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Can Cats Eat Grapes or Raisins?

Est. read time: 5 min.

Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no denying that raisins are a great source of fiber and vitamins (in moderation) for humans. While grapes and raisins are an acceptable snack for us, what about the other family members in the house? Can cats eat grapes or raisins? No—find out why. 

Orange tabby cat next to cutting board with bread, grapes, and jelly - can cats eat grapes?
Photo by Anna Tello on Unsplash

Can cats eat grapes?

NO - is the short answer. Unfortunately, grapes are very toxic to cats. Grapes are a member of the Vitis genus: sultanas, currants, and raisins are also a member of this family. Veterinarians still don’t fully understand the mechanism by which grapes negatively affect our pets. One of the more recent theories is that a component of grapes called tartaric acid (this is what cream of tartar is made from), may be the part of grapes that is causing the issues. Veterinarians are still working valiantly toward fully understanding this toxic process. 

“Grape toxicosis is extremely frustrating as a veterinarian and a pet owner because the specifics are still unclear. The general consensus is that any more than one grape per 10 pounds of body weight is potentially dangerous, but we strongly suggest avoiding them entirely as the risk is too great.” - Laria Herod, DVM

Cats can suffer from an acute kidney injury that can progress into kidney failure 12 to 24 hours after eating grapes. The speed with which treatment is pursued is crucial in preventing severe organ damage. Thankfully, death from grape toxicosis is fairly uncommon, but it is a possible consequence.  

Here are signs to watch out for if your cat has ingested grapes:

  • Vomiting (usually within 12 hours of ingestion)
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration to excessive drinking
  • Decreased appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased to increased urination

If you suspect your cat has eaten grapes, call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for advice. 

Additionally, grapes can pose a choking hazard to cats. When in doubt, keep them out of reach of your pets! It’s simply better to be safe than to be worried.

Raisins scattered on white surface - can cats eat raisins?
Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Can cats eat raisins?

As mentioned above, raisins are also members of the Vitis genus and therefore are also toxic to cats. Ingesting raisins (or the similar currant) could result in the same symptoms and medical emergencies in cats as eating grapes. This is important to keep this in mind when it comes to common raisin-infused foods, such as granola bars, cereals, and desserts.

The good news: Cats usually aren’t interested in grapes or raisins 

Not only are cats notoriously finicky about their food choices, they have a genetic mutation that prevents them from tasting sweetness. Luckily, this means that your cat is much more likely to ignore grapes and raisins than eat them!

The pet you should worry about? Dogs

We know that dogs are much more “open-minded” about consuming human food than cats. This unfortunately means that dogs are more likely to run into trouble from eating toxic foods. And grapes and raisins are as toxic to dogs (if not more so) as they are to cats. Be sure to keep this fruit out of reach of dogs, and take care not to drop them on the floor by accident. Dogs that eat grapes or raisins may experience the same symptoms described above. If you see your dog eating a grape or raisin, again, call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Should cats avoid all fruits?

Grapes and raisins are the main fruits you need to avoid giving your cat. Cats generally avoid citrus fruits and juices (lemon, lime, and orange), which can also cause vomiting and diarrhea. Although cats are unlikely to take much interest in fruit, there are a few that are considered safe and even healthy for cats.

In fact, pumpkin is a fruit you may want to encourage your cat to eat. Why? Pumpkin provides fiber, moisture, and other nutrients your cat needs. It is often one of the first fruits pet owners turn to if their feline friend experiences diarrhea or soft stools. 

Other fruits that you can consider serving in moderation to your cat include:

  • Bananas
  • Peeled apples (no seeds)
  • Blueberries
  • Cucumber
  • Cantaloupe/watermelon (no seeds)
  • Avocado (no skin or pit)

For a creamy treat for your cat, blend the fruit with a tiny bit of plain, low-fat yogurt.

If you’d rather stay on the safe side, many pet store cat treats are great options for cats—as long as they, too, are given in moderation. 

So, can cats eat grapes? And can cats eat raisins? Absolutely not! Now you know that the answer to both of those questions is no. Learn more about human foods that are (and aren’t) safe for cats.


Orange tabby cat next to cutting board with bread, grapes, and jelly - can cats eat grapes or raisins?