Fruits and berries are indeed superb products for a human's diet. They are high in water, provide essential vitamins and fiber. But is it the same for cats, and can they safely consume any fruit?
Before sharing a berry or two, don't forget that cats are carnivores, meaning that they rely on meat and not so much on other food which we humans consume daily. If you want to introduce fruits into your kitty's diet, learn which ones are suitable for felines and which ones to avoid.
Can cats eat fruits? | Apple | Apricot | Banana | Cantaloupe | Cherry | Durian | Grape | Citrus Fruits | Mango | Nectarine | Papaya | Peach | Pear | Pineapple | Plum | Pomegranate | Strawberry | Blackberry | Raspberry | Avocado | Kiwi | Cranberry | Blueberry | Vegetables that are actually fruits | Tomato | Peas | Cucumber | Beans | Zucchini | Pumpkin | Olive | Pepper | Corn
Can cats eat fruits?
An interesting fact is that cats have no sweet taste receptors. That means that your cat is unlikely to be interested in most fruits' flavor. Also, fruits and berries are not that nutritionally dense compared to vegetables, and most importantly, meat. But they are still full of water, an essential part of a feline's diet.
Before offering your cat an apple or orange, make sure you understand how fruits impact your kitty's health. In most cases, the sweetness of fruits and berries comes from sucrose and fructose, two simple sugars that create more work for your kitten's pancreas. Since felines mostly rely upon lean meats, sugar is usually an unwanted additive, which you should omit whenever possible.
Although fruits and berries are probably not purrfect for day-to-day consumption, some of them are still okay in reasonable amounts. Read on to learn which fruits and berries are safe for felines, which ones are not, and which fruits that you always thought were vegetables are good for kitties.
Apples are high in vitamins A, C, E, and B, and polyphenols, all of which contribute to healthy digestion. With this in mind one might wonder – can cats eat apples? According to ASPCA, apples are toxic both for cats and dogs. You should remember that it's not the fruit of the apple tree itself, but rather its seeds, leaves, and stems that are poisonous due to their cyanide content.
Alright, but can cats have apples without seeds? It also depends on various factors, including your pet's health condition and the vet's dietary recommendations. A general rule of thumb is that nutrients come before treats.
Apple's high sugar content is harmful to felines, potentially causing digestive issues and obesity. While some cats may eat an apple out of natural curiosity, give it in moderation after peeling and removing all the seeds. Offering a small bite as an occasional treat is fine, but don't do it too often.
When it comes to apricots, it's quite similar to apples regarding the way you serve them. Apricot’s stems, leaves, and stone also contain cyanide, which causes difficulty breathing, shock, and can even be fatal.
After completely removing cyanide-containing parts, slice an apricot into small pieces to make sure your cat doesn't choke. Apricots are full of vitamins and beta-carotene. What's more, a decent fiber content aids digestion if offered in small amounts. You are also free to offer dried apricots, but be aware of their high sugar content and only give the ones which don't contain any harmful additives.
Bananas are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and magnesium, potentially benefiting your kittie's digestion. According to Pet Poison Helpline, bananas are safe both for felines and canines, however, they still shouldn't be your cat's regular meal.
While the perks of serving an occasional banana as a treat are evident, don't forget about its pitfalls. This fruit contains an incredibly high amount of sugar, adding too many calories to your cat's diet and negatively affecting the feline's digestive system. Don't worry if your kitty eats a tiny bit, but make sure it's a rare treat. To serve it properly, peel the fruit first and cut it into tiny bits.
Can cats eat cantaloupe, and is it okay to offer it regularly? Well, you definitely should abstain from offering this fruit too often because of its sugar content, but an occasional slice may be fine for your kitty's tummy.
Its nutritional profile contains calcium, iron, and zinc, making it a great addition to a day-to-day diet. Cantaloupes are also high in vitamins A and C. If you want to offer your cat a cantaloupe, peel it, remove the seeds, and slice it into tiny pieces to make it easier to chew.
A fun fact about cantaloupe is that felines love it because of its recognizable smell, which comes from amino acids. For cats, it resembles meat, so don't leave your cat alone with cantaloupe for too long.
While some people claim that cherries are just fine for felines, others warn to avoid them at all. Where's the truth in that, and can cats eat cherries without consequences? The truth is somewhere in between. You should abstain from giving stems, leaves, or a stone since they contain cyanide in high amounts.
Antioxidants in cherries may be a great boost for a feline's immune system. These fruits can also improve your kitty's sleep and minimize arthritis risks. A cherry on the pie is a high potassium content, which helps with irregular heart rate and washes out excessive sodium from the body.
While humans know that durian smells terrible, do cats recognize that odor? Yes, they do! What's more, most felines gag after smelling this fruit and show little to no interest in eating it.
Durian may also be unhealthy for cats, having high sugar content. So if you have a durian at home, it's better to leave it for yourself, but not your four-legged companion.
Grapes are toxic not only for dogs, they are also dangerous to cats, possibly causing kidney failure. While the exact reasons for such reactions are still unknown, withholding from this fruit is a must. If your kitty ate a few grapes, don't hesitate to call a vet immediately.
With a moderate to severe toxicity classification, grapes may cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and lethargy. So, can cats eat grapes, even in small amounts? Absolutely not.
Have you ever seen a usual feline's response to smelling citrus? A cat is likely to run away or show no interest in eating that lemon you've offered. However, if you're still curious whether cats can eat lemons, grapefruits, limes, or oranges, the answer is straightforward and has been backed up by ASPCA: you should never give citruses to your pet.
Citrus fruits contain high levels of limonene, linalool, and psoralen, which are toxic to cats. After eating a bite of orange or grapefruit, your feline friend might develop severe diarrhea, photosensitivity, weakness, liver failure, and even sudden death. Call a vet immediately if your kitten chewed any citrus fruit or its leaves. You can also get a consultation and dietary recommendations using Vet Chat. This online vet service helps clarify food-related and other questions with a certified veterinarian.
Fortunately for all mango lovers around, this fruit is safe for cats and dogs. Mango is an excellent source of vitamin C, B6, and A. This combination boosts your cat's immune system and absorbs excessive fats. A decent fiber amount is likely to enhance your kitten's digestion if served moderately.
Cats can eat mango, but only when the pit is removed (due to its high cyanide content), the skin is peeled, and the fruit is sliced into smaller pieces. While felines might not necessarily need mango as a day-to-day meal, it causes no harm once given in moderation. However, don't forget that it's high in sugar.
For humans, nectarines are superb for boosting the immune system. For cats, this fruit can be a nice treat thanks to its high fiber and low sodium content. Take out the pit and slice the fruit before offering it to your kitty. Nectarines are fine as an occasional treat but remember that they contain too much sugar your cat doesn't need.
Papaya is considered a superfood for humans, but can cats eat papaya? Sure, but as it often happens with fruits, in moderation. Thanks to its high water content, plenty of vitamins and minerals, papaya can be a good snack for felines. Even though this fruit's health benefits are noticeable, don't feed papaya to your kitty regularly as this fruit is too high in sugar. Before feeding your furkid, remove all the seeds as they may pose a choking hazard.
Can cats eat peaches? Technically, a small amount is fine. Are peaches safe for cats? It depends on which part you offer to your kitty. Same as with cherries and apricots, leaves, stems, and pits are toxic to felines and can endanger your pet's health due to the moderate cyanide content. Some of the symptoms of cyanide poisoning are difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, dilated pupils, tremors, and weakness.
If you really want to offer your kitty a slice of peach, mind the amount you offer. Although its flesh isn't poisonous for cats, consuming too much may result in gastrointestinal irritation. While peaches are sweet treats for humans, they offer no significant nutritional value for kitties and may even be harmful due to their high sugar content. Make sure to offer peaches only as a treat but not as a staple meal.
Pears are generally considered safe for cats, however, their pips and seeds are highly toxic for felines because of the aforementioned cyanogenic glycosides. Your cat can still enjoy a slice of pear's meat, which is high in fiber, copper, and vitamin K. Since kitties are natural carnivores, eating too many pears may cause stomach irritation, so offer them only in tiny amounts.
Can cats have pineapple, and is it safe for felines? Pet Poison Helpline clearly specifies that pineapples are safe for pets. This tropical fruit is healthy for cats, and once you share it in its natural form, it has numerous health perks as pineapples are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber.
When it comes to feeding them to your cat, avoid canned pineapples as they have too much added sugar. Cat owners should also keep in mind that even fresh, raw pineapples are high in sugar. If eaten in massive amounts, they can cause diarrhea and severe stomach irritation. Pineapple should be an occasional treat offered in tiny bits.
Remember that plums are much like peaches and nectarines and should be offered with caution. ASPCA states that plums may be toxic to dogs and cats as their stems, leaves, and seeds contain cyanide. That means you can only offer a plum's flesh, but only in small amounts.
Plums, full of minerals and vitamins, are still not the best food for felines due to their high sugar content, so abstain from sharing an extra plum with your kittie.
And what about pomegranates? While they contain antioxidants that can boost a feline's immune system, their seeds can become a choking hazard.
If your cat eats a little bit of a pomegranate under your supervision, it probably won't harm your kitty, but feeding too much may upset their stomach. Remember that pomegranate contains 14g of sugar per 100g, which is way too much for a cat.
Can cats eat strawberries, or are strawberries bad for cats? According to ASPCA, strawberries are non-toxic for felines, but you should be careful and give them in moderation.
This fruit is known for its high fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium content, however, is also high in sugar, which can cause feline diabetes, characterized by excessive thirst and weight loss. Cats are unlikely to consume strawberries in huge quantities, but supervising them is a must. You are welcome to offer a strawberry as a treat, but don't do it too often.
Blackberries are high in antioxidants, fiber, flavonoids, and vitamins A, C, and E, and they are not toxic for cats. As a responsible pet parent, cut blackberries into bite-sized pieces, especially if you have a kitten. Generally, felines have little interest in blackberries, but you are welcome to share them with your kitty if they really want to try.
The question is – can cats eat raspberries much as blackberries? Raspberries are a great source of antioxidants, alongside being full of vitamins, fiber, magnesium, and calcium. They can boost feline's immune system and improve digestion.
As with other fruits, supervision is critical here. Giving your pet a raspberry or two once a week is fine, but don't do it daily. When consumed in large amounts, raspberries may cause stomach irritation.
These fruits are 92% water, so you can think why would felines even enjoy watermelons if they are so much afraid of water. This fruit is also high in vitamin C and A. The only negative factor is its high sugar content, which is not suitable for felines' diet.
Don't offer to your cat it every day since regular sugar consumption leads to digestive and metabolic issues. Before sharing this fruit, make sure it's clean of seeds and rind. Overall, this fruit is not your best choice, but sharing it here and there won't harm your cat too much.
Well, can cats eat avocado? Yes! Should cats have avocado? It's more complicated. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats, great for a human's keto diet. This berry is also high in potassium, alongside having antioxidant properties and low cholesterol content. However, as felines mostly rely on lean meats, they don't benefit from these healthy fats as much as we do.
A great misconception about avocados is that they are dangerous because of persin, a toxin deadly for domestic animals. While horses, rabbits, and goats develop kidney-related symptoms after consuming avocados, it's not the case with felines. As kitties are resistant to persin poisoning, you can a tiny bit of avocado with your furkid.
Before giving it to your cat, peel an avocado and cut the flesh into smaller pieces. It's still better to be safe than sorry, so slice only a tiny bit and offer it under supervision.
Unlike some other fruits, kiwi is non-toxic for cats and is helpful for a feline's digestive tract. This berry is also a healthy source of fiber, iron, potassium, and calcium. Kiwis are quite low in calories and high in water, making them suitable for occasional consumption.
A significant concern with this berry is its excessive sugar content, so moderation is key. Also, make sure to peel off the skin as cats can't properly digest it.
Can cats have cranberries? Sure thing! Being a natural source of vitamins C, K, cranberries are also high in manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. Thanks to such a superb combination, these berries have excellent antioxidant properties and are low in calories.
They are non-toxic for felines, so you are welcome to share a berry or two. If you bought commercially packaged cranberries, a friendly recommendation is to check whether they contain added sugar.
As health experts specify, this berry has the highest antioxidant content compared to all fruits and vegetables. Beyond that, they are high in vitamin C and K, fiber, and magnesium.
Can cats eat blueberries though? Your kitty probably won't get too excited about this berry, but you should still supervise the amount you offer. Due to solid sugar content, blueberries can cause some digestive issues and add too many carbs to your kitty's daily diet.
Vegetables that are actually fruits
When reading a guide on cats and vegetables, you might wonder where have tomatoes, cucumbers, and pumpkin disappeared. In reality, all those so-called "veggies" and many more are actually fruits.
For your comfort, a hand-picked list of fruits you always thought are vegetables is here. Find out which of them are entirely safe for cats and which ones offer no good.
The stems and leaves of tomatoes are highly toxic to felines because of solanine they contain. As for the fruit itself, small amounts of ripe tomatoes won't harm your pet's health. A slice of tomato may even be good for digestion as this fruit is high in water and fiber.
However, it has no significant dietary value, meaning that you shouldn't replace meat with it. What's more, tomatoes are no good to cats when offered in the form of ketchup or other tomato-based sauces. Abstain from them due to their high salt and sugar content, as well as preservatives, spices, and artificial flavors.
Here comes yet another surprise – peas, which are fruits, but not vegetables. Can cats eat peas? Absolutely! They are one of those fruits cats often like. These fruits are full of fiber and vitamins, benefiting the feline's digestive system. If your four-legged friend suffers from occasional constipation, peas may resolve this issue.
Pay attention that not all types of peas you can find on your kitchen shelves are great for your cat. The best choice is unseasoned green peas. As it happens with all foods, mind the amount you give. Peas are good in moderation since overeating may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
We all have seen funny videos of cats being afraid of cucumbers. But can cats eat cucumbers when they tame their fear? When it comes to the nutritional profile, cucumbers are safe for felines. Thanks to their high water content and vitamin K, such fruits can boost a cat's immune system and overall well-being.
Make sure to peel a cucumber and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Start introducing this fruit to your cat's diet slowly, but don't give too much since it's not a regular part of the natural feline's diet.
Technically, beans are part of the legume family, but they're regarded as fruits in the broader botanical sense. Beans are full of plant proteins, an exceptional substitute for meat in vegetarian diets. But that's not really the case with cats that still protein from meat to maintain their well-being.
A plain boiled bean makes a decent snack you can share here and there. Offer your cat some black, green, or garbanzo beans without salt, sugar, or spices.
Many high-quality manufactured cat foods include zucchini, squash, or eggplant, and you are welcome to offer zucchinis to your cat too. According to ASPCA, all zucchini parts are safe for consumption, including leaves and stems.
Zucchini is a superb source of potassium and magnesium, so sharing a piece of raw or cooked zucchini as an occasional snack might benefit your cat's diet. Keep in mind though that felines are carnivores that don't really need such fruits on their menu, so don't try to feed your pet zucchinis too often.
Sharing this tasty fall delight with your pet may feel heartwarming, but the question is – can cats eat pumpkin at all? Yes, they can, but you should boil or bake it first and make sure you removed all the seeds. Pumpkin contains enough sugar on its own, so don't add any extra while cooking, and check the ingredients for sugar if you want to offer your cat a canned one.
This fruit is high in fiber, so it can help your cat with constipation and weight control. It's also a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, copper, and manganese. However, too much pumpkin is not a great idea for your carnivore cat, so don't give your cat more than a couple of tablespoons.
Can cats eat olives? Generally, black and green olives are safe for felines if consumed moderately. However, the olives we buy in the shop often contain salt, artificial colorants, flavor enhancers, and other ingredients cats shouldn't have.
If you want to offer your cat some plain olives, you are welcome to feed them a few bite-sized pieces. Don't make it a routine though, since olives contain up to 15% fat that might cause gastrointestinal issues in cats.
What about bell peppers? Can cats eat peppers, and is it safe for them? The short answer is "yes," but they won't bring much nutritional value to your cat's diet as they are 60% water. Well, not bad for summer when you need to make sure your kitty stays well-hydrated.
Peppers are rich in vitamin C, iron, and fiber, so offering them in small amounts may even be good for your cat's health. Feel free to give your cat a few tiny pieces of these yellow, orange, red, and green fruits.
Can cats eat corn? Absolutely. Should it become a part of their regular diet? Not really. Although corn is a widespread ingredient in manufactured cat meals, it's still used more as a filler than an actual nutritional source.
Corn is not toxic for cats and can bring some fiber to your cat's diet, so if you want to share a few kernels of boiled corn with your kitty, you're welcome to do so. Canned corn is also fine unless it contains added sugar. Just make sure it doesn't become a daily habit, and corn is not a meat replacement.