Cats are notoriously curious and mischievous pets, so they’re always checking out anything interesting.
It’s great to feed their curiosity and let them try fresh foods, but it’s important to know what’s safe and what isn’t.
Pomegranates are a popular fruit known for their health benefits and if you keep them in your home, you should be aware of potential risks to your cat.
So can cats eat pomegranates? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
Can Cats Eat Pomegranates?
The short answer is yes, but with some important caveats.
Pomegranates aren’t toxic to cats, but the seeds inside and even the small pieces can pose a choking hazard.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so it’s absolutely crucial that they get the right nutrition without too many extra treats. Fruits are not part of a cat’s natural diet, so it’s absolutely not necessary or exclusively beneficial for them. Unlike dogs, cats don’t have the ability to easily digest or extract nutrients from a wide variety of foods. They rely almost entirely on meat to get what they need to stay healthy.
Just like any new food, make sure you keep a close eye on your cat after giving them pomegranates just in case they have an unexpected reaction of some kind. If you notice anything that’s not right, give your vet a call right away so they can advise you on what you need to do next.
Health Benefits of Pomegranates for Cats
We know there are tons of healthy ways to prepare pomegranates for people, but what about your cat?
As it turns out, there are a few different ways that pomegranates for cats can be a healthy occasional treat too.
Overall, they’re very low in calories and have no cholesterol or saturated fats. Any time you’re considering what treats to offer your cat, it’s always best to opt for low-calorie foods.
Pomegranates are frequently lauded for their abundance of antioxidants, and these can benefit cats as well. They’re especially high in vitamin C, an important vitamin for the immune system.
Pomegranates are also high in fiber. This is important because cats would naturally get fiber from a whole prey diet in the wild (fur, connective tissue, bones, etc.) so a snack with extra fiber can be a great supplement.
Pomegranates for cats can also help improve circulatory health; potassium, vitamin K, and folic acid are all known to be good for blood health, in particular when it comes to oxygenating the blood. Folic acid is also important for metabolizing fat and the overall growth and development of your cat.
Finally, pomegranates have a very high water content. One common problem with pet cats is that they often don’t drink enough water, so treats that contain a lot of water are a great way to get them to consume extra fluids.
And if your cat likes the flavor of pomegranates and also has a hard time drinking enough water, you could even add a tiny splash of pomegranate juice to their water from time to time to encourage them to drink more.
Safety of Pomegranates for Cats
While there are some benefits of pomegranates for cats, you should always be very cautious about how much fruit you let your cat eat. Too much can offset the natural balance of their very specific dietary needs.
Too many extra treats of any kind can also cause stomach upset for your cat. Sudden changes or additions to the food your cat normally eats on a regular basis may bother its digestive system, and this is also true of pomegranates for cats.
While vitamin C can be beneficial in small amounts, cats synthesize their own vitamin C in the liver so this is another reason to be cautious about how much you offer them. Too much vitamin C can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Pomegranates aren’t overly sugary compared to other fruits, but of course, they do contain natural sugar. Any added sugar should be carefully limited, especially if your cat is diabetic or overweight.
Another risk to be aware of is the choking hazard posed by pomegranates for cats. Whole seeds may not be properly chewed, another common issue for cats. This is especially important if your cat has any dental problems.
You should also remove the small pit inside so they don’t accidentally choke on those, either. The best practice is to cut the seeds into very small pieces to eliminate any choking risk.
Other Things to Be Aware of With Pomegranates for Cats
As cat owners, we love how playful and spunky cats can be. They can turn just about anything into a toy!
Sometimes they’ll get their paws on something they shouldn’t. Pomegranate seeds are small and can easily end up on the floor where your cat can get to them. You may not even notice while your cat is having the time of their life and chowing down on errant pomegranate seeds.
It’s important that you only let your cat have fresh pomegranate that you’ve properly prepared. Always avoid processed fruit or store-bought juice that might have additives that might be a health hazard.
If you’re going to let your car try pomegranate juice, be aware that juice in general will have a higher sugar content and should be given in even smaller amounts than the whole seeds.
When you buy a whole pomegranate–or pick one off the tree if you grow your own–make sure you only offer the fruit and not any of the rind or skin. They have no nutritional benefit and can pose an additional choking hazard.
Do Cats Even Like Pomegranates?
That’s really up to your cat to decide!
Cats can be extremely picky, so don’t be surprised if they have no interest whatsoever. They also don’t taste sweetness in the same way humans do, and they might not be a fan of the tart flavor of pomegranates, either. Pomegranates for cats are sometimes a bust because it just doesn’t taste good or smell appealing to them.
Some cats love special treats and fruit, so they might gobble up pomegranate and ask for more. If they do end up really liking it, be extra careful to not let them have too much. Always keep leftovers somewhere your cat can’t access when you’re not around to ensure they don’t overdo it.
And if they don’t want to eat them, they’ll probably enjoy playing with the seeds and shooting them around! Your cat can try out an interesting new toy and get some bonus exercise and enrichment. Just be prepared to fish those little seeds out from under the couch where they’re bound to end up.
How Much Pomegranate is Safe for Cats?
In general, pomegranates should not be a regular and common part of your cat’s diet. Only offer pomegranates for cats as an occasional special treat.
It’s best to stick with just a couple of seeds at a time, especially the first time you let your cat try pomegranates. If you’re giving them some of the juice to try, limit the amount to a tablespoon or so. Diluting it with water is also a good idea.
Another idea is this recipe for homemade pomegranate pet treats that your cat might enjoy (just don’t tell your cat that it’s a dog treat recipe!).
See If Your Cat Likes Pomegranates!
Now you know the answer to the question, “can cats eat pomegranates?” Let your cat give it a try! Just be sure to follow all the guidelines above to make it a good experience and reduce any potential risk of pomegranates for cats.
If you found this article and were wondering if cats can eat pomegranates, that’s probably because you enjoy them yourself. Visit our Pomegranate Tree page for pomegranate variety blog posts as well as helpful growing and care guides!