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Can Cats Eat Grapes?  

The short answer is no, cats can’t eat grapes. Grapes and raisins are toxic to both cats and dogs. They often make the list of top foods to not feed your pet, along with onions and chocolate. If your cat consumes grapes or any related food or beverage—like raisins, currants or wine—contact pet poison control immediately.

Why Grapes Are Toxic to Cats 

Can cats have grapes? The answer is a definite no, as they can cause kidney failure in both cats and dogs. Veterinarians don’t know exactly why they’re so toxic to pets. Some experts think cats cannot process the tannins or other elements found in grapes, so they build up in the kidneys and have toxic effects. And while scientists have only documented this type of toxicity in dogs—not cats—there is enough anecdotal evidence to keep cats and grapes far apart.

Can cats eat grapes that are peeled? Can cats eat raisins? No and no. Because we don’t know exactly why grapes are poisonous to cats or which part of the grape the toxin comes from, removing the stems or skin won’t help. Cats shouldn’t eat any part of a grape.

Signs of Grape Poisoning in Cats

The most common sign of grape toxicity in cats is vomiting, which will most likely occur within 24 hours of consuming this fruit. Other early symptoms that can surface within 12 to 24 hours of your cat eating grapes include:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea 
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration 
  • Rapid breathing
  • Abdominal pain 

If a cat who is experiencing these symptoms is left untreated, their pet parents may notice further signs of kidney failure within 48 to 36 hours. These can include:

  • Lack of appetite 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Breath smelling of ammonia
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Excessive urination initially
  • Lack of urination ultimately 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Coma 

Seek immediate veterinary attention as soon as you notice symptoms of grape toxicity, as it can be extremely hard for cats to recover once kidney damage has begun.

What To Do If Your Cat Consumes Grapes

Are grapes bad for cats in small amounts? Since no one knows the exact toxic dose of grapes for cats, if your cat has eaten any number of grapes—even if it’s just one—consult your veterinarian or pet poison control right away.

Your veterinarian will likely need to induce vomiting to remove any remaining grapes in your cat’s gastrointestinal tract to try to prevent further digestion and absorption of toxins. Your veterinarian will then likely give your cat activated charcoal by mouth to absorb any toxic material that remains in your cat’s system. You should never induce vomiting unless expressly directed by your vet or pet poison control. If your cat has eaten a large number of grapes or shows signs of toxicity, they may need IV fluids, bloodwork and monitoring. Cats may recover in about two or three days, as long as the toxicity is treated before kidney damage occurs.

How Can I Prevent My Cat from Eating Grapes?

Never feed cats grapes on purpose, and if you drop grapes on the floor, be sure to pick them up right away. Don’t leave grapes out on the counter either—no matter how good they look in your fruit bowl. If you have a guest who loves grapes, be sure they know that this fruit is toxic for your kitty, especially if they ask you, “Can cats have grapes?”

The good news is that many cats don’t like or want fruit at all. They are carnivores who have evolved to eat meat, not fruits and vegetables. As a result, they don’t have taste receptors for sweetness, so they generally don’t find fruits like grapes appealing. If your cat seems to be attracted to sweet foods, it’s more likely that they are drawn to those foods for their high fat content (commonly found in many sugary foods), rather than their sweetness. While many fruits, including bananas, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and mangoes, are not toxic to cats if they eat an occasional bite as a treat, in general, it’s better to offer cats low-sugar, high-protein treats such as a bite of lean cooked meat that they can digest more easily.

FAQs about feeding your cat grapes

While we don’t know exactly what they taste when cats eat grapes, we know that felines lack sweet taste receptors and do not enjoy the sweetness of fruits in the same way we do. What we do know, however, is that grapes are highly toxic to cats, so they should never eat them.

Yes, grapes are incredibly toxic to cats and dogs. In fact, grapes, raisins, currants and anything related to this fruit are among the most harmful human foods your feline could consume—right up there with chocolate and garlic. As such, pet parents should exercise extreme caution when keeping grapes in their homes and keep grapes properly sealed and out of reach of pets.

The symptoms of toxicity when cats eat grapes usually start with vomiting and diarrhea about six to 12 hours after they’ve eaten the grapes. Cats may become lethargic or lose their appetite. If not treated, they may begin to breathe rapidly, experience weakness or tremors and become dehydrated. Kidney failure, which is when the kidneys stop producing urine, typically occurs within three days, and death may follow after that.

Cats and grapes just don’t agree with each other. No one knows how many grapes it takes to induce toxicity in cats. Therefore, pet parents should avoid feeding grapes altogether.

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Reviewed by Petco’s Animal Care, Education and Compliance (ACE) Team

Petco’s ACE team is a passionate group of experienced pet care experts dedicated to supporting the overall health & wellness of pets. The ACE team works to develop animal care operations and standards across the organization and promote proper animal care and education for Pet Care Center partners and pet parents, while also ensuring regulatory compliance.