests a few. If this happens, time is of the essence. Get ahold of your vet as soon as possible and bring your loved one in for treatment.

Do not attempt to induce vomiting at home. This can make matters worse.

By taking preventative actions, both your cat and raisins can find a comfortable place in your home.