Can Cats Eat Grapes?

Key takeaway

Grapes are highly toxic to cats, but unfortunately, we don't know which compound in grapes is toxic to pets. Feeding your cat grapes is dangerous and can result in GI problems such as vomiting and diarrhea or lead to kidney disease, a potentially fatal illness.

Grapes are a juicy, nutritious snack for humans, but you should never share them with your pets. You may have heard that dogs should never have grapes or raisins, but the same is true for cats. Cats should not eat grapes because they're toxic.

You may think one grape won't hurt your cat, but there's no reason to risk their health and wellness. Not only can grapes cause digestive issues, but they can be lethal. So if you've ever wondered," can my cat eat grapes?" we're here to help. Read on to learn more about why cats can't eat grapes and what to do if your cat accidentally ingests one.

Why Can't Cats Eat Grapes?

Grapes are some of the most toxic foods for cats. Grapes are toxic to cats and dogs, so you should never feed them any grape products, including fresh grapes or raisins. When keeping grapes in your home, it's best to keep them away from pets. For example, if your cat likes to jump into the fridge when you open it, you might choose to put your grapes in a drawer or top shelf to make it more difficult for them to find them.

Grapes contain toxic substances that are harmful to pets, but unfortunately, the precise substance is unknown.1 Cats may suffer severe gastrointestinal problems after ingesting grapes, and they have also been reported to lead to kidney failure, which is life-threatening.2 The exact amount of grapes that can cause digestive problems or kidney failure is unknown, so even just a taste of a grape could be bad for your cat's health.

Additionally, cats don't need to be fed any type of fruit or human food; they're carnivores, so their diet should consist primarily of meat. Ultimately, cats don't need human food; they get enough nutrients from their regular diet. While grapes are healthy for humans, they're not healthy for pets, so feeding them grapes is an unnecessary risk.

Signs Of Grape Toxicity in Cats

Small amounts of grapes can make your cat sick and lead to kidney failure and death. Symptoms typically occur within 12 to 24 hours after consumption, including:

It’s no secret that cats sleep a lot, but if they're spending less time being active and more time sleeping, and you're starting to wonder, "why do cats sleep so much?", that could be a sign that they have ingested a toxin. Additionally, if your cat is drinking a lot of water, it could be a sign of dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea or something more sinister like kidney failure.

Many of the symptoms of grape toxicity in cats are similar to other cat illnesses and diseases, so it's best to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. Healthy cats do not experience any of these symptoms, so any sign of toxicity can indicate a serious health concern, including poisoning.

If you notice any of these signs of toxicity in cats, call your vet immediately. The symptoms listed above could indicate problems with your cat's kidney, so acting fast could save your cat's life.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Grapes

If you know your cat has eaten grapes or raisins, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible or take your pet to an emergency vet clinic that can see your pet immediately. You can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Additionally, you might not always know if your cat eats a grape. For example, if you're eating grapes and leave a bowl on the counter, your cat could jump up and eat one. If your cat has consumed a grape, they will likely start showing symptoms within twelve hours. Unfortunately, no one knows how many grapes can harm a cat, so there's no reason to let your cat have a taste of a grape since it could be life-threatening.

Once you've taken your cat to an emergency clinic, a vet will induce vomiting to remove any grapes and their toxins from your cat's gut to prevent absorption. They may also give your cat treatment to absorb material within their digestive tract. While many pet parents know how to induce vomiting, they should never induce vomiting without first talking to a vet. If your cat has eaten a lot of grapes, your vet may need their fluids and blood work to ensure their kidneys haven't been impacted. After cats get proper treatment for eating grapes, they typically recover in a few days.

How To Stop Your Cat From Eating Grapes

The best way to ensure grapes can't poison your cat is to keep grapes away from them. As you already know, cats are curious creatures, so they can find ways to get into just about anything, including the refrigerator. Here are some tips to stop your cat from eating grapes:

Don't leave them out on the table or countertop. Instead, store them in a fridge drawer and never leave them unattended while you're eating them.2

Put grapes away immediately. When coming home from a trip to the grocery store, it's always best to put grapes in a cat-proofed area to prevent them from eating grapes while you're distracted.

Don't feed your cat table scraps.2 Feeding your cat table scraps means they might accidentally consume grapes or raisins. Additionally, feeding your cat food off your plate can train cats that it's okay to take your food since they don't know what foods are toxic to them and which aren't.

Tell guests not to share. If your guests ever ask if they can share their food and snacks with your pet, always say no. They might even ask, "Can cats eat grapes and raisins?" If your guests are going to eat grapes or raisins in your home, make sure they know not to share with your cat.

Don't buy grapes. Unless you love grapes, you may choose not to buy them to ensure your cat can't eat one when you're not looking. Not keeping grapes or raisins in your home is the best way to stop your cat from eating them because they won't have access to them.

Luckily, many cats aren't interested in eating fruit since they're carnivores and are more likely to crave other human foods like fish and chicken. However, some cats do find sweet fruit appealing, so it's best to keep all potentially toxic foods, especially grapes, away from your pets. However, there are many fruits, vegetables, and human foods you can safely share with your pet. Therefore, there's no reason to give your cat a grape.

What Other Fruits Should Cats Not Eat?

Some fruits are safe for cats, and others aren't. As a pet parent, it's important to understand what you can and can't share with your feline friend. Of course, it's always best not to share any human food with them because it can result in obesity. Before you give your cat any fruit, consult your vet to ensure it's safe and won't have a negative impact on their diet.

That being said, you should never share citrus fruit with your cat. Lemon, limes, and oranges, in particular, have oils and compounds in their stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds1 that can cause digestive problems, including vomiting and diarrhea.3 While small doses are not likely to cause major problems, it's always best to avoid feeding them to your cat to prevent discomfort.

Can Cats Eat Grapes: Frequently Asked Questions

What fruit can cats eat?

While grapes are toxic to cats, there are many fruits that cats can eat, including apricots, cucumber, honeydew, and kiwi. However, before sharing these snacks with your pet, it's best to remove any cores, seeds, and skin.3 Many fruits are filled with vitamins and minerals that can help your cats stay healthy. Although, it's always best to consult a vet before feeding your cat something new. Cats should be getting all of the nutrients they need through their diet.

If you're going to share a safe fruit with your cat, limit it and any other treats to only 2% of their diet to prevent weight gain and obesity. You can give your cat fruit as a treat alternative, especially if it's healthier than the treats you normally give them.

What should I do if my cat ate a grape?

If your cat ate a grape, the best thing you can do is take them to an emergency vet clinic immediately. Call the clinic ahead of time to make sure they'll be able to treat your cat as soon as possible. You can also contact the ASPCA, but it's important to remember that the faster you get your cat to the vet, the better the outcome will be. Never induce vomiting on your own; instead, wait for a vet to treat your cat for poisoning to improve the odds of success.

Can cats eat green grapes?

Cats should not eat any type of grapes, including green grapes and grape products, such as raisins. Unfortunately, no one knows how many grapes can be toxic to cats, so there's no reason to feed your cat any food that could potentially cause a fatal reaction. If your cat eats a grape, green or otherwise, they should be taken to the nearest emergency vet clinic for treatment as soon as possible.

Final Notes

Taking proper care of your cat's health is your responsibility as a pet parent. While your cat can eat many different types of human foods, grapes aren't one of them. No one knows exactly how many grapes can make a cat sick or lead to kidney failure and death, so there's no reason to risk your cat's life by feeding them a snack you know is toxic to them. Instead, choose a healthy treat that can provide them with nutrition without making them sick.

Not sure what to feed your cat? Talk to a Dutch licensed veterinarian today who can help you understand what types of human foods are good for cats and which to avoid. Dutch offers telemedicine for pets to provide you with advice without the need to visit a vet in person. Dutch even works with your pet's other healthcare providers to help you buy cat medicine online. Dutch does not provide emergency care services, so if your cat has ingested a grape, take them to your nearest emergency vet clinic immediately.

References

  1. “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.” ASPCA, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets.

  2. “Can Cats Eat Grapes? Is It Dangerous or Safe?” Purina, https://www.purina.co.uk/articles/cats/feeding/what-cats-eat/can-cats-eat-grapes.

  3. Teresa Manucy, DVM. “Which Fruits Can Cats Eat?” PetMD, PetMD, 1 July 2020, https://www.petmd.com/cat/which-fruits-can-cats-eat.