Can Cats Eat Bananas?
Full of nutrients, tasty, and individually packaged by nature, bananas are wonderful – for humans. What about for cats? While many cats aren’t interested in anything other than their typical, carnivorous diets, some are curious about people snacks/fruit/vegetables and just about anything!
Whilst sharing human treats with a cat can be fun, it is important to ensure that they maintain a healthy diet. Therefore, it is important to consider a cat’s physiology and the make up of human food itself before we start feeding cats anything other than their usual meal.
Note: As always, visit our best cat food list for up to date information on the best brands to be feeding your furry friend!
A Bit About Bananas
Bananas started out in South East Asia. By the 1880’s, they were a major crop in the Caribbean. Still, since humans have always had to manage the fact that there’s only a brief window between a ‘too green’ and an over ripe banana. Therefore, the fruit didn’t really ‘take off’ in popularity until transportation and refrigeration made moving them around the world more viable and profitable. Now, bananas are a favorite fruit across the globe.
What Do Bananas Contain?
Banana is one of those amazing super foods that taste wonderful and are full of nutrition. Often the snack of choice for athletes due to the incredible amount of potassium they contain—over 400 mg—which helps to prevent muscle cramps after strenuous exercise. You will notice lots of tennis players eating bananas during tournaments.
Besides potassium, bananas are full of vitamins B6, C, fiber, and manganese. For humans, banana is about as close to a perfect, self-contained snack as you can get, but not necessarily for cats.
Things To Consider About Bananas…And Cats
All the wonderful health benefits we and so many other mammals get from eating bananas is not the same for cats. Other than fiber, cats don’t absorb any of the vitamins or nutrients when they eat banana, and cats don’t need dietary fiber like we do.
Some argue that frozen banana makes a great treat for pets like cats and dogs. They suggest that a banana makes for a much better bite for a cat than the saltier, less healthy store bought cat treats that are available.
Always keep in mind that the digestive system of a cat is sensitive to strange foods and variation. Some foods that seem innocuous are actually toxic or dangerous for your cat. Bananas are not toxic to cats, but they also are not a normal part of a cat’s diet.
Bananas are also full of sugar. Natural sugar is not going to be as bad as some others, but for a cat, any sugar is unnecessary. Too much sugar in a cat’s diet can lead to feline obesity and diabetes, both very dangerous for cats.
So, Can Cats Eat Bananas?
Yes. They can. There is no general consensus as to whether or not bananas are a healthy treat for cats, but unequivocally, yes, cats can eat bananas. It comes down to your priorities as the cat owner watching out for your cat’s diet. You may consider a piece of frozen banana an excellent alternative to cat treats being sold on store shelves, you may not! If your cat likes eating bananas, you should decide whether the risk of your cat gaining too much weight is of greater concern.