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Pet parents know that fruits are an essential part of a healthy human diet. As they enjoy a plate of apple slices or a bowl of mixed berries, they might see their cats by their side and wonder if they can have a bite of a piece of fruit too.
The answer is: maybe. Cats are carnivores and they can’t really digest plants. Even so, they can eat some fruits in moderation, and the sweet treats can provide some good nutrients. Other fruits can cause digestive issues, though. So which fruits are safe for cats, and which ones should be avoided?
Several fruits are safe for cats to enjoy in moderation:
These are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some may require a bit of modification before pet parents offer them as a snack. For instance, remove the skin and core from any apple pieces, as apple seeds contain a compound that produces cyanide when it breaks down. When it comes to avocados, the leaves, skin, and bark have a substance that’s mildly toxic to cats. Pet parents should also avoid mango pits and the skin and core of pineapples.
Just as there are plants that are poisonous to cats, there are also fruits that can be potentially dangerous. Pet parents should avoid the following fruits altogether:
Cherries. These fruits are highly toxic, even in small amounts.
Citrus fruits. The peels contain oils that can cause harmful reactions. They also have compounds that are mildly toxic and can cause digestive issues.
Figs. Like cherries, figs are highly toxic, even in small amounts.
Grapes and raisins. These are highly toxic to both cats and dogs and can cause kidney failure. A vet should be contacted immediately if a cat ingests either of these foods.
Tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes are okay, but green tomatoes (as well as tomato stems and leaves) contain solanine which is toxic and may cause digestive issues.
Vegetarian or vegan pet parents may not like the idea of feeding their cats meat. They may be wondering if their cats can follow a similar vegetarian or vegan diet. The answer is no. Cats are carnivores and they need meat to thrive.
While pet parents might not be able to meet the nutritional needs of their cats with only fruits and vegetables, there is good news: some fruits and veggies in moderation are fine. But when it comes to fruit, the peels and seeds should always be removed.
As carnivores, cats need (and prefer) meat. That’s not to say they might not enjoy a little fruit from time to time. Many fruits offer essential nutrients and provide a tasty treat. Even so, pet parents shouldn’t offer certain fruits to avoid any harmful consequences.
While cats may not generally go after fruit, and pet parents may do their best to keep unsafe items out of reach, cats are curious. If a cat eats a fruit they shouldn’t have, the first thing a pet parent should do is contact a veterinarian. For answers to cat nutrition questions in seconds, Fuzzy members have access to 24/7 Live Vet Chat.