Are Bananas OK to Feed Cats? What You Need to Know


Jul. 6 2023, Published 2:53 p.m. ET

Cat eating a banana on a woman's shoulder
Source: Getty Images

Every cat parent's worst nightmare is ending up at the emergency vet because your furry friend ate something they shouldn't have. Fruits and vegetables are becoming an increasingly popular healthy treat option, but tracking what your cat can or can't eat can be hard.

So, can cats eat bananas?

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Cat sits on countertop next to bunch of bananas
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Can cats eat bananas?

Yes, cats can eat bananas – in moderation. Bananas are nontoxic to cats and can provide certain nutritional benefits, per PetMD. The fruit is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, which can support a cat's overall health.

While some cats may enjoy the taste of bananas, others may not be interested in them at all. Additionally, cats with underlying health conditions like diabetes or obesity should avoid bananas due to their sugar content, according to PetMD.

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Cats should not eat the peel of a banana. While bananas are not toxic to cats and can be given to them in small amounts as an occasional treat, the peel is unsuitable for feline consumption.

The peel of a banana is difficult for cats to digest and can potentially cause gastrointestinal issues such as an upset stomach or even blockages in their digestive system. Additionally, the peel may have pesticide residues that could harm cats if ingested, as per Caredicat.

Although bananas are generally considered safe for cats, it's important to note that individual cats may not tolerate them well. Some cats may experience vomiting or diarrhea after consuming unusual foods, particularly sugary and starchy foods like bananas.

Monitoring your cat's reaction and introducing new foods gradually is crucial to ensure their digestive system remains healthy.

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Cat playing with banana cat toy.
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How much banana can cats have per day?

Generally, no more than 10 percent of a cat's daily caloric intake should come from treats, and bananas are relatively high in calories. To maintain a healthy balance, offering no more than a 1-inch square of banana every few weeks is advisable, per PetMD.

Additionally, when you give your cat a banana treat, reducing the consumption of other carbohydrate-rich treats would be wise. This approach helps ensure your cat's diet remains well-balanced and avoids excessive calorie intake.

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As always, it's recommended to consult a veterinarian to ensure that bananas are suitable for your cat and to determine the appropriate portion size to avoid any adverse effects on their health.

What fruits are safe to feed cats?

In addition to bananas, a few other fruits can be a yummy treat for your cat, according to Caredicat.

Apples are a safe snack that can be served raw, peeled, or boiled. Melons are high in water content, low in calories, and high in vitamin A.

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber.

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cat with fruit and vegetables
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Pumpkin is another safe treat, and it can be used to treat symptoms of an upset stomach. Cooked or canned pumpkin is the best option, as the pumpkin in mixes for things like pumpkin pie often contains spices like cinnamon that are toxic for cats.

What fruits are toxic for cats?

Grapes and raisins are a big no-no for cats just like they are for dogs. Ingestion of grapes and raisins can cause digestive issues, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even acute kidney failure.

The oils and compounds in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes can cause digestive irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, or even central nervous system depression.

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