Can cats eat bananas? Yes, they can! Bananas are not toxic to cats and are safe to feed, but only in moderation. Cats and bananas can go together fine, but unless your cat loves bananas, they do not need to eat the fruit. Also, because of the high sugar content in bananas, it is best to feed them to your cat as treats only. As always, though, introduce new foods slowly to be sure your kitty can handle them.
Can Cats Have Bananas?
Cats have different nutritional needs and tastes than we do. They are true carnivores who obtain all their main nutrients from meat. So, their digestive systems are not designed to receive nutrients from plant-based food sources, such as bananas.
But what can bananas do for us humans? Bananas contain an excellent source of natural sugars. They also have high levels of protein, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, fiber and vitamin B. Yet, they manage to be relatively low in calories.
Research in humans has proven that eating bananas lowers our blood pressure. This reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Bananas are also known to lift our mood.
For a cat, however, eating a banana is not beneficial as it is for us. This is because they cannot absorb the vitamins and nutrients this fruit contains, apart from the fiber. But how does fiber affect your cat? Can cats eat bananas?
Cats and Bananas
Although fiber is not a necessary component of cats’ diets, it can be useful. For one, it can help prevent obesity. How? Adding fiber to a cat’s diet makes their stomachs feel fuller without the addition of calories. This means they eat less.
Fiber also aids the digestive system and can assist in the treatment of diarrhea or constipation.
However, compared to humans and dogs, a cat doesn’t need that much dietary fiber anyway. So, if your cat eats a high-quality commercial feed, it will receive all the fiber it needs without requiring any extra.
Moreover, bananas are also a fruit, and so high in sugar. Which would again potentially add to this issue. So, quite simply, a banana has no real nutritional value for your feline friend. But how cats feel about bananas? Are they bananas for bananas? And ultimately, can cats eat bananas?
Do Cats Like Bananas?
We now know that although bananas aren’t necessary for cats, an occasional probably won’t hurt as long as they aren’t allergic. We’ll talk more about cats allergic to bananas in a bit.
But will your cat go bananas for bananas?
As cat owners, we are only too aware of how picky our feline friends are where food is concerned. So, when it comes to cats liking bananas, it is very much personal preference.
Some cats may love bananas, whereas others may turn their noses up and walk away.
Many cats are afraid of bananas too due to their shape, along with the odor which can smell disgusting to a kitty. But whether or not they like it, can cats have bananas?
Are Bananas Safe for Cats?
Yes, it is safe to feed bananas to your cat so long as you take the necessary precautions.
When feeding any new food, always give a small piece first to see if there is any reaction afterward. Some cats may show worrying symptoms such as stomach pains or vomiting.
Also, only ever feed banana that is fit for human consumption.
For example, feeding rotten bananas with mold on will make your cat extremely ill. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea as their stomachs are much more sensitive than ours.
Additionally, do not feed any other fruit or vegetable when giving a banana for the first time to your cat. Always feed one new food at a time. That way you can monitor their tolerance for certain types of food.
Remember to only feed in moderation, too. A cat eating bananas too often can result in diabetes and weight gain as well as being bad for their teeth.
Are Cats Allergic to Bananas, Ever?
Most cats can eat a small piece of banana without any problem, but some may have an allergic reaction to the fruit.
The breed of your cat can be a contributing factor to any allergic reactions. So, it is best to do your research first to see if they are prone to anything. Also, talk to your vet who can advise you accordingly if you have any doubts or are unsure.
Are Bananas Bad for Cats?
They can be. Compared to other fruits, bananas have much higher quantities of carbohydrates and sugars. Eating bananas in excess, therefore, would be bad for cats. Even more so when overripe because as a banana ripens, it naturally produces more sugar.
Your kitty is unable to digest and absorb sugar and carbohydrates the same way the human body can. So, a build-up of sugar in a cat’s system can lead to many health-related issues, including obesity and diabetes.
If a cat consumes too many bananas at any one time, it risks having an upset stomach.
Its digestive system cannot cope with the amount of sugar and fiber found in this fruit. But can bananas be good for cats? Can cats eat bananas?
Are Bananas Good for Cats?
We know that bananas are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat, with many health benefits for humans. Bananas are a much-favored fruit, with over 100 billion eaten around the world each year.
This bright yellow fruit is tasty, nutritious and full of health benefits for humans. It’s no wonder their scientific name of “Musa sapientum” translates as “fruit of the wise men.”
But are bananas good for cats too?
They can be. But, like every good thing, they should be had in moderation. Since bananas do not provide any real health benefits, only feed very small quantities infrequently. This way your kitty can have a sweet treat without endangering their health.
Can Cats Eat Banana Peel?
Many people may wonder if they can give their cat banana peels. No, cats should not eat banana peels. This would be quite unkind.
Before giving your cat a banana, you should always remove the peel first. This is because a cat would find it difficult to digest banana peels. Plus, cats can choke on banana peels.
Also, some banana peels are likely to have some pesticide on them as many farmers use chemicals to terminate insects and pests. So, on top of all the risks, banana peels may be toxic to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Banana Bread?
Maybe. If all your banana bread ingredients are cat-safe, we don’t see why not! Just ensure that nothing you add to your banana bread would harm your cat. And as always, only small pieces!
Can Bananas Give My Cat an Upset Stomach?
Yes, if your cat eats too many bananas. Bananas are useful for humans as a fast release of valuable energy. You will often see tennis players eating a banana during matches to keep up their strength.
However, this is not so for cats.
They find it difficult to break down and digest bananas, especially if fed a whole one. Often causing constipation.
Can Kittens Eat Bananas?
Kittens should feed on only milk or milk replacers for the first eight weeks of their lives. After week eight, you may begin to feed your kitten specialized kitten food until age one. But during this time (8 weeks to 1 year), you can feed them treats (including bananas!).
Just ensure that bananas make up 10% or less of their diet. While kittens are growing and need more protein than adult cats, they do not benefit as much from high sugar content.
Cat Banana Treats
There are a few ways to serve bananas to your cat or kitten. These tips will help you vary your feeding methods.
- Dried bananas treats
- Cat kibble with added bananas
- Fresh chunks of bananas, mashed
- Fresh chunks of bananas, mashed with water. Softening and wetting may make it easier to swallow, especially for kittens.
Alternatives to Bananas for Cats
If your kitten or cat dislikes bananas, all hope isn’t lost. There are other fruits and vegetables you can feed them instead of bananas.
Can Cats Eat Bananas? — Summary
Bananas don’t give your cat any real nutritional value. Yet, they are not harmful either, so long as you feed them in moderation.
Feeding bananas to your cat too often can lead to health issues due to the high sugar levels.
So, you should always feed a tiny piece when introducing banana to your kitty and make sure you do not give any other fruits or vegetables at the same time.
Only feed fresh, ripe bananas to your cat and remove the peel beforehand.
Does your cat like to try different foods? Do they enjoy eating bananas? Then, it is quite safe to give this delightful fruit as an occasional treat. So, if you were wondering, “can cats have bananas,” the answer is yes, in moderation.
Does your cat have a favorite fruit? Does he like bananas? Share your stories with other readers. Have you given bananas to your cat? You can let us know about your experiences with cats and bananas in the comments below.
References and Further Reading
- Wyrwicka, 1978. Imitation of mother’s inappropriate food preference in weaning kittens. Springer.
- Bradshaw, 2006. The evolutionary basis for feeding behaviour of domestic dogs and cats. The Journal of Nutrition. Am Soc Nutrition.
- Bourgeois and Elliott. 2006. Dietary behavior of dogs and cats. Bulletin de l’Académie Vétérinaire de France
- PetMD. Do Cats Need Fiber in Their Diet? Dr. Tudor, K.
- WebMD, Pets. Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat. Flowers, A. DVM
- WebMD, Pets. Feeding Kittens: What, When, How Much. Larsen, J. DVM, PhD
- Healthline. Are Bananas Fattening or Weight-Loss Friendly. West, H. RD.
Can Cats Eat Bananas has been extensively revised for 2019.
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