Can Cats Eat Apples? - Cat Kingpin
can cats eat apples

Can Cats Eat Apples?

Our cats are often very interested in what we’re eating, and why shouldn’t they be? Cats are smart critters, and they know that often times what we have on our plates is more interesting than what they have in their cat bowl.

If your cat has shown interest in apples, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to share with them. Apples are probably the most popular fruit in the United States, especially in autumn when they’re at their best! But can cats eat apples?

The short answer is yes, but you need to be careful.

While a little bit of apple can be beneficial to your cats diet, they can also be deadly if you’re not careful!

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

  • Cats and Apples – What You Need to Know
  • Can Cats Eat Apples?
  • Can Cats Eat Green Apples?
  • Can Kittens Eat Apples?
  • Benefits/Negatives of Feeding Cats Apples
  • Alternatives to Apple for Cats

Cats and Apples, What You Need to Know

Apples are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. While they originated in Asia thousands and thousands of years ago, they’ve found their way all across the world. They are eaten raw, baked, in pies, and even in savory dishes.

Luckily for our feline friends, apples are one of the human foods that cats can actually eat.

However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First of all, fruit of any kind (mangos, oranges, blueberries, etc) should never make up the majority of your cat’s diet. Cats are carnivores, and their digestive systems are well suited to eating a diet primarily made up of meat.

Apples, when given sparingly and in moderation, can be a healthy treat and a suitable addition to your cat’s diet. If your cat is especially enthusiastic about apples (and not all cats will be) you can feel good about giving them a tiny piece now and again.

Can Cats Eat Apples?

Cats can eat apples, and apples can be a healthy treat for your kitty. Apples contain tons of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to feline health, including vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium.

However, cats absolutely cannot eat apple seeds!

Apple seeds are toxic to cats, so you want to be absolutely sure that they don’t have any seeds before giving your cat a piece of apple. The same thing goes for watermelon, which you can read about here.

Apple seeds, along with the seeds of many other fruits, contain cyanide. Sound familiar? That’s because cyanide is chemical commonly used in pest control because it’s highly poisonous!

If your cat accidentally ingests apple seeds, they may simply get a bit of diarrhea. However, the consequences can be far more deadly, especially if your cat eats more than one seed.

Signs of cyanide poisoning in cats thanks to apple seeds are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive panting
  • Shock

This cat is helping himself to some apples

Can Cats Eat Green Apples?

Because green apples are more tart than red or yellow apples, cats are less likely to be interested in them.

Green apples generally contain more fiber and higher nutrient density than their red and yellow counterparts, but there is little difference between the different colors.

In fact, green apples are no different than red apples when it comes to cats!

As long as you are very careful with the seeds (don’t let your cat have any, not even one!), there is no reason why you should worry too much about the color of the apple.

Can Kittens Eat Apples?

It’s almost never advisable to give your kitten human food. Kittens are still growing, they are more sensitive to digestive upset, and they rely on you to give them the best nutrition possible.

Kittens are curious little guys, and they may beg for a piece of apple if they see you eating some (and who can resist a begging kitten?) But the truth is that your kitten is better off on a healthy diet of high-quality kitten food, like Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth, which contains meat as the primary ingredient and has limited grains and additives.

This kitten has a complicated relationship with apples, evidently.

Benefits/Negatives of Feeding Cats Apples

Because apples contain vitamins and minerals that are healthy for your cat, you can offer them a tiny slice of apple now and again as a treat. As long as you are very careful that they don’t ingest any seeds, apples can be safely incorporated into your cat’s diet and the benefits outweigh the risks.

Before you give your cat a piece of apple, here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you wash the apple thoroughly to remove any pesticides.
  2. Remove the skin and only give your cat a piece of peeled apple
  3. Only give your cat a very tiny piece of apple- too much can make them sick.
  4. Be very sure to remove any seeds
  5. Don’t offer your cat a piece of the apple core- the chemicals from the seeds may have leeched into the core.
  6. Make sure to monitor your cat for any adverse reaction, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Alternatives to Apples For Cats

Does your cat love fruit but you’re not sold on giving them apples? Luckily for you, there are some treats on the market for cats that are really passionate about fruit.

Wellness brand has a line of cat treats that contain fruit, as their grain-free cranberry treats . These treats come in a variety of flavors, such as salmon and cranberry, tuna and cranberry, turkey and cranberry, etc.

There are also varieties of high quality wet food for cats that contain apple, such as Addiction New Zealand Venison and Apples. This is a great alternative- the apples are cooked along with the meat, which will give your cat a little taste of apple without you having to worry about the seeds or any potential digestive distress.

So, Can Cats Eat Apples?

Yes they can! Apples can be a healthy and tasty addition to your cat’s diet, as long as it’s given just as a treat.

Here are a few final reminders about cats and apples:

  1. Never let cats eat apple seeds!
  2. Only offer apples to your cat as a treat, and always in small quantities
  3. Peel and core the apple before offering your cat a piece
  4. Watch your cat carefully for any signs that the apple is making them ill, such as vomiting or loose stools.
  5. If in doubt, you can always opt to feed your cat a wet food that contains apple, such as Addiction New Zealand Venison and Apples.

Another fruit you may be wondering about is cherries. You can find out about that here.

Does your cat beg for apples every time you have one? We want to hear all about it in the comments!

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Amanda K.

After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I've been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I've been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.

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