Fruits like apples, bananas and pears are an important part of a healthy human diet. They provide us with fiber, which aids digestion, and many important vitamins and other nutrients. These fruits also taste good and that’s why it’s a total joy to eat them. If you like something and you know it’s good for you, then you might want to share it with your cat.
However, can cats eat apples, bananas and pears? The short answer would be yes, it’s safe for cats to eat these fruits in small, controlled amounts. There are, though, a few important things you need to know about feeding fruits to a cat, so don’t leave just yet.
What You Need to Know About Feeding Fruits to a Cat
Cat Can Only Eat Fruits as Occasional Treats
As the fiber from fruits aids digestion and keeps the constipation away, eating a large amount of fruit can have a laxative effect. Surely, you don’t want to give your cat diarrhea, so it’s best to only feed your cat a small amount of fruit at a time. You need to be especially careful when first introducing fruits to your cat as you don’t know how much is safe for your cat. Generally it’s okay for cats to have a few small pieces of fruit without any ill effects.
Never Feed Your Cat Rotten Fruit
If you wouldn’t eat the fruit yourself, then don’t give it to your cat. Eating rotten fruit would almost definitely give your cat diarrhea.
Don’t Forget to Wash the Fruits
As the fruits you can buy from the super market are sprayed with pesticides, it’s necessary to wash them before eating. Washing the fruits is especially important when feeding the fruits to a pet, because most pesticides are toxic to cats and dogs.
It’s Okay if Your Cat Doesn’t Like Fruits
Fruits are not a must have part of healthy feline diet. You can try to offer your cat a small piece of fruit, but if he doesn’t like, then it’s okay. If you are determined that fruits would be beneficial your cat, then you can try Bench & Field’s Holistic Natural Feline Formula cat food, which contain apples, blueberries and cranberries.
Can Cats Eat Apples? Apple Seeds Are Not Safe for Cats
As already said above, cats can eat a few apple pieces without experiencing any ill effects. However, you cannot give your cat apple seeds. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which is a poisonous not only to cats, but other animals and humans as well. As apple seeds only contain a small amount of cyanide, eating a few of them is not going to harm a human, but cats are a lot smaller than us, so no apple seeds for your cat.
As cats are obligate carnivores, they need animal sources of food and have difficulty utilizing nutrients from plants. So, your cat is probably not able to make use of all the nutrients apples have to offer, but surely he’ll get something good from apples. Apples are not only a good source of dietary fiber, but they also provide valuable phytonutrients that help to regulate blood sugar.
If you are wondering whether it would be safe for your cat to have some applesauce as well, then know that it’s best if you wouldn’t feed your feline applesauce. Applesauces usually contain added sugar, which would not be good for your cat. It would only provide him with unnecessary calories.
Can Cats Eat Bananas? What About the Peels?
If you happen to prefer bananas to apples, then know that you can share these fruits with your cat as well. Most people in the Western world do not know this, but banana peels are actually edible too. So, you might wonder, can cats eat bananas peels as well as the fruit? Well, in theory, the answer is yes, but because banana peels contain pesticide residue, it’s best to discard them.
Bananas are nutritionally superior to apples. They are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, copper and biotin. Cats, of course, do not need to get vitamin C from food as they make it themselves, but other nutrients from bananas can still benefit your feline.
Vitamin B6 is especially important for cats because it plays a major role in the absorption of protein, and as you may know, cats eat a lot of protein. Manganese is also important for the feline body to make use of proteins. Potassium is necessary for enzymes, muscles and nerves in a cat’s body to function properly. Fiber, as I already said above, aids the digestive system. Copper and biotin are also important nutrients for all animals, including cats.
Cats, of course, already get these nutrients from their regular food, so it’s not necessary to feed your cat bananas, but if your cat likes bananas, then giving him a small piece every now and then would be okay.
Can Cats Eat Pears? Any Benefits?
Pears are one of the most popular fruits after apples and bananas. So it’s only natural to wonder whether it would be okay for cats to eat pears too. Well, the answer is yes, in small amounts pears are perfectly safe for cats. The only thing to worry about are pear seeds, which too contain the poisonous cyanide.
If feed occasionally and in small amounts, then surely pears can benefit your cat’s health. Pears are an excellent source of dietary fiber and copper, but they would also provide your cat with vitamin K and phytonutrients with anti-cancer properties.
Dangerous Fruits: Fruits Cats Cannot Eat
While the above fruits are safe for cats in small amounts, there are some fruits that are dangerous to cats.
Citrus fruits are not suitable for cats, because the acidic content of citrus fruits would upset a cat’s stomach.
Cats also cannot eat grapes and raisin (dried grapes), which are downright poisonous to cats and can cause kidney failure.
Avocados too are not suitable for cats. They contain a toxin called persin, which is not lethally dangerous to cats and dogs, but it will cause ill effects such as vomiting, diarrhea and lack of stool production. It’s definitely for the best not to feed your cat avocado.
Popular fruits such as apples, bananas and pears are all safe for cats to eat in small amounts. Yet, keep in mind that your cat is a carnivore and needs animal sources of food. Fruits and other plant sources of food can only be used to compliment your cat’s carnivore diet.
Does your cat like to eat these or any other fruits? Let us know by leaving a comment below.