Bananas are a sweet treat humans crave. But you may be wondering if you can share this sugary treat with your car. Can cats eat bananas? Yes, cats can eat bananas. However, it may cause diarrhea, obesity, or even diabetes if not given in moderation.
In this article we’ll talk about everything regarding cats and bananas!
Is it safe for them to eat?
How much should you give?
What other fruits can cats eat?
Let’s get started!
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Will Bananas Hurt Cats?
The question “Can cats eat bananas?” usually comes with the question “Are bananas harmful to cats?”.
Bananas are relatively safe for your cat when given in small quantities.
Moderation is key when giving your cats any type of treats.
However, issues might still arise from feeding your cat bananas.
These effects range from mild to severe and can include diarrhea, gas, obesity, diabetes, and (in rare cases) an allergic reaction.
It’s extremely rare for a cat to have an allergic reaction to bananas.
But you should be aware of the signs and symptoms in case your kitty gets sick after you feed them a chunk of banana.
Signs of an allergic reaction include:
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- A skin rash
- Itching of the mouth or throat
- Swollen paws
It’s important that you take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice any of these symptoms after giving your cat bananas.
Letting any of the symptoms linger can be fatal.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they get all their nutrients and vitamins from a meat source.
They require diets high in protein and taurine from meat.
And their digestive systems are designed as such.
They can break down meat easily, but they don’t have the enzymes to break down carbs and sugars.
This means that adding foods high in carbohydrates and high in sugar might upset their stomachs.
This can cause diarrhea and, at the very least, a case of some very bad flatulence.
If you notice that your cat always has bad gas after giving them bananas, it’s probably safe to assume that bananas don’t agree with their stomachs and to cut it from the reservoir of treats.
Diabetes And Obesity
Giving your cat too many bananas can cause obesity and diabetes.
This is because their blood sugar rises since they aren’t able to break down the carbohydrates quickly enough cause spiked glucose levels.
Symptoms of diabetes in felines are:
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- Lack of appetite
- Constant urination
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive drowsiness
- Rapid weight gain
If you notice any of these symptoms after feeding your cat bananas, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away.
Uncontrolled diabetes in cats can lead to weak legs, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, and eventually death.
And if your cat has become obese, it’s best to tackle the issue right away.
Obesity and diabetes can both shorten your cat’s lifespan.
Benefits Of Bananas For Cats
Now that we’ve cleared up all the issues bananas can cause, let’s look at some good things they can do for your cat.
Bananas are packed with potassium, an electrolyte, which can help aid your cat’s kidney and heart function.
This is important for cats of all ages but especially older cats who may begin to develop renal impairment or heart issues.
Also full of folate/folic acid/ B9, bananas are able to help the metabolism of proteins to build new cells for your cat.
Folic acid is helpful for cats with cataracts, depression, hardening of the arteries, and low cholesterol.
Lastly, bananas are rich in fiber.
Foods rich in fiber help provide bulk to help move good through your cat’s gastrointestinal tract.
Sometimes, fiber can even be fermented by their digestive systems which helps create a source of energy for their cells in the intestinal tract.
In short, fiber helps your cat’s digestive system run smoothly while preventing constipation and providing their cells energy.
What Fruits Can Cats Eat?
When feeding fruit to your cat, it’s important to wash the fruit, remove the rinds, seeds, and pits, and take off any skins that are inedible.
Here’s a list of fruits that are safe for your cat:
- Blueberries. Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber for your cat. Given in moderation, they’re a great treat your kitty can enjoy.
- Apples. Apples are a great snack for your cat, but it’s very important to peel or wash these well. The pesticides found on apples are more dangerous for cats than humans.
- Mango. Mango is a refreshing treat when given to cats in moderation. Removing the skin first will help your cat to digest it a lot better.
- Cantaloupe. Cats seem to be drawn to cantaloupe and other melons. Studies have shown that melon volatiles that gives melons their aroma might be the culprit.
- Pears. Pears are a tasty treat when given in moderation but take care to toss out the seeds. They contain certain chemicals that may turn into to cyanide during the digestion process. These are also better to peel because of harmful pesticides.
- Raspberries. These can be given safely in a very minimal amount ( 1 to 2 berries, once a week). They contain xylitol and may upset your cat’s stomach if given too many. They also have anti-inflammatory properties making them great for older cats.
- Strawberries. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and can be beneficial for your cat’s immune system.
- Watermelon. Another melon that cats go crazy for. With its high water content, watermelon is great for helping your cat stay hydrated. This also makes it an ideal summer treat. Just be sure to remove all seeds before feeding it to them.
What Fruits Are Cats Not Allowed To Eat?
- Cherries. All parts of the cherry (stem, seeds, pits) besides the ripe fruit itself are toxic for cats. They contain cyanide, which, if ingested, can cause organ failure and potentially even death.
- Grapes and raisins. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in your cat. This is suspected to be caused by tannins and certain components in the grape’s skin. This should be avoided at all costs.
- Citrus fruits (lemon, lime, grapefruit). Citrus fruits can irritate your cat’s skin as much as their digestive systems, causing severe gastrointestinal upset.
If your cat accidentally ingests any of these fruits, you need to take them to the vet immediately.
If they ate a small quantity, the probability of them surviving is high.
But oftentimes, we don’t know exactly how much our pets have eaten.
So, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take them in to have them examined anyway.
So, if you were wondering “Can cats eat bananas”, the answer is yes.
But even though this fruit is incredibly rich in fiber, magnesium, Vitamin C, and potassium, it is best given as a rare treat to your cat.
Since cats are carnivores, make sure that they are getting all their nutrition from their food first before considering giving them bananas.
Since they need diets high in proteins and taurine, giving them more of a plant-based diet than their natural carnivorous diet can pose severe health risks.
Just be sure to only give your cat a few bite-sized pieces of banana, watch them carefully to make sure they have no adverse reactions, and allow them to enjoy themselves!