Have you ever thought of a cat eating banana? Even imagining this situation looks quite funny, though, cats are known as finicky eaters. But, they are not all the same. Having different personalities, likes, and dislikes, some cats aren’t interested in anything other than their normal diet, while others like to experiment with unfamiliar food. In one way or another, most of them are curious.
There is a common experience among us, cat owners: when we start eating something, our cat will come closer, staring at us and giving us “the look” no matter what the food is. This situation makes many people share their food with their cat right from their plate. However, before we fall for the cat’s heartwarming influence, we have to keep in mind that there are foods that can endanger our pet’s life. Wondering if bananas fall under this category?
Banana is one of those fruits that most people have in their home as it is not only tasty but full of nutrients as well. For humans at least, bananas are wonderful healthy snacks, but do you know if your cat would have the same benefits by having a little bit of it? Can cats eat bananas safely at all? Let’s take a closer look at all these questions in this article.
Can cats eat Bananas? – Only in moderation
When it comes to the question about cats and bananas, there is a great piece of news. Yes, cats can eat bananas. But only in moderation as a treat. According to ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) it is non-toxic to cats, therefore, it is safe for cats to consume a small, controlled amount of this tasty fruit. Though, there are a few important things you should consider before feeding banana to your cat:
- Bananas should be given to cats only in moderation, in very small quantity.
- Bananas should be offered to cats occasionally, as a treat.
- Never feed your cat banana peels, only the flesh. Before you feed your cat a piece of banana, make sure its skin has been removed.
- Never feed your cat rotten banana. It may contain molds that can lead to an upset stomach causing vomiting or diarrhea.
- Consider your cat’s age before offering her banana. Older cats have slower metabolism, therefore, the probability of some health problem is more in their age.
- Don’t confuse banana with banana chips. Although banana is safe for cats in small amounts, banana chips are high in oil and fat so considered to be bad for cats.
In conclusion, if your cat desires to eat some banana, it can occasionally be given as a treat. Although you shouldn’t give it in large amounts and more importantly avoid making it a regular part of your cat’s daily diet. Giving her a small piece every now and then though would be fine and shouldn’t cause any harm, provided that the points mentioned above are considered.
About cats and bananas
Banana was first grown in South East Asia and Papua New Guinea before gaining popularity in Africa and then spreading to the rest of the world.
Since it had a very short shelf life, early European and American traders were not willing to purchase, store and transport it across the sea which limited the popularity of this fruit. As time went by, improvements were made in sea transport and ships became faster, safer and finally, could hold refrigerated food. This helped to increase the awareness of banana and made it one of the most popular fruits across the world.
With its soft, sweet flesh, banana is not only delicious but an amazing healthy tidbit as well that is full of nutrients, therefore has great benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and also rich in minerals, such as potassium and manganese, not to mention its dietary fiber content. In consequence, banana seems to be a nearly perfect snack for people because of its incredibly beneficial content.
What about cats and bananas? Although cats’ digestive system is fine with banana and can digest it well, its nutritional value is open to doubt and needs some detailed explanation.
Any benefits – Are bananas good for cats?
Just like other fruits, banana is an important part of our diet as well. It contains a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are all good for our health. Regarding cats and bananas; the nutritional benefits that humans get from eating bananas don’t really apply to cats.
Although some people claim that some nutrients found in bananas – like vitamin B6, manganese, potassium and dietary fiber – can benefit a cat, there is no real evidence found to prove this statement’s truth.
Risks – Are bananas bad for cats?
As previously stated, cats can eat bananas in moderation as they are not toxic to cats and cannot cause any severe health issue unless they are given in big amounts. Keep in mind that cats’ digestive system differs from ours. Their digestive system is smaller and more sensitive to strange foods that are not part of their normal diet. Some food that would not cause any harm to us even if it is digested in large quantities can cause health problems to cats.
One thing to watch out is the high sugar content found in bananas. Cats’ digestive system cannot digest sugar as properly and efficiently as ours. A whole banana contains a lot of sugar which takes time to digest and can be difficult for a cat’s small digestive system to break down. And if it is not digested properly, it can cause feline constipation. This is one reason why we have to be careful with the amount of bananas given to cats.
Apart from constipation, if cats are having bananas every day, others health issues could probably occur. Too much sugary bananas can lead to feline obesity and even worse, they may develop diabetes which is another warning sign not to overfeed our cats with bananas.
Any time we try to introduce a new food to our cat’s diet, we have to be exceptionally cautious. Be aware that just like people cats also have allergies to certain foods. Sadly, there is no way to determine this in advance. So as the first time, give only a little piece, keep a watchful eye on her and monitor your cat’s reactions. If there is nothing out of ordinary, you can’t notice any side effects and your cat is enjoying her little treat, feel free to give her occasionally in moderation.
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How much banana is safe for cats?
As it is mentioned many times before, cats can eat bananas, but only as occasional treats in small amounts. Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t recommend more than two tiny pieces maximum twice a week. Even if your cat still looks at you begging for more pieces, please don’t risk and give her more.
While small pieces of bananas can be great treats for our feline friends without any ill effects, too much of this tasty treat can upset their stomach and cause several health problems. This is especially true for older cats as their metabolism becomes slower and slower by age creating more probability to different illnesses. Please consider your cat’s age before feeding her even a tiny piece of banana.
Do cats like bananas?
Since cats are carnivores and they need mostly meat, they may have no interest in fruits, like a banana. In addition, as every cat is unique and their personality differs from one to another, in the same way, their likes and dislikes are different as well. Some cats will turn away when you offer a little bit of this tasty snack, while others, for some reason, will enjoy every little piece of it.
Do you want to know if your cat likes banana? Give her a little piece (really just a bit) and see how she reacts. Don’t be surprised if she turns her nose up and ignores your suggestion as it turns out – some people claim – cats cannot really stand the smell of this fruit due to their very sensitive sense of smell.
If your cat turns out to be finicky and rejects your offered treat, don’t be mad, remember, there is no point making any pressure to convince her as she will unlikely get any benefit of having a piece of banana. However, if your cat likes the taste of banana, remember, no peels, no big amounts, only flesh in moderation as a treat.
What cats really need
Even though banana, a very popular food in our life, can be given to cats as a treat, yet while offering them a piece, we should not forget their carnivorous origins. Simply said, they require a specific balance of nutrients, and they should cover their nutritional needs by eating mostly meat. In general, you should feed your cat high-quality cat food, and meanwhile you can make some of your cat’s days special with some fruit treats like a banana. Just remember, in moderation.
Conclusion – Can cats eat Bananas?
It is every cat owner’s best interest to keep their cats healthy and satisfied. We want to give them everything they need and everything they ask for. When they start staring at us while we have our delicious snack, it is very hard to say no. And this is one of the most feasible time when it is really important to know which human’s food we can safely offer.
Banana is one of those fruits which cats can consume safely without having any health issue. However, you do have to be careful. While a little piece of a banana once in a while is completely fine for cats, too much of it can cause several health problems, like obesity or diabetes because of the high sugar level banana contains.
In addition, since all cats are different, and each of them has their own individual tastes and appetites, some will like the taste of banana while others will turn away even from its smell. Don’t be surprised if your cat belongs to the second category as most of the cats don’t really like the smell, texture, and taste of banana.
All in all, if your cat likes to experiment with foods and show some interest in having a bite of your banana, make her feel special and happy by offering a little piece once in a while.