Can Cats Eat Bananas
We know at least one other member of the animal kingdom that won’t say no to a banana feast. Monkeys do enjoy their bananas, but what do cats think of this sweet yellow fruit? Keep reading to find out if cats can eat bananas and whether owners can offer them as a treat to their feline companions.
Can cats eat bananas?
Although bananas are not toxic to cats, they are not a recommended part of your pet’s diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they have an essential requirement for meat proteins, needing higher levels of these in their diet than many other pets. This also means that their gastrointestinal system is not well-adjusted for a diet high in plant-based foods. Bananas, for example, are high in sugar and carbohydrates which can lead to problems such as diarrhoea, diabetes and weight gain. So, even though cats can have bananas, it’s better to offer them in moderation or even avoid them altogether if your pet has certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
If in doubt, ask your vet for advice before offering that banana to your cat.
Are bananas good for cats?
Bananas are an incredibly nutrient-rich fruit and are considered a healthy snack in human diets. The fibre, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C all make this fruit great for us. However, a cat that is fed a suitable, high quality, complete cat food will be gaining all the nutrients they need from their diet, and does not need additional dietary supplementation such as fruits. The health issues are likely to outweigh the health benefits, which is why fruits should only be given as a treat to our feline friends.
In fact, cats are often quite indifferent to sweet foods such as bananas. Their sense of taste has evolved differently from ours, and while they are able to detect salt, bitter, sour and umami, they are unable to taste the sweet flavour profile. If your cat is the odd one out, enjoying a bite of banana every once in a while, this might mean that they are neophilic – and like trying out new things! However, remember that bananas and their high sugar content can have a negative effect on your pet’s health and should only be given as a treat in moderation.
If you want to find out more about getting the balance right when feeding your cat, check out our easy guide.
How to feed bananas to your cat
If your cat keeps pleading for a bite of banana, you can offer one every once in a while, provided the vet hasn’t advised otherwise. Always remove the banana peel as this can be a choking hazard. Banana peels are also unable to be properly digested by cats, so it’s always better to keep out of reach. Cut the banana into bite-sized pieces before offering it to your cat. Start with a small tasting at first and keep an eye on your pet in case there are any unusual reactions.
Allergic reactions to bananas are incredibly rare, but they can happen to cats. Contact the vet as an emergency if you notice any allergic symptoms such as difficulty breathing, facial swelling and a skin rash.
Can kittens eat bananas?
Adult cats can eat bananas as a treat, but what about the younger ones? For the first 12 months of their life, kittens should be fed specially-formulated food, appropriate for their life-stage, with high levels of protein, calcium, magnesium and other important nutrients. However, small treats can be gradually introduced towards the end of this period, including bananas. Remember, it’s always best to ask the vet before feeding new foods to your cat.
If you’re not sure what to feed a kitten, discover the helpful tips in our article.
Are cats afraid of bananas?
Judging by the number of distressing online videos depicting felines terrified by the sight of a banana, the answer may be yes. But what exactly about this tropical fruit makes feline instincts go haywire? The culprit might be the banana peel itself which emanates ethyl acetate. Cats are not big fans of the smell, prompting some owners to rub banana peels on their favourite furniture to keep it safe from cat’s paws.
Another possible explanation is that long fruits and vegetables may appear similar to a snake at first glance, which can cause a cat to startle. Either way, it is not recommended to try scaring a pet in this way. While many people find these videos entertaining at first, the experience causes a great deal of stress which is not good for the health or welfare of your cat.
In summary, cats can eat bananas although it is not recommended. If fed, they should be given in moderation and always under the owner’s supervision in case of an allergic reaction or an upset stomach. Next, find out how to choose healthy cat treats and how to stay away from the ones that may be toxic for your pet.