Bananas and cats are not a combo that naturally springs to mind when you think of pets and food. But as strange as this question may seem to most, you are not alone in wondering if cats can eat bananas. So let's get right to the topic at hand.
Can Cats Eat Bananas?
Yes, cats can eat bananas, as bananas are not toxic to cats. But you will find most cats don't like the taste or texture of this fruit.
Some cats will eat just about anything you put in front of them or want everything their human owner eats. Because of this, there are additional things a cat owner should know before feeding bananas to their beloved feline.
Are bananas toxic or harmful to cats?
As mentioned, bananas are not toxic to cats. However, they can be harmful under certain conditions. Let's look at the potential ways bananas can be harmful to your pet.
Cats Are Obligate Carnivores
While humans are omnivores (meat and plant diets), cats are considered carnivores (meat-based diets) by their core genetics. This means cats require animal protein and do not require vegetables or fruit to survive.
This is an open and shut case for some. For example, cats don't need vegetables or fruits to survive; therefore, you should not feed them to your cat.
However, being a carnivore does not mean they can't eat vegetables or fruits and get some benefits. It only means vegetables and fruits are not an essential part of a cat's diet.
Because cats are carnivores, they cannot be sustained on vegetables and fruits alone. For this reason, bananas should not be the main staple or meal replacement for your cat. Instead, bananas should merely be given as a treat, keeping in mind the size of your cat's tiny stomach.
Cats over the years have adapted to eating some plant-heavy pet foods but don't be fooled by these synthetic or manufactured nutrients. Pet food companies have spent decades formulating these nutrients specifically for your cat's digestive system. These manufactured nutrients are not the same as raw or cooked veggies.
Cats Digestive Systems
This is where it gets a tad complex. Unfortunately, most people get this one wrong when it comes to a cat's ability to digest most vegetables or fruits.
Cats have three main enzymes in their digestive system; lipase, protease, and amylase. Without going too far into detail, cats do not naturally produce cellulase. Instead, cellulase breaks down the plant fibers to free nutrients for cats to absorb.
With that being said, like most fresh-grown food, bananas contain enough active enzymes to digest the fats, starches, or proteins found in food.
The food-based enzymes and their contribution are more critical than often observed.
On top of their enzyme content, bananas are a great source of dietary fiber, which may aid digestive health. But, at the same time, additional fiber is not always a good thing. It could lead to diarrhea, so keep a lookout.
Cats Sensitive Stomach
Cats are known for their sensitive stomach. Before giving your cat any new treats like bananas, limit it to a small amount and watch over your cat for signs of distress. If your cat is undergoing some trouble, you may have detected the following:
If your cat continues to exhibit the above signs, this may be due to a more significant problem, and it's time to visit the veterinarian.
Bananas contain natural sugar. This fruit is exceptionally high in sugar and can create problems later in life for felines, such as diabetes. You should be aware of this when you offer your cat this food. Here are four key indications to look out for that might point toward recognizing feline diabetes:
Allergic to Bananas
Allergic reactions to bananas are rare, but they can happen to cats. So here are the indications to look out for:
How to feed bananas to your cat
Firstly, remove the banana peel. Keep this away from them as it can be a choking hazard. Cut the banana into bite-sized pieces. Try a small amount and keep an eye on your furry friend to check they're eating it and reacting to it OK. Don't be tempted to feed them the whole banana!
Are cats afraid of bananas?
You may have seen videos of cats reacting badly to bananas that have been placed nearby. But why? Rather than being scared, it's actually to do with being put off by the chemicals emitted by the skin. For example, banana peel emits ethyl acetate. Cats pick up on this scent and interpret it as the object is dangerous. This is what often causes them to run away. So this provides another good reason to keep the peel away from the cats, should you try out bananas as a treat.
In conclusion, your cat can try bananas in moderation and always under your supervision. But with all fruits and your furry friend - exercise caution. Specially made cat food will look after their nutritional needs, so there's no real reason to feed your cat fruit other than curiosity.
And you know what they say about curiosity.