We’ve all heard the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” For humans, there's some basis to this as apples can make up part of a balanced, healthy diet. Packed full of fibre and vitamins, apples are one of the more popular fruits amongst humans in the UK, and most of us will regularly have them in our fruit bowls.
Because this fruit is relatively inexpensive, readily available and healthy for us, many pet owners have come to wonder if cats can eat apples too, and whether our feline friends will experience the same benefits.
Keep reading to find out if cats can eat apples.
Can cats eat apples?
Yes, an occasional small piece of apple flesh is generally fine for cats to eat, but this fruit is not a necessary part of their diet. While the flesh of apples isn’t toxic for cats, the stem, leaves and seeds can be, as they all contain cyanide. This substance is poisonous for cats and, although your cat would need to eat a lot of apple seeds to reach a toxic level of cyanide, the seeds can still cause a stomach upset.
Can cats eat cooked apple?
Again, the flesh of cooked apples is generally okay for moggies, and the cooking process also makes the fruit softer and easier for your cat to eat. However, many types of cooked apples will have extra ingredients added to them during the baking process, such as cinnamon and sugar, which aren’t very good for cats. So if you’d like to feed cooked apple to your feline friend, always make sure you only feed a small piece of plain cooked apple without any extra additions, and also ensure the apple piece isn’t too hot!
Can cats eat dried apples?
Dried apples aren’t toxic, but they’re not very good for cats as the water will have been extracted from the fruit, making the sugar content even higher. Because of this, we would advise against giving dried apples to your cat, especially if your pet is overweight or has any underlying health problems such as diabetes.
Can cats eat candy apples?
No, never give your cat candy apples! These apples are cooked in syrups and are packed full of sugar, so even a small amount could be harmful for your cat, especially if they are overweight or have an underlying health condition. Sometimes other things will also have been added to these apples, such as chocolate which is toxic and very dangerous for cats.
Can cats drink apple juice?
Shop-bought apple juice normally has a lot of added sugar, and even homemade apple juice will still have a fairly high sugar content. It depends on the type. If the apple juice is homemade and completely natural, a small amount is unlikely to cause an issue, but supermarket apple juice contains lots of sugar, chemicals and preservatives, so always stay away from these types.
Are apples good for cats?
Not particularly, no. As we’ve mentioned, while the apple flesh is generally okay for cats to eat, the leaves, stems and seeds contain cyanide. On top of this, cats are obligate carnivores and get all the nutrients they need from high-quality feline diets containing animal products. So feeding fruits such as apples doesn’t really have any benefits for them. Additionally, apples are quite high in natural sugars, so they aren’t ideal for moggies, and definitely shouldn’t be offered to overweight cats or those with diabetes. Due to the high fibre content of apples, eating too much of this fruit could also cause digestive issues and stomach upsets too.
How to feed apples to your cat
If you want to try offering a small piece of apple to your cat to see if they like it, it’s important to prepare it correctly first. Before giving it to your cat, make sure you wash your apple and remove the leaves, stems and seeds, and also remove the peel as this will be more difficult to digest. Then chop the apple into small pieces to avoid choking.
And remember to only feed one or two small pieces to your cat in order to avoid stomach upsets, which can occur from eating too much apple.
If your cat doesn’t like apples, that’s fine, don’t force it! Most cats don’t like apples and would actually rather enjoy tasty cat-specific treats instead