Cat Food: Harmful Ingredients to Avoid

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Harmful cat food ingredients to avoid

Being a cat owner is nowhere near an easy job. Everything from their sleeping schedule, eating habits, playing activities, interests, and even outbursts of expression need to be looked after and addressed. Out of all these, an essential part is looking after their eating habits and what cat food they consume daily. This is because, in the long term, a cat’s eating habits and the components they eat can often impact their overall health and everyday activities.

From being able to play, having a healthy and fit body, having a cheerful attitude, to just being a peaceful and calm animal, everything depends on the cat food ingredients consumed.

This article will discuss everything from what is harmful to cats to consume and what should be avoided at all costs. So without further ado, let’s get into the details right away.

Know Your Cat Food Ingredients

Before you can avoid specific ingredients or food items from being consumed by your furry little animal, it is crucial to first acknowledge what they are eating by tracking their meals.

With that being said, the thought of tracking everything that goes into your cat’s system might be as daunting to many. But, in reality, it does not necessarily have to be that way.

To start, learn to read the labels stamped on your cat’s food, as this will teach you insights into what ingredients the specific can of food contains. Once you know what the particular food can contain, you can avoid bringing it in for the cat all at once or only avoid the harmful substances in it. Knowing is the first step to bringing a change.

When you are looking for healthy food components for your furry friend. Make sure you are buying an all-rounder healthy cat food that contains the following healthy ingredients for cats:

  • Meat (minus poultry meat)
  • Oils
  • Vitamins
Gray tabby cat eating food from a bowl

While these might seem like essential components that every cat food might have, in reality, this is not the case. Most commercial cat foods contain ingredients that cats must avoid at all costs. This is why it becomes immensely vital to track every component that goes into your cat’s system through her food.

Most commercial foods contain ingredients like soy, by-products, corn, fish, and unnamed meat or grain meals, artificial preservatives, rendered fat, coloring, or artificial flavors.

Now that you know what components can be harmful and what are doable for cats, let’s move on to the main story, the main ingredients to avoid in full detail.

What to Avoid in Cat Food

Since specific ingredients can not be separated from cooked or prepared cat food, you will need to let go of the whole food if it contains any of the following:


Look out for any meat that is not specified or named in the food ingredients list. These are most often by-products that include animal organs, skin, fur, etc. Or they can also be residual animal matter. Ensure your cat is not consuming any of such things in its diet.

By-products of any meat, especially when they are the main components of the food, must be avoided for a long-term healthy body.


Cat food with ingredients like beef tallow, an undigestable and cheap fat source, must be avoided. Fats from a questionable protein source should also be avoided since they could contain dangerous substances. Other than that, any food item with vegetable oil or fats should be kept away from cats as they don’t have the ability to turn them into fatty acids.


Cats should not consume anything from soy to wheat, which are known as allergens for cats. On top of that, also look for ingredients like corn or wheat fiber in your cat’s food and keep them away.

Black cat eating food from bowl

Minerals and Vitamins

Cats also need to avoid Bisulphate or Menodine Sodium Bisulfite or Menodine, also commonly known as vitamin K3. This immensely cheap form of vitamin K can cause serious health side effects in cats. If we go as far as to say this component is harmful to humans, we won’t be lying. In fact, this component is undoubtedly banned for humans in America and Europe.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits containing benzoic acid, such as cranberries should be given to cats in moderation since too much benzoic acid can harm cats. Do not worry if your cat has a few bites of other fruits like acai berries and apples. Yes, they might contain potentially harmful substances for cats, but only if consumed in great amounts.

Aside from fruits, your cat also needs to stay away from some vegetables. Tomatoes, turnip greens, and avocadoes, for example, contain harmful substances for cats. Other vegetables like carrots, spinach, or pumpkins can be beneficial, but they need to be consumed in moderation.


In the end, you need to look out for any ingredients mentioned above and choose a cat food that is safe for your feline friend. It is imperative to know the food’s ingredients to identify anything harmful to cats and keep them away.

Some substances might not show side effects immediately, but they can be harmful to your cat’s health in the long term. So be wary of these dangerous substances if you want a healthy and happy life for your lovely cat.

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