The quick answer to this question is “Yes, cats can eat bananas” but “No, they can’t eat banana peels.” Now for those of you have a little spare time and want to learn more about how much banana your cat can have, how to feed it to them, and what can happen if they eat too much banana, here we go!
Bananas are like super fruits for humans. Need a boost of energy? Eat a few bananas! Hungry but only have about 30 seconds to eat and want to opt for something very healthy? Bananas to the rescue. In humans, benefits include controlling blood pressure, keeping bones healthy, aiding with asthma and diabetes, minimizing the risk of cancer, improving heart health, aiding weight loss, and an instant dose of energy to better your mood. Banana peels on the other hand are known to reduce depression, whiten teeth, reduce acne, lower cholesterol and much more.
Fun fact – There are around 1,000 different varieties of bananas in the world.
Coming back to benefits, can cats reap the same benefits from a banana and its peel?
Do Cats Like Bananas?
The very first thing to keep in mind is that cats don’t have the same taste receptors as humans, especially the ones made for tasting sugar. So, cats are not up for all the glucose, sucrose, and fructose we are. If you offer a banana to a cat, some may like it and some may not but most likely won’t ask for a second bite. However, you may sometimes see their nose turn up at the smell of it. If you find that your cat actually is interested in bananas, it’s mostly likely because of its texture.
Are Bananas and Their Peels Good for Cats?
First let’s talk about bananas. They are among the few fruits that are good for your pet in moderation. But the same isn’t true when it comes to banana peels. Banana peels aren’t meant for your cat’s digestive track. They can cause a very upset stomach.
Health Benefits of Bananas for Cats
For cats, the benefits of eating a banana aren’t as high as they are for people. However, there are some nutrients that your cat might be able to extract. Bananas are a source of potassium, fiber, glucose, vitamin C, and Vitamin B6. Each of these can positively aid your cat’s overall health. The benefits for each include -
Potassium – Supports heart and kidney function.
Vitamin B6 – Is associated with the manufacturing of red blood cells. It also aids in keeping brain processes healthy and helps with the wellness of both the immune and nervous systems.
Vitamin C – Promotes joint and bone health.
Fiber – Becomes a catalyst for your cat’s stomach and intestines. It not only helps in the regular digestion of food but can also help in curing symptoms of diarrhea and constipation.
Glucose – For all the running around energy that your cat needs.
All these nutrients in bananas can make it a good addition to your cat’s diet every once in a while. But does that mean you should make bananas a part of your cat’s daily diet? The answer is No.
How Much Banana is Good for Your Cat?
Cats are carnivorous. So, ideally, 85-90% of a cat’s meal should be meat and other non-veg products. That’s where cats will get most of their protein requirement. When it comes to quantify, a small slice of banana is just the right amount to feed your cat.
Bananas are dense in calories, so if you are adding banana to your cat’s meal as a treat, make sure that no more than 10% of your cat’s diet comes from bananas. So, roughly one square inch of the banana, once every few weeks is just the right portion.
How Can You Feed Bananas to Your Cat?
So, you now know that bananas can be good for your cat in small quantities. But understanding how to add bananas into your cat’s diet is also important. There are a few things you need to know before adding those tiny pieces of bananas into your cat’s food bowl.
Not one whole or half a banana – You need to make sure that your cat never eats an entire banana or even half a banana in a day.
Peeled – As mentioned earlier, banana peels can be very poisonous to cats so make sure you peel it properly before feeding any to your pet.
You can feed your cat banana chips but there are a few conditions – You can share a few banana chips with your cat only if they are dehydrated chips without any added spices, especially salt or sugar.
Say no to preservatives – If you are opting for banana chips, especially pre-made ones, then make sure that no preservatives were added. Preservatives can be very toxic to cats.
Be careful how you dispose of banana peels – We have a habit of throwing the banana peels directly in the bin. This might be a bad idea if your cat likes to jump into your trash bin to play! Make sure to keep your cat away from the bin or get rid of the peel in a bin your cat can’t get to.
What Happens if Your Cat Eats Too Much Banana?
Maybe you left a half-eaten banana out on your counter while you were getting ready to leave the house (you would’ve thrown it out, I know, I believe you), and you come back and see that your cat decided to finish it off for you. Eating this much banana can cause some serious side effects, so keep an eye out for any symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if your cat starts to experience –
Trying to eat a banana peel can be a choking hazard for your cat. While not fatal, banana peels can seriously upset the digestive tract of your cat. If your cat eats a banana peel, contact your vet immediately.
Are There Any Cats That Should Never Eat Bananas or Banana Peels?
No cats should ever eat banana peels – ever. But there can also be some cats, not specific to any breed, that can be more susceptible to an upset stomach if they eat bananas. For these cats, bananas should be eliminated from their diet altogether and other sources of proteins and vitamins should be used instead. The list includes –
Cats with Diabetes – If your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes or displays any symptoms then it is highly recommended that you avoid giving them banana.
Specific diets – If your vet has recommended a specific diet, for training, growth, or health purposes; avoid giving bananas to your cat. They are comparatively high in fats.
Two bananas a day may be perfect for you. But for your feline friend, a small slice of your banana as an occasional treat, once every few weeks, is just right. Even if you decide to not feed banana to your cat, don’t worry, the nutrients found in bananas can easily be found in other high quality, nutrient rich cat foods.
How Spot Can Help
Spot’s Accident-Only and Accident and Illness plans can help cover the eligible cost of treatment if your cat eats too much banana and needs to visit their vet for treatment. Spot plans offer up to 90% cash back on eligible vet bills, providing additional financial support, so you can choose the treatment that is best for your pet with less worry about the cost. Get a free quote today!