Dates are considered healthy for us humans. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, but also contain healthy oils, iron, and magnesium. Dates have been touted as a preventative food that can help build strong muscles and keep the immune system strong.
With so many positive attributes to us humans, dates might seem like a good choice to feed to your cat as well. But are dates a good food for your feline friend to snack on? Can cats even eat dates?
Can Cats Eat Dates?
The short answer would be that it’s not recommended to share dates with your cat. Dates are not toxic to cats, so if your cat already had a date or two, then there’s no need to worry, but it would be for the best if you wouldn’t feed your cat any more dates in the future.
The main problem with dates for cats is that these fruits can have a laxative effect and cause diarrhea in cats. They are also quite high in calories, so if you’d feed your cat a few dates, then it would be difficult not to over feed your cat. Remember that cats don’t need more than 200-250 calories per day
Why Dates Are Not Good for Cats
Dates Are Not a Natural Part of a Cat’s Diet
Different cat experts and veterinarians might vary slightly in their ideas of your cat’s ideal diet, but the general consensus seems to be that your cat should not be snacking on dates.
It’s true that dates are not on the absolute no-go list for your cat which includes grapes, raisins, onions, and chocolate.
This might make you tempted to give your kitty a little nibble. But the fact of the matter is that cats don’t actually have a sweet receptor on their tongue that would lead them to naturally crave dates. Since they wouldn’t ever be part of their diet if they were left to their own devices it is probably best to leave them off the menu.
The Laxative Effect of Dates Can Cause Problems for Cats
In addition to their sweet flavor dates are well known for their laxative effects. This could cause havoc for your cat’s digestive system. You may have noticed that your cat probably doesn’t need any further help to occasionally vomit or make a mess around your house.
Date Pits Are a Choking Hazard to Cats
Dates also contain large pits which could present a choking hazard to your sweet pet.
Dried Dates Are Bad for Your Cat’s Dental Health
Dried dates make a healthy and sweet treat for us humans, but not for our feline friends. Pieces of dried dates are very likely to get stuck on your cat’s teeth and cause tooth decay.
Conclusion on Dates
The bottom line is that your cat will probably always show some interest in what you are eating. Interest does not equate to them actually wanting to join you in eating your snack.
While dates are good for us humans, they are not good for our feline friends. Dates are not toxic to felines, but feeding your cat dates can cause more problems than do good, so it’s best to avoid feeding your cat these fruits.
If you are still interested in feeding your cat some fruits and vegetables, the know that some kinds of fruits and vegetables are more commonly accepted as healthy or even beneficial for your cat. These include carrots, asparagus, celery, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, and blueberries. Certain types of dried cat foods will include small amounts of these veggies and fruits for their nutritional value.