Can Cats Eat Tomatoes (Common Foods Cats Should Avoid)

Have you ever heard of a cat munching tomatoes? It seems odd, right? But, yes, cats eat red ripe tomatoes, not green unripe. Felines might hop on to get a piece of tomato when they see you eating it.

According to ASPCA, unripe tomatoes are toxic to cats, and ingesting tomato plants or fruit leads to critical issues. In contrast, a ripened tomato is non-toxic to cats. Food nutritious for humans might be toxic to cats.

In addition, tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Thus, they contain alpha-tomatine and alpha-dehydrotomatine, which are toxic to cats. These toxins are also present in the leaves and stems of tomatoes. Let’s discover if your cats can eat tomatoes, their benefits, harms, and other toxic foods to avoid.

Can Cats Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K, and lycopene. That’s why it’s beneficial for humans. But it might not be true for cats. Cats’ gastrointestinal systems can absorb small quantities, while large quantities harm kittens.

How Much Tomato Should You Give Your Cats?

If your cat likes tomatoes, chop them into one or two slices or cook them to make them easier for cats to digest. Only give red tomatoes and avoid unripen tomatoes, green stems, and leaves; otherwise, it causes tomato poisoning. Also, don’t add any seasonings like onions or garlic to tomatoes.

Tomato slices range from 2 or 3 slices is enough. More than this upsets the gastrointestinal system and the stomach, causing diarrhea.

Benefits of Eating Tomatoes for Cats

Like nutritious fruits and vegetables, ripe tomatoes support the health of humans. However, a carnivore’s diet includes meat, fish, protein, or dairy products; they provide benefits but eat tomatoes to satisfy their craving.

Unlike humans, cats’ gastrointestinal system lacks the enzymes to digest fruits and vegetables. For example, tomatoes contain beta-carotene, but cats can’t convert it into Vitamin A.

Are Tomatoes Safe For Cats to Eat?

Limited slices of tomatoes are safe for cats to eat, but they can also pose toxicity, salt poisoning, and allergy. The following factor can’t be applied to every feline.

  • Plant parts (leaves, stem)
  • Type of tomato (ripe or unripe, raw or cooked)
  • Cats acidity tolerance
  • Fiber intake
  • Health complications

There’s a chance that tomato fruit proves nutritious for your furball. In contrast, some cats’ digestive systems won’t tolerate raw or cooked tomatoes.

Other Toxic Foods For Cat

Some common foods found in your kitchen could be harmful to your cat. Thus, keep them away from your cats to avoid any dangerous situation.

1.    Alcohol

Beer, wine, or foods containing alcohol are severe to your cat. Like humans, it causes liver and brain damage in cats. Only minimal alcohol is enough to put a 5-pound cat into a coma. So, keep all alcoholic beverages away from your cat.

2.    Yeast

Yeast rises the dough, and cats ingesting raw dough swell cats’ abdomens. Also, fermented yeast produces alcohol. However, if your cat takes in yeast, it causes alcohol poisoning leading to coma or death.

3.    Onions & Garlic

What could be wrong with offering onions and garlic to your cat? Eating powdered, raw or cooked onion causes anemia due to the degradation of red blood cells. Rupturing of these cells reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of cells. Thus, your cat has less oxygen to survive. Eating large or small quantities causes onion poisoning.

Furthermore, garlic is five times more powerful than onions, affecting major health and leading to life-threatening problems. Garlic contains disulfides and thiosulphates that burst cats’ red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia.

4.    Grapes & Raisins

These have been pet treats, although their small amount makes cats ill. Cats eating grapes and raisins experience kidney failure. Some symptoms also include vomiting and hyperactivity. However, some cats might not get ill; it’s better to avoid giving grapes and raisins to your cats.

5.    Caffeine

Caffeine in bulk can be dangerous for your felines. Various foods or drinks contain caffeine, like black tea, coffee, chocolate, and other energy drinks. Caffeine poison can cause severe problems throughout the body, such as heartbeat rate, breathing problems, or muscle aches.

You may find your cat uneasy and restless in such cases, and unfortunately, there’s no cure for caffeine poisoning.

6.    Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine, a toxic agent which can be fatal for felines. Usually, cats don’t eat chocolate alone but are happily fed by their owners, considering it a treat.

Theobromine is found in all varieties of chocolate. Dark chocolate or baked chocolate can be more hazardous for a cat’s life, causing abnormality, seizures, and unbalanced heart rhythm.

7.    Xylitol

It’s a natural sweetener and ingredient of common products, including candy, bubblegum, and toothpaste. Often used as a sugar substitute in food items. Xylitol has liver cell-damaging toxic effects in cats. Also, releasing cats’ insulin lowers blood sugar levels. You might notice some symptoms in your cat, vomiting, low body coordination, seizures, and stagnant conditions.

Why Do Pet Food Manufacturers Include Tomatoes In Cat Food?

You may have wondered why cat food contains tomatoes. Pet food manufacturers add tomatoes as fillers in the product. Fillers replace nutritious food like meat, poultry, and fish. Besides this, it’s a marketing ploy to bulk food and convince cat lovers that pet food is healthy.


Tomatoes are delicious for us and we use them as fresh vegetables in salads, put them in many dishes and also use them for sauces as the beloved ketchup. You might have heard that some vegetables are quite dangerous for cats but can cats eat tomatoes?

Cats are true carnivores and need meat-based diets. Treats like tomatoes should be avoided. No they shouldn’t eat tomatoes. Even if some parts are safe the nutrition they offer is too insignificant when compared to all the risks you are exposing your pet to. If your cat consumes harmful foods, consult a veterinarian quickly. Share your cat’s food routine and health issues. Be ready to tackle such emergencies to save your cat’s life.

About the author

Fiona Healy

Hi I'm Fiona, a life long cat lover and aspiring blogger. I've been a cat lover since I was 6 years old. Cats are my hobby and passion and I'm delighted to research and blog about all things cats.