A monkey’s meal quickly turns into a protein diet for humans. Banana is extremely nutritious with a host of nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fat. But are they equally beneficial to cats? Should your kitty eat this popular diet? You need to be doubly sure in case of fruits as they contain more harm than nutrients for cats
Bananas are a key source of potassium which improves the kidney as well as the functioning of the heart. But bananas have high amounts of carbs. While carbs are the most prominent energy source for humans, domestic cats hardly any. They sleep for more than 16 hours a day and get their food in the comforts of your home. Carbs are a waste for them and can rather hurt their body.
Margaret Gates of the Feline Nutrition Foundation suggests that you shouldn’t feed cats carbohydrates more than 2% of her diet. Feeding her carbohydrates can lead to various problems. Then there is Dr.Brown, DVM from Nova Cat Clinic who believes most cats won’t even like bananas. And there’s no need to feed them except when she is not eating her regular diet without it.
As cats lack the digestive enzymes to digest protein and fat in the bananas, it would be a rather waste of food. But leaving those arguments aside, some cat owners are adamant of feeding their cats with bananas. Also, there might be some cats who would sincerely drool over bananas. What if you have a cat like that? You need to know if it’s safe for consumption for cats.
Is it safe for cats to eat bananas?
Yes, bananas are safe for consumption for cats as they aren’t toxic to them but only to a small extent. Bananas contain a lot of sugar and carbs which are tough to digest for cats. Your cat can eat a bite here and a nibble there. But she can’t afford to eat bananas regularly in her daily diet or in a large amount. Even a whole banana can be hard to digest.
This is contrary to how bananas act in humans. Bananas are extremely beneficial to humans right from when they are born. Even a 1-year old baby can eat milk and bananas to treat an upset stomach or mild diarrhea. But bananas can upset your kitten’s stomach. There’s no viable reason why you should feed her bananas.
So, bananas are safe but only to a small extent and have no real benefits. That’s quite a complicated deal, isn’t it? But the easy solution is just to refrain from feeding your cat bananas. It’s not worth the risks. Cats have different nutritional needs than humans. Along with large quantities of animal protein, domestic cats require nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, taurine, etc for nourishment.
Bananas offer most of these nutrients and more. But she can digest those nutrients better if they are incorporated in her cat food. Unlike bananas, cat food doesn’t contain unnecessary carbs and sugar which can cause various health issues. Moreover, cats don’t have sweet receptors on their tongues. So it won’t actually taste good or feel like a treat to her.
That is why you shouldn’t consider feeding them bananas occasionally as a treat. Cats don’t need chocolates, fruits, candies that humans crave. Now even after all this, you can’t deny your cat staring at you while you’re eating bananas, ASPCA has labeled it non-toxic, so go on.
As for nourishing your cat with vitamins, most high-quality cat foods have all that your cat needs. You don’t have to stuff in additional supplements or vitamins in her diet. But even if you have to, look for options prescribed by them and avoid vitamin sources in human foods.
Do cats like bananas?
It might be possible that your cat likes the color and shape of the bananas. Some cats may show fascination and would be eager to eat one. But all that will change after she eats it once. Cats can’t taste the sweetness of bananas due to the lack of sweet receptors in their sweet buds. Her tongue won’t notice the sugary taste of bananas.
Is your cat asking for bananas time and again? Does she ask for it whenever she sees you eat it? Then this is a case of optimum level curiosity. You should try to feed her other tasty meat food so she doesn’t get hungry. Distract her and employ other techniques to avoid feeding her bananas.
Can cats digest bananas?
Cats can digest only a small quantity of bananas. Their body will absorb the dietary fiber in bananas but won’t absorb proteins, Vitamins, etc. This is because plant proteins don’t suit cats and their intestines lack digestive enzymes to digest plant protein. While they would absorb dietary fiber, she doesn’t need it at all. Cat’s body can produce enough fiber for herself and any more fiber will only add to the waste.
Cats can only digest banana caveats and you shouldn’t feed her banana peels. Chewing and ingesting banana peels is already a tough task and if your cat manages to swallow it, her digestive system won’t be able to digest the fibrous peels. It can also choke her throat or cause blockages in her digestive tract too.
The high amounts of sugar also remain unused in the cat’s body and would offer no benefits to her. Moreover, excessive sugar consumption can cause chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes. So, while cats can digest some part of bananas, you should only feed it in a very small amount, if at all.
Can bananas be beneficial to cats?
Bananas are difficult to digest for cats, but there should be at least some part of the nutrients that she would be able to absorb? Yes, a cat can absorb a small amount of the nutrients. She would benefit from Vitamin C, folate, potassium and magnesium along with Vitamin B6. But the benefits won’t satisfy any of her nourishment needs and you shouldn’t feed bananas to fulfill them. Here we look at the possible benefits of bananas to cats, however small they are.
Potassium helps improve the functionality of the heart and kidney. But bananas contain a lot of potassium. Too much potassium can be dangerous for cats. Most cat foods contain enough potassium that she won’t need more anyway.
- Folate Rich
Folic Acids present in bananas help to build new cells in a cat’s body. It helps metabolize the protein.
- Supply of fiber
This one can benefit the cat in a very small amount if she’s deficient of fiber. But it can cause diarrhea if you serve more than a small amount. Most cats can only absorb dietary fiber from bananas which makes other benefits useless.
Precautions in giving bananas to cats
You should always keep your cat’s age in mind before feeding her something new. Older cats are more likely to develop diabetes due to which you shouldn’t feed her too much sugar. You should take the following precautions while feeding your cat bananas:
- Keep the quantity small
Mix a very small amount of banana broken into small pieces in her cat food. Avoid feeding her bananas if she has diabetes or heart-related issues as it is a high amount of sugar. You can also mix it with water to make it eatable for your cat. Moreover, feeding her bananas for the first time even in moderation can cause a stomach upset. Feeding a large quantity may also result in constipation.
- Remove the peel
Never feed your cat banana peel. Always remove the peel and throw it away before feeding bananas to your cat as it can be extremely hard to digest and cause diarrhea.
- Don’t feed her another fruit
Once she has eaten bananas, don’t feed her any other fruit for some time. Keep rotten bananas away from her. A small slice of ripe banana will be fine for a kitten.
- Check for allergy
Some cats might also be allergic to bananas. The breed of the cat mostly decides whether she’s allergic to a particular fruit. After feeding her a small amount, check for irregular symptoms like skin irritation, vomiting, etc. to know whether she’s allergic to bananas.
Are bananas bad for cats?
They surely can be bad for cats. They have a very high amount of sugar and carbohydrate content as compared to other fruits. Eating any of these in excess would be bad for cats. Since the two are available in one fruit, it becomes more harmful. You should beware of feeding her overripe bananas as they are extremely sugary.
Cats can’t digest carbs and sugars in the way human bodies can. Moreover, they have a sedentary lifestyle and don’t need much energy for metabolic activities. So too much sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other heart illnesses.
Eating too many bananas can also cause constipation in cats. Her body isn’t suited for the high amount of fiber and sugar in bananas. This makes the banana a bad fruit for cats in many ways.
Can kittens eat bananas?
Kittens typically wean from their mothers after six weeks of age. You can feed your kitten mild doses of premium cat food after such an age. But you shouldn’t feed her anything other than cat food at this stage. After a few weeks, as her immunity becomes stronger, you can feed her small pieces of fish and meat.
In pursuit of giving her nutrients, don’t start feeding her bananas. Cats are carnivores and can derive all their nutrients from meat products. Moreover, cats don’t prefer vegetarian items and may not be able to digest them. Even if she absorbs it, it may not benefit her in any way.
Can cats eat banana bread?
Banana bread would only be safe when all the ingredients of your banana bread are safe for consumption for cats. But even after that, you can’t make sugarless banana bread as it would taste disgusting. Banana bread has high sugar content and can be harmful to your cat.
If you really want to feed her some banana bread, break it into small pieces and feed only a small amount. Also, ensure that no ingredient you are putting in is toxic for cats. You should avoid putting chocolates in banana bread that you are going to feed your cat with. Then again, there’s no real need to do all that. There are a host of tasty meaty snacks available for cats. Why would you feed her something that might be harmful and may not even seem tasty to her?
Can Bananas Give My Cat An Upset Stomach?
Of course, eating bananas in excessive amounts can cause your cat an upset stomach. Now, the excessive amount doesn’t have to be a dozen for a big cat. Even a single whole banana can be too much for a cat. Bananas are beneficial for humans as they quickly release energy.
But cats take a long time digesting them and won’t get any instant energy. Eating more than a small amount would overload her digestive tract and can upset her stomach. Mostly, cats would suffer from constipation after overeating bananas. If you are feeding your cat bananas, feed only a very small amount to save her from sickness and yourself from trouble.
So bananas aren’t even a moderately beneficial fruit for cats. For all the benefits it provides humans, bananas can be rather harmful to cats. Looking at the negligible benefits, it looks like an unnecessary risk. Needless to say, it’s best to avoid such risks more so when you know that cats can’t even taste sweetness. Meat products are the feline’s best friends and you should always feed them meat on priority.