Grapes are sweet fruit treats that many of us humans enjoy. Pet parents might know that grapes in all of their seeded and seedless varieties — as well as their dried counterparts, raisins — are very dangerous for dogs but what about cats? Can cats eat grapes? Let’s take a look.
So, can cats eat grapes? Emmy-award winning veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber explains that while there is no recorded problem of cats eating grapes, we should avoid giving grapes to cats — just to be safe. The good news is that grapes are not especially appealing to cats, so your cats are unlikely to want to eat them.
What evidence is there to answer the question, “Can cats eat grapes?” Embrace Pet Insurance Director of Claims Jenna Mahan explains that — unlike with dogs where it is clearly known that grapes aren’t safe —the literature on cats and grapes is very divided about if cats can eat grapes or not. Because there is not truly an exact answer to, “Can cats eat grapes?” it’s generally accepted that cats shouldn’t eat grapes and that grapes should be kept away from cats to prevent kitties from accidentally eating them.
Why grapes are poisonous to dogs and could be potentially dangerous to cats remains a bit of a mystery. “An unknown chemical compound in the grape can cause fast and catastrophic kidney failure in some dogs,” Jenna explains. “There are dogs who have had issues after only a few grapes and some who do not have any issues until they eat a whole bag of them. Because the mechanism of toxicity is unknown, the best answer is no grapes for either your cats or your dogs.”
The next question after, “Can cats eat grapes?” is — why do cats and dogs respond differently to grapes? Most of what we know about the safety of grapes is about their toxicity with dogs. More studies and insights are needed to definitively answer, “Can cats eat grapes?” In the meantime, the advice from Dr. Werber and Jenna is to assume that cats could have the same negative health response to consuming grapes as dogs.
Lethargy, weakness and seizures are all signs to watch for in dogs who have eaten grapes. While, again, there is no concrete evidence that grapes are dangerous to cats, seek medical care for any cat exhibiting these symptoms. Although cats are not likely to seek out grapes, if you believe that your cat has eaten grapes or raisins, consult with your veterinarian immediately.
Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author. Her novels have been honored by organizations ranging from the Lambda Literary Foundation to the American Library Association. Sassafras is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor who lives and writes in Brooklyn with her partner, a senior Chihuahua mix, a rescued Shepherd mix and a Newfoundland puppy, along with two bossy cats and a semi-feral kitten. Learn more at sassafraslowrey.com.
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