Cat owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which yielded a lot of press coverage.
The most important toxic foods are onions, chocolate, alcohol, and excessive amounts of fish. Exposure to the dangers of dangerous foods have encouraged pet owners ask about other human foods such as can cats eat bananas. Learn more about what cats can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Cats Can’t Eat.
Can Cats Eat Bananas?
A banana is a long curved fruit with a soft pulpy flesh covered by a green skin (when not ripe) or yellow skin (when ripe). They grow in clusters on a banana tree. The banana tree has very large palm type leaves that grow in subtropical and tropical climates. There are over 1000 types of bananas with the most common type that we eat is the Cavendish banana.
The answer to the question, “can cats eat Bananas”… is yes. Cats continue to amaze me. While some cats would not consider even looking at a banana, some cats love them. Cats can eat bananas but in moderation. Cats often love the soft texture and many enjoy this as a healthy snack. Bananas are high in potassium and a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, fiber, protein, biotin, manganese, and copper.
However, any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. What may not bother one cat may cause problems in a different cat. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother one person but not another.
The Dangers of Bananas to Cats
Ingestion of large amounts of bananas can cause gastrointestinal upset and ingestion of excessive amounts of bananas can cause constipation. Ingestion of banana peels can cause gastrointestinal obstruction. The peels are very difficult to ingest. Signs of problems include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, straining to defecate, and/or a decreased appetite.
The other danger of bananas to cats is the danger of choking – especially when eating the peel. Some cats are not good at “chewing” their food and the danger of choking can occur.
Please be careful if your cat eats anything banana flavored that contains the sweetener xylitol. This is primarily a problem in dogs but it is recommended not to feed cats any foods made with xylitol. Xylitol is an ingredient in diet or low calorie pastries, especially those created for people with diabetes.
Do Cats Need Bananas?
There is nothing in bananas that cats require on a regular basis. What cats do need is a high quality AAFCO approved cat food. Learn more about Nutrition in Cats.
The Safest Way to Give Bananas to Cats
The safest way to give banana to your cat is go give small pieces of sliced peeled fresh banana. Cats should never be fed the banana peel. One small slide is plenty to give a cat that likes and tolerates it.
Any treat should make up less than 5% of your cat dietary intake.