Homemade diets

Are Bananas Safe for Cats?

Laura García Ortiz
By Laura García Ortiz, Veterinarian specialized in feline medicine. Updated: October 24, 2022
Are Bananas Safe for Cats?

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Banana is perhaps one of the most common fruits in our diet since it is not only delicious but also has many properties and benefits for our health. But, are bananas also beneficial for cats? There is no simple answer to this question, because it depends, among other things, on the ration and on the cat. Even though bananas are not toxic, they can cause digestive problems.

The following article from AnimalWised discusses whether cats can eat bananas and how you can feed them safely.

You may also be interested in: Are Blueberries Safe for Dogs?
  1. Are bananas safe for cats?
  2. Benefits of banana for cats
  3. How to give bananas to a cat?
  4. Do cats like bananas?

Are bananas safe for cats?

Bananas are safe for cats as long as they are offered occasionally and in very small amounts.

Unlike omnivorous animals that can consume fruits and vegetables and obtain nutrients from them, cats are carnivores by nature. This means they get energy and essential nutrients exclusively from animal tissue, with animal proteins making up the main component of their diet.

Bananas in particular contain a lot of carbohydrates, especially when they are very ripe.

Bananas are also high in sugar, which can lead to diabetes and weight problems. In particular, they contain more starchy sugars that could upset your cat's stomach.

Make sure your cat is not chewing on banana peels. The peel of the fruit is a choking hazard and is not digestible.

Also, some cats can be allergic to even the smallest consumption of bananas. Some cats vomit or get diarrhea after eating something unusual, especially a sugary, starchy food like bananas.

To find out if your cat is having such a reaction, look for clinical signs such as itching or swelling of the throat or mouth and mucous membranes, choking signs or wheezing.

Do not miss the following article if you want to know more about the most common signs of allergies in cats.

Benefits of banana for cats

The benefits of this fruit for cats are really minimal, but it can provide some nutrients if offered occasionally. Due to their nutrient content, bananas provide humans with many benefits, including:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C
  • Folic acid
  • Tannins

Now that you know the properties that bananas contain that can be beneficial to humans, it is time to find out if some of these properties are also beneficial to cats.

  • Bananas contains little protein or fat, the most important macronutrients for the cat.

  • The potassium content can be good for your cat's heart and kidney health, but too much could also be harmful.

  • The folic acid found in bananas contributes to new cell formation and protein metabolism, while the fiber promotes intestinal health in cats, although excess can cause diarrhea.

  • Banana also contains tannins, which can an astringent effect in cats suffering from digestive problems.

In conclusion, when it comes to cats, there are better sources of nutrients than bananas. It is best to give your cat healthy treats (in moderation) and meals that are specifically designed to meet their needs. Cat food usually covers all the nutritional needs of cats, so it's not really necessary to add fruit to their diet. Keep in mind that cats require a meat-based diet with a balance of proteins and other nutrients.

Home-cooked food is also a good option, but only if it has been formulated by a veterinarian specializing in cat nutrition to avoid nutrient deficiencies.

You may also be interested in this other article where we explain the different types of food: feed, wet food or home prepared food. In this way, you will know what is the best diet for cats and can make an informed decision.

How to give bananas to a cat?

If you have decided to try giving your cat a little banana, you should know how to do it to avoid problems:

    1. Pull off the skin of the banana completely, since it is a shocking hazard. Additionally, remove any strands or items that might choke them or cause discomfort during digestion.

    2. Cut the banana into small pieces to prevent your cat from swallowing it unchewed. Cats may have difficulty swallowing this type of food since they are not used to it.

    3. Furthermore, you should monitor them when you give it to them so that you can detect any allergic reactions quickly.

        How much, and how often, can cats be given bananas?

        Overall, no more than 10% of a cat's daily calories should come from treats, and bananas are high in calories.

        A wise rule of thumb would be to eat no more than a 1-inch square of bananas every few weeks.

        For the rest of the day, cut back on other high-carb treats to balance things out. Watch for signs of gastrointestinal issues, and include the calories from the banana in your cat's daily treat dose.

        Continue reading in this other article, where we explain what fruits and vegetables are recommended for cats.

        Do cats like bananas?

        Cats lack a receptor that allows them to taste sweetness, so most cats do not seem to have much interest in eating bananas. However, if given the chance, many cats will jump at the opportunity to try something new.

        Also, some cats seem to like sweets and find pleasure in the occasional banana. These cats may be attracted to something other than the taste, such as the texture or even the smell.

        While there is nothing wrong with giving your cat a banana as a treat occasionally, remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your pet's caloric intake.

        If you want to know what cats eat, you should not miss the following article, in which we offer you a guide to the diet of cats.

        If you want to read similar articles to Are Bananas Safe for Cats?, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.

        • R. Elices. (2010). Atlas of Nutrition and Practical Feeding in Dogs and Cats . Servetus.
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