Which human foods are not safe for cats?

Lots of us are guilty of giving our feline friends a treat from time to time, and this can often be in the form of human food. Just as we should, it’s best to adopt the moderation mindset, as most things can be harmful in excess; there are, however, some foods that are particularly unsafe for cats in small quantities which you should avoid giving them altogether. We’ve listed some of the more common ones to watch out for below, but as a rule if in doubt always err on the side of caution!

Milk – Despite the familiar image of a cat lapping up milk out of a saucer being one we’ve all seen countless times, most cats are in fact lactose intolerant. This means that their digestive system cannot process dairy foods properly, which can lead to a stomach upset and diarrhoea.

Onions and garlic – These everyday foods contain oxidising agents that are damaging to cats’ cells, and even just a small amount can cause onion poisoning. This breaks down their red blood cells, which can have a range of dangerous health symptoms, and so they should both be avoided at all costs. 

Grapes and raisins – It’s well known that these seemingly harmless little fruit are notoriously dangerous for dogs, and the same can be the case for cats too. This is due to them being a cause of kidney failure, and cats can suffer the same symptoms. As they’re often stored out in the open in a fruit bowl, owners are best to keep any grapes or raisins in a place not accessible to your cat.

Chocolate – A tasty but potentially toxic treat when it comes to your cat, as a result of it containing stimulants such as theobromine. This harmful ingredient is found in all types of chocolate, but higher levels in dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate make these the most dangerous. Christmas and Easter are times when there are plentiful amounts of the sweet stuff around, so always be mindful not to leave it out for wandering paws to find.

Caffeine  The effects of caffeine are the same for cats as for humans, except their bodies are more sensitive which means they need much less and are unable to cope with the reactions caused. If ingested, symptoms can include rapid breathing and heart rate, restlessness, fits and seizures, and muscle spasms. In large enough quantities, caffeine poisoning can be fatal for cats so this goes for any drinks or food that contain the substance – tea, coffee, soft drinks, cocoa, and chocolate. 

If you really can’t resist indulging your cat on occasion, aside from cat treats and kibble, then remember their carnivorous origins. This means that in general, most red meats and poultry should be fine, but as we’ve mentioned always keep these to just small amounts. 

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Product testing and development to support happy, healthy pets

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With all the different products available for our pets nowadays, it can be a little daunting knowing which ones to choose, or more importantly, trust. At PetSafe®, we believe that you should be able to rest assured that any product you give your pet works to help support both their health and happiness, and that’s a philosophy we’ve had since we started in 1991.

A key part of our company is extensive research and product development to ensure everything we produce gives your cat or dog the very best, and as a result gives you peace of mind. Something that sets us apart when it comes to our product development process is our people and their passion and innovation; we have an extraordinary collection of scientists and devoted pet lovers. Our in-house team of engineers and specialists continually research, develop and test new products for pet owners using the latest technologies to keep our products at the leading edge of innovation. Because we know that meeting your pets’ behavioural needs is key to their happiness, we work closely with pet behaviourists and vets to make sure their needs are at the heart of everything we do.

Part of being a responsible owner is providing your pet with products to help keep them active, entertained, support good health and ensure their safety. That’s why our different product ranges each target an important aspect of your pet’s life to help improve not only their quality of life but yours too! Whether it’s helping to make their toilet habits hassle-free (with our ScoopFree solutions), allowing them safe access to the outdoors (with out wide range of Pet Doors) or encouraging them to stay active and engaged (through our Play & Challenge ranges), there’s a product for every one of your cat or dog’s needs. After all, happy pets mean happy owners, which is why we strive to help you create more of those best moments together.

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Help get your pet ready for summer

Summer is just around the corner, so as you’re probably starting to think about getting yourself ready for the holiday season you should be doing the same for your pet too. Here are some ways to help keep them happy and healthy over the warmer months. Trust us, they’ll thank you for it!

Seasonal grooming

Just as we like to groom ourselves to look and feel our best in time for summer, your dog can also benefit from some pampering to help them shed what’s left of their winter coat. Regular brushing (and bathing) will help remove loose and moulted hairs, but if you have a long-haired breed then it can also be a good idea to take them to have a trim to keep them comfortable in warmer temperatures. Be careful, however, to keep this to a minimum and if they already have a short coat then avoid this altogether as dogs’ fur acts as insulation by helping to regulate body heat and protects them against sunburn. If you’re not sure how much is safe to take off then ask your vet for advice.

Visit the vet

Making sure your pet is in full health prior to summer, and the risks the season can bring, is very important. So arrange for a trip to the vet for a general check up and also to see if they’re up-to-date with vaccinations. When the weather is good, more people are often out with their dogs, meaning yours can come into more contact with other animals than usual, which increases their risk of catching contagious conditions such as kennel cough. If you know that your pet suffers seasonal allergies, then it’s also a good chance to discuss this with your vet and arrange for any required treatment to help ease the symptoms. 

Summer-proof your garden

One of the best things about summer is being able to spend more time outdoors, and what better way to spend an afternoon than enjoying the sunshine with your furry friend? So you can relax without worrying about them having too much sun exposure, make sure that there are plenty of shady areas for your pet to stay cool and comfortable. If you don’t have any shade naturally, then investing in a large outdoor plant or umbrella can be a good solution, or why not plant something in time for next year? Dogs are crafty, and can find their way through small spaces, so check that any fence or boundaries you have are secure and don’t have any possible escape routes. 

Keep them hydrated

Your dog should have a source of constant fresh water available to them all year round, but it’s even more vital during summer to help prevent them suffering from dehydration. Just as we need to up our intake of water in the heat, so do our pets; investing in an extra water bowl, such as a travel one, is ideal for taking on walks and trips or think about a more advanced solution such as a pet fountain. Our Drinkwell range has a fountain suitable for pets of all sizes, to help provide constant access to fresh, filtered water – perfect for those summer months! On especially hot days, ice cubes can be a refreshing and enjoyable treat for your dog, and try putting a few in their water bowl to help keep it cool.

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