In dogs, grapes are an absolute no-no. Canine grape toxicity can lead to a myriad of health issues, from vomiting and diarrhea to kidney damage and even kidney failure leading to serious illness or death. However, in many cases, what a dog cannot eat, a cat can eat safely (even if it’s not particularly good for them).
In this case, though, we take the lead from the dog: cats should not eat grapes and for the same reason dogs should not eat grapes. While some cats can eat grapes with no side effects, other cats eat a small amount of grape and suffer immensely. There is no rhyme or reason to it (yet) and no way of knowing into which camp your cat will fall, so most veterinarians will tell you to err on the side of extreme caution and not give your cats any grapes at all, including things made from grapes such as jelly, raisins, or other things.
Do Cats Like Grapes
Grapes have absolutely no health benefits for cats and it’s unlikely they’d taste much in them anyway. One could perhaps argue that the trace amounts of vitamin C and the water content could provide health benefits, but the risks badly outweigh them. While some cats may mooch grapes, it’s pretty unlikely that they will go for them in particular.
None of my cats have ever cared one bit about grapes. My current cat doesn’t even try to lick one on the floor (which is a true sign of disdain for her as she generally tries to lick anything that drops down).
Do Cats Hate Grapes
Cats probably don’t hate grapes anymore than they would hate strawberries or any other fruit. It’s a cat’s digestive system that may ‘hate’ grapes. Many cats have some pretty nasty reactions to grapes, ranging from stomach upset and diarrhea to kidney failure. Cats are individual animals with their own likes and dislikes, so it’s hard to say whether they ‘hate’ grapes so much as simply should never eat them.
Can Grapes Kill Cats
Grapes can absolutely kill a cat.
Veterinarians still aren’t sure why grapes can elicit such a nasty response from dogs or cats. In dogs, some vets have noted that grapes can lead to damage in the kidney cells, leading to kidney failure. In cats, such toxicity has not been formally taken down; however, there is enough anecdotal evidence to lead most vets to recommend firmly against letting cats have grapes.
If your cat does somehow get into your grapes or raisins, signs of toxicity include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive thirst
- Lack of or excessive urination
If your cat is showing these symptoms, you need to take it to the vet right away. Make sure your vet knows that your cat may have eaten some grapes or raisins so that they can check for kidney failure, induce vomiting, and in serious cases, a blood transfusion or IV fluids. When left untreated, eating grapes can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure.
Now, it should be noted that some cats will eat a grape (or even several) and not suffer any negative effects from it. The reasons why some cats suffer immensely from grapes and others don’t suffer at all aren’t well known at all. Vets aren’t even quite certain which part of the grape contains the element that makes cats and dogs so ill (though they largely suspect it’s the pulp). Since it’s unknown which cats will be fine and which won’t be fine, it’s far safer to simply treat grapes as though they are toxic and not allow your cat to have any. It’s not as though they will miss eating them since most cats aren’t interested in grapes anyway.
How Many Grapes are Safe for Cats
None. Grapes can elicit a massive variation of reaction in cats, so there’s no way of knowing where the line is between harmless and toxic. For some cats, that line is at one small part of the grapes while other cats could eat several and feel perfectly fine. Since there’s no way of knowing, it’s better to just assume that no grapes are safe.
This also means that there are no particular varieties of grapes that are safer or more harmful. It doesn’t matter whether they are organic, commercial, dried out, seedless, or in liquid form: no grapes. Grapeseed oil, wine, and currants should also be avoided. Grape jelly is out, grapes in baking is out, raisin cookies are no good… well, you get the idea.
No grapes allowed for cats!
Can Cats Eat Grape Stems
If grapes are tricky to navigate, finding information on whether cats can eat grape stems is even harder! But we’ll short answer it for you:
Grape stalks probably shouldn’t be eaten by cats. The reason for this isn’t because they are particularly toxic, but rather because they are too hard for most cats to digest. They can also present a choking hazard, create an obstruction, cause stomach issues like pain and vomiting, and won’t really do much for your cat anyway.
Cats go after stems and stalks for the roughage (and because they are fun to play with chew on), but there are better ways to get your cat some fiber such as cat grass and high-quality pet food. Cats also don’t really need much fiber anyway in order to be healthy and roughage can be better managed through their regular food.
If your cat has a bad habit of going into your garbage, make sure that you throw the stems and stalks away in a tied-up bag or in your outdoor trash can, just to be sure that your pet won’t get into them.
Cats and grapes is a tricky question for many pet owners. There are plenty of articles that simply say ‘don’t feed your cats grapes’ and ‘no grapes are safe’ while a few others claim that grapes are fine in moderation and have benefits like a top-up of water.
The reason for this is because all of the grape toxicity in cats has been reported as anecdotal; in other words, no one has (yet) done a full study on whether grapes are safe, how many are safe, and if some breeds of cat are more prone to grape toxicity than others. Since there is no way of knowing, it’s best to err on the side of caution and simply don’t give grapes, or stems, to your cats.
Since grapes have no nutritional value anyway and most cats don’t particularly care about them, you shouldn’t feel as though you’re depriving them of anything. And if your cat did sneak in some grapes, make sure to monitor them for up to a week to make sure that they suffer no ill effects – and find a way to keep those fruits out of curious cat paws!
Has your cat eaten grapes? How did it handle the fruit?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.