Can Cats Eat Bananas? And Is It Safe?
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Bananas are a favorite fruit for many people, and some animals. There are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and are a recommended food that we should all consume on a daily basis.
However, many cat owners wonder: Can cat eat bananas? Is it safe for them? If yes, how much can they consume?
Can Cats Have Bananas?
In addition to feeding our cats their daily wet or dry cat food, many of us wonder if we can give them bananas occasionally.
There are some felines, which will show interest in this fruit. And because of the rich nutritional value contained in bananas, many cat owners think it could be a healthy snack for their pet, but actually it isn't.
The fruit is not in the list of toxic food for cats, according to ASPCA reports, so they can. Nevertheless, they shouldn't be fed with this fruit, and you should avoid giving it to them.
The fact is that bananas are not advised for cat consumption. Cats are known to be pure carnivore, and are not supposed to eat veggies. In reality, nutrition found in bananas or other vegetables is not good for cats’ digestion.
Are Bananas Bad For Cats?
Bananas are also rich in carbohydrates and sugar. Carbohydrates make up about 23 % of a medium size banana (about 120g banana will contain 27g carbs ).
Unfortunately, cats do not have the enzyme needed to digest carbs, therefore carbs should not exceed more than 2% of their diet. If they eat too much carbs over a long time, this may cause health problems.
Bananas are also rich in sugar. However, as carbs, cat assimilation do not function well with digesting sugar, or generally, sweetened food. Neither artificial nor natural sugar is recommended by nutritionists. Furthermore, if eating too much sweet things, sugar would be stored in cat stomach and can cause constipation.
Cats need large amounts of fats and proteins in their diets, but these ingredients are not found in bananas. On the another hand, cats lack enzymes to digest common components of plant food source that is why they eat meat for most of their meal.
Are Bananas Toxic To Cats?
Cats have sensitive digestive systems. Although bananas are not dangerous or poisonous to cats, they can cause upset stomach and your pet may vomit afterwards. If your feline has a sensitive stomach, you should feed it with cat foods that are easy to digest.
Can Cats Eat The Banana Peel?
Never give your feline a banana peel, they will not be able to digest it, and most importantly they are a chocking hazard. Always remove the peel, and then offer a bite or two of banana to your feline.
Also, keep in mind that some banana peels may have pesticide, depending on which farm they were grown. Therefore, if there are traces of pesticides found on the peel, this can be toxic for your cat.
Can Kittens Eat Bananas?
Kittens should drink only milk for the first eight weeks after they were born. After the eight week, until age one, you can begin feeding them kitten appropriate dry or wet food.
While kittens are growing they need higher amounts of protein, much more than adult or senior cats. Although, it is safe for kittens over 8 weeks old to try small amounts of this fruit, give them only a small amount.
How to Feed Bananas to Your Cat?
When you're introducing any new food to your feline, always introduce one new food at a time. This way you can see if there are any allergic reactions or any other negative effects, for example: upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
There are a few ways to feed bananas to your cat:
- Peel a banana, and let your feline have one or two bites. Don't let them eat the peel as we already mentioned above.
- Cut a small piece of banana and mix it with their already prepared cat food in their bowl. You can also add some water.
Are Bananas Good For Cats?
Firstly, fiber, is acceptable for cats in very small amounts. However, bananas hold up 12% of fiber, equal to famous potassium portion (source), cat’s stomach is unable to deal with such a big amount dues to their lack of functional enzymes. Too much fiber can cause diarrhea.
Secondly, potassium, well-known component in bananas people enjoy the most, seems not to be necessary for truly carnivore animals, like cats. Actually, human diet is disparate and fiber is always in the top component to add, meanwhile, the theory cannot work with felines.
Cats diet formula are full of meat, they consume mainly proteins from fresh meat to cooked dishes or dry or wet cat food. Consequently, if they consume potassium in a little bite of banana, it may be useful.
Overall, the only beneficial sources that cats can get from bananas are fiber and potassium, however they should be in very small doses. Felines should never be fed whole bananas.
Cat's Don't Like Bananas
Generally cats don’t show any interest in bananas, and will not want to see, touch or eat them. There are two reasons for this: the look and smell of this fruit. Of course, there are some exceptions.
Cats will prioritize animal source of food, but are quite picky when it comes to veggies diet. Bananas just fall in their curiosity list, that they try sometimes.
Bananas look strange to felines, and sometimes they get afraid or terrified when they see one. The appearance of this fruit, makes them think and mistake it for a predator (source).
Additionally, smell of ripening bananas turns are not quite attractive to cats, either. Ethyl acetate odor generating from ripe bananas is not a cat's favorite.
Bottom Line: Cats And Bananas
It is easy for people to think that if some fruits and vegetables are healthy for them, they are also healthy for their felines. However, this is not true.
The digestive enzymes in a cat's body can work and digest meat primarily. In nature, cats are obligate carnivores and they cannot live without meat in their diet, actually, they are born with a hunting instinct.
Because of their specific digestive system, cats lack some enzymes which can deal with plant source food such as too much fiber or sugar, components found in most fruits. Consequently, fresh bananas are not preferred in their daily meals.
In sum up, cats are able and allowed to eat bananas in very little amount. Bananas, in facts, confirmed by ASPCA and Margaret Gates, leader of Feline Nutrition Foundation, do not harm your cats, but won't cause much good for them either.