What Fruits can Cats Eat?
While we may be tempted to feed our cats all kinds of fruits, not all fruits are safe and non-toxic. Let's review which fruits are safe for your cat to snack on and which ones you should keep out of their diet.
Cats Can Eat Fruit?
Yes, cats can eat fruits. But that doesn’t mean that cats need to eat fruits. As cats are primarily carnivorous, the majority of their diet should come from meat, not fruits. In moderation, fruits can be a great addition to your pet's diet, but they should only be given as treats. Cats lack the sweet receptors required to taste sugar sweetness, so although they may love certain fruits, it is more likely that they are enjoying the textures and aromas of the fruits, not the flavor. Examples of this include melons and strawberries.
Fruits That Cats Can Eat
With a few exceptions, cats can eat pineapple. This tropical delight is high in fructose and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals (A, B6, folate, C) as well as magnesium and potassium. Fresh pineapple is preferable to canned pineapple, which is sometimes packaged in a sweet syrup that may include preservatives that are hazardous to pets. Remove all of the leaves, thorns, and rind before sharing with your kitty companion.
Cats may consume cantaloupe, which is high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, and antioxidants. Serve the fruit in tiny cubes or slices, but avoid giving your cat the rind.
Yes, cats can consume apples. Apple flesh contains calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and pectin, while the peel contains phytonutrients. Apples provide the same health advantages to cats as they do to people. You can add a few mall slices or cubes into your cat's bowl, but make sure to remove the stem and seeds.
Yes, this delectable fruit can be enjoyed by both cats and their pet parents. Mangos provide high levels of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A. Adding a few small pieces into your cat's bowl can be a healthy treat, just make sure to not give them any pieces of the peal or seed.
Yes, cats can eat bananas. Bananas are abundant in vitamins B6 and C, potassium, and carbohydrates. Sliced bananas make a great treat, you can even freeze the slices to make them more refreshing.
Yes, cats can eat watermelon in moderation, just make sure to only give your cat the flesh, not the seeds or rind. A thin, light seed from a "seedless" watermelon should not be hazardous if accidentally swallowed. If your cat does eat a bit of the rind, it can lead to bowel cleansing in your cat.
Blueberries are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber, making them a healthy treat for cats. Feeding large blueberries to cats can be a choking hazard, so make sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces.
The ingredients in some cat chow resemble Thanksgiving in kibble form, cranberries included. Because cranberries are sometimes included in kibble, we know they are safe for cats to consume, but only in moderation. Cranberries can help cure UTIs and are a good source of vitamins and minerals for your cat.
How About Fruit Snacks?
Cats should not consume fruit snacks. Gummy snacks are derived from fruit juice concentrate and lack fruit fiber. Some contain more sugar than candy, making them extremely harmful to cats.
Can a Cat Eat Too Much Fruit?
Fruits and other goodies should make up no more than 2% of your cat's diet, or 10% of their daily caloric intake. This amounts to about a 1-inch piece every day. Fruits make great cat treats, especially if your vet has recommended that your cat lose weight. They can be served fresh or frozen and should always be sliced into bite-sized pieces.
Which Fruits Should Cats Avoid?
We highly advise you to stick to the expert-approved list of acceptable fruits. You should never give cherries, grapes, or raisins to your cat, since these fruits are poisonous to felines and can cause renal damage and even death.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges are also off-limits since they can induce stomach discomfort and, in big quantities, can damage the central nervous system. In other words, avoid giving your cat these fruits at all costs—and, in general, consult with your pet's veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your cat's diet.
Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause major digestive problems, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even acute renal failure in cats.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes contain oils and chemicals that can induce stomach discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, and even damage a cat's central nervous system.
What Are Some Signs That a Cat Has Eaten an Unsafe Fruit?
If you believe your cat has eaten a toxic fruit (or any other hazardous substance), look for signs including:
refusal of food
pale gums or tongue
excessive salivation (i.e., drooling)
If you see any signs of illness in your cat, contact your veterinarian immediately and, if possible, make a mental inventory of everything your pet consumed that day. This information will help your vet determine the cause of your pet's symptoms so they can respond appropriately.
Which Other Human Foods Are Safe to Feed to Cats?
The following veggies are safe for cats:
Celery is high in vitamins and fiber, making it ideal for cats with digestive disorders. It also has diuretic properties and can improve renal function. Celery is high in water, making it a great snack or treat for overweight cats on regulated diet regimens. Learn more about weight management for pets.
Green beans are high in iron and protein, but low in calories, making them great for overweight cats. A spoonful of fresh, canned, or frozen beans can be safely added to your pet's meals. However, if you're feeding canned beans, make sure they're sodium-free.
Carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is beneficial to your cat's eyes and hair. Make sure to peel the carrots before giving them to your pet. It can also help to cook them through to reduce the risk of choking.
Cucumber has vitamins C and K, minerals like magnesium, and a lot of water, making it an excellent treat for overweight cats. Before serving it to your cat, peel and chop it into tiny slices.
Apart from vitamins A and K, folate, and fiber, lettuce is also low in calories and abundant in water, making it ideal for cats that do not get enough water from traditional sources. This green veggie should be carefully cleaned and chopped into small pieces before it is fed to a cat.
All in all, you can feed your cats fruits, but always do your research to make sure the fruit is non-toxic. Keep in mind that cats can have allergic reactions to certain foods, and require veterinary treatment. Pet insurance can help minimize the financial strain in these situations, allowing you to focus on caring for your pet as they recover.
"Which Fruits Can Cats Eat?" PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/cat/which-fruits-can-cats-eat, June 30, 2020.
"What Fruits Can Cats Eat?" Purina, https://www.purina.co.uk/articles/cats/feeding/what-cats-eat/what-fruits-can-cats-eat, accessed Dec. 30, 2023.