If you have a pet cat you love, you want to spoil them any way you can.
Treats are a great way to reward your cat, and there are a lot of fresh foods they might want to try. It’s fun to share healthy foods with your furry friend, and you might be asking if you can give cats bananas. You probably have a few bananas in your kitchen right now.
Read this article to learn the answer to the question of can cats eat bananas, the nutritional benefits of bananas, potential risks and what to look out for, and how to get your cat to give bananas a try.
Can Cats Eat Bananas?
They can! Bananas are considered non-toxic for cats, so it’s generally safe to offer bananas to your cat.
It’s also something you should talk about with your veterinarian. They have more in-depth information about your cat’s health and can advise you on if bananas might cause problems for your cat specifically. If your cat has existing health problems, your veterinarian may even want to do blood work to be extra careful.
Can kittens eat bananas, too? In the case of cats under a year old, it’s best to stick with specially formulated food that will support proper growth when they’re young. It’s okay to introduce very small amounts of new foods and treats after your kitten is about a year old, but not before then.
Before you do though, read through these guidelines so you’re prepared and know what to expect when trying bananas for cats.
Benefits of Bananas for Cats
It’s important to remember that cats have very particular and strict dietary requirements. Before you give them new foods to try, be sure that they’re receiving a well-balanced diet for the majority of their food.
With this in mind, you should be aware that bananas don’t offer many nutritional benefits for cats. If your cat enjoys the occasional treat, it can be great for enrichment to let them try something new. Just don’t expect that bananas for cats will become a healthy daily supplement.
However, there are several generally beneficial things in bananas for cats. These include vitamin C for antioxidants, vitamin B6 for protein-building and hormone regulation, folate for red blood cell production, potassium to help with kidney and heart health and muscle development, and calcium for stronger teeth and bones.
Risks of Feeding Bananas to Your Cat
As with any treat, bananas for your cat should be given in moderation as a special treat.
Cats are what are known as obligate carnivores, meaning that they require that most of their nutrition comes from meat. Whereas other animals thrive with a larger amount of fruits, vegetables, or grains in their diet, it’s crucial for your cat to get enough animal protein.
Bananas are high in carbohydrates, so letting your cat eat too many bananas means adding extra calories that don’t align with their need for lots of protein.
They also contain a lot of sugar, which is an ingredient cats don’t need much of in general. If your cat is overweight or has certain medical conditions such as diabetes, bananas, and fruits in general, are something you should probably avoid.
And just like any new food, you should always carefully monitor your cat after you give them bananas to try. While you can generally give cats bananas, each cat is an individual and it’s possible that some will have an unexpected reaction or won’t tolerate certain foods well.
If one cat tolerates and enjoys bananas, that doesn’t mean they all will. If you have one cat that can easily digest bananas, be careful not to assume that your other cats can, too.
Finally, don’t allow your cat to eat any of the peel. They won’t be able to digest it properly, which can lead to other more serious problems.
How to Feed Your Cat Bananas
The first time your cat tries bananas, just try offering very small cut-up pieces of plain banana to see if they’re interested.
You can also try putting a little bit on top of their regular meal to make it more interesting for them.
For added enrichment, smash a little bit of banana into a lick mat or push it into a puzzle toy. To make it last longer, pop it in the freezer so they have to work a little harder for it. You can also try this recipe for frozen banana treats for cats.
Be very aware of how much and how often you let your cat eat bananas. Make sure it’s an infrequent treat in small amounts, not as a regular daily snack.
Will My Cat Eat Bananas?
Chances are, you already know that cats are notorious for being very finicky about trying new things.
When it comes to cats eating bananas, you might find that they just aren’t interested at all. Because cats have such high protein requirements, they tend to prefer less sweet foods and will turn up their nose at most fruits.
If your cat does like bananas, don’t let them chow down too much! Keep it very limited, especially the first time they try it.
See If Your Cat Likes Bananas
If you’re looking for a new treat to try, you can safely give cats bananas to try and see if they like it.
Of course, while you don’t have to worry about the overall safety of bananas for cats, be sure to keep a close eye on your cat after giving them a new treat. Treats of any kind should only be given occasionally and in very small amounts so your cat’s diet isn’t disrupted.
Be prepared for your cat to reject it! It might seem like a delicious reward to you, but don’t take it personally if your cat doesn’t even want to try bananas.
Check out our Banana Trees page to learn everything about bananas!