Can My Cat Eat Grapes or Raisins?
Can cats eat grapes is a common question from pet owners. The answer to the question is no, due to their toxicity. Even dogs cannot eat grapes. This also includes raisins, which are shriveled and dried, dehydrated grapes.
Grape juice is to be avoided, as well as candies containing grape flavorings. This will prevent your cat from being attracted to grapes as food and wanting to sneak them. Because whether the grape is whole and becomes lodged in their throat or not, simply eating one grape can kill a cat.
To protect against this happening with your cat, make sure to learn more about what happens if your cat eats a grape or raisin.
Can a Single Grape Kill a Cat?
It sounds crazy, and the answer will shock you, but the answer to can a single grape kill a cat is yes it can. Cats can suffer from kidney failure, which is toxic to cats as well as dogs.
The first way a grape can kill a cat is by choking the animal directly. If your cat sees a grape and gets to it before you do, they can swallow it, lodging it into their windpipe. Blocking their airways will lead to asphyxiation, which will kill your cat in just a few minutes. This is the accidental way a single grape can kill a cat.
Cats will also die from eating grapes due to sugar overload. Too much sugar and other substances, such as the ones responsible for making wine, are toxic to a cat’s intestinal system. Their gastrointestinal tract becomes upset when a cat eats a grape or raisin because the fruit is far too sweet for them to digest.
As a result of how toxic grapes and raisins are, you need to avoid treats that contain grapes as an ingredient as well. It does not matter if you are including these fruits in a balanced diet of carbohydrates and protein, such as in a fruit bar or trail mix. A single grape with or without other foods will kill a cat.
What Happens If My Cat Eats a Grape?
When a cat eats grapes or raisins, it may start showing signs of kidney failure within 12 hours of eating the food. The reason grapes are an issue for cats involves the high levels of sugar in the fruit and their gastrointestinal tract, which is sensitive to this amount. However, cats can also suffer from kidney failure. The symptoms of a cat suffering from kidney failure to watch out for include:
- Hyperactive behavior that is beyond their normal activity level
- Vomiting repeatedly
- Loss of appetite or being lethargic
- Being overly thirsty
- Suffering from dehydration
- Stomach or abdominal pain
The hyperactivity is caused by the body going into overdrive to account of too much sugar. The other reasons for kidney failure due to grapes are variable. It could be due to the inability of a cat to digest the skin, pulp, or membranes. These include phenolic compounds found in grapes that are used to make wine. The tannins in the seeds, sugars, acids, and aroma compounds may also be a factor causing cats to die from grapes.
There are simply so many variables involved with the grape itself that could be the reason cats cannot eat them. Kidney failure is the last thing you want to happen to your pet, as it is most fatal for a cat and very expensive to deal with in the process.
What Do I Do If My Cat Eats a Grape?
In an emergency situation where your cat eats a grape, you must call the Animal Poison Control Center by dialing 888-426-4435 immediately. The sooner you call the APCC, the sooner you will know more about how to deal with your specific situation.
If you have a veterinarian, call them immediately and let them know you have an emergency. Otherwise, dial up a local vet in your area that offers emergency medical services for pets. They will be able to tell you how to manage a health emergency at home or where to go to take your cat for treatment.
There is a chance a single grape will not kill your cat, especially if the cat is a healthy adult and the grape is not whole. However, to be on the safe side, you want to get medical attention as soon as possible. If your cat shows symptoms of kidney failure, then your situation becomes severe.
Treating the ingestion of a toxic substance is possible, though, with timely treatment and this will save your cat’s life. As part of this treatment, the veterinarian will likely give your cat IV fluids to help dilute the sugar in the bloodstream.